Carnivorous pitcher plant’s successful heterotrophic way of getting food is to eat the waste of other animals

By Karelj – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Dr. Alastair Robinson, Manager Biodiversity Services at Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, and colleagues in Western Australia, Queensland, Malaysia, and Germany have shown in a study released today in the Annals of Botany that some Nepenthes, known as the tropical pitcher plants, obtain more nitrogen and, by extension, nutrients, from mammal droppings than those that capture insects.

Dr. Robinson claims that a small number of species of Nepenthes have adapted to eating animal waste instead of meat.