A grisly scene in Kibale forest, Uganda:
I found this long-dead cadaver stuck to a tree trunk at about waist height. The body must have been there for months or even years, judging from the moss growing across the cuticle.
Why is this puzzling? Rainforests are intensely competitive environments, and free protein does not stick around for long. So why would a perfectly good ant go uneaten?
My suspicion is fungus. If the ant was killed by a Cordyceps-type organism, the tasty innards would long have been consumed by the parasite. Still, that’s just a guess.