Cutaway artwork of a termite mound

Cutaway artwork of a termite mound

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Credit: SALLY BENSUSEN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Termite mound. Cutaway artwork of a termite mound showing its chambers and passages. Such mounds may house tens of thousands of termites (sometimes incorrectly known as white ants), and may rise to several metres in height. Near the mound's base is the fungus garden. Termites bring wood and plant matter back to the mound, where they convert it into a spongy medium on which fungus grows. This breaks down the woody matter into an edible form, and the termites eat the fungus themselves. At the fungus garden's heart is the royal chamber, where the queen and king, the only fertile members of the colony, are tended to. The long passages allow air to circulate through the mound.

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Keywords: animal, artwork, fungus garden, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, mound, nature, termite, termite mound, termite nest, type, white ant mound, wildlife, zoology

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