Home BiologyThe Venus Flytrap Isn’t the Only Carnivorous Plant
BiologyBy Trista -

The Venus Flytrap Isn’t the Only Carnivorous Plant
This carnivorous plant sounds like something from a nightmare. Shutterstock.

Cobra Lilies Look (And Act) Like Snakes

If you have ever seen a picture of a snake charmer trying to lure a cobra, you may be familiar with the image of a snake hood that can flare up whenever the cobra feels threatened or is going to attack. Cobra lilies have a similar hood – and they look like cobras!

And given that they eat meat, they act a bit like cobras, too. Cobra lilies secrete a sweet nectar-like substance to attract their prey, which then gets trapped inside. However, just to confuse the prey, the plant is translucent, so the bug can see outside, like looking through a window, but can’t get out! Downward-pointing hairs inside the plant prevent the prey from being able to escape.

The Venus Flytrap Isn’t the Only Carnivorous Plant
It is a rather sophisticated way to catch its prey. Shutterstock.

Brocchinia Reducta Uses Bacteria To Digest Insects

Brocchinia reducta lives mostly in South America, particularly in Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, and Guyana. Its whorl-type leaves somewhat resemble the top part of a pineapple (or the bottom part, if you consider the way that pineapples grow).

The leaves are filled with water, and they attract insects. Unlike other carnivorous plants, brocchinia reducta does not produce digestive enzymes. Instead, it relies on symbiotic processes with bacteria. Symbiotic processes are those in which two animals (or in this case, a plant and bacteria) depend on each other.

The Venus Flytrap Isn’t the Only Carnivorous Plant
Can you imagine seeing a plant eating a rat? *shudders at the thought* Shutterstock.

Some Pitcher Plants (aka Monkey Cups) Eat Rats

Most carnivorous plants feed on tiny prey, sometimes as small as fleas, not usually more substantial than little spiders. Nevertheless, pitcher plants (the family includes the yellow pitcher) get to be considerably larger and have broader dietary needs. Moreover, to meet those nutritional needs, they eat bigger prey.

Monkey cups are a type of pitcher plant, and they live in parts of Asia through Australia, along with the African island of Madagascar. Larger monkey cups consume vertebrate animals, including rats. They might also consume other small amphibians and reptiles that fall into their pitchers.

Sources:

“Plant.” Wikipedia.

“10 of the most fascinating carnivorous plants.” MSN News. May 28, 2019.

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