What people are carnivorous

Carnivorous plant

A Venus flytrap: it has caught a hover fly with its folding leaves. You can still see the fly's head peeking out. The plant originally comes from the USA.

Carnivorous plants don't actually feed on meat, but they do catch small animals like insects or spiders. These plants eat animals because they don't find as many nutrients in the soil. How they catch these animals can be very different.

These plants grow in all parts of the world, just not in Antarctica. They need a lot of sun and water, which is why they are rarely found in deserts or rainforests. They thrive in soils that are too acidic or too poor in nutrients for other plants, for example in bog. Otherwise they wouldn't stand a chance against other plants because they tend to grow slowly.

Of the more than 600 species, around a quarter are threatened with extinction. That is why they are protected: You shouldn't dig them up and take them home with you. But there are companies that grow such plants specifically so that they can be sold. Keeping these plants is not always easy because, for example, they cannot tolerate hard water or fertilizers.

Many people find the idea of ​​a carnivorous plant very interesting because animals usually eat plants and not the other way around. In the 19th century, lies came up that some plants even eat people. Such plants also appear in science fiction, fantasy and horror stories. They are usually much larger and can catch their prey in different ways than the carnivorous plants that actually exist.

How do the plants catch their prey?

Most carnivorous plants have traps for insects or similar small animals. An insect then falls between leaves that form a kind of cavity. Because the walls are smooth, it won't come out. Other plants have sticky spots that the animals cannot get away from.

Rarely, although more well-known, are the plants that become really active when catching: the Venus flytrap and the water trap have leaves that suddenly collapse when an insect is in between. So the insect can no longer escape.

  • This sundew has caught an insect with its glue points and is now curling up.

  • A pitcher plant waits for insects to fall into this cup. The inside is so smooth that the animals can no longer get out.

  • The marsh jugs catch similarly, like this species, which originally comes from South America.

  • A fish trap with underground leaves. Protozoa and tiny worms stick to the hairs of these leaves.

  • The video shows how a Venus flytrap closes when an insect crawls on its catch leaves.

  • From a book from 1887: This plant supposedly can eat people.

There are also other search results for “Carnivorous Plant” from Blind Cow and Ask Finn.

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