Plants call in bats, according to reports in Science Shots 9 July 2015 and ABC News in Science 10 July 2015. Pitcher plants are carnivorous plants that are well known for feeding on insects that fall into a pool of fluid at the base of the pitcher. A few years ago it was discovered that a pitcher plant named Nepenthes hemsleyana is a roosting place for bats. The plant does not harm the bats. They roost in the upper part of the pitcher, where they are well above the digestive enzyme containing fluid in the base of the pitcher. The bats leave their droppings in the pitcher, and these are broken down in the pitcher fluid, providing nutrients for the plant.

Scientists from Germany and Brunei have now found that Nepenthes hemsleyana attracts bats by reflecting the bats’ echolocation signals. The plant pitcher has a concave shaped region at the back of the opening on the pitcher that acts as a sound reflector. For a bat that navigates by reflected sound this would act like a beacon, guiding it to the plant. Otherwise, the plant would be hard to find amongst the dense rainforest where it grows.

According to the ABC article, “The study further adds to the growing body of research showing that plants can solve complex problems without having a brain”. One of the research team Michael Schöner of Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University of Greifswald explained: “Carnivorous plants in general have already solved the problem of nutrient deficiency in a very unusual way by reversing the ‘normal system’ of animals feeding on plants. It is even more astonishing that in the case of N. Hemsleyana the system is taking a new turn. While N. Hemsleyana reduced many insect-attracting traits, it obviously exhibits some traits that are highly attractive for a species that provides the plants with nutrients without being digested by the plant itself”.

ABC, Science Shots

Editorial Comment: So the thesis is that this “poo-nivorous” plant somehow ‘solved’ its diet problems by changing its shape to attract bats and their poo … correct? So notice how quickly they skipped the question: “What makes a plant that does not have an acoustic reflector develop it?” Obviously the bats’ acoustic signals will not do anything to alter its growth regulating genes to make the pitcher grow into the right shape.

The comments made by both the researchers and the ABC make it obvious they believe this plant deliberately changed from an insect attracting carnivorous plant to a bat attracting plant. Time to be honest guys: Brain or no brain, the plant is not going to change simply because there are bats in its forest sending out sounds, and brains or no brains, you are not going to get the right answer by leaving God the Creator out, because both plants and bats were designed by the Creator who designed them to work together to the mutual benefit of both. And yes, that means God is outside the plants and bats, and we know you hate things not being under your academic control, and isn’t that what this whole debate is about? (Ref. ecology, botany, mammals, recycling)

Evidence News vol. 15, No. 14
12 August 2015
Creation Research Australia