Rafflesia Arnoldii – Largest flower is parasite

Rafflesia Arnoldii - Bengkulu - 21-April-2015Rafflesia Arnoldii - Lake-Maninjau - Sumatra-Indonesia - 1-09-99Rafflesia ArnoldiiModel of Rafflesia flower - Lee Kong Chian - Natural History Museum Singapore - 08-08-2015

Rafflesia Arnoldii – Largest flower is parasite

Rafflesia Arnoldii – Rafflesia arnoldii, is the largest individual flower on Earth. It doesn’t have its own stems, leaves or roots. Parasites on vines of the Cissus genus, related to the vine. Deriving water and nutrients from the hosts. Rafflesia grows in a thicket of tropical jungles in Borneo and Sumatra.
It reaches a weight of 11 kg and a diameter of one meter. It consists of five fleshy, red, white speckled petals. Inside, it finds a few liters of nectar, and spike-like creations with an unknown function.
Rafflesia emit a specific, bad smell to rotten meat. In this way it attracts pollinating beetles and flies. That’s why the people of Indonesia call it a corpse flower. It blooms for 5-7 days, every few years. However, if pollinated, it produces round fruit. Containing thousands of tiny seeds.

Poisonous birds – Not venomous discovered so far

Poisonous birds - Pitohui dichrousPoisonous birds - Plectropterus gambensisPoisonous birds - Common quail (Coturnix coturnix)

Poisonous birds – Not venomous discovered so far

Poisonous birds – No venomous bird has been discovered so far. That is, one whose body would produce a poisonous substance. That would then be transmitted by pecking or wounding with a claw. There are several groups of poisonous birds, that is, poisoning us when we touch or eat them. Their organisms are also probably not producing toxins, but they are able to obtain them from poisonous insects or plants.

Most of them live in New Guinea. Where are several species of Pitohui. Also representatives of the families, store the strong neurotoxin (batrachotoxin) in the skin.

The Gambian Goose from the Anatidae family living in Africa. It accumulates in its tissues another poison, a kantaridine (it gets it from the eaten beetles). Plectropterus gambensis, however, are poisonous only after their consumption. So they gain little thanks to this weapon (except revenge from beyond the grave). On the other hand, other animals of this species benefit from this – a predator who once encountered goose meat will avoid it.

A similar phenomenon applies to the European Common Quail, whose meat is also poisonous, although only for part of the year. Probably quails get their toxin from being eaten plants, and poisoning them are known for a long time and referred to as a coturnism (from the Latin name of the quail Coturnix coturnix).