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Termites

From bits to boluses: How do termites build strong mounds?

Termites are renowned architects whose mounds have inspired many building designs around the world. But did you know how termites build their mud castles? A new study has tried to understand how termites use boluses -- a combination of mud and saliva acting as bricks -- to build their mounds. The study also throws light on the properties of materials the termites prefer to use to build mounds and discusses reasons behind the same. This study, the researchers claim, is a first towards understand the unique procedure followed by nature’s best architects in building some of the finest castles. 

The Pests of Pests: Relationships between Termites, Parasites and Mutualists

Relationships between various organisms stem to achieve an ultimate objective - survival. In mutualistic relationships, all involved in the relationship help each other survive, whereas in parasitic relationships, only one of those have an upper hand. But in spite of this chaos, how does nature maintain a balance? In a new study, scientists have studied examples of such relationships between termites and fungi - both mutualistic and parasitic - and have uncovered some interesting strategies adopted by these fungi to survive and thrive.