Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Termites as constructors, not destroyers

People tend to hate termites (I would hate to have my house eaten too!) but they show us one of the most beautiful examples of emergent behavior, collective work and decentralized task management: the termite nest.

built of mud, sand, shi... well, soil. they are tall pillars that rise from the ground, they have inside fungus gardens, deposit chambers and even a royal chamber to the queen. But the most impressive is the air recycling system! totally emergent from construction (or do you think there is a special "architect" type of termite?! Or more basic, if they even know why they build in this way!)

Here is a youtube Video from a documentary that shows one of those marvels of insect world:

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