The strange carnivorous plant that lives on poop

According to Science Alert, a few species within the Nepenthes genus (pitcher plants, for the layman) have made the switch from eating insects to absorbing the fecal matter of passing animals. It may sound disgusting, but apparently the nutrient yield is up to two times as high as live prey. Shrews, birds, bats and rats are all fair game, meaning that at the very least, Nepenthes gets a varied diet. Dr. Alastair Robinson, an Australian botanist studying this exact phenomenon, says:

"A handful of Nepenthes species have evolved away from carnivory towards a diet of animal scats," says Dr Robinson.

"We found that nitrogen capture is more than two times greater in species that capture mammal droppings than in other Nepenthes. Insect prey is scarce on tropical peaks above 2200 m, so these plants maximise nutritional returns by collecting and retaining fewer, higher-value nitrogen sources like tree-shrew droppings," he said.

Good for them. Surprisingly resourceful for plants, aren't they?