Environmental science, botany, and ecology are becoming huge passions of mine, and I'm going to begin documenting my discoveries here. Ever since losing out on a summer job opportunity to learn and talk to the public about carnivorous plants, I've decided to pursue learning about them on my own. These are just some beautiful photographs and facts about specific types of carnivorous plants, which I acquired from National Geographic.
South African king sundew. Its leaves can reach 2 feet in length.
Bugs are drawn to what look like dew drops, but then find themselves entangled in sticky tentacles.
A tropical pitcher plant attracts bugs with its sweet smell, but bugs find themselves slipping on the plants slippery surface and into its open maw.
The Venus flytrap uses electricity to capture its prey. When one or more of its surface hairs are brushed twice, which is an energy-saving system used to detect prey from other stimuli, a electrical charge signals cells on the outside of the plant to expand, morphing the plant bodies shape from convex to concave and snapping the two lobes shut. The hair-like spikes on the end of the lobes are called cilia, and when the lobes close they mesh together inexactly, allowing small prey to escape so the plants energy isn't wasted digesting small prey that can't provide it with sufficient nutrients.
Here the silhouettes of two bugs can be seen. The red color at the top of the plant has a waxy texture, preventing bugs from climbing out of the plant as enzymes at the bottom of the tube leach nutrients form the bugs.
Plants require nitrogen in order to survive, but since most carnivorous plants live in bogs and nutrient poor areas, they rely on consuming bugs and insects to attain the nitrogen their environment doesn't possess.
To avoid consuming pollinators, pitcher plants keep their flowers as far from their traps as possible via long stems.
This California pitcher plant grows in mountainous parts of the West Coast and is an oddity among its kind. Unlike other pitcher plants, its leaves contain no digestive enzymes, and instead it relies on symbiotic bacteria to turn captured insects into usable nutrients.
Carnivory is certainly not the most efficient way to acquire nutrients, but it is certainly an exotic adaptation.
Some scientists believe that this stalks squiggly vertical vein is intended as a ladder to guide potential prey to the plants trap. Others argue that it's structural reinforcement. Nonetheless, this species can grow up to 3 feet tall, and often tips over when overfilled with rainwater or the husks of prey.