A wolf in sheep's clothing: Carnivory
in dominant sea urchins in the Mediterranean.
"Perhaps the commonest form of 'death' is not being born at all because of the stress of competition." The failure to find a mate is an equally effective form of biological death as is that of carnivory
or the death which results from starvation, malnutrition, parasitic disease, or accident.
A Hausa soothsayer reveals to him that: "The one weaned on gazelle blood will never know the straight path until, as a man, he has his fill of the flesh of Adam." (Bleeding 82) Cain's carnivory
(and what it represents) results in the destruction of all of the gazelle herds of the sandy deserts.
No other plant holds such a high reputation in its specialism to carnivory
than Venus flytrap, Dionaea muscipula, and the fascination Darwin had for this plant is shared by modern scientists.
Should we eat meat?; evolution and consequences of modern carnivory
In two separate treatises--published in 1875 and 1880, respectively--Darwin produced some of the earliest work on both carnivory
and movement in plants, also bringing the implications of these phenomena to the attention of a wide audience for the first time.
In a comparison of 67 mammalian species, including humans, apes, mice, and killer whales, among many others, researchers from Lund University in Sweden found a clear correlation between carnivory
and earlier weaning.
This is the case for atmospheric species in the tillandsioids (Tomlinson, 1970), aroid vines such as Monstera tuberculata, which produces only saucer-shaped leaves throughout their life time (Lee & Richards, 1991), life-long carnivorous plants as descendents of species, in which carnivory
was originally restricted to the early stages of ontogeny as in a few extant species (Barthlott et al., 1987), or divaricate shrubs that may have arisen from heteroblastic trees after losing the original adult state (Day, 1998).
Pitcher plants use carnivory
to supplement their nutrient supplies (Gray and others 2006).
He covers the anatomy and physiology of Nepenthes, the evolution of carnivory
in flowering plants, biogeography and taxonomy of Nepenthes worldwide, and the Malaysian Nepenthes.
Of course, the propensity for carnivory
varies with phylogeny and ontogeny, and some grasshopper stages and species exhibit little or no carnivory/ necrophagy (Lavigne & Pfadt 1964, Lockwood 1989).
In particular, plankton available to small pelagic fish are of very different quality resulting in increased carnivory
by anchovy, more similar to the Peruvian situation under El Nino conditions.
A very handy synopsis of carnivory
in general is presented, with a taxonomic overview table I find myself referring to frequently.