Tropical pitcher plant communicates with bats

in science on (#EF9K)
Native to the forests of Borneo, Nepenthes hemsleyana feeds on bat guano, which provides the plant with all the nutrients it needs, minus the hassle of digestion. To that end, N. hemsleyana has developed special structures that reflect bats’ ultrasonic calls back to them – an ability that helps the plant attract bats to roost in its pitcher so that it can feast on the animal’s feces, a new study has found. The signals are specific to the bat species Kerivoula hardwickii, making it easier for the bats to find their partner plant.

Unlike its carnivorous cousins, N. hemsleyana is not especially adept at catching insects. Yet scientists noticed that it somehow manages to thrive. Pursuing the mystery, Schöner and his team discovered that N. hemsleyana provides some insect-eating bats with a spacious, stable, and parasite-free roosting spot. In return, the bats fertilize the plant with their feces, the researchers discovered. “Carnivorous plants in general have already solved the problem of nutrient deficiency in a very unusual way by reversing the ‘normal system’ of animals feeding on plants. It is even more astonishing that in the case of N. hemsleyana the system is taking a new turn,” Dr. Schöner said.

Re: Intelligent design (Score: 1)

by on 2015-07-20 04:20 (#ETZT)

Isn't this the very type of symbiotic relationship the ID crowd would crow about? They are wrong, but this is bound to make them very happy, indeed.

Something, something, irreducible complexity, something, something. Remove one part, the whole thing fails... yada, yada.

A quick Google later: It didn't take long at all to find an article pointing out how this could only have been intelligently designed.
Post Comment
The number of body parts in the list ant, leg, tongue and stomach is?