What is unique in insects, evidence of excellence in architecture

Termite is one proof of the greatness of the insect in terms of adaptation to an often hostile environment. Although it looks simple, it consists of mounds many rooms are cumbersome to manage the needs of termites will feed, oxygen, and temperature and humidity to match.

Long before people knew the house, the termites had built nests are generally made from a mixture of soil, mud, chewed wood or materials that contain cellulose, saliva, and droppings (faeces) termites. Some species of termites build complex burrows within the body decayed wood or dry wood.

The shape and size of the house of termites vary depending on the type rayapnya. Termite is divided into two, namely in the form of simple-shaped burrows in the wood, and shaped mound on the ground or attached to the plant. In subtropical and tropical areas, mounds are often very large and is inhabited by millions of individuals.

Amitermes termites that live in northern Australia make a mound nest that narrows at the north-south and widened on the west-east following the journey of the sun. This unique building called magnetic mound and is often used as directions. The shape of this building turned out to facilitate the circulation of the warm temperature flowing inside the mound, otherwise withstand the heat seeps into the mound.

Termites tree-dwelling (arboreal termite), has a honeycomb-shaped nests that hang on the tree. On the inside there are cells resemble cells of the honeycomb.

Termite soil inhabitants, one of which Macrotermes gilvus build mound nests on the ground. You might ask, how they build nests simple shape into a comfortable and safe home.

In the highlands of Kenya live termite nests Odontotermes having a hole marked with a small mound. They never build a high mound, but only make a small exit door, which allows adult termites out.

Anatomy of termite

The structure of termite mounds are not as simple as its outward forms, but it is very complicated on the inside. Termites build a hall and a lot of small channels in the mound that serves as a ventilation or air ducts, as well as the path to the feed barn at the bottom of the nest.

If we look at the termite mounds, then we will think that termites live in the pile. Apparently not. They gathered under the soil surface. So, in this case, the bumps that swell up serves as a "chimney" of air as shown in the picture on the previous page.

How to maintain the comfort of a nest of termites?

Some studies indicate that the air flow inside the termite nest is effective and able to maintain the air balance.

Turner (2001) explains that the movement of air inside the nest of Macrotermes michaelseni caused by heat differences inside and outside the nest. Metabolic processes of termites, mold, and other chemical processes will generate heat, which will be brought onto the track burrows and move toward burrows beneath the surface of the nest wall. Nest wall surface exposed to wind (cooler) would be "cool" air pass, so the air "cold" it will move down.

Air humidity in the hive is also guarded by the worker termites. Termites that live in the Kalahari desert, Africa, known to make holes that lead down as deep as tens of meters below the ground surface as a way to take a soil containing water. Worker termites and then walk up and down through holes are used to transport wet soil to increase the humidity in the main rooms in the hive.


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