Rat-eating plant discovered in Philippines

Marilyn Pekasky faeden4444@sbcglobal.net
Wed, 19 Aug 2009 12:41:45 PDT
Re the rat-eating aspect of this plant, Wikipedia states as follows at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…:

"In the latter half of 2009, this taxon received a great deal of publicity in the national press of various countries as a sensational new plant that catches and kills rats.[7] 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.[3][8]"

Marilyn Pekasky

From: David Ehrlich <idavide@sbcglobal.net>
To: Pacific Bulb Society <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 11:42:29 AM
Subject: [pbs] Rat-eating plant discovered in Philippines

POOLE, England --
 British scientists said they have discovered a plant in the Philippines that feeds by luring and consuming rats.  Botanists Stewart McPherson and Alastair Robinson said the plant, dubbed Nepenthes attenboroughii after legendary wildlife broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, consumes "whole rats" by luring them into its mouth and dissolving them with acid-like enzymes.  "The plant produces spectacular traps which catch not only insects, but also rodents," McPherson told The Sun in an exclusive interview. "It is remarkable that it remained undiscovered until the 21st century."  McPherson and 
Robinson said their team found the plant on Mount Victoria after hearing accounts of the shrub's eating habits from missionaries.  "My team and I named it in honor of Sir David whose work has inspired generations toward a better understanding of the beauty and diversity of the natural world," McPherson said. 
I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the above account, but it is certainly entertaining.
David Ehrlich

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