Maths Curiosities For The Ingenious #1  
     
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Maths Curiosities

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The Plant That Is Able To Count Almost To Five Button Forward
 

We already knew birds can count, but what about plants? Is this idea so surrealist? No, it isn’t because research says the carnivorous plant with a suggestive name, Venus Flytrap (also referred to ‘Dionaea muscipula’), snaps its jaws shut only when the tiny hairs on the surface of the trapping structure formed by two lobes have been stimulated twice within a 20-second window. An additional stimulation primes the trap for digestion. Five stimulations trigger the production of digestive enzymes – and more additional hairs’ stimulations mean more enzymes.

But obviously it isn’t a question of math abilities, but rather a strategy to economize energy in an environment poor in nutrients. In fact, counting the number of pulses is important to the plant to figure out whether it is worthwhile to spend (or not) the energy needed to chomp its prey and digest it.

Venus flytrap


Sources:
- Smithsonian.
- The Atlantic.

Related links:
- Numberopedia.
- History of Numbers.

 
 
 

 

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