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See Flesh-Eating Plants and Other Rainforest Creatures
The Living Rainforest has added a large number of flesh-eating Pitcher Plants to its tropical rainforest glasshouses.
The genus Nepenthes contains roughly 120 species, mostly concentrated in South-east Asia. They are commonly referred to as Pitcher Plants or Monkey Cups due to the characteristic vessels which trap rainwater and occasionally serve as as a source of drinking water for monkeys.
Pitcher plants have adapted to nutrient-poor conditions and supplemented their diet by feeding on drowned insects and other prey. Insects are attracted by the sweet-smelling nectar inside the pitchers.
The pitchers grow from the base of the leaves and remain connected by long tendrils which suck up nutrients from the decaying prey.
The most uncommon prey for Nepenthes species includes rats, found in Nepenthes rajah. The composition of prey captured depends on many factors, including location, but can incorporate hundreds of individual insects and many different species.
Pitcher plants are just one of the 700 species of plants and animals in residence at The Living Rainforest, the best place in the UK to see tropical rainforest life.
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