Little Shop of Horrors: 3D? Fly Inside Carnivorous Plants!!
Now you can fly inside some of the world’s most ferocious plants! Well, maybe ferocious isn’t the right word, but they are all certainly carnivorous.
This cool video comes from Enrico Coen at the John Innes Center. Their group is all about exploring unseen worlds using innovative imaging technologies. The plant video here uses a technique called optical projection tomography in order to reconstruct the inner workings of these arboreal killing chambers.
The evolution of carnivorous plants is a fascinating one. Each of the plants in this video evolved independently, meaning that nature adapted several different plant families (which pre-date animals and insects) to the same end: eating things other than sunlight. Out of the perhaps quarter million known flowering plants, only a few hundred are carnivorous. And like us, many of these plants don’t do all of their own digesting, instead calling upon bacteria to break down their prey and absorb the juicy nutrients.