You must consider a termitary as a single animal, whose organs have not yet been fused together as in a human being. Some of the termites form the mouth and digestive system; others take the place of weapons of defence like claws or horns; others form the generative organs.— Eugène Marais (1871 - 1936), The Soul of the White Ant, 1937.Not all social animals are social with the same degree of commitment.— Lewis Thomas (1913 - 1993), The Lives of a Cell, Penguin Books, 1978.
|Termites and a nest|
|Angophora costata, near Sydney|
(Note added on posting: the address has now been given, and a version of it will appear here at some future time.)
|You can see the hollows after storms.|
|Macrozamia seeds, with a 37 mm coin.|
In the course of this and the following day’s journey we passed many of the gigantic ant-hills common in some parts of New South Wales. They are great conical heaps of finely worked earth cemented into a hard mass, and from six to ten feet high, with no visible orifice outside, nor did I see a single ant about them, though I closely examined several. I have been told they are the work of a white ant, and, from their magnitude, should suppose them the habitation of a species of termite. When cut open, they display numerous small cells, but on our journey I had neither the time nor inclination to destroy and investigate their domestic arrangements myself. The earth of which these ant-hills are formed, is so finely prepared by the little architects that it is used by the settlers in the neighbourhood as plaster, and frequently as cement for floors.
— Louise Ann Meredith (Mrs Charles Meredith), Notes and Sketches of New South Wales. London: John Murray, 1844, and Ringwood: Penguin Books, 1973, pages 68-69.
General note that I am adding to some of my blog entries: I have lots of different interests. If some area interests you, look at the very end and you will see a set of tags called labels. These are hot links that will give you a list of other articles with the same tag/label.