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Wood is abundant and full of energy, but outside of some insects, almost no animals eat it because the stuff it’s made of is hard to break down.
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To learn more, start your googling with these keywords:
Xylophagy: the eating of wood
Lignin: a class of complex organic polymers that form key structural materials in the support tissues of vascular plants and help make wood rigid.
Cellulose: a polysaccharide consisting of chains of glucose monomers, which is the main constituent of plant cell walls.
Lignin oxidation: a depolymerization method to break bonds in lignin molecules such as ether or carbon–carbon bonds by applying an oxidant such as oxygen.
Depolymerization: the process of breaking down a polymer, such as lignin, into simpler monomers
Trichonympha agilis: a specialized protist that lives in the hindguts of many termite species that breaks down the cellulose in the wood they eat and may contribute to the lignin oxidation process.
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Writer, Director, and Narrator: Julián Gustavo Gómez (@thejuliangomez)
Video Illustrator: Ever Salazar (@eversalazar)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Alex Reich, Kate Yoshida, Peter Reich, David Goldenberg, Sarah Berman, Arcadi Garcia Rius
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder:
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