Monday, May 23, 2022

How Venus Flytraps Make Food Choices

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Nature, Wildlife, Biodiversity, Biological Evolution, Nature of Science

Ed Hessler

From SciFriday is this video  (5m 26s) presented on October 30, 2019 about the biology and ecology of the bog plant , the Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula). Most of us know little about it except for its fascinating diet: insects. These are caught by long-toothed leaves--"My what big teeth you have! We leave it there. There is nothing left to see or know.

However, the plants have lovely white flowers, dainty compared to their elegant snap-trap leaves which leads to many questions since the flowers attract pollinators. So, while the plants are busy capturing protein on the wing how do they avoid making the wrong menu choice?This is a research story about the life history of a relatively unknown plant.

It features a graduate student--Laurie Hamon and research advisor, Professor Elsa Youngsteadt, North Carolina State University. There are two other students in the video who might have been undergraduate students but I couldn't find them on Youngsteadt's web site. They are acknowledged in the credits at the end of the description.

The video, produced by Luke Groskin, provides a great glimpse into how something noticed, becomes puzzling question is turned into one that can be investigated--no holds barred. All with evidence in mind. There is also a story of how field work and laboratory work-the bench--are joined. This video is about hard, meticulous work with great attention to detai..

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