Namibian fairy circles, Cape heuweltjies and social insects

  • From: July 30, 2013     To: July 29, 2014
Namibian fairy circles, Cape heuweltjies and social insects

Tuesday 30 July
Speaker: Associate Professor Mike Picker, Department of Biological Studies, University of Cape Town
Topic: Namibian fairy circles, Cape heuweltjies and social insects
 
Polka-dotted landscapes are commonly seen from Google Earth (e.g. -30.906398, 18.213302) when flying above the dry parts of Africa. Closer inspection of these very large (up to 20m diameter) and evenly spaced circles and patches shows that they are free of vegetation. In spite of their large size and ability to change the appearance of landscapes, debate around their origin continues to rage. This talk evaluates the various hypotheses for their origin, and focuses on recent support for the involvement of social insect engineers.

Back to What's on calendar