Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Flush-Free Fertilizer
Chicken Eggs as Drug Factories
Tree Frogs
Assembling the Tree of Life
Hearing Whales
Sea Lilies on the Run
Listening to Birdsong
The Electric Brain
Fish needs see-through head
Backyard Birds
Chemistry and Materials
Putting the Squeeze on Toothpaste
Sugary Survival Skill
Unscrambling a Gem of a Mystery
Games with a Purpose
New eyes to scan the skies
Troubles with Hubble
Dinosaurs and Fossils
The man who rocked biology to its core
Some Dinos Dined on Grass
Tiny Pterodactyl
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Flower family knows its roots
Killer Space Rock Snuffed Out Ancient Life
Science loses out when ice caps melt
Shrinking Fish
Catching Some Rays
Where rivers run uphill
Finding the Past
Stone Tablet May Solve Maya Mystery
A Plankhouse Past
Digging Up Stone Age Art
A Jellyfish's Blurry View
Food and Nutrition
Healing Honey
Making good, brown fat
A Taste for Cheese
GSAT English Rules
Problems with Prepositions
Order of Adjectives
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
Tarrant High overcoming the odds
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Exam Preparation
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Mathematics
Math Naturals
Math is a real brain bender
Setting a Prime Number Record
Human Body
A Sour Taste in Your Mouth
Dreaming makes perfect
Sun Screen
Giant Squid
St. Bernards
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Children and Media
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
The Particle Zoo
Speedy stars
Electric Backpack
Stalking Plants by Scent
The algae invasion
Fastest Plant on Earth
Sea Turtles
Snapping Turtles
Garter Snakes
Space and Astronomy
Killers from Outer Space
A Smashing Display
A Planet from the Early Universe
Technology and Engineering
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Toy Challenge
A Light Delay
The Parts of Speech
What is a Verb?
What is a Preposition?
Adjectives and Adverbs
Troubles with Hubble
Where rivers run uphill
Middle school science adventures
The solar system's biggest junkyard
A Dire Shortage of Water
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
Add your Article

How a Venus Flytrap Snaps Shut

The blink-of-an-eye closing of a Venus flytrap's leaf on a hapless fly is one of the fastest movements in the plant kingdom. Now, after more than a century of wondering how these flesh-eating plants do it, scientists have come up with a possible explanation. The secret isn't muscle; it's geometry. The shape and structure of a Venus flytrap's leaf allows it to snap up juicy insect morsels in just a tenth of a second, say researchers from Harvard University, Rockefeller University, and the University of Provence. Lots of plants move, but their movements are usually very slow. It can take days for flower buds to open and hours for leaves to respond to sunlight. Flytraps snap shut much more rapidly. Mathematician Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan had long wondered how flytraps are able to react so quickly. Then, a researcher he works with gave him one of the plants for his office, and he decided to find out what's going on. Mahadevan and his colleagues painted fluorescent dots on the curved leaves of a group of flytraps and measured the leaves using a microscope. The researchers also took high-speed videos of the plants in action. The pictures and measurements showed what happens after an insect or some other object lands on a leaf and triggers it. First, cells on the outside surface of the plant's leaves get longer, while cells on the inside surface don't change. This makes the leaves want to curl inward. The oppositely curved shape of an open leaf, however, causes it to resist the inward push. The team's measurements showed that pressure builds up for about a second, until the leaf can't take it anymore. Then, the leaf takes just a fraction of a second to snap shut. Scientists suspect that the same mechanism may trigger rapid motion in other plants. Engineers could also try taking advantage of this effect when they're designing new sensors, valves, or other devices.E. Sohn

How a Venus Flytrap Snaps Shut
How a Venus Flytrap Snaps Shut

Designed and Powered by™