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Magnetic Termite Mounds  
   

Magnetic Termite Mounds

These are called Magnetic Mounds because the species of termite that builds them uses the Earth's magnetism to determine North and positions every mound facing North/South. They are also very thin, almost like a blade at times. This means that one face of the mound is always in the shade and helps them maintain a constant temperature inside.
Magnetic Mounds and Fabulous Falls

September 10th 2014
Today we got started a little earlier to try and see things before the heat of the day got too bad but when I began fixing stuff for a picnic I found all the bread had gone off again. It doesn’t last long in this humid heat! We went into Batchelor and got the bread and a few other groceries and then noticed a Post Office tucked away in a room at the back of the store. I needed more stamps for po ... read more
Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Litchfield National Park

Australian Flag Aboriginal settlers arrived on the continent from Southeast Asia about 40,000 years before the first Europeans began exploration in the 17th century. No formal territorial claims were made until 1770, when Capt. James COOK took possession in the name... ... read more
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29th March 2015

Magnetic Termite in aboriginal language
Hi Kathy, I had a look to your very interesting blog. I found those magnetic termites quite fascinating, so small but being able to build a perfect building from a bio-climatic point of view. I was wondering if by any chance you know the name of those termites in aboriginal language - I know there are many different ones grouped in families, but not that many where those termites lives and build those cathedrals. Many thanks in advance from Belgium. Regards, Olivier
29th March 2015

Magnetic Termites
Hi Olivier, Glad you enjoyed the blog. The Magnetic Termites, Amitermes Meridionalis in Latin, are fascinating. The tall Cathedral mounds are built by the Spinifex Termites, (Nasutitermes triodiae). Unfortunately, I don't know the Aboriginal names for them. The Queensland Museum has a very interesting fact sheet on Magnetic Termites if you'd like more information but it doesn't include the indigenous name either. There was also an experiment done to find out how the termites can align the mounds so accurately. The study put magnets near mounds that were just getting started. They were not able to build the mounds normally. It appears they really do use the Earth's magnetic field to make their alignment.

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