User Tag List

Informational! Informational!:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 8 of 11

Thread: How the flytrap snaps its prey

  1. #1
    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia/Zone 7
    Posts
    10,335
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi all [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

    Anyone see this? My father emailed it to me.
    -------------------------------------

    Yahoo! News Thu, Jan 27, 2005
    Environment & Nature
    Related News Stories - Science - AFP

    Wed Jan 26, 2:31 PM ET Science - AFP

    How the Venus flytrap snaps up its prey

    PARIS (AFP) - American and French scientists believed they have explained how one of nature's marvels, the Venus flytrap, snaps shut to snare its victims.

    The plant -- described by Charles Darwin as "one of the most wonderful in the world" -- is able to enclose a fly within its clamshell-shaped leaves in just 100 milliseconds, faster than the eye can blink.

    Scientists have long wondered how the flytrap (Latin name Dionaea muscipula) is able to do this spectacular feat, given that it does not have the nerves and muscles of fast-moving animals.

    The answer, according to a study published on Thursday, is tensile strength.

    The plant first bends back its rubbery leaves so that they are convex-shaped, rather like half a tennis ball that has been flipped inside-out.

    To close the trap, the plant releases the tensed-up energy.

    The leaves instantly flip from convex to concave -- as if the half tennis ball has suddenly popped back to its normal shape. Their edges snap together and the insect is trapped within.

    "Closure is characterized by the slow storage of elastic energy followed by its release," say the authors, led by Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan, an Indian-born professor of applied mathematics and evolutionary biology at Harvard University.

    The researchers were able to model the change in geometry by putting microscopic dots of ultraviolet fluorescent paint on the external surface of the leaves.

    They then filmed the closure under ultraviolet light, using a high-speed video at 400 frames per second, which showed the leaves' sudden shift from convex to concave when the trap closed.

    Previous work has already established that the flytrap lures the insect with a smell exuded from the inner surface of the leaf. When the fly walks on the surface, this activates a hair trigger and causes closure.

    Still to be explained is the phase in between -- exactly how the signal is transmitted from the hair trigger to the closure mechanism in such an astonishingly fast time.

    The study appears in Nature, the weekly British science journal.

    ------------
    Cool. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smilie4.gif[/img]
    "Fox terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs." - Jerome K. Jerome

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    U.S.A.
    Posts
    529
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    very interesting.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    785
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    been there done that. I do not think that this is new to science [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/confused.gif[/img]

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Martinez, California
    Posts
    3,556
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Especially that rendition.
    45 yrs. growin\'
    Founder NASC

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    La La Land (Los Gatos, Caifornia)
    Posts
    945
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ...magic, got it. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_n_32.gif[/img]
    Update: Parents convinced to allow me to keep greenhouse heated over winter. Most species will not be lost. Too lazy to update growlist.

  6. #6
    It's been one of dem days BigCarnivourKid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    I live in Chaffee County, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    3,673
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This has been a topic on several forums for the last two days. I find it interesting but now I want to know why, once the trap has snapped shut, it continues to close and seal, then secret digestive enzymes?
    ---Steve Allinger---

    How come chicken fingers are bigger than buffalo wings?

    My Grow List

  7. #7
    StifflerMichael's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    339
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I believe the authors simply explained the meaning behind the convex/concave shape of the leaves. The authors focus on how the trap closes so quickly after it's been stimulated. The most frequent explanations are an irreversible acid induced wall loosening and a rapid loss of turgor pressure in certian 'motor cells'--the authors state that these do not explain rapid closure. They claim (through their study) that the shape of the leaf itself lends a 'passive elastic component' to the mechanism, i.e. it's the shape of the leaf that allows the rapid closure, not biochemical 'muscle' power.

    Personally, I find the paper a hard read--not much biology but a lot of mechanics!

  8. #8
    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia/Zone 7
    Posts
    10,335
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well the impression I got was that there have been some studies and many theories, but this is the first time the trap closure was studied in this particular method where they could get a good look at the trap closure step by step. If this was already accepted information I doubt the Americans and French would have wasted their time doing this study nor would any magazine have wasted space publishing their article.

    Now all they need to do is figure out how the signal gets from the hairs to the trap mechanism to tell it to close. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
    "Fox terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs." - Jerome K. Jerome

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •