TERMITES by Peter Limburg


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Ants, cockroaches and fleas have all had their day, so most of us should be ready to get familiar with the voracious, ubiquitous termite. Limburg is more systematic and ambitious than, say, Joanna Cole, but after a rather routine rundown of termite species, classification and physiology he reveals some bizarre aspects of termite life -- especially the process of ""exchanging nourishment,"" called trophallaxis, which keeps the termites' digestive tracts lined with helpful protozoa who do the work of transforming all that wood into usable food. The ingenuity of termites in building complex, long lasting nests, their caste-organized colonies, even the methods by which Goodall's chimpanzees and some peoples capture and consume termites are equally impressive and surprising. Substantive, straightforward observation in an easy conversational style.

Pub Date: Aug. 9th, 1974
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Hawthorn