Entrepreneurial Plants/Animals

  • The small Hardwicke’s woolly bats were found roosting above the digestive fluids in the plants’ pitchers. Rather than consuming the whole bat for extra nitrogen, Dr Grafe found that the plants gained from the bats’ waste.  “The pitcher plant benefits from attracting the bat because the bats defecate into the pitcher, using it as a toilet if you will,” he explains. This unusual arrangement also has advantages for the bat according to Dr Grafe.
    “The bat benefits from having a secure roosting place that is also free of blood-sucking ectoparasites that often accumulate in bat roosts,” he tells the BBC.”This is one of many animal-plant mutualisms… that highlights the fact that extinction or removal of a single species within an ecosystem will impact many other species,” he says.

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