According to the National Geographic Web site reported, a new study found that termites might be able to help people to find a potential gold mine. The experiments revealed that in Western Australia, some termites in the nest when collecting underground material can be “mined” and storage of gold.
Aaron Stewart, Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization entomologist, he and his colleagues collected from several termite nest samples to be compared with samples from different depths in the soil nearby. The mass spectrometer detection results showed that the gold content of these termite nests above the termite nests away from the gold mining area.
“People previously recognized that such social insects from the environment to selectively capture metal,” Honorary Professor of Entomology, University of Georgia, Robert Matthews said in the message, “Some people even put forward, looking for precious metals (such as gold) potential mining sites, you can use the method of analysis of ant nests and termite nest material content.
This is precisely idea what Stewart thinks. The gold usually distributed in the depths of a few meters below the surface. It is difficult to be location. However, insects are competent to take up the task instructions. Stewart and his colleagues study, published in the recent “Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis”.
Stewart said: “drilling is very expensive, if termites can be drilling the scope of greatly reduced, and that mining companies will save a lot of money.”
The value of the termite excrement
In a related study published in 2011 in the journal, “PLos ONE”, Stewart and colleagues want to know termites are in the body and many other animal enrichment of metal – which is looking for one of the potential avenues of precious metal deposits. Like mammals enriched in bone calcium, some insects reinforcement exoskeleton also by absorption of zinc and magnesium, and in particular their jaw portion. Zinc and other metals can increase the strength of these parts.
Stewart said, the insects will not need very good at, or toxic metals excreted. These “detox” molting, and expel small stones. When Stewart began to study the insect excretory system, has been a very interesting discovery. That is an organ of the termites excretory system through some unknown process, “to distinguish the different metal content. This is an important finding, means termite excrement metal redistribution ecosystem plays a driving role.