Having been around since the time of the dinosaur, the humble termite could easily be called a survivor extraordinaire. And while the battle to control termites’ destructive capacity indicates that they certainly have no place in your Campbelltown home, we can nevertheless be impressed with some of the ingenuity displayed by these creatures.

In terms of biomass, they constitute a weight far heavier than all of the humans on earth combined. An there is an argument to be made that they are more healthy for the earth’s ecosystem, as well: their diet of wood helps to break down organic material in to new soil, usable to new plant growth, essentially speeding up the turnover of the forest floor.

Their ability to process the cellulose found in wood makes them unique among life on this planet. Part of the reason they’re able to do so is a unique microorganism in their digestive tract, which is able to process the tough substance.

Termite mounds in the wild can be monstrous. Some can be taller than a two-story house, in the wilds of Africa, and can spread out underground for hundreds of metres. These notably social insects are a nuisance to homeowners in Campbelltown, often requiring termite control, but we still bid our nemesis a grudging respect.