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MARK CATESBY (1682-1749)

Water frog and purple pitcher plant


RCIN 926021

In common with other naturalists of his day, Catesby was not aware that the pitcher plant was carnivorous. Instead he thought that it provided what he called a ‘secure Retreat’ for insects from predators such as the frog shown here. It was later discovered that the plant holds a reservoir of rainwater and digestive enzymes which enables it to consume insects.

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