Elderly termites are sent into battle to die first

Elderly termites are sent into battle to die first

Even the old are asked to make a final sacrifice for the colony.

Christian Cotroneo  

With their supersized heads and deadly mandibles, termite soldiers are built for battle. Until their very last breath. (Photo: khazari/Shutterstock)

We’re always marveling at the complex and wondrously efficient social organization found in the insect kingdom.

Who wouldn’t want to model a democracy after ingenious ants that vote for their leaders by swapping spit? And we could learn a few agricultural tricks from termites.

But when the time comes for termites to put down their plows and go to war, they demonstrate possibly the coldest social imperative of all…