Termite Amazing Facts 4u

30 Amazing and fascinating Facts About Termite | Amazing Facts 4U

  1. Termites lived 130 million years ago. They look like ants but they descended from a cockroach-like ancestor.
  2. A termite holds the record for the oldest example of mutualism between organisms. A 100 million-year old termite with a ruptured abdomen was encased in amber, along with the protozoans that lived in its gut.
  3. There are 2500 species of termites. They are more closely related to cockroaches than ants.
  4. Termites usually inhabit tropic and sub tropic areas. Termites are absent from the Polar Regions because they cannot survive on the low outer temperatures.
  5. They feed on cellulose-based plant materials. It is estimated that termites eat  their way through approximately 7 billion tonnes of plant material each year .
  6. Amazing fact is it is estimated that for every human on Earth there may be 450 Kg of termites. That’s about the same weight as a full-grown cow!
  7. Amazingly termites work 24 hours per day. They do not sleep.
  8. Australian termites have been known to build mounds twenty feet high and at least 100 feet wide. One in Africa was found to be 12.8 meters high ( 42 feet)! These nests are intricately built, with a huge network of chambers and passageways, including ventilation, drainage, and heating systems.
  9. Amazingly, termites manage to build their nests entirely out of soil, using saliva where necessary to hold it together!
  10. A mature, well-established termite colony with as many as 60,000 members will eat only about one-fifth of an ounce of wood a day.
  11. Young termites are not born with microorganism in their guts. Before they start consuming wood, they need to eat feces of other termites to equip their intestines with required number of bacteria and protozoa.
  12. Amazingly, for a creature that lives to eat, termites can’t digest their own food. More than 100 species of bacteria and protozoa live inside their guts and help them in food digestion.
  13. They don’t like sunlight and can actually die if exposed to sunlight , that’s why they travel in mud tubes and live in nest either below or above ground.
  14. Unlike other workers and soldiers Kings and queens can see because they need to find a mating partner.
  15. The Queen termite can grow as long as five inches and can live up to 30-50 years and lay 30,000 eggs every day i.e. one egg every 15 seconds. Most of the termites are as short as 1/8” but grow to be up to 3/8” in length.
  16. Some African and Australian termite colonies may contain amazingly over 3 million individuals.
  17. In Australia one Termite Nest was so large that it measured 10 Meters across . It was constructed from such hard mudding that scientist required a Jack Hammer just to enter the nest .
  18. Termite workers and soldiers are almost always blind and wingless. Since they spend their lives in the confines of the dark, damp nest, they have no need to develop functional eyes.
  19. Worker termites search for food up to 250 feet from their colony. They form a tube reaching up to that distance.
  20. One developed colony of Formosan termites can eat 450 Kg of wood each year.
  21. When termite soldiers detect a threat, they tap warning signals to the colony by banging their heads against the gallery walls to send warning vibrations throughout the colony.
  22. Chemical cues guide most communication in the termite colony. Termites use pheromones, special chemical scents, to talk to one another and control each other’s behavior. Termites leave scent trails to guide other workers using special glands on their chests.
  23. Each colony of termites produces a distinct scent which is identified by a chemical on their cuticles.
  24. New reproductive termites are winged, and able to fly. These young kings and queens leave their home colony and fly out in search of a mate, often in large swarms. Each royal pair of king and queen emerges from the swarm together and finds a new place for their own colony. They break their wings off and settle down in their new home to raise their offspring.
  25. Unlike in bee colonies, where males are short lived and die soon after mating, the termite king stays with his queen, fertilizing her eggs as needed. He also shares parental duties with the queen, helping her feed their young predigested food.
  26. Amazing fact as per scientists is that  termites release over 150 million tons of air-pollution-causing methane gas into the atmosphere every year.
  27. Amazingly termites are roasted and eaten like popcorn in South Africa and Zaire.
  28. A gourmet delight in Singapore is 2-inch long termite queens. You can have them served either live, dipped in alcohol, or preserved in a fine rice wine.
  29. The protein content of termites is higher than in beef. The ancient Kayapo Indians used the powder of crushed termite mounds as a condiment to serve as therapeutic remedies for a variety of illnesses:
  30. In one culture in the Amazon, people believe that a termite colony found in a home means the home’s owner will soon die. The only way to escape death is to eliminate the termite colony or abandon the home.

 By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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