The pitcher plant is probably the most mysterious plant in the whole wide universe. With its unique ability to obtain food, it has inspired many people to reshape their concept on how nature works. As we might have already known, pitcher plants eat small insects. They use a sweet-smelling juice to lure an unsuspecting insect into the mouth. When the insect is unable to climb back, it can only flails helplessly in the fluid until it loses energy and submits to the overpowering force of its fate. Larger pitchers could even trap small frog, snakes and birds inside.
Sound scary? Pitcher plants are actually very alluring and beautiful plants. A Canadian country even makes it the official flower. Yes, it’s true! In fact, the New Foundland and Labrador province in Canada has the Purple pitcher plant as its one and only floral emblem.
Meat-eating is just an everyday happening for these pretty pitcher plants. Even though they are deadly traps for mosquitoes, they can be very generous and have amazing relationships with other animals. On a report, the scientists in Brunei have finally discovered why one pitcher beauty, the Nepenthes rajah is one of the biggest in the world! Though its mouth could very well swallow a whole tree shrew , the researchers were confused that throughout the years of their study, they were not able to find even a single dead individual inside.
Suddenly, the answer finally showed itself one day. Upon examining the inside contents of the Nepenthes rajah, they discovered a freshly delivered fecal matter and soon found out that its owner is the resident tree shrew who lived nearby. Further tests have led them to conclude that indeed these little primate relatives make toilet bowls out of the pitcher plant!
If you think that their relationship is strange enough, hear this: it seems that the tree shrew was not the only that shares this close friendship with the pitchers! Still, on the forests of Brunei, the biologists have ascertained that bats also use the plant’s “facilities” as its rest room. And, not only that—do you know that these winged mammals can also afford to make it as its dormitory? Yes, the pitcher plant, the ever-generous landlady, has even made a girdle on its side to serve as the bat’s bed!
Unlike us humans, the pitcher plants think that this is a very lucky thing! Actually, every waste matter that is excreted by all animals is rich in nitrogen. And we learn in school that nitrogen is very helpful for all plants in their growth and development.
Then, what could excite you more than seeing these wonderful pitchers standing in front of you? With the convenience of modern technology, we would only not see them in pictures—but you could actually bring home one if you want to! See the nature unravel its wonders within the confines of your own home. Inspire great curiosity and knowledge on children as they open their eyes to the fact that mother Earth indeed holds wonderful secrets that they have yet to unlock!
2012-03-01 11:12 编辑：kuaileyingyu