8/19/09

Getting Rid Of A Rat

(photo courtesy: Redfern Natural History)

Every time I read a local paper in New York, my heart skips a beat when there's a mention of the Philippines (Le Cirque, hello). This morning, it wasn't bad news thankfully. The news was about a pitcher plant discovered in June 2007 at the peak of Palawan's Mt. Victoria. Officially called Nepenthes attenboroughii - in honor of the British naturalist Sir David Attenborough - this particular species, according to Redfern Natural History, "produces some of the largest, most voluminous and most beautiful traps of all known pitcher plants". What this means is that the carnivorous plant can trap not only tiny insects but rodents as large as rats where they die from drowning or exhaustion.

The plant's job description of course got some New York reporter's imagination go wild: Will the plants help solve the perennial rat infestation of the city's subway system? Apparently, not so. But what's more amusing are the reactions of some readers: Can we send some plants to Congress in Washington, DC? Hmmm... since this species is a native of the Philippines, why not plant some inside Malacañang Palace in Manila instead? One particular rodent that shouldn't be there in the first place needs to be exterminated.

17 comments:

  1. Haha that was a funny one.

    But on a more serious note, we too have giant pitcher plants (Nephentes Rajah, I think its the same one you're talking abt) in Borneo. The ones I saw were about 30cm in height! I was told they can grow even bigger (!)

    Amazing plants though.

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  2. ha ha ha, taniman ba ang malacanang palace..he he he.

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  3. Hi Travelbugme,
    According to Redfern Natural History, the specie they discovered in the Philippines "is a close relative of the great Nepenthes rajah from Borneo". Which does not surprise me. Palawan used to be connected to Borneo through a land bridge during the Pleistocene period.

    Hi Everlito,
    Rat trap daw kasi, he he he!

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  4. I heard about this too. I thought that was fascinating.

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  5. Gnarly stuff! I'd like to see that plant in action, downing a forest rat or something. That would be insane :)

    Great blog you have here, and thanks for visiting mine! :)

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  6. wow! ive never seen one yet. i should explore palawan's sanctuary of these plants.

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  7. From the Philippines pala. At least nagkaroon ng magandang feature sa NY newspaper. Maganda no? hindi ba yan mabaho? Kasi yung giant flower na tumubo sa mountain of Antique, masangsang daw ang amoy pero maganda.

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  8. dencios9:52:00 AM

    wow. ngayon ko lang nalaman to a. teka puede ba magtagalog dito? hehe

    teka aba at napunta sa "palasyo" haha oo nga may malalaking daga dun an dapat lipulin at pagpapatayin. hehe

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  9. Hi Photo Cache,
    I'd be happy to see this for myself but not really with a dead rat in it.

    Hi Daene,
    It's truly interesting to see this plant. You have a great site yourself!

    Hi Dong,
    I was thinking of the same. Visitors usually associate Palawan only with its beaches.

    Hi Redlan,
    Di ko lang alam kung mabaho ito. Baka siguro pag may daga na.

    Hi Dencios,
    Oo naman, pwedeng pwede ang Tagalog. Dami ngang daga dun sa Palasyo - di kayang supilin ng rodenticide.

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  10. ha ha ha you made me laugh when you said, "why not plant some inside Malacañang Palace in Manila instead? One particular rodent that shouldn't be there in the first place needs to be exterminated."

    bloghopping from...somewhere. lol

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  11. You also need these plants planted in Metro Manila streets behind lampposts and bushes. Hehe.

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  12. ugh, i should get a specie of that carnivorous plant when i get back in palawan..dami rodents dito sa opisina eh :D..

    as per the rodent or rodents in the palace by the river, i guess we need a big and special one..ang hirap yatang ma-trap ng mga nandon eh..lalo n iyong pinakamalaki :D..

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  13. your post reminds me of our botany class way back more than a decade ago! pitcher plant, ha! plant inside malacañan palace sounds good idea to me, lol. dami peste dun, lol.

    fyi, if my memory serves me right, there's no such word as specie-both singular and plural forms are regarded as species. pardon me if im wrong. -->happy weekend!

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  14. Hi Mari,
    Thanks for the visit!

    Hi Abaniko,
    Oo nga. Kahit saan na lang kung umihi kasi yung iba. He he.

    Hi Josh,
    Baka nga magkasya yun dahil di ba midget?

    Hi Docgelo,
    You're right, I'm correcting it now. Salamat sa info.

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  15. This is cool! They should really have this planted in Malacañang. Pwede bang ipa-customized yan? Para mapalakihan natin ng konti. LOL!

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  16. he he. oo nga kasya nga siya dun! pero dapat me mas malaki laki para pasok yung asawa't mga anak!

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  17. hahaha! nice one! but kidding aside, this is one great discovery and it's nice break from all the "dinner" news

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