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Termites can be major agricultural pests, especially in East Africa and North Asia, in which harvest losses can be severe (3100 percent in crop loss in Africa).216 Counterbalancing this is the greatly improved water infiltration where termite tunnels in the soil allow rainwater to soak in deeply, which will help reduce runoff and consequent soil erosion during bioturbation.217 In South America, cultivated plants like eucalyptus, upland rice and sugarcane can be seriously damaged by termite infestations, with attacks on leaves, roots and sterile tissue.
The termite gut has inspired various research efforts aimed at replacing fossil fuels with cleanerrenewable energy sources.219 Termites are efficient bioreactors, capable of producing 2 litres of hydrogen by a single sheet of paper.220 Approximately 200 species of microbes live inside the termite hindgut, releasing the hydrogen which was trapped inside wood and plants they digest.219221 Throughout the action of unidentified enzymes in the termite gut, lignocellulose polymers are broken down into sugars and are transformed into hydrogen.
The development of autonomous robots capable of constructing intricate structures with no human assistance has been inspired by the intricate mounds that termites build.222 These robots work independently and can proceed by themselves on a tracked grid, capable of climbing and lifting up bricks. Such robots may be useful for future jobs on Mars, or even for building levees to prevent flooding.223.
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Termites utilize sophisticated means to control the temperatures of their mounds. As discussed above, the form and orientation of the mounds of the Australian compass termite stabilises their internal temperatures during the day. Since the towers heating up, the solar chimney effect (stack effect) generates an updraft of air within the mound.224 Wind blowing across the tops of the towers enhances the circulation of air throughout the mounds, which also include side vents in their construction.
Especially in Africa, the pile effect has turned into a popular means to achieve natural ventilation and passive cooling in modern buildings.224.
The Eastgate Centre is a shopping centre and office block in central Harare, Zimbabwe, whose architect, Mick Pearce, used passive cooling inspired by that used by the regional termites.226 This was continue reading this the first significant building exploiting termite-inspired cooling techniques to draw international attention. Other these buildings include the Learning Resource Center at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa and the Council House 2 building in Melbourne, Australia.224.
Few zoos hold termites, due to the difficulty in keeping them captive and into the reluctance of government to permit potential pests. One of those few who do, the Zoo Basel in Switzerland, has two thriving Macrotermes bellicosus populations resulting in an event quite rare in why not find out more captivity: the mass migrations of young flying termites.
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African tribes in many countries have termites as totems, and for this reason tribe members are forbidden to consume the reproductive alates.228 Termites are widely used in traditional popular medicine; they act as treatments for diseases and other conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, hoarseness, influenza, sinusitis, tonsillitis and whooping cough.208 In Nigeria, Macrotermes nigeriensis is used for religious protection and to cure wounds and dig this sick pregnant women.
It's unknown if the termite was male or female. If it was a female, the body length would be much greater than 25 millimetres when old.
a b Cranshaw, W. (2013). "11". Bugs Rule! : An Introduction to the World of Insects. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. p. 188. ISBN 978-0-691-12495-7.
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Lobeck, A. Kohl (1939). Geomorphology; an Introduction to the Study of Landscapes (1st ed.) . University of California: McGraw Hill Book Company, Incorporated. pp. 431432. ASIN B002P5O9SC.
Cleveland, L.R.; Hall, S.K.; Sanders, E.P.; Collier, J. (1934). "The Wood-Feeding Roach Cryptocercus, its own protozoa, and the symbiosis between protozoa and roach". Memoirs of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 17 (2): 185382. doi:10.1093/aesa/28.2.216.