“And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.”
Imagine this – you’re a carnivorous pitcher plant with no scent to attract insects. Even worse, though most pitcher plants are designed to kill insects in their pool of digestive fluids, you don’t have enough fluid to do the job. What’s a poor pitcher plant to do?
Well, God didn’t forget about the needs of the Nepenthes hemsleyana. He gave it a unique ability to “call out” to bats that are looking for lodging. Once the bat and its family are checked in for the night, they pay for their room by depositing enough nitrogen-rich guano to keep the plant healthy and alive.
So how exactly does a plant without vocal cords call out to bats? The plant’s leaves are actually shaped in a way that reflects sonar. As bats fly through the jungles of Borneo – using echolocation to get around – their “clicks” are reflected to them by the leaves of this plant. They take this as an open invitation to bed down for the night.
If you ever look inside one of these plants, you won’t find insects in various stages of decomposition. Instead, you’ll find the Hardwicke’s woolly bat roosting comfortably inside, either alone or with her whole family.
Here at Creation Moments, we never tire of telling others about the amazing plants and animals God has created. Judging from the fact that we’ve been doing this for over 50 years, many of you feel the exact same way. So tell your friends about Creation Moments, won’t you?
Heavenly Father, though I cannot see You, I enjoy looking upon the works of Your hands! I pray that You will give me many opportunities to share the gospel and the truth of biblical creation with others. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Schöner, Schöner, Simon, Grafe, Puechmaille, Ji & Kerth. 2015. “Bats Are Acoustically Attracted to Mutualistic Carnivorous Plants”, Current Biology http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2015.05.054. Photo: Hardwicke’s woolly bat approaches the Nepenthes hemsleyana pitcher plant. Courtesy of © Ch’ien C. Lee.