If you thought “Killer Tomato”was the title of a new horror flick or a hot gaming app for the iPhone, think again. According to a recent report, scientists have discovered that some tomatoes have properties similar to the venerable Venus fly trap, where these dangerous fruits capture, kill and literally “eat”their prey in order to self-fertilize and continue to propagate.
Although mostly prevalent in the wild, where soil is lacking nutritional content, some varieties of tomatoes have been able to attack small insects with sticky hair-like protrusions on their stems. They then absorb the nutrients through their root structures once the insects fall to the ground and decay.
It’s a “survival of the fittest”scenario, as botanists think that select fruits and vegetables became carnivorous as a way to supplement the nutrients in particularly poor quality soil.
The findings are being published in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. Researchers from the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew told the Telegraph, “we may be surrounded by many more murderous plants than we think”
Botanists have already identified some species of petunia, ornamental tobacco, some varieties of potatoes and tomatoes and shepherd’s purse (a relative of cabbages), as having the carnivorous gene. They believe that there may be hundreds more killer plants out there, just waiting to chomp down on unsuspecting bugs and insects. It appears that it is safe for humans to continue eating these killer tomatoes.
Hmmm. This really would make a good iPhone application ” or horror movie! Anyone game?
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