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The Venus Fly Trap and Angel Trumpet

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christine mcmanus

on 9 March 2014

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Transcript of The Venus Fly Trap and Angel Trumpet

The Venus Flytrap and Angel Trumpet: A Comparison
by Christine
Energy and Nutrient Intake
The Venus Fly Trap, like any other plant, gets energy from the sun and converts
The Diet of the Venus Flytrap

The Venus Flytrap is widely known for its carnivorous diet. Its animal diet consists of insects, spiders and other crawling anthropoids. It draws most of its nutrients from them, and a little bit of energy. The ability to eat animals is an adaptation it developed because of the lack of nutrients in the soil where it usually grows. However, the Venus Flytrap does need sunlight just like any other plant, and the process of photosynthesis and cellular respiration is where most of its energy comes from.
The Diet of the Angel Trumpet
The Angel Trumpet is like many other plants in that it absorbs its nutrients from the sun and from the soil. However, the Angel Trumpet is a voracious eater and requires almost daily doses of fertilizers containing Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus to keep it alive and healthy. Angel Trumpet plants must be carefully kept moist at all times, as they are large plants that absorb a lot of water. It also needs plenty of sunlight for photosynthesis and cellular respiration to create energy.
Both sides of each leaf, called "lobes", have short, sensitive hairs called "trigger hairs". When anything touches the hairs enough to bend them, the lobes snap shut, trapping the prey inside. It closes incredibly fast (less than a second) to allow no opportunity for escape.
The trap then constricts tightly around the prey and secretes digestive juices similar to the ones in your stomach. They dissolve the soft inner parts of the prey, but not the exoskeleton.
This entire process takes five to twelve days, depending on the size of the insect, the temperature, the age of the plant and the number of times the plant has gone through this process.
The Venus Flytrap's Digestive process
Gas Exchange
Unlike other plants, the Venus Flytrap has no main stalk or main root system. Each leaf is grown from another leaf and each leaf has its own root system.
Because it is composed entirely of leaves, it will usually have a good surface area to volume ratio, making photosynthesis and cellular respiration much easier.
The Venus Flytrap
The Angel Trumpet
Like most plants, the Angel Trumpet does have a main stalk and root system. The leaves of the Angel Tumpet are small but numerous, which gives this plant a good surface area to volume ratio as well. And like any other plant, it exchanges gasses through the process of photosynthesis.
Waste Disposal
Waste Products of the Venus Flytrap
Through the process of photosynthesis, the Venus Flytrap gives off oxygen the way many plants do, and when the leaves either accidentally eat something they shouldn't or get too old, they turn black and drop off the plant to make room for new ones. However, as mentioned earlier, the Venus Flytrap does not dissolve the exoskeleton of its prey. After the plant has finished digestion, it will open up as wide as it can and eventually, the carcass of the prey is washed away by the elements in the wild, or taken away by a gardener in captivity.
Waste Products of the Angel Trumpet

The Angel Trumpet, like the Venus Flytrap, gives off oxygen and the old leaves fall off. Unlike the Venus Flytrap, the Angel Trumpet is capable of hibernation in the winter. In order to ensure that the plant survives, a gardener must cut off almost the entire plant, leaving only the smallest shoots and the root system untouched. In the spring, the Angel Trumpet will use the shoots and root system to grow again.
Interesting Facts!
No one knows for sure how the Venus Flytrap closes, as it has no muscles or brain. Some scientists believe that electrical impulses may be the answer.
A Venus Flytrap has no spitting mechanism, which is why you have to be very careful about what you feed it. Once it's in there, it's usually in there until the trap opens and it falls out or the trap dies and falls off. More often than not, the trap dies.
Fertilizer is strongly discouraged when caring for a Venus Flytrap. It already takes in so many nutrients that fertilizer would give it an overdose.
Venus Flytrap
Angel Trumpet
Every single part of the Angel Trumpet is extremely poisonous. It contains a large variety of toxins, from atropine to hyosycamine to scopolamine.
Scopolamine has been used for centuries by criminals in its native Columbia. It can be ground up into a powder and absorbed through the skin or ingested, allowing the criminals to simply blow it in a person's face. Scopolamine leaves a victim perfectly capable of carrying out any action they normally would, but makes them completely unaware of what they are doing. Many scopolamine horror stories abound, including one of a man that carried all his possesions out of his apartment (and into the hands of the robbers) and didn't remember any of it.
The other toxins in Angel Trumpets are also very dangerous. Even the smallest amount of Angel Trumpet tea (yes, this is a thing that exists) can cause migraines, abnormally fast heart rates, paralysis, pupil dilation, terrifying visual and auditory hallucinations, temporary insanity, comas and death.
Gardeners must wear face masks, gloves and thick clothing that covers every part of their body when caring for Angel Trumpets. The only reason why people even keep them around is because they smell nice.
Nutrient and Energy Intake
Full transcript