Carnivorous Plants Essay

1438 words - 6 pages

I won't get in trouble for this, will I. Very good.In a world where plants are at the bottom of the food-chain, some individual plant species have evolved ways to reverse the order we expect to find in nature. These insectivorous plants, as they are sometimes called, are the predators , rather than the passive prey. Adaptions such as odiferous lures and trapping mechanisms have made it possible for these photosynthesizers to capture, chemically break-down and digest insect prey (and in some cases even small animals.) There is no reason to fear them though. The majority are herbaceous perennials, usually only 4 to 6 inches high, and nothing like the plant in 'Little Shop of Horrors'.Almost all carnivorous plants have a basically similar ecology and several different species are often found growing almost side by side. They are most likely to be found in swamps, bogs, damp heaths and muddy or sandy shores. Drosophyllum lusitanicum from Portugal and Morocco is the one exception, it grows on dry gravelly hills. Like other green plants, carnivorous plants contain the organic pigment chlorophyll. This pigment helps to mediate a chemical process called photosynthesis. This converts light energy into the chemical bond energy of carbohydrate which is utilized as cellular energy, plant growth and development. Water, carbon dioxide, nutrients and minerals are also needed for survival. In wetlands, where stagnate water contains acidic compounds and chemicals from decaying organic matter many plants have a difficult time obtaining necessary nutrients. It is in these nutrient poor conditions that some plants evolved different ways of obtaining nutrients. The ability of carnivorous plants to digest nitrogen -rich animal protein enables these plants to survive in somewhat hostile environments.The evolution of carnivorous plants is speculative due to the paucity of the fossil record. It is believed that plant carnivory may have evolved millions of years ago from plants whose leaves formed depressions that retained rain water. Small insects would sometimes fall into these water reservoirs and drown, eventually being decomposed by bacteria in the water. The nutrients from the insects would be absorbed by the leaf. The deeper the leaf depression the more insects that could be drowned. This would have created a distinct survival advantage allowing some plants to better compete in nutrient poor soil. As time passed, these plants would evolve more effective trapping mechanisms.There are more than 500 known species of carnivorous plant, although some are now extinct. Classification is done using the standard binomal system and is based primarily on the floral characteristics of the plants, not the trapping mechanisms. They are divided into two groups based on corolla structure; Choripetalae and Sympetalae. The group of plants categorized as carnivorous belong to seven families, which are recognized by the suffix 'aceae', and fifteen genera. More than half of the species...

Find Another Essay On Carnivorous Plants

The Lifestyle of a Panda Essay

738 words - 3 pages Pandas are some of the only animals that have a carnivorous digestive system, but they are primarily herbivores. Pandas are uniquely different mammals, but only some are left since they are an endangered species. Pandas are unique for a bunch of reasons such as their lifestyle. Pandas also live in a unique environment, but it is necessary for them to live in that habitat due to their diet which makes them mostly unique. They also have a

Tropical Rainforest Essay

1324 words - 6 pages herbaceous plants. A couple examples of dominant tree species are palms and ficus, and conifers - on which many epiphytes such as bromeliads and orchids inhabit. Also there are various lianas such as philodendron that climb the trees in search of sunlight. The understory consisted of shrub layer composed of many ferns, young trees, mosses and even a handful of carnivorous plants such as the venus fly trap. These plants have formed the adaptation of

The Science of Tropical Savannas

1399 words - 6 pages have better quality of soil than that of the soil in the rain forest. But the savanna has less rainfall, and plants need water to survive. Biotic factors, or biological factors that influence and are a part of this biome are ALL organisms living in the biome. The vegetation of the Savannas consists of tall grasses such as star grass, and red oat grass both of which can grow reaching a height of three meters. Trees are present but not amply


542 words - 2 pages 3-12° C (37-54° F), which enables this biome to sustain life. Rainfall may vary in different regions of the arctic. Yearly precipitation, including melting snow, is 15 to 25 cm (6 to 10 inches). Soil is formed slowly. A layer of permanently frozen subsoil called permafrost exists, consisting mostly of gravel and finer material. When water floods the upper surface, bogs and ponds may form, providing moisture for plants. There are no deep root


633 words - 3 pages interacting with dinosaurs, which would have never happened. From speculation, most dinosaurs are carnivorous and the only human interaction they would tolerate was interaction with their large intestine. As shown in fossil records, there has never been a discovery of a human fossilized anywhere near the depth of a fossilized dinosaur. To support intelligent design you would have to discover million year old poodles, which according to the fossil

Tropical Rain Forests

1283 words - 5 pages response to this problem some plants have to come up with very elaborate ways of getting protein. Several species of carnivorous plants flourish in these difficult conditions. Due to the unique climate in a tropical rainforest, most of these plants and animals are only found in specific tropical forests.Another unique type of lowland forest is the limestone forest. Very little is known about these forests because they are so rare. Scientists have

Woodland Succession in Britain Josh de Salles

1662 words - 7 pages . These plants are resilient to the harsh conditions on this barren area; lack of shelter from the wind, temperature fluctuations - hot at night and cold at night and lack of water. Small insects live among these lichens in cracks in the rock such as ant, spring-tails and mites. These are either carnivorous or scavengers and feed on what they can catch or dead organisms.Over time the lichens and algae aid the build up of soil by the gradual


1028 words - 4 pages The medicinal use of animals for the benefit of humans, zootherapy, dates all the way back to the medieval period. Many indigenous peoples around the world rely solely on the use of plants and animals for the healing and treatment of their people. These ancient uses of animals have often led to scientific research of the specific uses of animals and compounds developed from animals in modern medicine. The use of leeches is a well-know type of

Frog Repot

1254 words - 5 pages mountainsides in New Zealand. New Zealand frogs are the only frogs native to New Zealand.Both of these species are carnivorous, or meat-eating frogs. They live on a diet of aquatic, or water-living, insects and other tiny invertebrates, or spineless creatures.In addition to tailed frogs and New Zealand frogs living in different locations, they also have slightly different methods of giving birth. It is not known exactly when tailed frogs mate. Since they do


1174 words - 5 pages throughout the year leads to poor eco-system for the already endangered tortoise. Carnivorous diet: a carnivorous diet leaves a very restricted range of food, especially in the rare swamp habitat. Food is essential, to all organisms, and is vital to the animal as it only feeds for half the year. Small geographic range: With only two secure populations (within 5 kilometres) the species is lacking number diversity which puts it in even more risk


992 words - 4 pages , was the Argentinosaurus herbivorous – feeding on only plants, or carnivorous – feeding on only meat? It was a herbivore. They ate seed ferns, ferns, club mosses, horsetails, and other varieties of various plants. Scientists do not know for sure if the Argentinosaurus is the biggest dinosaur, but it is renowned for its size. Argentinosaurus was discovered next to the remains of the Gigantosaurus. The Argentinosaurus was one of the biggest

Similar Essays

Carnivorous Plants Essay

1304 words - 5 pages Carnivorous Plants      In a world where plants are at the bottom of the food-chain, some individual plant species have evolved ways to reverse the order we expect to find in nature. These insectivorous plants, as they are sometimes called, are the predators , rather than the passive prey. Adaptions such as odiferous lures and trapping mechanisms have made it possible for these photosynthesizers to capture, chemically

Carnivorous Plants. Individual Descriptions Of The Main Species Of Carnivorous Plants And How They Feed.

1257 words - 5 pages Carnivorous Plants I have chosen to do a project on Carnivorous Plants because they are, in my opinion the most fascinating type of plant. The ability to move freely, to some extent, is an ability which many Carnivorous plant's possess, and isn't one that many other plants have. Most other plants have roughly the same form of nourishment, photosynthesis. However Carnivorous Plant's usually grow in swampy areas, which receive heavy rains and

Tyrannosaurus Rex Essay

916 words - 4 pages Life Sciences Building in Washington. Tyrannosaurs belong to the Saurischia, or "reptile-hipped" dinosaurs. Within the Saurischia, tyrannosaurs belong to the group of carnivorous dinosaurs known as theropods. Traditionally, the tyrannosaurs have been included within the Carnosauria. In this classification scheme, carnosaurs represent the largest carnivorous animals to ever walk the land. Since tyrannosaurs were so huge, you might ask how they

Carnivores And Herbivores Essay

1144 words - 5 pages In 1891, a German zoologist named Karl Semper introduced the concept of a food chain, a process that is requisite for all living creatures. The chain consists of different levels. On the bottom are plants, then herbivores, the animals that eat plants. Next are carnivores, animals that eat other animal species, and the last are the animals that eat carnivores. The chain tends to overlap due to animals that eat more than one kind of food