Carnivorous plants are plants that need to be able to react quickly. This is essential for their survival. But which carnivorous plant is actually the fastest? Read all about it in our blog.
The world of carnivorous plants is a vast and still mysterious one. It is a world in which naturalists and scientists research to this day, about these extraordinary creatures. Carnivorous plants are an extremely unique plant species, they have the ability to capture insects, they adapt fantastically, to their environment and have developed a fantastic trapping mechanism in no time. In short, the world of the carnivorous plant will always fascinate us. Now, of course, we want to know which carnivorous plant is the fastest when it comes to trapping their prey. Let's explore that further together in this blog.
How important is speed for a carnivorous plant
Before we start announcing the fastest carnivorous plant, it is important to know why speed is so important for these plants:
Efficient Hunting: Insects are by themselves incredibly fast animals. A carnivorous plant must be able to match this at least if not be faster. The carnivorous plant must be able to surprise the insect.
Competition Prevention: While it may seem a bit obtuse that a carnivorous plant would worry about competition, there is a grain of truth behind it. Any insect that eludes the carnivorous plant can be taken away by, say, a predator. This in turn means less chance for the carnivorous plant.
The Venus fly trap is a famous speedster
When you talk about the Venus fly trap, you know you are talking about an incredibly fast hunter. The Venus flytrap also known as the (Dionaea Muscipula) has exceptionally fast traps. Here we are going to describe the Venus fly trap to you in brief:
- Catching mechanism: The Venus fly trap has what you call clap traps, two lobes with tooth-like protrusions, people also often call these the mouths of the plant. This is also one of the few if not the only one that can count. The plant has tiny trigger hairs inside the mouths, which when touched twice within 20 seconds makes the trap snap. You may be wondering what happens when the hairs are not touched 2 times within 20 seconds. The trap always resets itself within 20 seconds. Hence, we also say this plant can count.
- Unprecedented Speed: The traps of the Venus fly trap close incredibly fast. It takes only a fraction of a second.
The Water Wheel
There is another speed demon among carnivorous plants and this one is in water. This is the Water Wheel also known as the (Aldrovanda vesiculosa). Of course, just as we did with the Venus flytrap, we are going to give you a little peek at this unique plant.
- Hunter on water: As we mentioned, the Water Wheel is one of the few on water and possibly even completely underwater. This plant mainly hunts insects that like to be on the water but can also ingest algae as a kind of food source.
- Trapping technique: The Waterwheel's trapping techniques are somewhat similar to those of the Venus flytrap. The Water Wheel has falling traps that close quickly when the prey hits the hairs.
The Sundew as an underdog
Although a Sundew (Drosera) is not among the fastest carnivorous plants, it deserves an honourable mention. This plant is nowhere near the Venus flytrap or the Water Wheel, yet the Sundew has impressive speed for a plant. As with the other two plants, we are going to tell you a little bit about the Sundew:
- Sticky Tentacles: The leaves of the Sundew are covered with sticky hairs that wrap around the prey.
- Quick Response: When the insect gets stuck, the tentacles move towards the prey and further enclose it. The process is slower than that of the Venus flytrap, though. It is still incredibly fast for a plant.
The Venus flytrap as the undisputed winner
When it comes to sheer and undisputed speed, there is no carnivorous plant faster than the Venus flytrap. In fact, it tops the list when it comes to speed.
The world of the carnivorous plant is unprecedented and rich in variety. In fact, each species has its own way of catching and surviving. We at Carnivory.eu are fascinated by these beautiful and unique plants. We are therefore proud that we are allowed and able to offer these unique creatures.