The discovery of an enormous network of more than 200 million termites, some of them around 4000 years old, is…
The discovery of an enormous network of more than 200 million termites, some of them around 4000 years old, is like finding an “undiscovered world wonders”, according to the lead researcher with the law that found it. 19659002] “The first time I was there, it’s just incredible, you just can not believe what you’re looking at,” says Stephen Martin, a social entomologist and professor at Salford University in Britain
Hogarna was discovered in a remote forest in northeastern Brazil , which extends over an area, UK size, and can be seen from space.
They are all about 10 feet tall, 20 feet wide at the base and distributed at intervals of 30 or 40 feet. The team published its results this month in the scientific journal Current Biology.
“What’s strange is that they are regularly separated as if it were a big plan,” Martin told The Current guest host Laura Lynch.
Each height of soil contains a single vertical axis that allows termites to move between the surface and the subway of tunnels. When Martin’s team began to excavate these tunnels, they hit “crossing after crossing”.
“Sometimes we would find galleries that have dried leaves, which is their food or sometimes … their young termites, their children are being bred.”
Collecting and storing leaves is the main reason for The termites built such a massive network, he said. The leaves only grow when it rains, about a month of the year, and the termites need to collect as much food as possible in the short period of time.
“If you can think of Canada, if all supermarkets are only open for a week a year, those who have the fastest cars and the best access to major highways will be able to get more food in the short time,” said he.
Martin considers that the termites could build such a large network because of
The climate and soil make it difficult to grow crops there, he said, keeping people away and letting the insects continue.
“They are actually the oldest living structures … made of insects and actually still busy today, around 4000 years.”
Similar heads have been found in South Africa and North America, he added, but only in fossilized form.
However, this network is still inhabited, which gave Martins team the chance to study how these structures are built and how the termites manage to create such intricate patterns across huge areas.