Nature & Environment
Rare carnivorous plant discovered in Brazil
By T.K. Randall
January 12, 2012 · 7 comments
Image Credit: CC 3.0 Prsjl
Carnivorous plant found recently in Brazil uses buried leaves to catch and devour worms in the soil.
A plant's leaves are usually known to be photosynthetic organs, absorbing whatever nutrients they need from the sun and atmosphere, so it came as a surprise to find a plant which gets its nutrients not only from the soil, but from an entirely different species. The leaves of the plant - which are more abundant below ground than above - act as a trap, waiting for an earthworm to pass close enough. Enzymes within the leaves help break down the flesh of the worms rapidly so that the plant can digest the nutrients.
In the kind of discovery seldom seen in modern biology, scientists say they have discovered a carnivorous Brazilian plant that uses sticky, subterranean leaves to catch and digest worms—an evolutionary strategy for acquiring nutrients that has never before been observed in the plant kingdom.
Source: Red Orbit
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