Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Plants that eat bugs!

Dear Noah,

Last weekend and friend and I went to a very special place in Louisiana.  It's a place where the plants eat the insects instead of the insects eating the plants!

This is called the Pitcher Plant.  It grows tall, about as tall as your knee, and it grows like a tall, skinny cup.  It even holds water like a cup.  And it has sweet nectar under the hood at the top that insects like ants like to eat.  But when an ant or another kind of insect crawls on it, they fall into the cup of water and drown and the plants eats them up.

Think this fly might get eaten??

This next one is called Sundew.  There are different kinds of Sundew plants and this one is very tiny.  You could probably hold this whole group of plants in the palm of your hand.  Do you see how the leaves look like they have water on them?  That's actually sticky nectar, like honey, that attracts insects.  But if any insects tries to eat the nectar they get stuck and then the plant traps them and eats them.

 Here's a video of a Sundew in action!

These kinds of plants are called "carnivorous" plants.  "Carnivorous" means meat-eating.  I am carnivorous and you are, too!  But not very many plants are.  Most plants just eat nutrients found in the soil.

This is a famous kind of carnivorous plants.  It's called a Venus Fly-trap.  Here's a video of one eating a bee! 

Carnivorous plants are pretty cool, aren't they?  I'm just glad they aren't big like trees so they can't eat birds and animals and people!


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