In other words, the plants seem to be turning into vegetarians. Does the cannibalism alarm need to be raised?
Not really, because they’re choosing to switch over to other plants, not their own kind.
Researchers Marianne Koller-Peroutka and Wolfram Adlassnig from the University of Vienna in Austria highlight the fact that the carnivorous species known as bladderworts, or scientifically as Utricularia, are going green in their study published in the journal Annals of Botany.
The species is a type of aquatic plant that would prey on animals using its suction bladders. But it’s giving up the hunting life, apparently, as it seems to have gained an appetite for algae and pollen grains for better nutrition. Mmm, those leafy greens always add that needed crunch.
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How did this happen? Well, it's most likely linked to climate change and pollution. The study found that consuming animals gave the plants a higher nitrogen content, which helped them survive cold temperatures.
But the weather conditions have gradually changed over the years. And as it turns out, these plants do better with a balanced diet of meats and vegetables. Also, the fact that they have adapted to the presence of more algae only reinforced Darwin’s survival of the fittest concept.
So these guys used to prey on those in another kingdom, i.e. the animal kingdom. And then, once they got powerful enough, they started to prey on their own kind? Maybe these plants are more human than we’d like to think.