Zooillogix

Termites Are High Society Cockroaches

In an embarrassing revelation for termites everywhere, researchers from the Natural History Museum of London have determined that termites are actually a highly social form of cockroach. Although they appear more similar to ants, genetic testing confirmed the relationship and definitively determined that they were a family of cockroaches. As if this wasn’t humiliating enough, entomologist Paul Eggelton suggested that the cockroach penchant for coprophagy, or eating their own feces, may have led to the evolution of termite physiology and society in the first place… not cool. Speculation abounded Tuesday as to whether certain termite families would be able to retain their membership in the New York Racquetball Club.

Termites, macrotermes bellicosus. Credit W.A. Sands.

When termite ancestors ate one another’s droppings, they might have shared microbes that eventually gave them the ability to breakdown wood fibers. Passing those microbes on from parent to cuddly infant requires a very close relationship between the two, laying the groundwork for “their whole complex social system to have evolved.” Eggleton said.


Victoria’s debutante ball was sparsely attended…

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