Did you know that some plants eat animals? Carnivorous plants get some of their nutrition by trapping, digesting and absorbing animals, usually insects and other arthropods. There are over 600 species of carnivorous plant, but by far the most famous one is the Venus Fly Trap.

The ‘trap’ is made from the end of a leaf and consists of two halves that are hinged in the middle. It looks like a clam shell, albeit one with fearsome spikes around the edges that lock together when the trap closes. An insect walking across the trap will touch tiny surface hairs that trigger the two halves to close up. The plant then releases digestive juices to dissolve and absorb the unfortunate prey. To see the Venus Fly Trap in action, and another carnivorous plant known as the Trumpet Pitcher, watch this short video, presented by the king of nature documentaries, Sir David Attenborough.

You can buy a venus fly trap from the Mad About Science shop.