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SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Black ant (Lasius niger) feeding on the trap of a Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula). The ant survives its encounter as it does not trigger the trap's closing mechanism. To avoid closing at the impact of raindrops or prey that is too small, the trap has a specific trigger. The trap bears six touch-sensitive hairs. To close the trap, two must be touched within 20 seconds or so. If it does succeed in catching prey, the trap releases digestive enzymes, which allow it to extract nutrients that are absent in the boggy soils in which it evolved.
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