Friday, August 28, 2009

Rat-eating plant discovered in Philippines

POOLE, England, Aug. 17 (UPI)

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.


orionjri said...

WOW! Think of the tremendous export business possibilities for the country. In Fortitude Valley in Brisbane, cats are scared of rats.I kid you not. Queensland should import them pronto.

And how about planting them around and inside government offices to get rid of the mansized rodents that roam their hallowed halls.

The possibilities for cleaning up all sectors of the country and for other purposes are mind-boggling., to say the least.

They eat rats. What eat them? Wonder if they have not been used as a tasty ingredient in a Chinese dish like some animals' sex organs and innards.

BTW, where is Mount Victoria?

ErnestoDR said...

Ms, Orion JRI, your comment prompted me to remember the popular "Australian salute". I never had any idea what it is all about until I set foot in this commonwealth.

Anyway, I was informed that some years ago, Australia imported frogs from Africa to ward off the pesky bush flies, but ended up having too many of the prolific species that they become pests too. In fact I have seen so much of the frogs on the streets being run over by passing vehicles when I drove in the outskirts of Perth. Now you have two pests to contend with.

I would forego exporting this carnivorous plant to Australia but will go with your suggestion to have it planted at and near Phil. government offices to swallow the rats that perch and proliferate in the area. Maybe the acid-like enzymes will melt their hearts of stone. Ah, those traitors feigning oblivion of their despicable acts!

If my geographic sense serves me right, Mt Victoria is in Palawan near the municipality of Narra.