Carnivorous plants like the Venus flytraps get their food by keeping count of the times the prey touches them, a study from the University of Wurzburg in Germany reveals. The study was published in the journal Current Biology in January.
By imitating the touch of an insect, the team of researchers found that the first touch sends the Venus flytrap into a “ready-to-go” mode.
The second touch will then provoke the plant to partially shut, and the prey, while escaping, ends up touching the flytrap repeatedly, increasing its excitement.
At the fifth touch, the plant snaps completely and secretes digestive juices to surround the insect.