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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Meet Audrey!

No, we didn't suddenly have another girl! Audrey is the name of our new pet. She is easy to care for and doesn't make a mess. She doesn't need to be trained. But she does need to be fed, and that's the fun part! Click through to my blog to see this cool video:

Yes, Audrey is a Venus Flytrap! I saw them at the grocery store last week on sale for $4.99 and I HAD to get one. Of course she is named after her much bigger namesake from "Little Shop of Horrors". We've been having fun catching bugs to feed to "her".

This post could also be called, "How NOT to feed your Venus Flytrap", as we've learned a few things along the way. A Venus Flytrap doesn't seem to like dead bugs, even if they are only mostly dead. The "mouth" will still close if a few of the sensitive hairs inside are triggered, but unless the bug fights back and struggles quite a bit inside, the Venus Fly Trap will not close all the way. Here is a picture so you can see what I mean:

The trap in the top left of the picture has an earwig in it that was dead when we fed it to Audrey. You can see that the trap partially closed, but not all the way. The trap in the top center of the picture is hermetically sealed because we fed it a live bug that wiggled around enough to cause it to first close, then seal up to the point that the "hairs" on the outside of the leaf now point outwards instead of inwards. Let the digestion begin! Apparently digestion takes about 10 days, at which point the trap will reopen and be ready for new prey!

This has been a very cool science lesson for our whole family. It's been interesting to see the traps close and open, both with dead and live prey in them. Watching a live ant struggle to get out, only to be sealed in tighter, was fascinating but kinda creepy, too! It's been $5 well-spent!


Anonymous said...

That is SO cool! Can I ask you which store you bought it at? I have two boys and a girl who love catching bugs. They would LOVE this plant.
LisaMarie Knapp

Drew said...

That is a great $5 science lesson! My boys are very interested.

Kris said...

I'd like to know which store you bought it at too! My daughter just started the Apologia Botany book, and this would be great to go along with it! :) I like how little it is.

Amy said...

So Awesome! I too would like to know where you got it. When I planted Snapdragons outside this summer my boys kept asking if they were going to close. I think they were confused with the Venus Fly trap, which we have read about in books.

Jessica-MomForHim said...

I got it at Festival, but you might also find them at florist shops or greenhouses. Call around! :-)

Lana said...

What a great idea!! I may have to try this.

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