Photo 184919, (c) J Brew, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)

3491979577_9735d248d5
Attribution © John Brew
Cc-by-sa_small some rights reserved
Source Flickr
original http://www.flickr.com/photos/brewbooks/3491979577/
Associated observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Magnetic Termite Amitermes meridionalis

Observer

brewbooks

Date

April 30, 2009 05:50 PM PDT

Description

The biological significance of Magnetic Termite mounds

The “Magnetic Termite” Amitermes meridionalis occurs only in a small part of the Northern Territory of Australia and builds famous wedge-shaped mounds with an elongated axis that is orientated in a striking north-south direction. This shape is unique among all other termite mounds which are always more or less spherical and many hypotheses have been advanced to explain the remarkable shape and orientation. Most of these investigations focus on the orientation, but the biological significance of the shape is rarely explored. The currently accepted hypothesis considers shape and orientation as adaptation to maintain a thermo stable eastern face. In contrast to this we consider habitat conditions, such as heavy rainfalls and regularly flooding in the wet season, as most important for the evolution of this shape.
iussi.confex.com/iussi/2006/techprogram/P1435.HTM

Family: Termitidae

Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

i09_0501 032

Sizes