How the Venus flytrap snaps: A poroelastic buckling

Y. Forterre, J. Skotheim, L. Mahadevan, J. Dumais

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We present a mechanical study of the snapping closure of the carnivorous plant Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula),which exhibits one of the fastest motion in the vegetable kingdom (typically 100 ms). Using high-speed video measurements and non-invasive microscopy techniques, we propose that the fast closure of the Venus flytrap results from a snap-buckling instability, which is damped by the flow of water through the tissues. A simple model for the snapping of a poroelastic shell and experiments on the mechanical properties of the leaf tissue are completely consistent with this picture.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPoromechanics III
Subtitle of host publicationBiot Centennial (1905-2005) - Proceedings of the 3rd Biot Conference on Poromechanics
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2005
Event3rd Biot Conference on Poromechanics - var.pagings, United States
Duration: 24 May 200527 May 2005

Publication series

NamePoromechanics III: Biot Centennial (1905-2005) - Proceedings of the 3rd Biot Conference on Poromechanics


Conference3rd Biot Conference on Poromechanics
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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