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Trapping mechanisms at a glance

Carnivorous plants use five main types of trapping mechanisms to trap their unsuspecting prey.

Trapping mechanisms at a glance

Carnivorous plants use five main types of trapping mechanisms to trap their unsuspecting prey: snap traps, pitfall traps, sticky traps, suction traps and light traps.
 
Carnivorous plant expert, Greg Bourke, explains their clever structural adaptations in the 4:13 min video Plants with Bite.

Trapping Mechanisms at a Glance

Carnivorous plants activities

  • View the video to learn more about these leafy carnivores. What was a surprise? What do you wonder? Use see-think-wonder to list facts to explore and questions for further investigation.
  • Examine the different types of plants and their traps. What are their design features? How do they function? How does the design of the trapping feature specifically relate to the features or behaviours of the animals it traps? How do the plant’s features attract then trap its prey? How does the plant digest its prey? Where does the plant grow and how can it be protected?
  • Select one or more plant traps to examine further and use the videos, images and information on this page to:
    • compose a fact sheet on the plant, including a labelled and annotated scientific drawing of the plant’s structural adaptations for trapping prey 
    • draw a cartoon or other drawing to illustrate the trap functionalities
    • create a cartoon strip that illustrates a prey animal approaching then being trapped by the plant
    • compose a narrative in first person voice of the plant or animal that describes the enticement and trapping sequence. 
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