研究人员在加拿大发现了食肉植物
Researchers Discover Meat-Eating Plant in Canada

研究人员在加拿大发现了食肉植物

Researchers Discover Meat-Eating Plant in Canada

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研究人员在加拿大发现了食肉植物

Researchers Discover Meat-Eating Plant in Canada

2019-06-26

研究人员称,他们在加拿大发现了猪笼草,不仅吃昆虫,还会食用至少一种两栖动物。


研究人员称,他们在加拿大发现了一种植物,这种植物不仅吃昆虫,还会食用至少一种两栖动物。
Researchers say they have discovered a plant in Canada that not only eats insects, but also feeds on at least one amphibious creature.

加拿大安大略省圭尔夫大学的一个研究小组最近在一项研究中报告了这一发现。
The discovery was recently reported in a study by a research team from Canada’s University of Guelph in Ontario.

这项研究发表在《生态学》杂志上。
The study was published in the journal Ecology.

该研究聚焦安大略省阿岗昆省立公园的猪笼草。
The research involved pitcher plants in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park.

这种植物生长在加拿大各处的湿地中,形状各异、大小不一,而且色彩斑斓。
The plants— which take many shapes and sizes and have colorful designs — grow in wetlands across Canada.

猪笼草的叶子通常形成一个又高又窄的口袋,可以装液体。
A pitcher plant’s leaves usually form a tall, narrow pocket that can hold liquid.

进入口袋的昆虫和蜘蛛经常被困住,猪笼草就以它们为食。
Insects and spiders that enter the pocket often become trapped and the pitcher plant then feeds on their bodies.

猪笼草通常生长在沼泽——柔软、极度潮湿的地区。
Pitcher plants are often found in bogs — soft, extremely wet areas.

众所周知,这种植物以昆虫和蜘蛛等落入陷阱的小生物为食。
The plants are known for feeding on small organisms – such as insects and spiders – that get caught in the trap.

但研究人员有一个惊人的发现——猪笼草也以蝾螈幼崽为食。
But the researchers made a surprising discovery—the pitcher plants were also feeding on young salamanders.

蝾螈是一种类似蜥蜴的两栖动物。
A salamander is a lizard-like amphibian.

研究小组表示,他们认为这是研究人员首次观察到北美地区的猪笼草食用除昆虫或蜘蛛以外的生物。
The research team said it believes this is the first time any North American pitcher plants have been observed feeding on anything besides insects or spiders.

2017年夏天,当时在圭尔夫大学就读的学生特斯基·鲍德温在阿岗昆省立公园进行实地考查,他发现一只蝾螈被困在了猪笼草中。
In the summer of 2017, then University of Guelph student Teskey Baldwin found a salamander trapped inside a pitcher plant while doing field work in the provincial park.

研究人员表示,没有早些发现这一情况是最令人吃惊的事情之一。
One of the biggest surprises was that the discovery did not happen earlier, the researchers said.

亚历克斯·史密斯是圭尔夫大学的生物学教授,也是这项研究的共同作者。
Alex Smith is a biology professor at the University of Guelph and co-writer of the study.

他告诉加拿大CTV新闻,在猪笼草被观察到的沼泽附近的研究站已经存在了70年。
He told Canada’s CTV News the research station near the bog where the pitcher plants were observed has been there for 70 years.

史密斯说:“令人吃惊的是,我们发现了一种食用脊椎动物的新植物,而且这种植物是生长在著名地区的知名物种。”
“So the surprise was that we discovered such a new case of plants eating vertebrates involving such a well-known species in such a well-known space,” Smith said.

研究小组在2018年秋天考察了该公园的一个区域,他们发现几乎有五分之一的猪笼草里都有被困住的蝾螈幼崽。
During visits to a single area of the park in fall of 2018, the research team found almost one in five pitcher plants contained young salamanders.

每个被困幼崽的体长大约都有人类手指那么长。
The amphibians were each about as long as a human finger.

多个猪笼草里有不止一只被困住的蝾螈。
Several plants contained more than one captured salamander.

研究发现,其中一些受困蝾螈不到3天就会死亡,而其它蝾螈则可以坚持存活19天。
Some of the trapped salamanders died within three days, while others lived for up to 19 days, the study found.

研究人员表示,他们不知道这些蝾螈为什么会死亡。
The researchers said they do not know what killed the salamanders.

导致蝾螈死亡的可能是猪笼草叶子内的液体所分泌的蛋白质。
They could have died from proteins produced by the pitcher plants that are held in liquid inside the leaves.

这种液体混合物旨在分解被困在猪笼草里的生物体,以辅助进食。
This liquid mixture is designed to break down organisms trapped in the plants to aid the feeding process.

研究人员认为,造成蝾螈死亡的其他原因可能包括高温、饥饿或感染。
The researchers suggested other possible causes for the salamander deaths could have included heat, starvation or infections.

猪笼草里的有机体可能还会帮助分解蝾螈的尸体。
Organisms living in the pitcher may also help break down the salamanders’ bodies.

研究发现,蝾螈幼崽最开始掉进猪笼草的原因可能有几个。
The study found that there are also several possible reasons the young salamanders are drawn to the plants in the first place.

其一,这些幼崽可能是不小心掉进去的。
One is that they fall into the plant pockets accidentally.

它们进入猪笼草也可能是在寻找躲藏的地方或是想吃被困在猪笼草里的昆虫或蜘蛛。
They also could go in to find a place to hide or to feed on insects or spiders already trapped there.

研究人员表示,相比于昆虫和蜘蛛,猪笼草显然能从食用蝾螈中获得更多养分。
The researchers say pitcher plants clearly get a lot more nutrients from salamanders than from insects and spiders.

因此,没有理由认为猪笼草不会继续食用蝾螈。
So there is no reason to think that the plants will not continue feeding on them.

圭尔夫大学表示,食肉猪笼草早在18世纪就为人所知。
Meat-eating pitcher plants have been known since the eighteenth century, the University of Guelph says.

10年前在亚洲发现的一个猪笼草物种主要以昆虫和蜘蛛为食,但有时也会捕捉小鸟和老鼠。
One species discovered 10 years ago in Asia feeds mostly on insects and spiders, but sometimes captures small birds and mice.

亚历克斯·史密斯表示,这一发现引发了许多新问题,也许未来的研究能进行解答。
Alex Smith said the discovery opens some new questions that future research might help explain.

蝾螈是猪笼草的重要食物来源吗?
Are salamanders an important feeding source for pitcher plants?

猪笼草是蝾螈重要的“捕食者”吗?
Are the plants important “predators” of the amphibians?

蝾螈会和植物竞争昆虫食物吗?
Might the salamanders compete with plants for insect food?

圭尔夫大学表示,这一发现区甚至可能会以百老汇音乐剧和电影《恐怖小店》命名,该作品里有一种喜欢吃人的巨型植物。
The university said the discovery area could even be called the “Little Bog of Horrors” after a Broadway musical and film that includes a giant plant that likes to eat people.

布莱恩·林恩报道。
I’m Bryan Lynn.