- Not Exactly Rocket Science
Flesh-eating plant doubles as bat-cave
The world’s worst flesh-eating plant lives in the jungles of Borneo. It’s called elongata and it’s one of several strains of Raffles’ pitcher plant. Like its relatives, it has distinctive pitcher-shaped leaves that can lure insects into a watery grave. But unlike other strains, elongata is strangely incompetent at catching insects. Instead, it lures bats into its pitchers, and lives off their poo.
Pitcher plants grow in soils that lack the vital nitrogen that plants depend on. The pitchers make up for this shortfall by harvesting nitrogen from the flesh of animals. Their pitchers are traps, baited with nectar, enticing colours, or tempting smells. If an insect approaches and falls in, it is doomed. It can’t clamber up the slippery