Do you know what exactly happens in the Venus flytrap? Especially when the bug/spider wanders into it?
While most of us led to believe of the plant having a carnivorous brain and tries catching the bugs and flies to survive, you would be surprised to know that winged insects only make up to 5% of its diet. Even 5% is mostly ants and spiders. The bugs are lured to the Venus flytrap due to its bright colors and the sweet scent.
Let us understand the mechanism of the Venus flytrap
The trap itself is like an open mouth with two jaw shaped pad structures attached to each other and close like the mouth. On each of these pads are three little trigger hairs that are very sensitive. When the bug disturbs these trigger hairs, they send a signal to the trap to close in about 100 milliseconds, that is about 4 times the speed with which your eyes blink. As the spider struggles to move and escape, the trap shuts even tighter. Soon the trap secretes moisture that glues both the pads and now the trap behaves like a stomach.
Many digestive juices then flood the trap and digest the nutrients from the spider until it is completely dry. After a couple of days, the trap opens and the exoskeleton tumbles out, completely dry.
Other than the bugs and spiders, the trap also used chlorophyll to generate food from the Sun by photosynthesis. So the bugs are just a special snack that delivers extra nutrients like Nitrogen and Phosphorus.
Well, now that you know it, don’t you think the mechanism of the Venus flytrap is just fascinating?
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