WATCH | Termites have been constructing these mounds for 3,820 years

22 November 2018 - 10:16 By Staff reporter

Researchers have uncovered evidence of a 3,820-year-old termite construction site in Brazil.

According to a new paper in Current Biology, radioactive dating found that the oldest piles were 3,820 years old, that's around the age of the Great Pyramids at Giza.

"The mounds are not nests, but rather they are generated by the excavation of vast inter-connecting tunnel networks, resulting in approximately 10 km3 of soil being deposited in 200 million conical mounds that are 2.5 m tall and approximately 9 m in diameter."

The mounds cover approximately 230,000 km2 — roughly the size of Great Britain.

Quartz reports "the mounds are the result of a highly efficient food-distribution system. The termites feed on the dead leaves of the dry, thorny caatinga forests unique to the region. The leaves fall once a year, prompting a termite feeding frenzy. The tunnels allow the insects to cover a greater expanse of forest floor."


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