Darwin: Termite mounds in Litchfield NP

On our tour of Litchfield National Park I learned that there are two types of termite mounds: Cathedral and Magnetic.

As the name suggests, the Cathedral mounds sort of look like a cathedral.  They are tall and sort of rounded and grow very tall. They can last up to 50 years.

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You can see how tall they are compared to these people.

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The Magnetic termite mounds are called that because they grow north to south to minimise the amount of sunlight during the day.  They are amazing structures.  The have arches, tunnels, chimneys and even insulation.

There seemed to be a lot more of the magnetic mounds that we saw but because they just seem to ‘pop’ out of the ground they can be found anywhere.  Another thing I noticed is the they are not mixed. The cathedral mounds seemed to grow in one part of the park and the magnetic mounds in another part.

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A cross-section of one of the mounds.

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