Evolution of CPs

Steven Klitzing (stevek@informix.com)
Tue, 6 Jun 1995 08:27:01 -0700

Here's another interesting theory:

North America is an odd place regarding CPs.
On the East coast, you have a small spot with
Venus Fly Traps. In the East and the South,
you have Sarracenia. In the Northwest, you
have Darlingtonia in a relatively small geographic
area. Throughout North America, you also have
many species of Drosera, and some Utrics.

Many scientists have suggested that there was once
a continent in the middle of the Pacific which some
call Mu. Mu, at one time, was connected to North
America. The CP plant populations of Mu migrated
across North America when the climate was different.
the Darlingtonia species became trapped in cool bogs
in Oregon, mainly due to the uplifting of mountains
in the region. The Sarracenia and Drosera managed
to migrate across California and the great plains
before the mountains had raised and the climate changed.
The Sarracenia and Drosera managed to make it to the
east coast and into central and eastern South America.
Then, a catastophe occurred which destroyed Mu.
The outlying tropical regions of Mu, filled with
undiverse types of Nepenthes, became islands and
thus developed their own types of Nepenthes.
With the Pacific Ocean now closer to North America,
and the mountains raised by upheaval, the climate changes.
Darlingtonia survived due to adaptation to the local
conditions. Most of the ancient Sarracenia and Drosera
that lived in the west died due to desertification and
other climate changes. The survivors lived on in the
U.S. east coast, and U.S. Southeast. The surviving
Sarracenia species became adapted to the high tropics
as Heliamphora in South America. At this time,
the Caribbean region experienced a similar collapse
and upheaval, separated the Drosera species from
North and South America. The fact that Drosera are
found across the world suggests that Gondwana and Mu
were once connected. This explains the spread of
Nepenthes between Southeast Asia, the Southwest pacific,
and the Indian subcontinent. When the split up of
Gondwana occurred, Nepenthes had probably made it to
Australia. One Nepenthes took hold and had to adapt
to severe local conditions and became Cephalotus.

Anyway, you get the picture. It's wonderful flame
bait, but I think good to speculate on. We're missing
a lot of information about how these diverse species
spread and adapted. The similarities between tubular
species of pitcher plants are too great to ingore.
The same goes for Drosera. And the same for Nepenthes
and Cephalotus. Somewhere, many of these plants have
a common genetic ancestry and a common point of origin.
The earth has gone through so many changes that those
points of origin, in many cases, may no longer exist.
For example, the oddball of the CP world -VFTs. I'm not
going to claim they're from outer space. But perhaps,
there was a common land mass from which VFT's originated
and all that's left of that original habitat is a finger
in the Cape Fear region. There might have been an Atlantean
continent connection at one time that held many more plant
species than we now know of.

Food for thought. Stream of consciousness.