5-speed listening (Venus Fly Traps - Level 4)

How Venus fly traps developed a liking for meat






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Research shows how carnivorous plants started to eat meat. A study in Germany shows that small changes in genes led to some plants becoming carnivorous. This led to the development of some of nature's most creative species. Carnivorous plants developed new and clever ways to trap insects. The Venus fly trap's leaves snap shut when an insect crawls in. The pitcher plant has insides that insects cannot walk up. The sundew plant has long, sticky leaves.

A computational evolutionary biologist and a plant biologist worked on the research. They compared the genes of carnivorous plants to non-carnivorous ones. The meat-eating plants developed from the same plants 60 million years ago. A researcher said: "We were able to trace the origin of carnivorous genes back to a duplication event...many millions of years ago." Another researcher said the genes give plants the ability to sense and digest animals.

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