The Venus flytrap is a flowering plant best known for its carnivorous eating habits. The “trap” is made of two hinged lobes at the end of each leaf. On the inner surfaces of the lobes are hair-like projections called trichomes that cause the lobes to snap shut when prey comes in contact with them. This type of movement is called thigmonasty—a nondirectional plant response to being touched. To prevent the plant from wasting energy if prey isn’t actually there, the trap will only shut when the trichomes are touched multiple times. The hinged traps are edged with small bristles that interlock when the trap shuts to ensure the prey can’t squirm out. There are other carnivorous plants in the wild, but the Venus flytrap is one of the very few that exhibits motion to actively trap its prey.
The National Wildlife Federation