#video | Plants can eat a lot of vertebrates

Carnivorous plants was known for her strict diet consisting of flies, caterpillars and small spiders. However, the results of a new study prove that, subject to availability, they are not averse to eat and more juicy food, like baby salamanders. This conclusion was made by the canadian scientists during the observation of the inhabitants of sphagnum bogs in Ontario, between 2017 and 2018. The discovery provides a new look at carnivorous plants and reptiles animal behavior.

Plant in the traps which was discovered by a young Salamander is called sarracenia purpurea (Sarracenia purpurea). It grows mainly in the swamps of North America, which are covered with thick layers of moss of the genus sphagnum. Biologists have always believed that the plant eats only insects, drawing them into the leaves-traps filled with sweet juice. Subsequently, the victims are split into parts with the help contained in the juice bacteria that produce nutrients for plants substances.

That eat carnivorous plants?

It turned out that in the traps of carnivorous plants are larger victim. In the study of sphagnum bogs in 2017, 144 plants sarracenia purple biologists found eight young salamanders, which recently grew from a larval state. In the next two years researchers have found more and more vertebrates of the victims, and sometimes in the traps were of several animals.

Scientists have three assumptions about how reptiles animals could become victims of plants. First, they could fall into traps when trying to catch moths or midges that wanted to drink the sweet juice. Second, they could be there in an attempt to escape from predators. Third, they could find themselves captive plants by accident when out of the swamp onto land.

Sarracenia purpurea (Sarracenia purpurea)

Being trapped, salamanders are unlikely to have died because contained in the juice of plants of bacteria. Most likely, the cause of death was overheating, because the leaves sometimes for a very long time under direct sunlight. Also they could die due to high acidity, or simply from hunger. With confidence we can say only that the death of the salamanders was long and painful — sometimes they remained in the traps for up to 19 days.

On the topic of interaction of plants and animals also suggest you to read our material on how rodents use carnivorous plant as a toilet. Surprisingly, this benefits both parties — rodents get nutritious nectar, while the plant feeds on their faeces.

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