Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox.   SUBSCRIBE
The Kid Should See This

Pop! Hungry caterpillars vs. touch-me-not seed pods

Watch more with these video collections:

Touch-me-not Balsam pods explode without warning when they’re ready to disperse their seeds. The seed pods also happen to be the Netted Carpet Moth larva’s favorite food. So what happens when this hungry caterpillar eats from a pod that’s ready to pop? This BBC clip from The Lake District: A Wild Year, narrated by Bernard Cribbins, captures their challenge.

Some additional background from NationalTrust.org.uk:

Research has shown that this moth relies totally on touch-me-not balsam. This small delicate plant with yellow flowers is the only native species of balsam in the UK, but many invasive balsams are aggressively wiping this plant out. This means that the population of the netted carpet moth plummeted to near extinction in the 1980s and 1990s and has only recently begun to recover. The perfectly camouflaged larvae of this moth feed exclusively on the plant.

Numbers of this moth are returning thanks to a partnership of many organisations. Here in the south Lakes the National Trust ranger team has been working hard to play their part in the return of this species to many areas. By introducing cows to the favoured areas of the moth, research has shown that more aggressive plants such as Himalayan balsam are kept at bay, allowing the touch-me-not to flourish. Our rangers have also been “pulling up” invasive species such as yellow balsam to make space for touch-me-not to return.

Watch more exploding plants disperse their seeds with high pressure bursts.

Then watch more videos about seed dispersal, including this humidity-powered seed drills that itself into the ground.

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

Flowers opening: a time lapse from thousands of photos

Rion Nakaya

The Private Life of Plants: Dandelions

Rion Nakaya

The Jewel Caterpillar (Minacraga argentata) of Ecuador

Rion Nakaya

The Fungarium and Millennium Seed Bank Partnership at Kew Gardens

Rion Nakaya

A time lapse of pine processionary caterpillars

Rion Nakaya

Metamorphosis, Earth Touch‘s iPhone film about butterflies

Rion Nakaya

Dandelions vs Catsears: How can you tell them apart?

Rion Nakaya

The Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Rion Nakaya

Attack of the Tumbleweeds

Rion Nakaya