Friday, 19 July 2013

The Carnivorous Pitcher Plant


  Venus Fly Trap
The Venus fly trap has parts of the plant move to capture its prey. What about the pitcher plant?  There’s no major movement by the Venus fly trap actually - it just generate electrical charges when an object sits on it, triggering its ‘jaws’ to quickly shut.  The sneaky pitcher plant on the other hand uses its sweet smelling juice to lure its prey.  Once in the ‘belly’, the trapped prey is at the mercy of the acid that is secreted in it! 
Carnivorous Pitcher Plants
 The Pitcher Plant is actually a leaf that used to be harmless but due to its attempt to survive in unfavourable conditions, it evolved into its current form. The pitcher plants belong to two large families of monocots—the Nepenthaceae (Old World) and Sarraceniaceae (New World). The Old World pitchers live high above a tree. Because there is not much food source up there, the plant resorts to find an alternative source of nutrients.  It folds the ends of its leaves like a cup, produces sweet juices and waits for its victims.
Meanwhile the New World family members have more food source as it stays on ground. So
these pitchers actually form a whole pitcher out of its leaf.
What’s the difference between regular plants and the carnivourous pitcher plants?  Regular plants consume nutrients from the soil.  Carnivorous pitcher plants are found in nutrient-poor soil; hence they get their nutrition from insects they prey on.
Little explorers earnestly checking out the Pitcher Plant with the hand lens.

Pitcher plant discussion with Mr.Gary The Naturalist

This article is written in conjunction with Science Engagement Session by
Gary @ Khaeril Zach Abdullah (EDUTREE Services Sdn. Bhd) at
HotScience, Petrosains from 26-31 March 2013


No comments:

Post a Comment