Fascinating meat-eating flowers

Stef Zisovska
 
 
meat-eaters
 
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It’s spring time and we all love to be outdoors in the spring, the world comes alive and we feel refreshed by all the bright, vibrant colors. Outside the Outdoor Revival office, we’ve got ten different shades of green and probably 20 different colored flowers, it’s beautiful.

So, what is the first thing we think of when someone mentions a flower? What would a little kid answer if we ask them to describe a flower?

 

Rose Photo Credit

The answer would probably be a beautiful red rose, queen of all flowers, with a gentle scent and soft petals. Or maybe springtime tulips that decorate gardens and everybody likes to be around them.

 

What’s interesting about our world is that Mother Nature seems to be very fickle sometimes and likes to mix things up a bit by creating different types of flowers that many aren’t so keen on.  Suddenly the world of flora becomes a dangerous place to be for some species.

 

meat-eater Photo Credit

 

From all the plants existing in the world, who would have thought that some of them are hungry carnivorous jungle beasties. Yes, you got it right. Some of the plants prefer to eat live flesh rather than minerals from the soil.

These majestic meat-eating plants are growing in places where the soil doesn’t have enough nutrients, so they have to kill insects and small animals to survive.

They are called carnivorous due to what they eat and the way they consume their food. Meat-eating flowers produce acid juices where they cook and dissolve the trapped insects and animals, allowing them to absorb the nutrients they get out of this process.

 

prey escaping Photo Credit

 

There are more than 630 species of meat-eating, flowering plants in the world. Scientists originally thought they ate animals by accident, but after long observation, they realized it’s a pure necessity.

 

Mouse-eating pitcher plants are one of the deadliest flowers that trap insects, frogs, and even mice. They attract their prey with the sweet nectar and juicy flesh that looks like a perfect food for the victims. Pitcher plants sometimes have a bigger appetite than just eating an insect, so they trap rats.

 

Pitcher Photo Credit

 

Bladderworts are water plants that look deceptively innocent. Their lovely yellow flowers are a deadly trap to anything that comes near. Its trap mechanism is incredible, when the prey comes near the plant it gets sucked in, and the trap door closes. They commonly eat are tadpoles.

 

Bladderwort Photo Credit

 

A Cobra Lilly is another ruthless killer plant. Unlike the other pitcher plants, Cobra Lilly doesn’t collect water in its pitcher. It gets all the water from the soil and produces lots of acid. The tube-shaped leaves give it a striking cobra look.

 

Cobra Lilly Photo Credit

 

Venus flytrap is the star of its kind because of it’s incredible hunting reflexes. This meat-eater prefers to hunt ants, flies, spiders, and grasshoppers. It has lots of holes for very small insects to escape because they are not worth the effort.

It looks like a sea shell with soft red flesh inside which attracts the prey. When the animal gets inside, the doors slam shut and digesting starts. Venus flytraps have occasionally been known to eat larger prey such as frogs.

 

Venus flytrap Photo Credit

Meat-eating flowers are beautiful creations of nature. Their eating habits are maybe not what we were expecting, and sometimes they look cruel, but the fact is they are gorgeous representatives of flora species and they’ve carved a niche out for themselves allowing them to thrive.

 

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We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.

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