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carnivorous plants


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I moved to newfoundland nearly a year ago. Newfoundland's provincial plant is the pitcher plant:

 

pitcherplantsbv5.jpg

 

Recently I discovered that they also have the sundew plants here... This is the only photo I didn't take:

 

30229.JPG

 

And last week I found out we also have the round-leafed variety of sundew:

 

roundleafsundewwithflowgy6.jpg

 

I am now completely fascinated in these things. I read somewhere that the sundews can actually wrap themselves around their prey by growing. Some of them can apparently bend themselves 180° in one minute in this fashion.

 

Is that possible?

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I read somewhere that the sundews can actually wrap themselves around their prey by growing. Some of them can apparently bend themselves 180° in one minute in this fashion.

 

Is that possible?

Why not? It would be a very similar adaptation to the ones which occurred in climbing vines and ivy.

 

Btw... nice shots. :)

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Apparently it's true. Touching the plant causes the touched cells to release a powerful hormone, which is transported to nearby cells and causes them to rapidly elongate. The result is bending around the spot which is touched, effectively "grabbing" stuff.

 

...awesome.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ah! Just yesterday I was reading about Carnivorous / Insectivorous Plants...

 

While we're on the topic, does anyone here know exatly how an adaptation like this would begin? Was there insuficient nutrients in the soil or something? ... it's a pretty bewildering acheivement for nature.

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There are likely multiple theories and also multiple paths taken toward carnivorousness in plants. Long story short, some plants somehow at some time began ingesting organisms and ultimately survived in a new niche and continued reproducing.

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