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Venus flytraps count to avoid being tricked

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If you’re a venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula), how do you know you’ve got a fly in your midst and not a raindrop? You count. Via ScienceMag:

In order to mimic insect prey, the scientists stimulated the hairlike sensors located on the plant’s trap. Touching the sensors two times quickly caused the leaf trap to snap shut. The researchers continued stimulating the sensors in order to mimic a struggling insect trying to break free. At this stage, the plant produced a plant defense hormone, jasmonic acid—the same one released in noncarnivorous plants when being eaten by an insect. In the Venus flytrap, this hormone triggers the production of digestive enzymes. After a fifth touch, the plant produced chemicals used in absorbing nutrients…

Read more about carnivorous plants at botany.org and wikipedia.

Related videos: Food chain and carnivorous plants, which includes Gross Science and the pitcher plant. Plus: Counting! And more evidence birds can count.

via @m_m_campbell.

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