A team of researchers from the University of Würzburg discovered that the Venus flytrap counts to five before eating its prey. This plant has been the topic of many researches, as it is one of the most captivating plants in the world. The Venus flytrap eats the animals, after it captures them.
The leaves of the plant suggest that it is a carnivorous one, since its leaves look very similar to a mouth. The plant is very fast and its trap shuts in no longer than 10 seconds. Charles Darwin was absolutely captivated by the plant, and considered it one of the most wonderful plants there were.
The researchers of the study found out which do each of the counts the plant does mean. It is important to know that the carnivorous plant counts every time that its prey touches its leaves, and to be more precise, its sensory hairs. The first touch leaves the plant unmoved. The second touch makes the plant close its trap. The third and the fourth touch make the plant start its digestion. And the fifth touch triggers the production of more enzymes. As the prey starts fighting for its life and struggling, the plant knows how big it is, and thus how many enzymes should it produce in order to kill it.
After approximately one week or more, the plants opens its trap and it prepares itself for another victim. According to Andrej Pavlovic from the Comenius University, a lot of facts have been known about the Venus flytrap but this is the first time that a study proves that these mysterious plants can count the electrical impulses and start their digestive process accordingly. The team of researchers will now be trying to solve the mystery of how is the plant able to count. They will also try to further analyze the genetic code of the carnivorous plant.
The study has further proved that the plant is extremely efficient when it comes to hunting. The plant makes sure that no energy has been wasted for nothing and it only closes its trap once it is sure that it has a meal to eat. Also, the digestion process only starts once the plant is sure that it has what to digest and it produces enzymes according to the size of the creature.
The conclusions of the study that the Venus flytrap counts to five before eating its prey were published in the Current Biology journal.
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