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Why does Venus fly trap matter to scientists?
Question Date: 2017-05-30
Answer 1:

The Venus fly trap's 'jaws' move shut when an insect lands in its 'mouth.' Lots of animals do that, but the Venus fly trap may be the only plant that does. It's like the Venus fly trap has a muscle, but plants don't have muscles like animals. I wonder what kinds of molecules in the Venus fly trap make it shut on an insect.

Also, the Venus fly trap is a meat-eating plant, because it eats insects, which are animals. There are only a few meat-eating plants. Do you suppose they have protein enzymes to digest the meat that are like the enzymes that digest the meat we eat? That's another interesting question.

People tend to be interested in things that are unusual.

Answer 2:

Venus fly traps are plants. They show us a few things about how evolution works, about how soil chemistry works, and so on, but despite being wonderful and amazing like all living things, I'm not sure they are of any particular importance above many other types of plants.

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