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The animal kingdom may have its egg-laying platypus, but the plant kingdom is not without its own odd twists on taxonomy. If movies like Little Shop of Horrors are any indication, carnivorous plants like the Venus flytrap, sundew, and pitcher plant never fail to spark the imagination. The following set of Web sites presents a brief introduction to carnivorous plants and includes loads of great photos. The first site (1) contains the Galleria Carnivora, a terrific collection of carnivorous plant photographs, compiled by carnivorous plant enthusiast Barry Rice. Rice has created a virtual art museum for these photos, which, together with his tongue-in-cheek commentary, provides a fun way to get acquainted with this diverse group of plants. The second Web site contains another extensive image gallery (presented by Matthias and Oliver Schmidt), this time showing carnivorous plants in their natural habitats (2). The Venus flytrap is the first carnivorous plant many of us encounter. With this next Web site from HowStuffWorks, readers can find out exactly how the flytrap attracts, traps, and digests its insect prey (3). The following site from Indiana University's Roger P. Hangarter offers a cool QuickTime movie of a Venus flytrap in action -- part of the Plants-In-Motion video collection (4). In this appealing and informative Web site (5), Marlis and Dennis Merbach present the Nepenthes (a genus of tropical pitcher plants) of Borneo, the center of Nepenthes diversity. Visitors to the next site will be treated to a beautiful photomicrograph of a sundew plant, entered by Earl Nishiguchi in Nikon's Small World Gallery photo contest (6). Boston's Museum of Science offers an interesting magnified image of a bladderwort, a tiny carnivorous plant found in freshwater (7). And, another Web site from Barry Rice (mentioned above) provides an entertaining look at carnivorous plants on TV and the silver screen, from Attack of the Killer Tomatoes to Minority Report and more (8).
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