Why Are Some Plants Meat-Eaters?
Most plants absorb the substances which they need from the ground. But in order to survive in dry or non-fertile areas, some have developed the capacity to eat insects or small animals, such as frogs, from which they receive vitamins and mineral salts.
Insects are attracted by perfume and the colour of a plant and are then trapped by different methods — for instance, by being caught in the drops of the sticky ‘glue’ of Sundew or imprisoned in the spiny lobes of a Venus Fly Trap.
Inside a ‘meat-eating’ plant there are special glands which produce the enzymes necessary to ‘dissolve’ the prey, so that the plant can absorb it.
Enzymes are substances produced by living things and which cause the chemical reaction necessary for essential functions, such as aid digestion, reproduction and breathing.
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