Tag Archives: bladder

Carnivorous Plants Part 2: Snappers, Bladders and Lobster-pots

Snapping traps are most commonly associated with the famous Venus flytrap, which quickly closes in response to a trigger hair being touched, however there is another plant, the waterwheel plant, which closes its feeding parts when triggered by aquatic prey. After the trap is closed and the prey contained the plant releases its digestive fluid. Bladder trap plants pump ions out of their bladders, which causes water to also leave the bladders, creating a partial vacuum. Trigger hairs alert the plant to nearby prey and cause the bladders to open up. The flow created by the bladder opening pulls prey into the bladder where it is digested. Finally, lobster-pot trap plants use small hairs inside specialized leaves to easily allow prey in, but not out. Water flow in the trap may encourage prey to continue toward their doom,  a stomach-like region of the leaf where the prey is dissolved.


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