Termite mound

Termite mound

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Credit: PETER CHADWICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Termite mound. Termites are social insects that live in large colonies. The mounds, which can be built up to seven metres tall and have a diameter of thirty metres, are often built around dead trees, as seen here. The mounds are built from fine soil, saliva and excrement. Due to specialised bacteria in their gut, termites are one of the few organisms able to breakdown cellulose and lignin in dead wood. Their decomposition of this material releases nutrients in to the soil making them very important to their local ecosystem. Photographed in Mosi O Tunya, Zambia.

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Keywords: 21st century, africa, biology, entomology, insect, invertebrate, invertebrates, mosi o tunya, mound, nature, termite, termite mound, termites, zambia

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