Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
Most widely used name for the species
Comprised of the genus followed by the species
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
|Number of Species:|
The total number of recorded species
|Average Lifespan:||2 years|
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
|Red, Black, Brown, White|
The protective layer of the animal
|Favourite Food:||Organic plant matter|
The specific area where the animal lives
|Forests and areas with high humidity|
|Average Litter Size:|
The average number of babies born at once
|Main Prey:||Organic plant matter, Wood, Grass|
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
|Birds, Reptiles, Mammals|
|Special Features:||Small body size and enormous nests|
TermiteTermites are sociable insects, found in their millions all over the world. Termites feed on dead plant matter, rotten wood and soil and often create mounds out of dirt to support the termite colony.
Termite colonies can vary in size from just hundreds of termites to several million termite individuals. As with other insects, such as the ant, termites lead a sociable existence and therefore abide by social hierarchy. Individual termites all have their position within the colony either worker termites, soldier termites or reproducer termites.
Termites are known as detritivores, which means that they eat decomposing plant matter. Around 10% of the estimated 4,000 different termite species are known as pests, as they can cause damage to buildings and agricultural land.
The termite workers build and maintain elaborate nests to house their termite colony. The termites use soil, mud, chewed wood, saliva, and faeces in their nest construction. Enormous termite mounds are commonly seen in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Termite mounds are often found as high as 3 meters, but most are usually smaller. Termite mounds however, have been known to get to more than 9 meters tall.
Termites are herbivorous animals meaning that they only eat organic plant matter. Termites eat a mixture of plants, grasses and woods and some termites are known to pose a major problem to wooden houses as they eat their way through the wood, often causing structural damage.
In many cultures around in the world, termites are eaten as part of a normal diet. Termites are extremely nutritious as they have a good store of both fat and protein. Termites are also a nutritional food source for all kinds of animals from birds, to reptiles, to mammals.
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First Published: 10th November 2008, Last Updated: 21st February 2017 [View Sources]
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]