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Discovered for the first time an active underground carnivorous pitcher plant

Discovered for the first time an active underground carnivorous pitcher plant

This plant targets surprisingly large animals such as ants, moths, and beetles.

You may have seen a carnivorous plant in a garden center. The most famous species is the Venus flytrap (Dionaya Mosipola), which closes its “mouth” when it grabs something. But carnivorous plants come in different shapes and sizes. Now searching in New study Discover a very strange species. Not only is this a bit terrifying, but it also calls into question everything scientists think they know about carnivorous plants.

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The newly discovered species are pudica jar They seem to differ from other carnivorous plants in many respects. Undoubtedly the most obvious pudica jar It does not have a “mouth”, but instead has a leaf shaped like a catching cup. These grab cups act as traps. In this way, the plant is able to attract predators that get stuck in the cups. Then it is immediately digested.

but what pudica jar What makes it particularly unique is that it operates underground. This is special. “In fact, this species places its hunter up to 11 cm in length in underground cavities,” explains researcher Martin Danak. Then he hunted the animals living underground, mostly ants, moths and beetles.”

The carnivorous plant Nepenthes pudica. This species is equipped with red cups and is active underground. Pictured: Martin Danak

By the way, that’s a big prey. Only three other groups of carnivorous plants are known to hunt underground prey. However, these methods use completely different approaches – they do not have cup-shaped leaves, for example. In addition, these species, unlike pudica jarOnly catching microorganisms. “We found countless organisms in the cups,” says researcher Václav Čermák. “Think of mosquito larvae, nematodes, and even a type of worm that is new to science.”

Researchers have found an exotic carnivorous plant in the Indonesian province of North Kalimantan on the island of Borneo. pudica jar It grows on relatively dry hills at an altitude of 1100 to 1300 meters. According to its discoverers, this may also be why the pitcher plant places its traps underground. “We hypothesize that the underground cavities have more stable environmental conditions, such as better humidity,” said study researcher Michel Golos. “Plus, during droughts, more potential prey is likely to be found here.”

The scientific name Nepenthes pudica refers to the curious behavior of the plant. Thus, the name is derived from the Latin adjective pudicus, which means “shy” or “shy.” It reflects the fact that the bottom catch cups are hidden from view.

Discovery pudica jar Very special. It is not only the first pitcher plant known to be active underground, it is also the first to record underground prey catching.

pudica jar very rare. For example, this plant can only be found on the Indonesian island of Borneo. “The discovery is important for nature conservation in Borneo,” researcher Wewin Tjiasmanto said. It confirms the great biodiversity of the island. We hope the discovery of this unique plant will help protect Borneo’s rainforests and prevent more virgin forests from turning into oil palm plantations.”

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