2015 Photo Contest, Nature, Stories, 2nd prize

Vegetables with an Attitude

Photographer

Christian Ziegler

National Geographic Magazine/GEO

12 September, 2013

A small frog climbs up a fringed pitcher-plant (Nepenthes tentaculata), probably to lay eggs in the cup. A few frog species have evolved immunity to the pitcher’s digestive liquids so that their tadpoles can develop within the pitchers.

Carnivorous plants have evolved repeatedly in different parts of the world, always in response to super low nutrient environments. While other plants are struggling to find nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen, carnivorous plants catch these themselves in ingenious ways. Until recently scientists thought they all operated in a similar way, catching bugs and digesting them. However, we are now discovering that things are much more complicated, with an amazing variety of complex plant-animal interactions.

About the photographer

Christian Ziegler

He is a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine and has been widely published in other magazines such as Geo, Smithsonian, and BBC Wildlife. Christian’s aim is to hig...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
1/25
Focal length
100.0 mm
F-Stop
16.0
ISO
400
Camera
Canon EOS 5D Mark III

This image is collected in