science education

Exploring Nature Science Education Resource:

Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science Resources for K-12

What Gives the Venus Flytrap its Snap?

An insect sees the red inside of a Venus flytrap’s clamshell shaped leaf and it cannot resist getting a closer look. It could look like a red flower to a bee or an animal’s wound to a fly, but all the flytrap has to do is get them inside for a moment. Once inside they trigger something that makes the clamshell leaf snap shut, trapping them. How does the trigger work? Harvard University professor, Mahadevan, believes it is all about water tension. An open flytrap leaf is actually held open by water pressure. When the insect touches tiny hairs on the inside of the leaf, it sends a tiny electrical impulse, which shifts a tiny amount of water, releasing the tension in the leaf so it can snap back in shape (closed). (Selim, Jocelyn. “Snap, Crackle, and Pop!” Discover May 2005: p.12)

<p>What Gives the Venus Flytrap its Snap?</p>

Casey Prime, Lake George, NY

Exploringnature.org has more than 2,000 illustrated animals. Read about them, color them, label them, learn to draw them.

cheetah, tiger, panda, fox, bear, cougar