Carnivorous Pitcher Plant Outsmarts Insects, Gives Up Some Prey To Capture More

January 14, 2015 10:47 AM

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Carnivorous Pitcher Plant Outsmarts Insects, Gives Up Some Prey To Capture More

Scientists studying the behavior of an insect-eating pitcher plant -- named after its liquid-filled, funnel-shaped leaves -- have found that the plant possesses an ability to change its bug catching behavior in response to natural weather fluctuations. The researchers studying the insectivorous plant observed that it regularly allows some of its prey escape by “switching off” its trap.

“The plant’s key trapping surface is extremely slippery when wet, but not when dry,” Ulrike Bauer, a biologist from Bristol University’s School of Biological Sciences, who led the study, told Discovery News. “For up to eight hours during dry days, these traps are ‘switched off’ and do not capture an...

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