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Thread: Fang Theory

  1. #1
    Little Old Lady (LOL) Z.Z.'s Avatar
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    Fang Theory

    Hi everyone

    When I was visiting Ellison he showed me some of his tropical pitcher plants that have fangs on the hoods, and explained that no one is really sure why they have fangs.

    I thought about it and came up with a theory:

    If a small lizard or frog or large bug fell into the pitcher and tried to jump out, the fangs would keep them from jumping out by poking them, causing pain, resulting in the natural reaction of moving away from the pain, back into the pitcher.
    The fangs may be a way for the plant to keep things in the pitcher and not allow them to jump out.

    Just a thought, I could be wrong, Im not an expert or anything
    Just wanderin around behind the little animals

  2. #2
    i dont do pots. amphirion's Avatar
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    yeah---that was an old hypothesis....
    here's a newer one:
    we know know that Nepenthes bicalcarata shares some sort of symbiotic relationship with ants that live in its vines....the fangs hang precariously over the center of the pitcher...they also produce copious amounts of nectar. ants try to feast near these sites end up falling in.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 03-18-2011 at 06:50 AM. Reason: N. A. - Nepenthes bicalcarata, not bicalarata
    " You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." -Inigo Montoya
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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    from a mechanical engineering point of view, the fangs may also serve as reinforcement gussets for the opening

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    Aristoloingulamata Dexenthes's Avatar
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    There is amphirion's hypothesis which is widely accepted as plausible. (I've seen it happen as well, though not with the specific symbiotic ant species, of course)

    Then there is another theory that suggests that maybe the fangs also act as a defense against tree shrews, monkeys or other small mammals that would try to raid the pitchers of their contents. For instance when the animal pokes its head inside, it gets a nasty pinch on the top if it's head, giving it incentive to move on up the mountain and find some promiscuous Nepenthes lowii to gobble upon instead.

    Then, the one reality we can be sure about, is that Nepenthes bicalcarata fangs mesmerize endless amounts of humans to no end, thereby influencing us to propagate the species through tissue culture, seed, leaf cuttings, etc. Sometimes even going to great lengths to make sure that the plants are provided with unreasonably warm and humid conditions that defy the local climates of the continents that the plants are now able to call home.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 03-18-2011 at 06:52 AM. Reason: N. A. - Nepenthes bicalcarata, not Nepenthes bicalcarata's
    LOOKING FOR: N. (argentii x bicalcarata) x {[(lingulata x edwardsiana) x (naga x hamata)] x [(klossii x undulatifolia) x (aristolochioides x rajah)]} Growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=124586

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    Little Old Lady (LOL) Z.Z.'s Avatar
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    Cool!

    A bunch of theories, all very plausible.

    I like it!

    Just wanderin around behind the little animals

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    SirKristoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dexenthes View Post
    Then, the one reality we can be sure about, is that Nepenthes bicalcarata fangs mesmerize endless amounts of humans to no end, thereby influencing us to propagate the species through tissue culture, seed, leaf cuttings, etc. Sometimes even going to great lengths to make sure that the plants are provided with unreasonably warm and humid conditions that defy the local climates of the continents that the plants are now able to call home.
    Nepenthes bicalcarata wants to rule the world...
    oh my....
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 03-18-2011 at 06:53 AM.

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    Charlatan lizasaur's Avatar
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    Last Summer, my Nepenthes bicalcarata lived outside. There were sugar ants creeping along the entire plant and feeding off the nectar, always. I can say the pitchers were quite full of the lazy ones too It's probably a mix of Jon's theory, and Dex's. If the pitchers are so absolutely full of ants, it'd undoubtedly be an easy target for anything larger wanting an easy meal. However, if it weren't for the fangs, the ants would likely not be falling into the pitchers in such numbers either.

    It's an interesting mystery But regardless of the reason, it *is* gonna take over the world
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 03-18-2011 at 06:55 AM. Reason: N. A. - Nepenthes bicalcarata, not Bical

  8. #8
    Aristoloingulamata Dexenthes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirKristoff View Post
    Nepenthes bicalcarata wants to rule the world...
    oh my....
    You think that's bad??

    Drosera capensis is on sure-fire path to world domination!
    LOOKING FOR: N. (argentii x bicalcarata) x {[(lingulata x edwardsiana) x (naga x hamata)] x [(klossii x undulatifolia) x (aristolochioides x rajah)]} Growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=124586

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