1. ITV Report

Plant uses raindrops to catch food

The Nepenthes gracilis pitcher Photo: Dr Ulrike Bauer

Scientists in Cambridge have identified the way a meat-eating plant captures its prey using raindrops.

The Nepenthes gracilis pitcher uses nectar to attract insects on to its leaves. When a raindrop hits the leaf it catapaults the bug into a cup-shaped leaf below.

Dr Ulrike Bauer from the University of Cambridge's Department of Plant Sciences led the study in Borneo.

"It is amazing to see things like this in the field. The pitcher plants have unique mechanisms but this is perhaps the most amazing.

"Scientists have tried to unravel the mysteries of these plants since the days of Charles Darwin.

– Dr Ulrike Bauer