Giant African Termite Mounds
Mound building termites of East, Central, and Southern Africa can serve as an oasis in the African desert to plants by replenishing the soil.
|Giant African Termite Mounds|
About Giant African Termite MoundsTermites all belong to the phylum Arthropoda, the class Insecta, and the order Isoptera. There are over 2,000 different species of termites. Studies show that queen termites can live up to decades under ideal climate conditions. Mound-building termites are a group of termite species that live in mounds and look like whitish brown grains of rice with big heads and hedge-trimmers for mouthparts.
According to the New York Times “Researchers at Princeton University and their colleagues recently reported in the journal Science that termite mounds may serve as oases in the desert, allowing the plants that surround them to persist on a fraction of the annual rainfall otherwise required and to bounce back after a withering drought.” By poking holes or macropores, as they dig through the ground, termites allow rain to soak deep into the soil rather than running off or evaporating.