Friday, 10 July 2015

In Today's Post,

 I mentioned insectivorous plants,

keeping to a similar theme here is a insectivorous plant association I have never heard of before, it is between a bat and a pitcher plant, the plant needs to make a smell that will attract insects into it's pitcher that they then can not get out of, the insects fall to the bottom of the pitcher plant cup where the plant digests them, but how to make a smell that will attract insects? answer bat poo!

it appears that researchers have written that they have found one type of pitcher plant with a unique shape, designed to look attractive to bats using sonar to echo-locate, bats find their way around by emitting tiny noises that bounce off objects, when a bat's noise bounces off a certain part of the plant, called a reflector, it reflects back a loud, clear signal, telling the bat where to go (you can see the bat enter the plant in the gif above), the results are published in a new paper in Current Biology, but why would a bat want to go into the mouth of a pitcher plant? unlike insects, the bat isn't flying towards its doom, in previous studies the scientists found that the pitcher plant was the perfect shape for a bat to fly in and take a rest, the bat is too large to fall into the mulch of digestive juices and fecal offerings at the base of the plant, so it is a win, win situation for both the bat and the plant, but as with most things in life there is always a loser, in this case the insects.

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