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

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

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.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

Caterpillar Caravan of pine processionary caterpillars

Rion Nakaya

Look Inside The Doomsday Vault That Protects Seeds Of The World

Rion Nakaya

Growing kidney bean & spinach plants, soil cross-section time lapses

Rion Nakaya

Time lapse of the Life Cycle of the Silkworm

Rion Nakaya

The Growing Cycles of Vegetables – Farm foods grow in time lapse

Rion Nakaya

Gorillas watch a fuzzy caterpillar

Rion Nakaya

How to Create Your Own Monarch Butterfly Rest Stop

Rion Nakaya

Why Do Tumbleweeds Tumble?

Rion Nakaya

Seed germination to growth time lapses by Neil Bromhall

Rion Nakaya