Rat-eating

Rat-eating plant found by a team of botanists, led by British experts Stewart McPherson and Alastair Robinson, in the Philippines. Photo: STEWART MCPHERSON

A pitcher plant with the shape of a banana and eats rats was discovered by a group of botanists on a remote mountain in the Philippines.

The plant is so large that can capture rats in its pouch and dissolve them with enzymes. When a group of botanists lead by Stewart McPherson discovered it, giant centipedes and 4-inch long spiders were also found in the pouches of the plant.

I'm absolutely flattered. This is a remarkable species the largest of its kind. I'm told it can catch rats then eat them with its digestive enzymes. It's certainly capable of that, said Sir David Attenborough a famous TV nature specialist. The plant was named Nepenthes attenboroughii after him, according to the British paper Telegraph.

In 2000 Christian missionaries described seeing a large carnivorous pitcher in the Philippines' mountain. Later the group of botanists began an expedition that lead to the discovery of the plant in 2007. A study giving details of the plant was published until earlier this year in the Botanical Journal of Linnean following three years of investigation research.