Nature is full of wonders. That’s a well known fact. It never seizes to amaze us with its creations, especially in the realms of fauna and flora. There’s beauty, mystery and danger. Sometimes all at once. We have showed you in a previous post a list of weird-looking delicious exotic fruits and now we want to share with you another one of nature’s peculiarities: 10 amazing carnivorous plants that capture live insects and small animals and eat them. It may sound like something out of a horror movie, but it’s as real as it gets. Have a look:
The first on our list can be found in Texas and South Eastern Canada and it’s called Sarracenia, also known as the north American pitcher plant. This plant has leaves that have evolved into a funnel and attract the insects with its colors, smell and secretions that form on the lip of its pitcher. After the insects fall inside, the proteases and other enzymes kill it and digest it.
Nepenthes is another pitcher plant that has pitfall traps. There are over 130 species of this plant that grow in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Australia, Seychelles, India, Sumatra and Borneo. They are nicknamed “monkey cups” because biologists observed that monkeys drink water from their pitchers. Most species of Nepenthes grow to be 10-15 meters in length and they feed on insects and small mammals like mice and rats.
On our list of amazing carnivorous plants Genlisea is one of the most innocent looking species. It can be found across Africa and South and Central America. The Genlisea is a small plant that has yellow flowers and captures its prey with a trap that looks like a lobster pot trap. Insects can crawl in but can never crawl back out again.
7. Darlingtonia Californica
This carnivorous plant, also known as the Cobra Lily, is not as innocent looking as the Genlisea. As the name implies, this plant looks like an alien snake and it can be found in Northern California and Oregon. Once it has caught the insects with its traps, the digestive process begins and the insects are doomed.
Utricularia, also known as bladderworts is a type of carnivorous plant that lives on every continent except Antarctica. They enjoy fresh water and wet soil just like aquatic species. The utricularia is the only carnivorous plant that traps its prey with the use of its bladder traps. The traps are between 0.2mm and 1.2 cm and they use them for catching water fleas and small tadpoles.
The pinguicula is a group of carnivorous plants that catch their prey using their sticky leaves. Their glandular leaves lure, trap and digest the insects. This plant can be found in Europe, Asia, North and South America.
The Byblis, or the rainbow plant, is a carnivorous plant that lives in Australia. The leaves are covered in sticky hairs that attract and catch small insects.
Commonly known as the sundew flower, the drosera family is one big family of carnivorous plants: 194 species. They live on every continent except Antarctica and can live up to 50 years. They have moving glandular tentacles and use them to catch their prey. Once trapped, the insect is digested by the small sessile glands that absorb the nutrients which help the plant grow.
2. Amazing Carnivorous Plants – Aldrovanda Vesiculosa
One of the most interesting carnivorous plants in our list is the aldrovanda or the waterwheel plant. Unlike the other insect-eating plants, this one is aquatic and feeds on small vertebrates, catching them with a mechanism called the snap trap. The plant floats freely in the water and waits for the prey to fall in its traps, which close with an outstanding speed of 10 milliseconds. This makes it one of the fastest plants in the world.
1. Dionaea Muscipula
You might recognize this one because it’s one of the most famous carnivorous plants in the world. It was also a great influence on horror movies from the 50s (the B horror movies, namely). The dionaea is also known as the Venus flytrap and its menu includes insects, arachnids, small reptiles and mammals. They catch their prey using the leaves that close down once they feel movement. The insects are then digested and absorbed into the plant.
This was our list of amazing carnivorous plants from around the world. Do you have any as “pets”? Tell us about it in the comment section below.