Mysterious African ‘Fairy Circles’ Made by Hungry Termites

Thursday, 28 Mar 2013 05:32 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Mysterious bare spots dubbed “fairy circles” that have been long observed in the African grasslands are caused by termites, a scientist suggests.

The Psammotermes allocerus termite that lives in the sandy soil beneath the circles kill the grass by chewing its roots, according to a study in the journal Science. By clearing the grass, the termites not only feast, they also allow water to be retained in the soil during the dry season.

Robbed: Secret ‘Financial War’ Will Wipe Out Your Wealth, Warns Pentagon Adviser

The circles also contribute to a larger natural advantage. They allow other species, including geckos, aardvarks, bat-eared foxes and spiders to easily find and feed on the termites, said Norbert Juergens, a scientist at the University of Hamburg in Germany who is the study’s lead author.

The circles are “like oases in the desert,” Juergens wrote in the journal article. They are found in the Namib Desert, which runs from mid-Angola to northwestern South Africa, according to the study.


© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Marketing Expert: Apple Pay May Bring 'Digital Wallet' Future

Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 15:24 PM

pple's new mobile payment system, Apple Pay, is a quick, convenient and secure method of making purchases online and off . . .

Apple CEO Discusses Security with Top Chinese Official amid Hacking Claims

Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 06:30 AM

Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook discussed user data security at a meeting on Wednesday with a top Chinese government  . . .

Sen. Leahy Urges Comcast to Extend Net Neutrality Pledge

Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 12:40 PM

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has called on Comcast to extend its net neutrality  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved