When plants become ultrafast killers, it's time to slow the camera down

By Carl Zimmer | February 16, 2011 2:01 pm

In my National Geographic article last year on carnivorous plants, I mentioned one particularly swift killer, the bladderwort. This aquatic plant grows little suction traps that can be triggered by passing animals. In a new paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, French researchers take the closest look yet at these ultrafast killers. They find that the door to the traps buckles like a popped bubble of chewing gum–but can then almost immediately swing back shut. Along with the new study on jumping fleas I wrote about last week, this is evidence of how far we’re just starting to explore the world of quick biology.

Science News has a nice write-up, and here is an excellent YouTube video provided by a co-author of the study, Philippe Marmottant, a physicist at Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France–complete with computer simulation, rubber-cap demos, and groovy soundtrack.

Comments are closed.

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.

ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »