2200 year old termite mound….really?

By  | July 11, 2017 | Filed under: Interesting Facts, News

Mound-building termites or just mound builders are a group of termite species that live in mounds. This group of termites live in Africa, Australia and South America. The mounds sometimes have a diameter of 30 metres. Most of the mounds are found in well drained areas. Termite mounds usually out live the colonies themselves.

In the Miombo woodland area of central Africa, scientists have found an abandoned termite mound that is more than 2200 years old.
That makes the mound the oldest termite structure ever dated, notwithstanding those that have become preserved as fossils.
Another mound studied is at least 750 years old, confirming the ancient mound wasn’t an anomaly.
The discovery suggests that termites used the same structures for millennia.The mounds were built by the termite species Macrotermes falciger, in an area of the Miombo woods in the Lubumbashi region of Upper Katanga in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The 2200-year-old mound is thought to have been abandoned for decades.
But the study reveals termites regularly used it 800 to 500 years ago, during an especially warm period in the region.
Its use 2200 years ago, and then in the 12th to 15th Centuries, also infer termites use the same sites for millennia.

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