40. Carnivorous Bog Detail

Welcome to the bog—and beware, there are innocent-looking meat-eaters lurking here! Bogs are also called peatlands because their soils are mostly made of peat, which is partly decomposed plant material. Much of the peat in bogs is made of sphagnum moss. This moss has several amazing qualities. For one, it can hold up to 25 times its weight in water. It also has the ability to absorb nutrients from its environment, locking them within its tissues. This causes bogs to be low in the nutrients required by many plants. Lastly, sphagnum (sfag – num) moss gives off hydrogen ions, causing bogs to be very acidic. Wheat, corn, or your average houseplant would not be able to grow in a bog. However, the plants you see here have a variety of special abilities given to them by their Creator that allows them to thrive in this unusual environment. But perhaps the most unique plants found in bogs are the carnivorous plants. These sinister plants enjoy the wet, acidic soils and are able to obtain additional nutrients from the bodies of the insects captured in their specialized leaves. Some 50 species of carnivorous plants reside in North America. Among them can be found the pitcher plants: hollow tubes that lure prey to their deaths through color, scent, and nectar; the sundews: plants that ensnare insects with leaves covered by droplets of sticky digestive goo; and, of course, the fearsome Venus flytrap, which has leaves resembling a bear-trap that snap shut on prey in less than half a second. All of these plants offer testimony to the creative power of their Maker who placed these amazing capabilities within them.