What did Venus Fly traps Eat before Insects Came along ?

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Offline neilep

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Hullo,

See this Venus Fly trap !



Nice isn't it ?......notice how nice and just about to eat a fly it is ?

 1: Would I be right in thinking that the plant must have evolved after the advent of insect food ?....

..if so..... 2:can you speculate on how on earth such a thing evolved ?

... 3: and can a Venus Fly trap survive without eating flys ?


Also.... i once asked on this site if 4: vegetarians would eat a Venus Flytrap salad (or other insect eating plants)......twice I asked in fact !....and I never got an answer...so this serves the purpose of asking thrice !!
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Offline Karen W.

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What did Venus Fly traps Eat before Insects Came along ?
« Reply #1 on: 25/07/2007 02:12:50 »
Is the plant sticky is that how it traps the fly?

"Life is not measured by the number of Breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

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Offline neilep

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What did Venus Fly traps Eat before Insects Came along ?
« Reply #2 on: 25/07/2007 02:39:41 »
Not that one karen.

In the one pictured above the two sides close trapping the fly inbetween.
The fly triggers a reaction that closes the canopy.

This is a sticky version:

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Offline Karen W.

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What did Venus Fly traps Eat before Insects Came along ?
« Reply #3 on: 25/07/2007 02:43:23 »
Wow that is a pretty plant! Cool Neil!

"Life is not measured by the number of Breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

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Offline JimBob

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What did Venus Fly traps Eat before Insects Came along ?
« Reply #4 on: 25/07/2007 03:14:03 »
1 - yes
2 - there is more under heaven and earth than is dreamed of in our philosophy, Horatio
3 - it exists in nitrogen poor soils
4 - please complete the question -  would they eat insects - indirectly but not as insect tissue. It is broken down into elemental particles - or partial molecular particles - and reformed into plant material.

As a flowering plant, the family Droseraceae, one of the several groups of carnivorous plants that includes the Venus Flytrap, evolved well after insects. Insects probably evolved as early as the Devonian, certainly by the Mississippian (Carboniferous or "Coal Measures" in Europe). This dates about 390 to 360 Million years ago. Flowering plants appeared in the Cretaceous, about 67-70 Million years ago. (The age of first flowering plants is probably going to be pushed back by about mid-, possibly lower, Cretaceous - 125 MA - due to new fossil evidence from China - There is also some chemical evidence for this in that pre-isoprenoid compounds are known from about the same time.)

The evolution of carnivorous plants is probably by way of an intermediate step involving vermiliad-type, non-epifitic type plants. Vermiliads most often hold water in between the leaves providing breeding places for frogs and misquotes, as well as numerous algae and microscopic fauna. In some species of vermiliads, the water has become slightly acidic and starts dissolving the living critters if they are there a long time. The leaves eventually evolved into the specialized "fly trap" structures. This is a plant that can survive in nitrogen poor soil as the Venus Flytrap does.

Thus endeth the lesson.

Nice picture, yewe. 


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Offline neilep

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What did Venus Fly traps Eat before Insects Came along ?
« Reply #5 on: 25/07/2007 14:18:14 »
THANK YOU JIMBOB,

Gosh you've kept diaries for all this time !  [;)]

I am most grateful for your kind response.

 I do find carnivorous plants fascinating...I suppose it's a slow counterattack as a retort to us eating their floranacious cousins !!  (floranacious: new word)

Your guidance accepted with gratitude.

Thus endeth the thanks.
Men are the same as women, just inside out !