Predatory Plants

The following article is from the book Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Nature Calls.

Hey, wait a minute… is that plant eating your gerbil?

FLESH-EATING FLORA

Carnivorous plants developed a taste for flesh over 200 million years of evolution. Here’s how it happened: All over the world, in areas where the soil is low in nutrients (particularly swamps and marshes), some plants had to make up for the nutritional shortfall. So they developed the ability to capture and eat insects, fish, small reptiles, and even the occasional small mammal. Here are some of our favorites.

SNAP TRAPS

These plants have jawlike, hinged leaves that act like a trap. The leaves are lined with rows of fine trigger hairs that, when touched by an insect, cause the lobes of the leaf to close, capturing the prey inside. The two lobes then form a seal to create a temporary “stomach,” where the hapless bug is digested over a couple of weeks. When consumption is complete, the lobes reopen to set another trap. The leaves repeat this cycle three or four times and then become inactive as new leaves sprout and take over.

Pictures and much more information found HERE

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