Thursday, March 11, 2010
Ahh, The Glories of Nature
The Nepenthes rajah (shown above) is the largest carnivorous plant in the world. Its trap can hold up to two liters of water. Or your average tree shrew. Which is why most botanists assumed that the N. rajah ate tree shrews. (Pitcher plants usually lure unsuspecting insects or small mammals into their traps, where the creatures are slowly digested.)
But this plant has no interest in eating the shrews themselves. And the fact that it's shaped like a miniature toilet is no accident. As the photo below shows, the N. rajah and Borneo's tree shrews have a very special relationship.
That relationship was summed up by the BBC in a headline that deserves an award of some sort. Check it out here.
P.S. Those interested in carnivorous plants should definitely check out the photos here and here!