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Posts tagged “common bladderwort

Common Bladderwort

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Common bladderwort is a carnivorous flowering plant – in amongst its finely-divided, submerged leaves, it possesses tiny sacs which were once thought to be flotation devices, but are actually highly specialized traps that capture, hold and digest food for the plant.   These sacs have a double-sealed, airtight door on one end.  When this door is closed, the sac, or bladder, expels water through its wall, creating a partial vacuum inside.  A leafy, feather-like structure hangs down adjacent to the door and the instant an organism bumps against this feathery trigger, it twists and breaks the seal of the door.  The vacuum inside causes water to rush in, pulling the victim along with it. As the bladder fills with water, the pressure is equalized inside and out and the door automatically closes, caging the plant’s prey.  This entire process takes 2/1000ths of a second.  As enzymes digest the prey, special cells in the bladder’s wall pump out the water and re-establish a partial vacuum inside, preparing the trap to spring again.