Doesn't it make you feel all nice inside when you gaze at pretty flowers and take in their intoxicating scents? Well, here are a few not-so-sweet plants that have more to them than meets the eye.
There are 600 species of carnivorous plants and let's just say, they're a resourceful bunch. Forget that, they're downright tricky.
Most carnivorous plants had to adapt because their environments no longer produced the nutrients they needed to grow and flourish. Just like most species, they'll do just about anything to survive.
For many meat-eating plants, that means gulping down bugs, but for some it even extends to feeding on mice and frogs.
They've learned all sorts of clever ways to lure in their prey to swallow them up.
The most well-known plant to use the snap trick is the Venus flytrap. When opens, it offers what looks like a bright red landing pad for flying creatures.
The clever plant has trigger hairs that, once touched, alert it to snap shut, often capturing its prey inside. As its victim struggles to escape, the plant is triggered yet again and continues closing until it becomes airtight.
The bug eventually suffocates and the Venus flytrap absorbs its fluid. That's a pretty sophisticated mechanism.
Glue seems like the most obvious way to trap a fly, not unlike the kind of flypaper traps human use. How do the plants attract them to begin with? Either by using a nectar as a reward or some glimmering droplets that catch their eye.
Some plants have a sticky substance that holds the insect until it dies, while others have adhesive tentacles that wrap around their victims. When you see it in action, it looks quite aggressive.
Again, the insect suffocates and the plant digests it. Doesn't sound appetizing to us, but when you're hungry, you're hungry.
Slip and Fall Trap
Pitcher plants evolved into a funnel shape as a way to trap food. It's easy to go in, but the shape makes it difficult to come back out.
Like many other plants, they attract insects with sweetness and bright colors. What's different about these plants is that they have a slippery area around the rim caused by either a waxy substance or water droplets.
Before the unsuspecting victims know it, they slip and fall down into the funnel. Once dead, the bugs get absorbed into the plant.
Alright, you caught us, the photo above is just paper mache art. The real bladderwort is the other purple flower below.
This trick seems to be the most manipulative yet. The trap is arranged by pushing water out and therefore creating a negative pressure inside the sealed bladder. The entrance to the plant has trigger hairs, when prey gets close, the bladder instantly opens up and quickly sucks the prey in.
The bladder then closes up to prevent prey from escaping so it can ingest it as a food source.
Watch the meat-eating plants slyly lure their prey into their traps. Up-close.
Share with all your "plant-loving" friends.