4,000 Year Old Termite Mounds Are Still In Use

In a tropical forest in northeastern Brazil two hundred million termite mounds dot the landscape every 65 feet or so and are visible from space. The mounds are more than 10 feet tall and 30 feet wide at the base. According to an international team of researchers they are incredibly old almost 4000 years old.

The ancient mounds are still in use them today. Unlike most termite mounds, these termites of Brazil do not use them as nests. Researchers actually propose the mounds are just heaping piles of waste.

For the last few thousand years, the termites dug out a vast network of tunnels. In the process the termites moved more than 2.6 trillion gallons of earth, the researchers reported. The termites discarded material from the tunnels into massive uniformly shaped mounds.

The termites’ engineering feat represents one of the biggest structures built by a single insect species.

 

 

Photo: “IMG_6156/Brasil/Mato Grosso Do Sul/ Pantanal Bush Termitières Mound Building Termites” by dany13 is licensed under CC by 2.0

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