We all know that we have to eat different kinds of food to get the nutrition that we need, so eating plants is a great idea if you wanna be healthy. That's why I like to eat things like carrots and spinach and tomatoes. I like to eat plants, but what if plants tried to eat animals?
Well, there are actually a few kinds of plants that are carnivorous, meaning they eat meat. Now, when I say meat, I'm not talking about chicken nuggets or hamburgers. I'm talking about really small animals, like insects, spiders, and frogs. Creatures like these have to be extra careful around meat-eating plants.
Probably the most famous carnivorous plant is known as the Venus flytrap. Venus flytraps have leaves at the tops of their stems that kinda look like tiny, toothy mouths. They're not really mouths, but they serve the same purpose: to eat flies and other insects. Usually, the trap's leaves are wide open. And the inside of the trap smells like food to insects, so they fly or crawl right into it, looking for a meal. But if they aren't careful, they become the meal instead.
On each half of the trap, there are three tiny hairs. If an insect touches two of those hairs, the trap shuts and the slender spines around the edges of the leaves close together tightly, trapping the insect inside. Then the trap slowly digests its meal, meaning it breaks its food down into smaller pieces. It's too bad for that little insect, but it'll provide energy for that plant to live. And Venus flytraps aren't the only kind of carnivorous plant.
Some plants called sundews attract bugs with colorful red and green leaves that are covered with a sweet, sticky dew that sparkles in the sunlight. The thing is this dew acts like a kind of glue. Any bug that lands on its leaves looking for a meal will get stuck. And soon the plant just starts digesting it, soaking up nutrients from the bug's body right through the leaves.
Now, some other carnivorous plants can consume even bigger prey. Pitcher plants, for example, have big, brightly colored leaves curled up into a shape of a tube. At the bottom of the tube sits a little pool of sweet liquid called nectar. Once again, lots of different creatures are drawn to its tasty smell. They creep, crawl, jump, or fly to the edge of the tube to see what's in there to eat. But the top is really slippery, and there are stiff hairs all along the inside of the tube pointing down. So once the creature starts to fall in, they can't get out. This clever kind of trap has allowed pitcher plants to catch not just bugs, but also make meals of small frogs and even mice.
And finally, there are some meat-eating plants that don't even live on land. Bladderworts, for example, live and catch their prey in water. These plants have tiny containers on their stems called bladders that float underwater. Each bladder has an opening with a tiny flap on it that can open and close like a hidden trap door. When insects, like water fleas, trigger tiny hairs near the trap door, the door swings open and sucks the little creature in.
So now you know, certain plants sometimes eat animals. Like I said, it's nice to have variety in your diet. Thanks for watching SciShow Kids. Till next time!
- 「如果...會怎麼樣？」- What If...?
I like to eat plants, but what if plants tried to eat animals?
- 「被稱為」- Be Known As
Probably the most famous carnivorous plant is known as the Venus flytrap.
- 「尋找」- Look For
And the inside of the trap smells like food to insects, so they fly or crawl right into it, looking for a meal.
- 「把...分解成」- Break Down Into
Then the trap slowly digests its meal, meaning it breaks its food down into smaller pieces.
- 「太糟糕、太不幸了」- Too Bad
It's too bad for that little insect, but it'll provide energy for that plant to live.
- 「把...當飯吃」- Make A Meal Of
This clever kind of trap has allowed pitcher plants to catch not just bugs, but also make meals of small frogs and even mice.