Human Flower Project
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Rat Traps of Mount Victoria
This carnivorous plant from the Philippines tugs the old chain of being in a surprising direction.
A rat lured into the “slipper like mouth” of a pitcher plant
Photo: Stewart McPherson
Nepenthes attenboroughii, a pitcher plant of Palawan Island in the Philippines, has the scale and gastric juices to digest rats. After hearing of such large carnivorous plants from “Christian missionaries,” a team of botanists began the search. They came upon this mouse-trap, with pitchers big enough to hold 1.5 litres, in the region of Mount Victoria two years ago and recently published their findings in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society.