Carnivorous bladderworts suck up prey | Science News


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Carnivorous bladderworts suck up prey

High-speed movies confirm that plants are vacuum feeders

9:47am, February 16, 2011

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Carnivorous bladderworts trap prey with speed that would make a Bond villain shudder in gleeful envy.

Using high-speed cameras, researchers have gotten the first good look at how these underwater plants spring their ambushes. Bladderworts sport trap doors that buckle in with a tiny nudge, creating a whirlpool that sucks in wee critters — all in about half a millisecond. That’s some of the fastest plant action on Earth, a French and German team reports online February 15 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Forget Venus flytraps. Bladderworts of the genus Utricularia are really cunning meat eaters.
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