Here are the last few seconds of this fly’s life before the lighting quick jaws of the venus flytrap leaf snaps shut and the plant begins to digest this fly, pulling the life giving nutrients from the fly to the plant. The venus fly trap (Dionaea muscipula) is labeled a carnivorous plant but not all carnivorous plants capture prey the same way. The standard definition would be “any of several unrelated plants modified to capture and digest animals, especially insects, which supply nitrogen that may otherwise be unavailable in their habitat.”
According to the standard definition; if a plant, because of it’s design, characteristics or attributes, captures and or kills an animal for the purpose of extracting nutrients to be used by the plant, it is carnivorous.
Carnivorous plants don’t digest all their victim only the nutrients it needs. Then when it opens only the structure and shell of the victim is left.
While others are more passive like the pitcher plant (Nepenthaceae and Sarraceniaceae) who lure insects into an opening that forces them to drown in a pool of water in the center of the plant. Thus extracting the nourishment over time as the animal dissolves in the water.
The problem is there are a whole group of plants that still fit the definition of carnivorous plant but because they do it differently they have never been recognized as been carnivorious.
Ladies and gentleman I introduce the covert carnivorous plants, our well-known tomato and potato plants! All this time we never recognized their carnivorous behavior. For those who grow tomatoes they have always recognised the dead insects on the plant or on the ground around the plant but have generally ignored it. We never thought about it. I guess we all thought the insects just came to the plant to die. 🙂 The truth, recently accepted without controversy, is the tomato and potato plant lure the insects then the insects are trapped by the sticky hairs on the tomato or potato plant THEN (and here is where we missed it) as the sappy lure dries it finally releases the dead victim to dissolve on the soil to feed the roots of the plant just below the surface.
What does this have to do with Computers?
If you look at a computer program as a kind of life form then you see it needs the nutrients that are available from other computers to grow. So if there is a kind of program that can grow outside its own computer it must lure other computers, capture them then extract or assimilate those computers processor and memory to grow and capture other computers.
Is there such a carnivorous program? If so how big is it?
There are carnivorous programs and they are called botnets!
How many botnets are there? There are hundreds but there are 16 which are the real monsters and have eaten the lions share of the world’s computers.
Are they dangerous to people? Well that depends on how much of your life is dependent on computers. For illustration purposes let’s use automobiles instead of computers. What if someone could take control away from the driver of a car and completely control it remotely? Could they do any damage? What if they could take control of 100 cars at any moment could they do any damage? Look at the size of top 5 of these carnivorous programs!
- Conficker 35 ,000,000 + computers controlled
- Kraken 495,000 computers controlled
- Srizbi 450,000 computers controlled
- Bobax 185,000 computers controlled
- Rustock 150,000 computers controlled
HOW DID CONFICKER GROW SO BIG!
After it has infected a target computer (by downloading a Trojan), it tries to prevent it’s removal by disabling anti-virus software and blocking access to security-related web sites, as well as stealing personal information by masquerading as an anti-virus product called Spyware Protect 2009. How ? The worm informs the user that his computer is infected and takes the user to a fake security Web site, asks them to pay $50 for a spyware program that actually is the Conficker worm, then keeps their credit card information, to boot.
How can you tell if your computer is infected with the conficker worm?
There is a test to see if your computer is infected click here
Where is the infection mostly located?
What should everyone do? Keep their antivirus and antispyware up to date and scan regularly.
Hey I’d rather eat a potato or tomato than be eaten by one! 🙂
by R. Frank Tulak