A guide to flora with a hunger for flesh – and the intriguing and elaborate ways in which they get hold of it

Scientists at the University of Freiburg in Germany have for the first time characterised the snapping movement of this rare aquatic carnivorous plant, found in wetlands around the world. Aldrovanda vesiculosa snaps its “trap” shut 10 times faster than the much larger Venus flytrap, using a combination of hydraulics and the release of pre-stress to capture water fleas and possibly even tadpoles and small fish.

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