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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Co-operation Between Ants and Plants

As we watch the animals that depend on each other for a living, we come across many amazing instances. Animals that live together usually have many distinctive features. Their ally, highly menacing for most of the animals, may be protective to its symbiont, and even may watch over its benefits.

One good example is the pitcher plant (Nepenthes bicalcarata) that grows in the Eastern India. This plant, that is exactly in the shape of carafe, houses ant colonies in its body. It feeds on insects by seizing the ones that perch on it, captures them in, and in the end digests them. On the other hand, the guest ants have privilege for this carnivorous plant. The pitcher plant ignores the existence of ants in an incomprehensible manner.

Truly the ants and the plant have a deal with each other for their mutual benefit. The ants are under the threat of being eaten by the plant, nevertheless they have gained a home for themselves. On the other hand, the plant leaves remnants of some tissues and insects for the ants and in return, it gains the right to get protected from its enemies by the ants.

Read the full article here

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