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Re: Jurassic Termite Nests
Dann Pigdon wrote:
The most numerous species (ie. most of the world's terrestrial biomass)
feed almost exclusively on grasses. I'm just wondering whether termites
were a lot less common before grasses took off. Or would ferns have been
a suitable food source? (they couldn't have been any less nutritious
than spinifex grass)
The Australian termite _Mastotermes darwiniensis_, the most basal of the
living termites (Isoptera), feeds mainly on wood. Based on the gut contents
of fossil _Mastotermes_ species preserved in amber, the same was true of
extinct mastotermitids. Thus, the first termites may have fed primarily on
wood, and later exploited grasses as a food source.
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