Termites are known for building mounds that can reach heights of thirty feet. Despite the amount of energy termites put into building such monumental mounds, termites rarely spend any time dwelling inside of them. So why do termites devote their lives to mound-building?
The answer to this question has been unknown to science until recently.
Experts have already learned that the only instances in which termites inhabit the mounds that they build is when they are about to be attacked by other invading insects, or when the mounds need to be repaired. Termites instead choose to live in the nests that they build.
Experts now believe that termites build their mounds in order to create a structure where they can survive if the outside environment were to become unfavorable. The mounds exist to provide a place of refuge from excessively hot and dry temperatures. In addition to this, researchers also found that termites are able to control the environment within the mound. When inside of the mounds, termites are able to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, and by virtue of this process, termites also control the temperature and moisture level within the mound. Researchers believe that humans may be able to create machines that can control temperature by studying how termites are able to control the temperature within their own environment.
Which other insects, besides termites, are able to create their own environments to assist with survival?