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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.


image

A rat lured into the “slipper like mouth” of a pitcher plant

Photo: Stewart McPherson

We’ve known that some plants are rodent pollinated. Now we learn of one that’s rodent satiated.

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.


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Posted by Julie on 08/25 at 05:04 PM
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