About 70 million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, a genetic anomaly allowed some plants to turn into meat eaters. This was done in part, with a stealthy trick: repurposing genes meant for their roots and leaves and using them instead to catch prey, a new study finds.
This step is one of three that some non-carnivorous plants took over tens of millions of years to allow them to turn into hungry carnivores, the researchers said.
The meat-eating shift gave these plants a number of advantages. In effect, “carnivorous plants have turned the tables by capturing and consuming nutrient-rich animal prey, enabling them to thrive in nutrient-poor soil,”