Murderous plants

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These resources consider adaptation and competition in the context of carnivorous plants.

This module uses carnivorous plants and their habitats as a stepping-stone for exploring broader ecological concepts, in particular the structure of an ecosystem and predator-prey relationships. Students will engage in Darwin inspired activities with living specimens through inquiry-based learning.

Contemporary scientists, such as Aaron Ellison at Harvard University, continue to research these enigmatic plants and their extraordinary forms and behaviours. Students will engage with late Victorian botanical science in relation to how modern science works and consider the continuing role of evidence, theorising and peer-review.

Charles Darwin was fascinated by plant nutrition in relation to carnivorous plants. Both he and Treat conducted investigations through observation in the field and experimentation in their homes and gardens.

Darwin's beloved Drosera

Darwin's conversation at Keston with the local chemist's son

Darwin's greenhouse

How does a pitcher plant trap insects?

How should Keston be managed for Drosera to return?

Pitcher plant dissection

Should scientists remove plants like Drosera from their habitats to study them?

Using Darwin's microscope to look at Drosera

Why did Drosera do so well at Keston Bog?

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