The Fascinating Venus Flytrap
You know these plants eat bugs, but did you know they are endangered?
The Venus flytrap is insectivorous, that is, they feed on insects. They also get nutrients from soil and gases. However, the soil they grow in is muddy and lacks important minerals like nitrogen. Feeding on insects makes them healthier.
This plant is native to North America, particularly to North and South Carolina. Since many people are interested in them, Venus flytraps are a vulnerable species. Unless their circumstances improve, they will become an endangered species.
How The Venus Flytrap Kills
The leaves of the Venus flytrap have short, stiff hairs on them; they are sensitive hairs. When something triggers those hairs, the leaves shut in less than a second.
At first, the trap doesn’t shut completely. It stays open a little to let any small insects that won’t be very nutritious out. After a few minutes, it closes. If what is in it isn’t food, such as a rock, it will open and spit it out in around twelve hours.
If what it has is food, it closes, forming an air-tight seal that keeps the bacteria out. The teeth-like strings on the trap, called cilia, keep larger insects inside. However, if the insect is larger than what the Venus flytrap can hold, bacteria gets in and the Venus flytrap gets black, rots, and falls off.
Venus Flytraps Count Before Eating Their Meals
The Venus flytrap doesn’t start digesting as soon as it closes. When a bug first lands on the trap, that is the first touch, and it does nothing. A second touch within 20 seconds tells the trap to close. The third primes the trap for digestion. After five touches, the plant starts releasing digestive enzymes; the more touches after this, the more digestive enzymes get released. 
The Beauty Of The Venus Flytrap
Charles Darwin said the Venus flytrap is one of the most wonderful plants in the world. It has been a point of interest for scientists for centuries. Here are 9 cool facts about the Venus flytrap that’ll make you want to get your own.
- They move very quickly. It snaps shut in a tenth of a second. It’s one of the fastest movements in the plant kingdom.
- Venus flytraps emit a blue fluorescent light to attract bugs. This light was found when scanned at UV 366nm. These lights make the leaves look like a good landing place for bugs.
- Venus flytraps are the state carnivorous plant of North Carolina. They got this honor in 2005.
- They can digest human flesh. Your finger is too big for them to eat, but if you drop a piece of your skin in the trap, they will be able to digest it. (But remember it has to be triggered twice to shut.)
- They have beautiful white flowers that kill them. In spring, Venus flytraps flower and produce shiny black seeds. After flowering, the plants usually die. The flowers are high up, so the bugs that pollinate them don’t get trapped in the leaves.
- It takes them about 10 days to finish digesting a single bug.
- Scientists have made robotic Venus flytraps. It has metallic jaws and can actually catch bugs.
- There is no fossil evidence of the Venus flytrap. This makes it almost impossible to know its history.
- They are used as herbal extracts to heal illnesses such as HIV, Crohn’s disease, and skin cancer.
If this was interesting, you might want to check out some fascinating facts about the Maldives.