Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 22nd, 2008
Here is another one for your cryptobotany file!
A rare new species of plant that eats small rats has been discovered at the tip of Cape York.
Pitcher plants, otherwise known as flesh-eating plants, grow throughout Cape York but now a new, larger species that grows like a vine has been discovered.
The new species has been called “Tenax”.
James Cook University ecologist Charles Clarke and a colleague found the new species at a swamp near the Jardine River, but exactly where is a secret.
“They are quite vulnerable,” he said.
“They are only found in a few small areas and if we broadcast the location then there are people out there who would take advantage of that.
“There’s a lot of interest in pitcher plants from Australia, even from people outside of Australia.
“And while people often associate these things with New Guinea or Borneo or Sumatra, the fact that there’s more species here is actually very exciting.”“Rat-eating plant discovered in Cape York,” Australian Broadcasting Corporation, January 22, 2008.
Nepenthes tenax (Latin: tenax = tenacious) is a lowland species of tropical pitcher plant native to northern Queensland, Australia. It is the third Nepenthes species recorded from the continent, and its second endemic species. N. tenax is closely related to the two other Australian Nepenthes species: N. mirabilis and N. rowanae.
N. tenax grows to a height of around 100 cm with pitchers rarely exceeding 15 cm. The stem is usually self-supporting. In its natural habitat, it is sympatric with N. mirabilis and N. rowanae. Two natural hybrids involving these species have been found.
Clarke, C.M & R. Kruger 2006. “Nepenthes tenax C.Clarke and R.Kruger (Nepenthaceae), a new species from Cape York Peninsula, Queensland.” Austrobaileya 7(2): 319–324.
Not a tenax but certainly an example of how beautiful pitcher plants can be.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.