YOUR WEEKLY DOSE OF WOWZERS AND WONDER FROM THE NATURAL WORLD
Today’s Wowzerful feature is tiny — so tiny in fact that you might not notice they’re there!
But don’t let their size fool you. These minuscule monsters can get things done thanks to their overwhelming numbers and incredible teamwork.
Let’s break out the magnifying glass and dive into the world of termites!
There are more than 2000 species of termite found throughout the world. Just about anywhere with moderate to warm temperatures has a species that is native to the area.
From termites that burrow into trees or houses to massive mound-building termites, they make their homes just about anywhere they can create tunnels and keep their eggs safe.
And that’s no small feat when the queen can lay 30,000 eggs per day. That’s nearly 1 million eggs per month!
One the queen starts laying her eggs, she will never leave the nest again.
Taking care of all those eggs is an endless job. To maintain a productive nest, termites tend to fall into specialized roles. Some termites take care of the eggs, some gather food, and some protect the colony.
As the queen continues to lay eggs, the colony feverishly expands the nest to make room for the ever-growing family.
But while termites might be a nuisance for humans who experience an infestation, they’re an essential part of many of the ecosystems they’re a part of.
Termites help to break down old trees and other debris,leaving behind nutrients and aerating soil.
They also serve as a food source for a variety of animals and insects.
While you wouldn’t want to find them under the floorboards of your home, termites are a prime example of every part of nature being important, regardless of their size.
A termite queen continues to grow as she creates more eggs. Eventually, a queen can reach the length of an adult index finger! That’s a BIG bug.
Tiny termites can build some seriously sweet homes with mounds capable of reaching more than 17 feet tall!
Termites use movement, vibration, and scent trailsto communicate. Information is continuously travelling throughout the colony to keep soldiers aware of threats, highlight food sources, or check in on the queen.
Feeling brave? Termites are rich in iron, calcium, fatty and amino acids, and proteins. This means that with a little pan frying, termites can make a rather nutritious and crunchy snack!
Get up close and personal, and learn all about termites in this fascinating video.