The Week in Animal News: Melting Zombie Caterpillars, Self-Cloning Jellyfish, and More

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Scientists have made some startling discoveries in the animal world this week -- from a virus that causes caterpillars to turn into melting zombies to a lonely jellyfish that has produced hundreds of clones of itself.

We also have birds thought to be extinct making a comeback, red squirrels disappearing in England, a fish making its own tool to help it eat, and more in the Week in Animal News.

Nightmare Virus Makes Molt into Melt

Watch out for zonked-out, virus-infected caterpillars melting from above: Scientists have discovered a single gene in a caterpillar virus that dramatically alters the molting behaviour of the gypsy moth caterpillar, literally turning them into zombies.

Once infected, the caterpillars climb up trees to molt, but instead die and melt in a gruesome fashion, spreading millions of viruses to other caterpillars below.

Read the full story: Scientists Discover Gene Behind Melting Zombie Caterpillars

Photo: Michael Grove