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Can Carnavous Plants Eats Human

By: Katelyn Wei

Gigantic plants are featured in many movies and video games such as Little Shop of Horrors, Super Mario Bros, and The Adams family. These fictional plants have sharp teeth and a habit of biting people.

These gigantic plants are based on real-life carnivorous plants. They use leaves, tubes, and snap-traps to catch bugs, animal dung, and tiny birds or mammals. Normally, these plants do not eat people. This leads to the question: what would it take for a carnivorous plant to devour a person?

qThere is a plant called the pitcher plant which can lure its prey into their leaves using nectar. The lips of these pitches have a slippery coating, which leads its prey to slip and plunge into a pool of digestive enzymes where the plant absorbs the prey’s nutrients.

Pitchers mainly eat bugs and dung. Larger species can trap rodents and shews. The few pitcher plant species who have to the ability trap mammals are likely to eat the poop instead of the carcass. When the small mammals consume the nectar, the plant collects their dung, which takes less energy to eat than prey.

Both the plants from Super Mario Bros and Little Shop of Horrors are based on the Venus flytrap. The flytrap relies on jaw-like leaves to catch prey. When an insect lands on this leaf, it triggers the tiny hairs that snap the mouth shut. This triggers electrical signals that use up valuable energy. More energy is then needed to produce enough enzymes to digest the plant’s prey. A giant flytrap needs massive amounts of energy to transport electrical signals across its leaves and produce enough enzymes to digest a person.

Digesting a human may not be worth it to eat. The extra nutrients from the undigested prey would promote the growth of bacteria. If the plant takes too long to consume its meal, the carcass will decay inside the plant. That can end up infecting the plant and cause it to rot too.

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