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Reference chapter

Question 3
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SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR OF ANIMALS

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Question 3

 

The ethologist, Niko Tinbergen studied the social behaviour of certain animals. Here are some of his observations about termites.

"The termite society is made up of different types of individuals. There is a queen and a king, the workers and the soldiers. The workers and the soldiers are sterile males and sterile females in approximately equal numbers. The head of a soldier is as long as the rest of its body. The head has large jaws which are used in defense of the colony. The workers build the termite nest and feed the king, queen, soldiers and young termites. The workers also help with defence of the nest when it is necessary."

Termites

From time to time, males and females develop which have wings. These leave the nest in great numbers, which makes the nest appear to be giving out black smoke. When they land on the ground, they lose their wings. After mating, the new king and queen start to build a nest. The female begins to lay eggs and her abdomen gradually grows into a huge sac."

 

Answer the following questions as fully as possible:

(a) What are the differences between a worker bee and a worker termite?

 

(b) What are the differences between a queen bee and a termite queen?

 

(c) How does the organisation of the termite's nest differ from the organisation of a beehive?

 

(d) Do you think that there are any similarities between the termite's nest and the beehive?

 

 

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