December 22, 2013
fuckyeahfluiddynamics:

Carnivorous pitcher plants owe much of their efficacy to the viscoelasticity of their digestive fluid. A viscoelastic fluid’s resistance to deformation has two components: the usual viscous component that resists shearing and an elastic component, often derived from the presence of polymers, that resists stretching - kind of like a liquid rubber band. It’s the latter effect that’s important when it comes to the pitcher plant trapping insects. When a fly or ant falls into the liquid within the plant, it will flail and try to swim, thereby straining the fluid. In part (c) of the image above, you can see how long fluid filaments stretch as the fly moves; this is because the digestive fluid’s extensional viscosity, the elastic component, is 10,000 times larger than its shear viscosity, the usual viscous component, for motions like the fly’s. This viscoelastic fluid is so effective at trapping insects that, as seen in part (b) above, it has to be diluted by more than 95% before insects can escape it! (Image credit: L. Gaume and Y. Forterre)

And to think we just thought botanists and teenage boys thought carnivorous plants were cool … ~AR

fuckyeahfluiddynamics:

Carnivorous pitcher plants owe much of their efficacy to the viscoelasticity of their digestive fluid. A viscoelastic fluid’s resistance to deformation has two components: the usual viscous component that resists shearing and an elastic component, often derived from the presence of polymers, that resists stretching - kind of like a liquid rubber band. It’s the latter effect that’s important when it comes to the pitcher plant trapping insects. When a fly or ant falls into the liquid within the plant, it will flail and try to swim, thereby straining the fluid. In part (c) of the image above, you can see how long fluid filaments stretch as the fly moves; this is because the digestive fluid’s extensional viscosity, the elastic component, is 10,000 times larger than its shear viscosity, the usual viscous component, for motions like the fly’s. This viscoelastic fluid is so effective at trapping insects that, as seen in part (b) above, it has to be diluted by more than 95% before insects can escape it! (Image credit: L. Gaume and Y. Forterre)

And to think we just thought botanists and teenage boys thought carnivorous plants were cool … ~AR

December 19, 2013
freshphotons:

"Taken by Igor Siwanowicz, the photo shows the open trap of an aquatic carnivorous plant known as a humped bladderwort (Utricularia gibba). The plant floats in water waiting for its prey to touch its trigger hairs, which cause the plant to open its trap so quickly that it sucks in water as well as some unlucky microinvertebrates. The pretty little flakes near the bottom of the image are single-cell algae that live inside the trap. The image is magnified 100 times.” Via.

Hello friend bladderwort, we meet again! Who knew you were such an interesting little being? ~AR

freshphotons:

"Taken by Igor Siwanowicz, the photo shows the open trap of an aquatic carnivorous plant known as a humped bladderwort (Utricularia gibba). The plant floats in water waiting for its prey to touch its trigger hairs, which cause the plant to open its trap so quickly that it sucks in water as well as some unlucky microinvertebrates. The pretty little flakes near the bottom of the image are single-cell algae that live inside the trap. The image is magnified 100 times.” Via.

Hello friend bladderwort, we meet again! Who knew you were such an interesting little being? ~AR

(via freshphotons)

September 27, 2013
mallarysdoodles:

I feel like my eyes are going to pop out of my head after working on this. 

Never show this to the koi living in the Conservatory Courtyard Pools. It might give them nightmares. They don’t have a great grasp on reality versus fantasy …. ~AR

mallarysdoodles:

I feel like my eyes are going to pop out of my head after working on this. 

Never show this to the koi living in the Conservatory Courtyard Pools. It might give them nightmares. They don’t have a great grasp on reality versus fantasy …. ~AR

May 26, 2013
There is a serious message behind this humorous sign (and no it’s not the part about violators being fed to the plants). Carnivorous plants are very sensitive to the oils in human skin and it will kill them, especially pitcher plants. There are many species of wild, native carnivorous plants in North America, so if you see them in the wild, look with your eyes, not with your hands. ~AR

There is a serious message behind this humorous sign (and no it’s not the part about violators being fed to the plants). Carnivorous plants are very sensitive to the oils in human skin and it will kill them, especially pitcher plants. There are many species of wild, native carnivorous plants in North America, so if you see them in the wild, look with your eyes, not with your hands. ~AR

(Source: inmahogany)

May 4, 2013
Exciting carnivorous plant news everybody! An unusual aquatic bladderwort last seen on the Isle of Man in 1998 has been rediscovered in a pond. The plant lives in very nutrient poor conditions, and makes up for it by using small sacks (the bladder in the name) to capture tiny aquatic invertebrates like water fleas. The plant is also common to the other British Isles.  Always fun to get introduced to a new carnivorous plant though, isn’t it? ~AR
(via BBC News - Carnivorous plant rediscovered in the Isle of Man)

Exciting carnivorous plant news everybody! An unusual aquatic bladderwort last seen on the Isle of Man in 1998 has been rediscovered in a pond. The plant lives in very nutrient poor conditions, and makes up for it by using small sacks (the bladder in the name) to capture tiny aquatic invertebrates like water fleas. The plant is also common to the other British Isles.  Always fun to get introduced to a new carnivorous plant though, isn’t it? ~AR

(via BBC News - Carnivorous plant rediscovered in the Isle of Man)

April 5, 2013

There’s really no need to editorialize this video showing carnivorous plants in 3D from the John Innes Centre, so I’ll just say, if you want to learn more, read this Scientific American blog post. ~AR

March 2, 2013

awkwardsituationist:

sundew (drosera) consuming a syrphid fly

As I’m sure you know carnivorous plants do not actually have nerves and muscles which allow them to close around (and then slowly consume) insects. The actions you see above are accomplished through a complicated chain of events wherein different cells within the plant expand and elongate to capture the prey. And yet somehow, this knowledge doesn’t make it any less creepy! ~AR

November 4, 2012

Okay, so I totally missed posting this in time for Halloween, but let’s be honest, any day is a good day for a spoooooooky video from Dr. Chris Martine! Martine, an Associate Professor of Biology at Bucknell is the genius behind the YouTube series “Plants Are Cool, Too!" and I am a huge fan. You should be, too, if you want to be as cool as plants are, that is.~AR

(Source: denimandtweed.com)

February 19, 2012
I had reblogged a small piece on the sundew a week or so ago, but the involved image looked more like a science project than a plant. Here is an Australian sundew that really does the carnivorous little beast justice. —MN
alchymista:

These Australian sundew plants (Drosera stolonifera) may look innocent, but in reality they are one of the most cleverly disguised carnivorous plants. Bugs are attracted to what appear to be drops of dew to satiate their thirst, only to be trapped in the sticky decoy tentacles.(Photo via National Geographic) 

I had reblogged a small piece on the sundew a week or so ago, but the involved image looked more like a science project than a plant. Here is an Australian sundew that really does the carnivorous little beast justice. —MN

alchymista:

These Australian sundew plants (Drosera stolonifera) may look innocent, but in reality they are one of the most cleverly disguised carnivorous plants. Bugs are attracted to what appear to be drops of dew to satiate their thirst, only to be trapped in the sticky decoy tentacles.
(Photo via National Geographic

(via scinerds)

February 3, 2012
Ignore the fact that the sundew uses its “mucilage” to ensnare insects and dissolve them into a “nutrient soup” for absorption and you have a very pleasant addition to your window sill. —MN
blamoscience:

Sundew plants are carnivorous, consuming insects by capturing them with small adhesive balls on the ends of their tentacles. The sundew’s adhesive has remarkable elasticity, stretching to 1 million times its normal size (most rubber bands can only stretch to six times their original size). Such elasticity would make the adhesive dew secreted from the plant an effective choice for coating replacement body parts, regenerating dying tissues, healing wounds and improving synthetic adhesives. It is also economical—it’s so sticky and elastic that less than a microliter (smaller than the period at the end of a sentence) would cover 25 millimeters squared (or the size of George Washington’s face on a dollar bill).

Ignore the fact that the sundew uses its “mucilage” to ensnare insects and dissolve them into a “nutrient soup” for absorption and you have a very pleasant addition to your window sill. —MN

blamoscience:

Sundew plants are carnivorous, consuming insects by capturing them with small adhesive balls on the ends of their tentacles. The sundew’s adhesive has remarkable elasticity, stretching to 1 million times its normal size (most rubber bands can only stretch to six times their original size). Such elasticity would make the adhesive dew secreted from the plant an effective choice for coating replacement body parts, regenerating dying tissues, healing wounds and improving synthetic adhesives. It is also economical—it’s so sticky and elastic that less than a microliter (smaller than the period at the end of a sentence) would cover 25 millimeters squared (or the size of George Washington’s face on a dollar bill).

January 14, 2012
Scientists Discover New Carnivorous Plant in Brazil

“We usually think about leaves only as photosynthetic organs, so at first sight, it looks awkward that a plant would place its leaves underground where there is less sunlight.”

Leaves underground? Seems evolution didn’t clue this organism in to how this whole thing really works. Or so you’d think. Professor Rafael Oliveira is discussing an increasingly rare plant known as Philcoxia minensis, found only in the savannah regions of Brazil. I can safely say that its secret talent is an entirely new breed of weird. — MN

December 29, 2011
We love carnivorous plants, but who doesn’t? They’re completely fascinating and a little bit creepy. And now the world has a newly recognized one.
The ‘Queen of Hearts’ plant, now known as Nepenthes robcantleyt, was discovered in the wilds of Borneo in the 80s, and though speculation has swirled that the giant plant—capable of “eating” small rodents as well as insects—is of an unknown species, it took until just this year for one of our colleagues at Kew to confirm it as such.

We love carnivorous plants, but who doesn’t? They’re completely fascinating and a little bit creepy. And now the world has a newly recognized one.

The ‘Queen of Hearts’ plant, now known as Nepenthes robcantleyt, was discovered in the wilds of Borneo in the 80s, and though speculation has swirled that the giant plant—capable of “eating” small rodents as well as insects—is of an unknown species, it took until just this year for one of our colleagues at Kew to confirm it as such.

September 20, 2011
From the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden at NYBG.
mostlymuseum:

Our new educators rescued a few abandoned sundews left over from summer teacher trainings. Let’s see how they fare under our watchful eye. Hopefully a little love and some juicy insects will give them back their will to survive. What will be our next rescue mission? Give us your withered, your dry, your forgotten plants yearning to be cared for!

From the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden at NYBG.

mostlymuseum:

Our new educators rescued a few abandoned sundews left over from summer teacher trainings. Let’s see how they fare under our watchful eye. Hopefully a little love and some juicy insects will give them back their will to survive. What will be our next rescue mission? Give us your withered, your dry, your forgotten plants yearning to be cared for!

(Source: arosetait)

April 25, 2011
A nice profile of Dr. Larry Mellichamp, University of North Carolina, Charlotte botany professor, carnivorous plants expert, and author of the new book Bizarre Botanicals. Dr. Mellichamp works in one of the climates most hospitable to these strange plants, and yet the habitat of the most famous, the Venus Flytrap, has diminished by 90%.

A nice profile of Dr. Larry Mellichamp, University of North Carolina, Charlotte botany professor, carnivorous plants expert, and author of the new book Bizarre Botanicals. Dr. Mellichamp works in one of the climates most hospitable to these strange plants, and yet the habitat of the most famous, the Venus Flytrap, has diminished by 90%.

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