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Carnivorous Rat eating plant discovered

A carnivorous pitcher plant that eats rats and insects has been discovered in the Philippines and named after Sir David Attenborough.
Carnivorous Rat eating plant
The plant is among the largest of all pitchers and is believed to be the largest meat-eating shrub, dissolving rats with acid-like enzymes.

The team of botanists, led by British experts Stewart McPherson and Alastair Robinson, found the plant on Mount Victoria in the Philippines.

They were inspired to search for the plant after word that it is existed came from two Christian missionaries who described seeing a large carnivorous pitcher in 2000 after they climbed the mountain.

Mr McPherson, of Poole Dorset, said: "The plant produces spectacular traps which catch not only insects, but also rodents. It is remarkable that it remained undiscovered until the 21st century."

The team, which found the plant in 2007 following a two-month expedition, published details of their discovery in the Botanical Journal of Linnean Society earlier this year following a three-year study of all 120 species of pitcher plant.

They decided to name the plant Nepenthes attenboroughii, after the wildlife broadcaster Sir David.

"My team and I named it in honour of Sir David whose work has inspired generations toward a better understanding of the beauty and diversity of the natural world," added Mr McPherson.

Sir David, 83, said: "I was contacted by the team shortly after the discovery and they asked if they could name it after me. I was delighted and told them, 'Thank you very much'.

"I'm absolutely flattered. This is a remarkable species the largest of its kind. I'm told it can catch rats then eat them with its digestive enzymes. It's certainly capable of that."
Carnivorous Rat eating plant

Carnivorous Rat eating plant

Carnivorous Rat eating plant

Carnivorous Rat eating plant

Carnivorous Rat eating plant

Carnivorous Rat eating plant

Carnivorous Rat eating plant

Carnivorous Rat eating plant
Carnivorous plants (sometimes called insectivorous plants) are plants that derive some or most of their nutrients (but not energy) from trapping and consuming animals or protozoans, typically insects and other arthropods. Carnivorous plants appear adapted to grow in places where the soil is thin or poor in nutrients, especially nitrogen, such as acidic bogs and rock outcroppings. Charles Darwin wrote the first well-known treatise on carnivorous plants in 1875.

True carnivory is thought to have evolved independently six times in five different orders of flowering plants,and these are now represented by more than a dozen genera. These include about 630 species that attract and trap prey, produce digestive enzymes, and absorb the resulting available nutrients. Additionally, over 300 protocarnivorous plant species in several genera show some but not all these characteristics.
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