10 Carnivorous Plants You Won’t Believe! Ep.1


Carnivorous plants are exactly as them seems,
a plant that eats animals to survive. Now I’m sure many of you have heard of the
venus flytrap or Dionaea muscipula, a plant that lures in unsuspecting flies to land on
their leaves promising a taste snack for the fly only to be consumed by their jaws. In this clip here you can seem Gerald was
quickly consumed with no idea what happened but Samson shows up to try to help his buddy
out. While he’s trying to find a hole for his
friend to escape Peggy falls victim to the same fate as Gerald. In a giant plot twist we learn Samson isn’t
the sharpest tool in the shed as he is also consumed by the fly trap. What happens after a fly trap eats a fly Typically there are 3 fine hairs on the each
side of trap, you can see there is 4 on the left side here and once two of these highly
sensitive hairs are triggered within 30 seconds of each other the trap snaps shut. This prevents the trap from reacting to wind,
rain, leaves or pollen blowing around. The venus fly trap is an upgraded version
of more primitive types of carnivorous plants that lure in insects to have them get stuck
with a sticky goo. This method works but allows other creatures
like lizards to come steal their catch. By evolving to a system of a closed trap,
their captured fly cannot be stolen and to complete absorb the nutrition from the fly. This system is so smart that the interlocking
teeth of the fly trap will lock half way allowing small bugs to escape through the gaps, this
ensures that the fly trap is only spending its energy capturing large prey. A fly freaking out inside the fly trap like
Gerald here will continually trigger the hairs over and over which signals the traps to completely
chomp and close to digest the fly. What’s most surprising about the venus fly
trap though is the mechanism that opens and closes the trap. There are no muscles involved but instead
pockets of water in the inner part and pockets in the outer layer. It takes a while for water to fill into the
inner pockets which forces the trap open as the hairs are stimulated they send an electric
charge to the cells but they will only dump the water from the inner cells to the outer
ones as mentioned earlier if triggered twice within 30 seconds. Once triggers the water is transferred almost
instantaneously to the outer cells releasing the negative pressure forcing the trap shut. As the fly keeps brushing against the hairs,
the cells are further drained until the trap is fully empty. Venus fly traps are found in nutritionally
devoid soil, on rocky areas or in bogs, often in waterlogged soil but never in dry climates. Because of these living conditions, they rely
on eating animals as we’ve learned here for nutrition vs pulling it from the soil. Next up we have the Drosera anglica or English
sundew another carnivorous plant uses the same principle but a different technique to
capture it’s prey. This perennial herb is covered by a dense
layer of mucilaginous glands or this stick gland stuff. Each are tipped with a clear droplet of a
viscous fluid intented to lure in insects. The sugary scent brings them in and once they
start to take a drink they’ll start to get stuck. Depending on the size of the insect some will
easily escape or think nothing about how sticky it is. As the insect drinks from the gland the sundew
will start bending additional tentacles towards the prey to glue them in place. This glue is so effective that these small
plants can catch something as big as a butterfly. Once the prey is locked in they will start
to wrap a leaf around the insect will which happen over hours or even days. The Insect will be digested and all that is
left is the exoskeleton of the bug. English sundews are found in northern regions
across north america, europe and russia with the odd subtropical group of them that have
been found in southern europe and on the hawaii island of Kauai. Another example of a Drosera this time the
rotundifolia, while using the same sticky glands to lure and stick the prey this one
is almost a mixture of a venus fly trap and the anglica. Prey will land on this and not only will the
gland juice stick to the insect but the petal will also close on them. You can see a fly right here. These grow in the same region of the world
as the previous one and grow in poor soil. Ammonia from the proteins in the insect along
with other nutrients are extracted from the body. The ammonia essentially replaces the nitrogen
the plant would get from the soil. There are many Drosera species out there but
one more really quick we have the spatulata or spoon-leaved sundew. This one is a lot more hardy than most and
develops a unique stack of carnivorous gland filled leaves with a flower on top. These leaves will start reaching towards the
flower creating essentially a minefield of gooey treats for insects with no way to escape. Next up we have one from the Pinguicula family,
the moranensis. This unsuspecting carnivorous plant has a
secret reservoir of that same sticky gland juice in the stalk of the plant. A very thin layer of this liquid is present
on top of the leaf giving a reflective wet appearance indicating to insects to come land
for a treat. When an insect lands on a leaf they are immediately
glued down and as they start to struggle the moranesis will unleash a torrent of this goo
from the stalk to encapsulate and ensure the insect isn’t going anywhere. As the bug is broken down but the goo and
the nutrients from the insect are absorbed back into the leaf leaving once again only
the exoskeleton. What is super interested about these plants
is they will shed their gland leaves for non gland leaves in October to protect themselves
during the dry season through the winter until it rains in May. Unlike the others this one doesn’t live
in the north but in southern Mexico, so they essentially go dormant when there is no water
coming down. Coming from northern Sumantra the Nepenthes
jamban was discovered in 2004. This climbing plant produces upper pitches
and lower pitchers. The upper pitches are able to capture larger
prey like crickets and wasps where the lower pitchers are much smaller and designed to
attract and snag smaller insects. The upper pitchers are generally yellow or
orange where the lower ones can vary from red, purple to yellowish-orange. The trap of the Nepenthes jamban uses a pool
of mucilaginous liquid as the final resting place for the insects. The inner walls are lined with the liquid
which draw in creatures tempted by the sweet taste but become entangled in it as they slide
down into the pool. To ensure success in capturing its prey the
jamban has a small lid on top of the pitchers that’ll close after the insect is inside. Jumping up significantly in size we have the
Nepenthes rajah. Endemic to Mount Kinabulu in Borneo
Able to hold 3.5 liters of water making it the largest in the genus by volume
Forget trapping bugs this trap can capture lizard, birds, frogs, mountain treeshrew and
rats. A pair of fringed wings on the mouth of the
pitcher is believed to guide animals into the pitcher
These pitchers just like the previous plant has upper and lower pitchers but the upper
ones are quite rare. These upper pitchers don’t have a pair for
fringed wings which are designed to capture insects and birds. This one works in a different way as the gland
will excrete liquid from the underside of the lid, as an animal drinks the liquid it’ll
close the lid capturing the prey. The distance from the lid to the fringed wings
are the exact length of the mountain treeshrew which indicates that is their intended target. What is fascinating about this is when a mountain
treeshrew is feeding they’ll poop to mark their territory and because the distance is
just right that poop will go into the pitcher so even if they are too wise to the tricks
of the rajah the rajah will obtain most of the nitrogen it needs just from the mountain
treeshrew’s poop. Being so unique and colorful this plant while
rare is starting to be cultivated and obtained by plant collectors which has increased its
popularity and thus it’s survival rate. Alisaputrana
Only found in a few remote areas of Kinabulu National Park the Nepenthes alisaputrana is
closely related to the previous one but is known for its brown or red spots. There is also the Nepenthes kinabaluensis,
which was discovered in 1910, which doesn’t grow as big but is iconic for its highly developed
ribs on the mouth of the pitcher. These pitchers vary in color from yellow to
red and tend to produce more upper pitchers than the other species. Finally the Darlingtonia californica or the
cobra lily. Named this due to its resemblance to a cobra
with fangs this carnivorous plant was discovered in 1841 at mount Shasta in California. It thrives in poor acidic soil in bogs or
other not so habitable places and can even survive a forest fire by regenerating their
roots as their roots are a delicate organ. Despite it being a pitcher it doesn’t trap
rainwater but instead is full of sticky liquid that is pumped upwards from the root. Once prey enters the pitcher the californica
will curl the exit up to prevent escape and also has multiple translucent false exits
within its structure to confuse its prey. Downward pointing hairs force their prey into
the trap along with slippery walls. The cells on the inside of the pitcher are
the same as the ones on the roots that absorb nutrients after the prey is broken down. 3 color morphs can occur, all green, all red,
or a red-green bicolor. These plants die down to their rhizomes and
go dormant through the winter. In spring a new large pitcher will develop
with smaller ones being created through the summer.

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