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Engineering of the Termite

This week’s blog post is written by Gabe, a monthly blog correspondent and Ursids alumnus. Gabe gives a tour of the mound-building termites’ home. A home that is more than a home; it is an amazing engineering feat of a small creature that builds something enormous…

Mound-building termites, a.k.a. mound builders, are a special termite that builds magnificently large mounds to live in. The mounds are known to have a diameter of 30 meters! The mounds, through huge with more than enough living space, are not where the termites live. They live mostly in an underground nest directly under the mound. The mound serves as more of a large set of chambers for ventilation as the solid looking walls are completely porous. It also serves to help cultivate and store food for the colony. Get this, the mound is made of wood, spit, and dung! This mound is a feat of engineering humans are even jealous of. They have constant food, fresh, cool air, and room for their whole colony plus the thousands of larvae the queen produces every year.