National Geographic : 1987 Mar
It's a plant-eat-animal world in bogs, where carnivorousflora probably evolved. Capturedprey provide much of their nutrients. Digestive enzymes slowly dissolve a young grasshopper (left) in the rain-filledthroat of a pitcher plant in North Carolina.Native to the Americas, more than ten species are known. Tiny hairs on the lid of the plant may direct insects, lured by color and the scent of nectar, into the slippery cavern. An inopportunefall from taller vegetation lands a caterpillarin the clutches of an English sun dew (left). Mucus glistens from glands on its leaves, which enfold and digest meals-usually flying insects. More than 90 species are found worldwide. Buoyed by small air sacs, bladderwortfloats among water lily stems in a New Hampshire bog pond (right). When aquatic animals triggersac hairs, the sacs open and suck in food rangingin size from microscopic protozoans to tiny mosquito larvae. Menacingto no creature,the prairiefringed orchid (above) is itself close to being listed as endangered.Drainingof its native bogs and wet prairiesmakes it an increasingly raresight in the U.S.-and a targetfor unscrupulous orchid collectors.