A Moment of Science

The Venus Fly Trap

The Venus Fly Trap on today’s Moment of Science. You might have know that the Venus Fly Trap is a plant; you may not know what the plant actually does.

Plants are defined as organisms that use photosynthesis to produce their own food. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants use light to convert water and carbon dioxide into simple sugars. Everyone knows that the Venus Fly Trap catches and consumes small insects. So, how the heck can the Venus Fly Trap be a plant if it’s a carnivore?

Well, carnivorous plants still rely on photosynthesis as their main source of energy. However, because they grow in areas where the soil lacks essential nutrients, they use the insects they capture as a source of nitrogen and other minerals. So the Venus Fly Trap doesn’t technically eat the insects–that is, it doesn’t convert the insects into energy–and it definitely couldn’t survive on insects alone.

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