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Giant rat-eating plant discovered Answered

O_O Check out this giant pitcher plant from the Phillipines.

You've heard of venus flytraps? Regular pitcher plants? Small fry compared to this behemoth. Nepenthes attenboroughii (named after Sir David Attenborough) is way bigger than those relatively tame plants, and dissolves its prey with "acid-like enzymes".

From the article: "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."

>Whimper<

Call me cowardly, but I get the willies when we start discovering plants that can eat small rodents...who knows what else is out there in the as-yet-unexplored areas of the jungle...

Link

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laxman735 (author)2009-08-18

Holy crap, but I don't think its real

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kelseymh (author)laxman7352009-08-21

It's real. Read the comments. However, the picture Lithium used (which she got from the Telegraph) is either a fake, or just not relevant.

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Uncle Kudzu (author)2009-08-17

scary, if it's real! good thing we're rapidly destroying all the wild places on the planet; who'd want to stumble into a patch of those things?!

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Lithium Rain (author)Uncle Kudzu2009-08-17

...am I the only one who finds this post highly ironic?

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Uncle Kudzu (author)Lithium Rain2009-08-18

i was going for a kind of gallows sarcasm, LR.

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Lithium Rain (author)Uncle Kudzu2009-08-20

(I know, trying to be the straight man ;) )

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~Aeronous~ (author)Lithium Rain2009-08-20

lolz, your'e not alone...

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Your post, or his post with the green avatar?

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D.L.H. (author)2009-08-18
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Goodhart (author)2009-08-18

In any case, just don't step in it ;-)

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jeff-o (author)2009-08-17

I'm suspicious of that photo - it looks 'shopped.

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kelseymh (author)jeff-o2009-08-17

I am on your side, Jeff-o. The descriptive journal article (and Wikipedia) doesn't mention carnivory (of rodents or anything else). The few non-sensational reports I can find describe it as "large enough" to eat a rat, but none of the pictures are consistent with the Daily Mail's.

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lemonie (author)kelseymh2009-08-17

The link is to the Telegraph, but they probably got it from the same news agency / other source (perhaps the Mail even?) L

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user

Not only is it probably a shop, but it 's not even the right plant, that looks like N. rafflesiana. But it is definitely not the plant pictured in Kelseys JLS article.

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And just for fun, here is my late N.coccinea "eating" a treefrog.

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jeff-o (author)Tool Using Animal2009-08-17

Yeah, it was the cute little rat poking its head out the top that made me cry 'foul.'

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Tool Using Animal (author)jeff-o2009-08-17

Yes, and searching based on the photography credit, I found that it is the same pitcher, at a slightly different angle that he used on the cover of one of his books. and as you can see, no mouse is visible.

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user

I don't know about shopped, but they look exactly the same to me.

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If you compare the two, you see that the lids are substantially different, one nearly covers the opening of the pitcher, one is small and held in a position that does not cover the pitcher. One is blader shaped, one trumpet. One the opening is nearly transverse, the other the opening is at an acute tangent. etc etc.

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You're absolutely right, now that I look at them side by side they look nothing alike.

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lemonie (author)2009-08-17

One of these guys was on the radio this morning. He explained that some missionaries had climbed this mountain to install a radio-repeater, got stuck for 13 days, had to be choppered-off. But they'd mentioned these giant carnivorous plants, which is why these guys went up there. He said 2nd largest, about a metre in diameter with the pitchers at the ends of the leaves. He didn't say that they'd seen / photographed a rat in there, but that this sometimes happens. L

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kelseymh (author)2009-08-17

Feed me, Seymour, feed me all night long...

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Kiteman (author)kelseymh2009-08-17

...you beat me to the quote!

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arylic (author)Kiteman2009-08-17

You beat me to the quotes tooo...

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Gjdj3 (author)Kiteman2009-08-17
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arylic (author)kelseymh2009-08-17

Here....nepy nepy nepy...come get you tender juicy rats here.....!

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kelseymh (author)2009-08-17

Here's the orginal article from JLS with the description and naming.

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Xenophile (author)2009-08-17

We need more carnivorous plant articles and ibles, cause I'm a big fan of them plants!

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lemonie (author)2009-08-17

Strange how UK based newspapers seem to be the hardest to load for me... People often use "acid-like" because acid is something generally understood to dissolve things. But I believe the enzymes act in a basic-fashion, (or possibly both at the same time). L

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