What is it in a plant’s biology that prevents it from moving (motion) like animals?

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I know that there are exceptions like the venus flytrap and the minosa pudica (touch me not plant) that allow for plants to move. However, most plants cannot move. What is it about plants like venus flytraps and the touch me not plant that allows it to move, but most other plants cannot? And also, why can’t majority of plants move like other organisms?

In: Biology

2 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Plants don’t have muscle tissue, nor nerve tissue to control and activate the muscle tissue. Furthermore, plant cells are not flexible like animal cells, because their cells have a thick, stiff *cell wall*, while we only have cell membranes, so even if they had muscles, they would be too stiff to really move without breaking cells.

Additionally, plants don’t have a respiratory system to move oxygen around to support the energy usage necessary for muscles like most animals. Of course, plenty of animals don’t have any kind of respiratory system and can still move (like jellyfish and corals), but those animals don’t move a whole lot, either.

Plants that *do* move use hydrostatic pressure. That is, they move water around and force cells on one side to swell up bigger than normal. When that happens, it bends the stalk or leaf. It’s not very fast, but it’s fast enough do what they need to do. These aren’t controlled with nerves, just chemical signals.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Excluding examples like flytraps and plants that retract their leaves, etc, plants don’t move for the same reason you can’t fly: it’s not worth the cost, for the life strategy they’re using.

Muscles take a ton of energy to create and move. Think about it: a cow eats tons of grass, all day long, to get the nutrition to move around. How is the grass itself going to have enough energy to move muscles? Energy from photosynthesis is so, so much less energy than from eating other living things, but it’s everywhere, you generally don’t need to move to find it. So plants are adapted to being stationary, putting down deep roots over time, and living on a total energy consumption that would be starvation for any animal.

Plenty of animals are stationary for most/all of their lives too, because it works for them.