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Article Dans Une Revue The Science of Nature Naturwissenschaften Année : 2006

The first fossil fungus gardens of Isoptera: oldest evidence of symbiotic termite fungiculture (Miocene, Chad basin)

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Résumé

Higher termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae (fungus-growing termites) are known to build fungus gardens where a symbiotic fungus (Termitomyces sp.) is cultivated. The fungus grows on a substrate called fungus comb, a structure built with the termites’ own faeces. Here we present the first fossil fungus combs ever found in the world. They were extracted from 7-million-year-old continental sandstone (Chad basin). Fossilized fungus combs have an ovoid morphology with a more or less flattened concave base and a characteristic general alveolar aspect. Under lens, they display a typical millimetre-scale pelletal structure. The latter, as well as the general shape and alveolar aspect, are similar to the morphology of fungus combs from extant fungus-growing termites.

Dates et versions

hal-03647953 , version 1 (21-04-2022)

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Citer

Philippe Duringer, Mathieu Schuster, Jorge Genise, Andossa Likius, Hassan Taisso Mackaye, et al.. The first fossil fungus gardens of Isoptera: oldest evidence of symbiotic termite fungiculture (Miocene, Chad basin). The Science of Nature Naturwissenschaften, 2006, 93 (12), pp.610-615. ⟨10.1007/s00114-006-0149-3⟩. ⟨hal-03647953⟩
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