Rat-eating plant discovered in Philippines

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Rat-eating plant discovered in Philippines

Post by groomporter » Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:57 am

The plant is among the largest of all pitcher plants and is believed to be the largest meat-eating shrub, dissolving rats with acid-like enzymes.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthn ... pines.html
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Post by StalinSays » Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:44 pm

The little rat in the picture doesn't seem too stressed out, just chilling there in the comfort sleeve. Getting dissolved seems a lot like sitting in a hot tub.

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Post by Mr. Tweedy » Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:50 pm

Rats are stoic creatures. They know that their kind is fated to live short, dirty, pestilential lives, and that when they die it will be as food for something. The rat in the picture is saying to himself, "Yeah, I'm being slowly digested alive, but, all things considered, this ain't so bad. 'The glass is half full.'"
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Post by alhilton » Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:35 am

So cool. I _love_ Nepenthes.

However, I'm thinking that rat was either photoshopped or killed and placed in the plant. I've owned rats and I've owned pitchers, and I just can't imagine a rat sitting still for this. They swim, they jump, they gnaw... And pitchers don't burn you instantly with their acid. Prey drowns long before it dissolves. But maybe a very young or sick rat and a very large pitcher... I don't know. I was hoping to find an article that actually described a rodent capture step-by-step, but I can't find one.

From the Wikipedia article about this new pitcher:
Whilst certainly large enough to trap rodents, no rodents of any kind have yet been observed within the pitchers of this species, as indicated in the type description and through subsequent clarification by the author, who suggests that should rodents be captured by the plant, it is likely to be through misadventure rather than by design; instead, large bugs and flying insects appear to be the usual prey.
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