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Macrophoto of Venus fly trap plant

Macrophoto of Venus fly trap plant

B610/0093

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Credit

DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Macrophotograph of the Venus fly trap plant, Dionaea muscipula, showing a housefly trapped in the leaf. The leaves are designed like a sophisticated mechanical trap; they are two-lobed, with a rib down the middle that functions like a hinge. The edge of each lobe has long thin spines which interlock to form a prison when the two lobes close on any unwary insect. The closure of the leaf is triggered by three long, touch- sensitive hairs on the inner surface of each lobe. When an insect is trapped, the leaf secretes an enzyme which helps to decompose it, releasing carbon & nitrogen for the plant's use.

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