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Venus Fly Trap

This unusual plant feeds on insects to survive. A healthy Venus Fly Trap can snap it's jaw-like leaves, called traps, shut on insects with almost lightening speed. If an unfortunate insect happens to lands on this trap, it touches the adazial receptors, which are small hairs on the plant. These hairs have to be touched three times before the Venus Fly Trap reacts and closes its leaves. Once the leaves are closed, the insect is can't get out. Trapped insects are slowly digested up to three times in one week until only a skeleton remains. Although this plant doesn't have to capture insects to survive, plants that do eat insects will usually be healthier.

The Venus Fly Trap belongs to the Sundew family of plants, which includes over 150 species. It grows in acidic, boggy areas between Florida and North and South Carolina. This plant developed on acid soils high in organic matter, but low in mineral fertility. By trapping insects it is able to add to its diet so it can survive on soils low in fertility.

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