Insectivorous Plants

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John Murray, 1875 - Carnivorous plants - 462 pages
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Page 173 - In fact every time that we perceive an odor, we have evidence that infinitely smaller particles act on our nerves. When a dog stands a quarter of a mile to the leeward of a deer or other animal, and perceives its presence, the odorous particles produce some change in the olfactory nerves ; yet these particles must be infinitely smaller than those of the phosphate of ammonia weighing the one 2o,ooo,oooth of a grain.
Page 334 - The latter fact is well known to the villagers, who call the plant the ' fly-catcher,' and hang it up in their cottages for this purpose." Mr. Darwin found the glands incapable of movement, and their behavior in some other respects differs from that of Drosera ; but they equally secrete a digestive juice. Insects usually drag off this secretion instead of being fixed on...
Page 1 - ... was surprised by finding how large a number of insects were caught by the leaves of the common Sun-dew (Drosera rotundifolia), on a heath in Sussex.
Page 4 - It is necessary, in the first place, to describe briefly the plant. It bears from two or three to five or six leaves, generally extended more or less horizontally, but sometimes standing vertically upwards. The shape and general appearance of a leaf is shown, as seen from above, in fig.
Page 413 - ... and specially to have a liking for the long hairs at the entrance of the bladders. When a larva is feeding near the entrance it is pretty certain to run its head into the net, whence there is no retreat. A large larva is sometimes three or four hours in being swallowed, the process bringing to mind what I have witnessed when a small snake makes a large frog its victim.
Page 313 - Canby1 states that he has known "vigorous leaves to devour their prey several times ; but ordinarily twice, or quite often once, was enough to render them unserviceable." Mrs. Treat1 observes that " several leaves caught successively three insects each, but most of them were not able to digest the third fly, but died in the attempt. Five leaves, however, digested each three flies and closed over the fourth, but died soon after the fourth capture. Many leaves did not digest even one large insect.
Page 16 - When an insect alights on the central disc, it is instantly entangled by the viscid secretion, and the surrounding tentacles after a time begin to bend, and ultimately clasp it on all sides. Insects are generally killed, according to Dr. Nitschke, in about a quarter of an hour, owing to their tracheae being closed by the secretion. If an insect adheres to only a few of the glands of the exterior tentacles, these soon become inflected and carry their prey to the tentacles next succeeding them inwards;...
Page 134 - Finally, the .experiments recorded in this chapter show us that there is a remarkable accordance in the |>ower of digestion between the gastric juice of animals with its pepsin and hydrochloric acid and the secretion of Drosera with its ferment and acid belonging to the acetic series.
Page 129 - There is, therefore, a remarkable parallelism between the glands of Drosera and those of the stomach in the secretion of their proper acid and ferment.
Page 2 - ... (Drosera rotundifolia) on a heath in Sussex. I had heard that insects were thus caught, but knew nothing further on the subject. I gathered by chance a dozen plants, bearing fifty-six fully expanded leaves, and on thirty-one of these dead insects or remnants of them adhered; and, no doubt, many more would have been caught afterwards by these same leaves, and still more by those as yet not expanded. On one plant all six leaves had caught their prey; and on several plants very many leaves had caught...

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