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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Weird news - New carnivorous plant found by scientists

The common association of plants is that they grow in their place, taking in sunlight and being easily affected by factors such as weather, the grazing action of animals, or even somebody just starting to cut the plants. The number of people who know that animals can be carnivorous as well (just some selected plants) is very low, with some of these plants being the pitcher plant or the Venus fly trap, which actually catch insects and other small creatures.
But as scientists keep on finding new plants, it always astounds people about the complexity of life in the plant world as well, with plants being able to adapt to different conditions, and also having evolved to not only make energy from sunlight and nutrients, but also be able to eat insects (link to article):

Scientists have discovered a new carnivorous plant which has sticky leaves beneath the ground to help it capture and digest worms. The rare plant Philcoxia minensis is found in Brazil's tropical savannahs region which is rich in biodiversity and highly in need of conservation.
They fed the plant nematodes loaded with the isotope nitrogen-15, atoms of which have one more neutron than regular nitrogen-14. Then, they placed these Caenorhabditis elegans worms on top of underground leaves of plants kept in a lab setting.
Chemical analysis of the leaves that had been covered in nematodes revealed significant amounts of nitrogen-15, suggesting the plant broke down and absorbed the worms.
Spoonleaf Sundew Plant -Drosera spathulata- CarnivorousThe Savage Garden: Cultivating Carnivorous PlantsGrowing Carnivorous Plants [Illustrated]

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