termite mounds


 Roy Funch, an American botanist who has lived and worked in Brazil's hardscrabble northeast for decades, long looked at huge cone-shaped mounds of mud in the distance and wondered.


 After years of failing to generate interest in the mounds, a chance meeting with an English expert on social insects, Stephen Martin, led to remarkable discoveries: There are over 200 million mounds built by termites that stretch across 88,800 square miles (230,000 square kilometers), about the size of Great Britain.