Sprawling termite mounds found in Brazil

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Scientists have uncovered tens of millions of termite mounds dating almost 4,000 years, in a remote part of northeast Brazil.

According to a new study published in the journal Current Biology, the mounds were made by a species of termite called syntermes dirus, and spread across 230,000 square kilometers.

Each conical mound is about 2.5 meters tall and approximately 9 meters wide.

The termite mounds contain 10 cubic kilometers of soil, which is equivalent to roughly 4,000 Great Pyramids.

Researchers believe the mounds were built as termites carved out extensive networks of undergrounds tunnels to survive, according to Science Magazine.

The underground tunnel allows the termites move swiftly in order to feed on dead leaves of caatinga, a specific type of dry, thorny trees whose leaves only falls once a year.

The researchers added, "This is the greatest known example of ecosystem engineering by a single insect species."


RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Termite mounds in northeast Brazil
2. Closeup of termite mounds and termites
3. Measurements of termite mounds
4. Amount of soil used in termite mounds

VOICEOVER (in English):
"Scientists have uncovered tens of millions of termite mounds dating back to nearly 4,000 years, in a remote part of northeast Brazil."

"The mounds were made by a species of termite called syntermes dirus, and have spread across 230,000 square kilometers."

"According to a new study published in the journal Current Biology, each conical mound is approximately 2.5 meters tall and 9 meters wide. "

"The termite mounds contain 10 cubic kilometers of soil, which is equivalent to roughly 4,000 Great Pyramids."

SOURCES: The New York Times, The Washington Post, Current Biology, Science Magazine, Quartz,
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/20/science/termite-mounds-brazil.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2018/11/19/termites-built-natural-wonder-earth-size-minnesota/?utm_term=.4f779a188de4
https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(18)31287-9
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/11/these-termite-mounds-are-so-big-you-can-see-them-space
https://qz.com/1470634/termite-mounds-the-size-of-britain-discovered-in-brazil/