Even as we think that technology has penetrated all the dark corners of the Earth, nature still manages to surprise us with incredible and sometimes terrifying wonders. One such example can be found in the island of Puerto Rico. Its forests have revealed two new species of a tree that looks innocuous enough but on closer inspection has a dark secret. At the foot of these trees are littered the bones of numerous birds. On a branch or two, a mummified body is dangling.
Apparently, the seeds of these trees are covered in little hooks and produce a sticky sap that traps birds and insects by weighing them down, making them unable to fly away. To be trapped like this can only mean a slow death. The bodies of the unfortunate creatures will then go on to feed the trees themselves by serving as fertilizer to the soil.
These new tree species belong to a group of trees that are known as “bird-catcher” trees.
Ordinarily, the seeds stick to the visiting birds and insects that then transport the seeds to other islands. Sometimes, though, insects get stuck and fall to the ground, luring birds with an easy meal, who also get stuck in the gooey mess.
When I did a quick online search, I discovered that certain types of these bird-catcher trees grow in the Philippines and might even be growing in your own backyard!
Can you do us a favor then and take pictures of your tree and share it here with us?
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