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Rat-eating plant discovered in Philippines - Comments

mattincinci's Avatar Comment 1 by mattincinci

wow what a rat trap

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 11:56:00 UTC | #389737

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 2 by SaganTheCat

awesome!

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 12:07:00 UTC | #389743

fredmounts's Avatar Comment 3 by fredmounts

The Triffids are coming!

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 12:08:00 UTC | #389745

ridelo's Avatar Comment 4 by ridelo

I remember Tarzan (Johnny Weismüller) almost eaten by a plant! But he survived!

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 12:09:00 UTC | #389747

ridelo's Avatar Comment 5 by ridelo

This is a remarkable species the largest of its kind. I'm told it can catch rats then eat them with its digestive enzymes. It's certainly capable of that."

My questions is how the plant prevents the rat from escaping. With drugs?

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 12:13:00 UTC | #389749

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 6 by Quetzalcoatl

The sides are too slippery for the rat to climb out of. The nectar of some predatory plants can disorient insects so they fall into the pitcher, but I don't know if that would work on rats.

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 12:40:00 UTC | #389762

Aztek's Avatar Comment 7 by Aztek

I want a few of those around my appartment. I have a rat problem.

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 13:12:00 UTC | #389776

LaurieB's Avatar Comment 8 by LaurieB

I'll bet it uses a sticky substance to restrain the rat, (flypaper strategy). That basin is pretty shallow. Even with slipperyness of the sides it seems like a rat could simply step out over the walls of the basin if it wasn't stuck there somehow.

edit- punctuation

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 13:14:00 UTC | #389779

shemp333's Avatar Comment 9 by shemp333

Yeah I wanna know why the rat can't get out. In the picture you can see his little paws on the lip of the pitcher... Sure looks like he should be able to pull himself out. Rats can get in and out of some unbelievably difficult places.

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 13:20:00 UTC | #389780

glenister_m's Avatar Comment 10 by glenister_m

Perhaps it catches young/small rats, not full-grown adults.

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 13:33:00 UTC | #389786

Adrian Bartholomew's Avatar Comment 11 by Adrian Bartholomew

Sheesh what a nasty way to die though. Being digested alive. Yikes. Seems like god hates rats to have designed that :-)

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 13:36:00 UTC | #389789

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 12 by Steve Zara

I doubt very much that the rats are digested alive. It isn't very good for the plant to have an animal scrabbling around in the pitcher for hours or days. The rat would almost certainly drown first.

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 13:37:00 UTC | #389790

Adrian Bartholomew's Avatar Comment 13 by Adrian Bartholomew

I hope you are right. I don't like rats much but even so. Shudder.

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 13:50:00 UTC | #389800

LaurieB's Avatar Comment 14 by LaurieB

Check out this facinating clip of David Attenborough discussing poisonous pitcher plants.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trWzDlRvv1M

He shows a pitcher plant in Borneo that can also digest small rodents.

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 14:20:00 UTC | #389816

Manukun's Avatar Comment 15 by Manukun

Now we should be looking for the plant which could eat creationist morons and plant them all over Texas.

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 14:28:00 UTC | #389823

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 16 by Quetzalcoatl

Manukun-

Why would you want to punish plants like that? What have they ever done to you?

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 14:34:00 UTC | #389830

LaurieB's Avatar Comment 17 by LaurieB

Manukun,

Would the plants know enough to discriminate between creationist morons and our fellow RD.net contributors who live in Texas?

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 14:48:00 UTC | #389835

Dr. Strangegod's Avatar Comment 18 by Dr. Strangegod

"In his belly, you will find a new definition of pain and suffering, as you are slowly digested over a thousand years."

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 14:52:00 UTC | #389840

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 19 by SaganTheCat

Yeah I wanna know why the rat can't get out. In the picture you can see his little paws on the lip of the pitcher... Sure looks like he should be able to pull himself out. Rats can get in and out of some unbelievably difficult places.


I think the rat got in there for the cameraman. the times didn't have a rat in the picture so i expect this one just pops in for tourists

I once discovered a rat eating cheese

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 14:58:00 UTC | #389844

SaintStephen's Avatar Comment 20 by SaintStephen

18. Comment #407443 by Adrian Bartholomew on August 19, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Yeah we'd have to engineer the plants to have something that looks a bit like Jesus inside and they'd be queing up to jump in! :-) We could even charge! Just 20 bucks to step into the holy grotto of Jeeessuuus! Don't mind the smell its just holy unction.


Hilarious. Holy Grotto works, but maybe we could dress the plant up to instead look like a tomb, and claim that Jesus used to be inside. "Go ahead. Go on inside and have a look."

Explains the smell, too!

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 15:12:00 UTC | #389849

Adrian Bartholomew's Avatar Comment 21 by Adrian Bartholomew

Comment #407444 by Lucas on August 19, 2009 at 3:52 pm
"In his belly, you will find a new definition of pain and suffering, as you are slowly digested over a thousand years."
This always struck me as pretty good deal.
Bad side: Being digested, being inside a monster.
Up side: Living till I am a thousand, having slave girls thrown in with me, maybe the occasional Princess Leia! And how bad can the digestion be if the side effect is being kept healthy enough to live till I’m a thousand. I mean I can’t be dead the whole time else what kind of a threat is it? Maybe a “new definition of pain and suffering” is “having a jolly lovely time with slave girls and Princesses”.

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 15:25:00 UTC | #389853

LaurieB's Avatar Comment 22 by LaurieB

Adrian B

20 bucks is too small a price to pay for eternal salvation. Have you no capitalistic insticts at all?

What's needed here is a large parking lot, bus tours, a christian book shop and a cable tv show.

Leave this to the Americans.

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 15:29:00 UTC | #389855

Adrian Bartholomew's Avatar Comment 23 by Adrian Bartholomew

Very few capitalistic instincts I'm afraid. Along with a healthy dose of guilt so I’d have to stand outside warning people not to go in because it’s a horrible trap.

Then again, I’m an atheist and so they wouldn’t believe me.

I just got this sad image of John saying to people “look I know I helped write the Bible but I didn’t mean you to take it so seriously.”

EDIT. Got another worrying thought of a conversation like this playing out on a creationist website with us heading into the death plant and one of them outside warning us and we not believing them because we're atheists. Ouch. I think I just killed the joke.

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 15:35:00 UTC | #389859

hungarianelephant's Avatar Comment 24 by hungarianelephant

18. Comment #407443 by Adrian Bartholomew

Yeah we'd have to engineer the plants to have something that looks a bit like Jesus inside and they'd be queing up to jump in! :-)

You mean something like this?



OK, that's his mum. Possibly.

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 15:43:00 UTC | #389861

phasmagigas's Avatar Comment 25 by phasmagigas

oh dear, its the 'irreducibly complex' rat trap again!

An especially large and impressive Nepenthes!

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 15:44:00 UTC | #389863

Adrian Bartholomew's Avatar Comment 26 by Adrian Bartholomew

Phew. thought you were going to link to the Jesus in the dog's ass. Seriously do a google image search on it to see what I am talking about (rather not link direct to it). It's amazingly good pareidolia.

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 15:47:00 UTC | #389865

phasmagigas's Avatar Comment 27 by phasmagigas

steve

I doubt very much that the rats are digested alive. It isn't very good for the plant to have an animal scrabbling around in the pitcher for hours or days. The rat would almost certainly drown first.


true, it would still have been a miserable ending for the rat, it likely would have struggled swimming until exhausted. Interestingly wasps falling into North american pitcher plants (which are more of a tube than a bucket) will actually cut a hole in the plant and then fly out. thats more an opportunistic escape technique rather than specifically evolved one as the times ive see this its a european wasp escaping a house grown plant many, mnay miles from the nearest wild pitcher plants.

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 15:49:00 UTC | #389866

Blondin's Avatar Comment 28 by Blondin

"Eddie... kees me goodnight."

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 15:50:00 UTC | #389867

LaurieB's Avatar Comment 29 by LaurieB

Adrian,

Ah yes. That's very nice of you to feel guilty about applying our aggressive capitalism against the Christian fundies although they are the first ones to shriek about the horrors of socialism here. Anyway, we already have the Creationist Museum and a Christian theme park too. Christian fundies love this sort of stuff. They will be down on their knees thanking you! :-)

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 15:50:00 UTC | #389869

phasmagigas's Avatar Comment 30 by phasmagigas

laurieB.

I'll bet it uses a sticky substance to restrain the rat, (flypaper strategy). That basin is pretty shallow. Even with slipperyness of the sides it seems like a rat could simply step out over the walls of the basin if it wasn't stuck there somehow.


theres nothing sticky as such BUT i seem to remember reading that pitcher fluid has a wetting agent in it which would make the rat far less likely to escape as its fur would get sodden very quickly.

Wed, 19 Aug 2009 15:52:00 UTC | #389870