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Explained: Why Do Some Plants Eat Insects?

Team StoryWeavers|November 22, 2022, 13:30 IST| 1

Hello young learners!

Welcome to Kiki’s Knowledge Corner’s newest episode. Did you know that there are plants that eat insects? Scientists have identified about 630 different species of carnivorous plants. That’s a lot, right? 

So today, we are going to explore the world of carnivorous plants. 

Let’s go!

Why do some plants eat insects? 

Before the scientist Charles Darwin wrote his books Insectivorous Plants and The Power of Movement in Plants, many people didn’t believe that plants could kill animals. 

These plants can grow in poor soil that has few nutrients. Carnivorous plants do photosynthesis and make food from sunlight. However, they get most of their nutrients from catching and eating insects.

Plants with a carnivorous diet seek animals to capture and eat to get their hands on the nutrition those animals provide. As they usually catch insects, they are often called insectivorous plants. 

How do these carnivorous plants trap insects?

Carnivorous plants use colour, smell, or nectar to attract their prey. The insects fly to them, seeking delicious food but get caught in the trap. 

Carnivorous plants have odd shapes, sticky surfaces, or the ability to move quickly to catch their prey.

Even though they look and work very differently, all traps are made from leaves or parts of leaves. Most insect-eating plants produce digestive enzymes that make insect soup. The others make good homes for bacteria that live with them and help them break down their food.

What are some popular plants that feed on insects?

Venus Flytrap, Pitcher Plant, Cobra Lily, Butterwort, and Monkey Cup are some of the most popular carnivorous plants. 

Hope this article helped you understand why and how some plants eat insects. There is little doubt that these carnivorous plants cause no danger to humans in any way. Unless you’re the size of a little bug, carnivorous plants won’t harm you.

Have you ever seen a carnivorous plant in action? How did it make you feel? If not, would you like to see one? Let us know in the comments below. 


References:

  • https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/carnivorous-plants-meat-eaters-of-the-plant-world.html 
  • https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/environment/plant-eats-bugs  
  • https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-carnivorous-plants-evolved-180979697/  
  • https://kids.kiddle.co/Carnivorous_plant 
  • https://extension.psu.edu/carnivorous-plants 
  • https://kidsgardening.org/resources/digging-deeper-carnivorous-plants/ 
  • https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/awesome-8/article/carnivorous-plants  

About the Author


“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She wholeheartedly believes in the quote by Arthur Rubinstein that says – “if you love life, life will love you back”. She is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grades 2 & 3, as a part of the Teach For India Fellowship. These little girls have a special place in her heart, and when she writes for children, she writes for them!

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Aarti

December 3, 2022

Very beautiful aap on class


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