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Pitcher Plants

Bornean heath forests are a tough place to grow.  The Iban word for this type of forest, kerangas, sums up  the problem quite well: "land that cannot grow rice".  Nutrients (especially Nitrogen) are scarce in the acidic, sandy soils on which these forest grow and plants have to be creative to survive here.  Pitcher plants (Nepenthes sp.), for example, live largely off the edaphic grid and get their nutrients by trapping, drowning, and slowly digesting small insects. Some of the larger species of Nepenthes may occasionally trap small vertebrates such as rats and lizards. Whatever it takes...

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