How Some Plants Evolved to Become Carnivorous

How Plants Became Carnivores

In a rapacious report for PBS Eons, host Kallie Moore explains how and why certain plants became carnivorous. Moore points out that these plants, through evolution, learned how to get the nutrients they needed from insects and other small animals, attracting them some very tricky traps. Each carnivorous plant uses a different technique to capture their prey through one of three methods – snap traps (Venus flytrap), flypaper traps (pitcher plants), and bladder suction traps (bladderworts) – yet they all work very well to get the plant what it needs to survive and thrive.

How and why does botanical carnivory keep evolving? It turns out that when any of the basic things that most plants need aren’t there, some plants can adapt in unexpected ways to make sure they thrive.