Fun Fact #54: In 1925 (or some time before that) a man called L. R. Cleveland decided he wanted to know if termites could survive entirely on a diet of cellulose. So he got out his Erlenmeyer flask put some termites in, gave them a source of fresh water and air added some “Whatman filter paper No. 43” (yep, filter paper, given its made of cotton cellulose) and left them be. Well a year onwards he recorded that they were going about their lives quite happily, unaffected by their diet of cellulose and only cellulose.
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I will share with you a quote from his paper: “It is now eighteen months since these experiments were started. The termites appear perfectly normal in every way. Thousands of eggs have been laid during the past week,and several winged forms have been produced. In some cellulose fed artificial colonies which contained ten adult individuals in the beginning more than two hundred half-grown individuals are now present. Thus, the weight of these colonies has increased more than forty times on a diet of cellulose.”
Source (his paper): http://www.biolbull.org/cgi/reprint/48/4/289.pdf
Sorry for skipping a few fun facts there! I'll blame it on lack of sleep + big assignments to write :)