Of deceit and the smell of rotting flesh: How catfishing happens in nature

Corpse flowers like the Rafflesia tend to lure insects that lay their eggs on animal carcasses or rotting vegetation.
Corpse flowers like the Rafflesia tend to lure insects that lay their eggs on animal carcasses or rotting vegetation.PHOTO: J. YONG

SINGAPORE - Being "catfished" by fake profiles is common not just on the Internet, but in nature, too.

Culprits include "corpse plants", which smell of rotting flesh and reek of deceit. The scent of putrefied flesh emitted by the flowers of plants like the Rafflesia and the titan arum is "false advertisement", said Nanyang Technological University (NTU) botanist Shawn Lum.

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