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plant (illustrative) Flash90

For the first time a carnivorous plant that traps and eats its prey underground has been discovered by scientists.

The plant sprouts contraptions that trap prey underground, including worms, beetles and larvae, CNN reported.

The pitcher plant was discovered on the Indonesian island of Borneo in the province of North Kalimantan.

The nepenthes pudica has leaves known as “pitfall traps” that have evolved to trap prey that it then consumes.

No other types of pitcher plants have been discovered that catch prey underground.

The plant has special underground roots with small leaves that aid in trapping its pray, scientists found.

"This species places its up-to-11-cm-long (4.3-inch-long) pitchers underground, where they are formed in cavities or directly in the soil and trap animals living underground, usually ants, mites and beetles," said the study’s author Martin Dančák of Palacký University Olomouc in the Czech Republic.

There are only three other types of carnivorous plants that have been found to capture prey underground, but they are only able to trap tiny organisms unlike the nepenthes pudica, which can trap larger insects.

"Interestingly, we found numerous organisms living inside the pitchers, including mosquito larvae, nematodes and a species of worm, which was also described as a new species," said Václav Čermák of Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic, who was also part of the research team.

The scientists found the new plant by accident, after noticing a deformed pitcher plant in the ground.

"At first, we thought it was an accidentally buried pitcher and that local environmental conditions had caused the lack of other pitchers," said researcher Ľuboš Majeský of Palacký University Olomouc.

"Still, as we continued to find other pitcherless plants along the ascent to the summit, we wondered if a species of pitcher plant might have evolved towards loss of carnivory, as seen in some other carnivorous plants."

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)