termites

4 Stories

After the Battle, Army Ants Leave No Soldier Behind

Many ants injured in battle are saved by being carried back to the colony

(Newser) - A new study provides the first evidence that ants rescue members of their own colony post-battle even when those ants aren't in imminent danger, reports the Guardian . The observation came about when biologist Erik Frank was watching army ants march out to battle termites in highly patterned formation—"... More »

Theory May Finally Explain Fabled 'Fairy Circles'

It's a combo of plants and termites

(Newser) - Scientists are always crashing the party when they bring the likeliest but often mundane reasons for mysterious phenomena. Such is the case in Namibia, where so-called "fairy circles" that pockmark the desert are now being explained in the journal Nature as not the footprints of gods or poisoned patches... More »

Desert 'Fairy Circles' Made by ... Termites?

German scientist thinks he's solved the mystery

(Newser) - It's kind of a let-down, if true. A German scientist says the mysterious "fairy circles" that have long cropped up in the desert of southwest Africa are caused by humble sand termites, reports Global Post . The critters live beneath the soil and thrive on grass roots, explains Norbert... More »

Elderly Termites Grow Suicide Backpacks

... and then explode them when enemies invade

(Newser) - Some termites grow up to be suicide bombers. Researchers observing the termite species Neocapritermes taracua found that certain workers, when they became elderly, grew a pair of dark blue spots between their abdomen and torso. When invaders raided their colony, these aging workers bit the intruders and then exploded the... More »

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