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© 2014 wheresjenny.com Facts of science
© 2014 wheresjenny.com Facts of science What are Carnivorous Plants? Carnivorous plants are predatory flowering plants that kill animals in order to derive nutrition from their bodies. They share three attributes that operate together and separate them from other plants. Carnivorous plants: 1) Capture and kill prey 2) Have a mechanism to facilitate digestion of the prey 3) Derive a significant benefit from nutrients assimilated from the prey
© 2014 wheresjenny.com Facts of science To put it in more human terms, carnivorous plants eat things like insects, spiders, crustaceans and other small soil and water-living invertebrates and protozoans, lizards, mice, rats, and other small vertebrates. Carnivorous plants pull off this trick using specialized leaves that act as traps. Many traps lure prey with bright colors, extra floral nectaries, guide hairs, and/or leaf extensions. Once caught and killed, the prey is digested by the plant and/or partner organisms. The plant then absorbs the nutrients made available from the corpse. Most carnivorous plants will grow without consuming prey but they grow much faster and reproduce much better with nutrients derived from their prey.
© 2014 wheresjenny.com Facts of science Vocabulary 1) Invertebrates: An animal lacking a backbone 2) Lure: Tempt (a person or animal) to do something or to go somewhere, especially by offering some form of reward. 3) Corpse: A dead body, especially of a human being rather than an animal. 4) Assimilate: (of the body or any biological system) absorb and digest (food or nutrients). 5) indigenous: Originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native. 6) Pitfall: A covered pit for use as a trap.
© 2014 wheresjenny.com Facts of science Carnivorous plants are also known as picture plants The plant’s leaves have evolved into a funnel, with a hood like structure growing over the opening to prevent rain water from diluting the digestive juices. Insects are attracted by colour, smell and a nectar-like secretion on the lip of the pitcher. Slippery footings, aided in at least one species, by a narcotic drug lacing the nectar, causes insects to fall inside where they die and are digested by proteases and other enzymes
© 2014 wheresjenny.com Facts of science Types of carnivorous plants Sarracenia: Sarracenia, or the North American Pitcher plant, is a Genus of carnivorous plants indigenous to the eastern seaboard, Texas, the great lakes and south eastern Canada, with most species being found only in the southeast states. It is also the first plant with a pitfall trap that we will look at.
© 2014 wheresjenny.com Facts of science Nepenthes: Nepenthes, tropical pitcher plants or monkey cups, are another genus of carnivorous plants with pitfall traps. The nickname “monkey cups” comes from the fact that monkeys have often been observed drinking rain water from them.
© 2014 wheresjenny.com Facts of science Dionaea Muscipula: Dionaea Muscipula, more commonly known as a Venus flytrap, is probably the most well-known carnivorous plant and it feeds mainly on insects and arachnids. The Venus flytrap is a small plant that has 4-7 leaves that grow from a short subterranean stem. The leaf blade is divided into two regions: a flat, long, heart shaped, photosynthesis capable petiole, and a pair of terminal lobes, hinged at the midrib, forming the trap which is actually the true leaf. The inner surfaces of these lobes contain a red pigment and the edges secrete mucilage.
© 2014 wheresjenny.com Facts of science Conversation 1) Have you ever seen such plants? 2) Would you like to grow carnivorous plants in your garden? why? 3) Do you think they are harmful? 4) Which plants would you like to grow in your garden?
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