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Thread: N. lowii

  1. #1

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    Anyone have a theory as to why birds use the umm...Lowii pitchers as miniature toilets? [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img] Just a thought...what could birds eat that give Lowii nutrition? This is a pretty bizarre way to live...Living off of animal poop...



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  2. #2

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    bird poop are surprizingly rich with nutrients. they love the honey on the lowii pitchers and the pitchers desine forces there rear end to face towards the insides of the pitcher, and the excraments are usually dropped in. zongyi (oh, and lots of animals live off poop, including me *kidding*)
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  3. #3

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    Hi:

    Zongi. I have read "Savage Garden". Peter D'amato hypothesises this. However, are there any real scientific evidence on this theory of N. lowii being an bird toilet.

    Agustin

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    According to Charles Clarke, in Pitcher Plants of Sabah (2001), which is the most recent reference I can find on the subject.

    Quote
    Scientists who have studied the contents of its pitchers found large quantities of bird excrement inside, and it has been suggested that this species may have evolved to exploit this nutrient rich resource instead of insects. However, this hypothesis is yet to be tested experimentally.[/QUOTE]

    I don't know if the situation has changed in the last couple of years, vis-a-vis further studies, or whether this is the current state of play with this hypothesis.

    Vic
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  5. #5
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    Gus, I believe Charles Clarke talks about this in Nepenthes of Borneo.

    (edit: OK Vic it's in Neps of Sabah, my cousin still hasn't returned my copy I loaned her)

    Before Grow More, Miracle Grow and Superthrive what do you suppose great granddaddy used to grow the family 40? Good old doo doo, that's what! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img]

    Farmers spread manure on the fields all the time (perhaps you don't live near any farms). So to me the thought of using animal feces as fertilizer is not such an uncommon nutrient, after all, that's all bugs are for CPs, mild fertilizer, just in a different form.

  6. #6

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    Charles Clarke does talk about it in 'Nepenthes of Borneo', I chose to quote from the 'Pitcher Plants of Sabah', because it is a more recent publication, by four years. Also, the quote is short and easily understood by all.

    Vic
    They say that money talks, but all it ever says to me is goodbye.

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    With all my due respects to Vic and Swords. This is still a hypothesis. I could not agree with you more that cow manure and other animals poo are excellent fertilizers!!. However, whether Lowii really needs poo to survive instead of catching insects still needs to be determined. A great experiment would be to feed one lowii with excrement and another Lowii with insects. If both plants grow at the same rate or look very healthy, then the theory is wrong, but if the lowii fed with excrement grows healthier and faster than the insect-fed one, then Charles is absolutely right on this one!!

    Agustin

  8. #8
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    agustine all that would prove is that one is more beneficial to the plant than the other, it would not prove anything about what lowii pitchers are designed to catch in the wild.

    I have never attempted to design a test like this but I am guessing that lots of hours spent examining the contents of lowii pitchers out in the jungle is the only way anything can be proven conclusively?

    Cheers, Troy

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