Monday, May 18, 2009

magnetic termite mounds

the termite has long been known as highly social insects that live in large colonies with a very specific social order. however, the 'mounds' that they construct are quickly being identified as sophisticated structures. the compass termite of australia orients it's mound along a north-south access to utilize the process of thermoregulation to maintain the interior temperature even as the outside air may vary from hot to cold. with it's largest elevations facing east and west, the mound collects the warm sun in the morning and evening, as the center stays cool. however, once night falls, the heat captured by the exterior is transferred to the interior. mounds also use the stack effect to cool and ventilate the interior of the structure. warm air is drawn up through the network of tunnels that are similar to capillaries in the human skin and the warm gaseous air is exchanged at the structure's surface. read more at environmental grafitti and at the national. images by neil liddle.

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