2022 AMI Online Salon

Utricularia: The Fastest Predator in the Plant Kingdom

Project Detail

  • Entrant Name:  Annelis Rivera-Del Río
  • Client: David Rini
  • Copyright:  Annelis Gabriela Rivera-Del Rio, 2021
  • Medium/software used: Cinema4D, Adobe After Effects
  • Final presentation format: Educational Video
  • Primary Audience: General

Project Description

Utricularia gibba, or the floating bladderwort, is a carnivorous aquatic plant found in small bodies of water around the globe. They are named for the tiny, bladder-like traps that are scattered along the length of their thread-like stems. These traps are vacuum-driven and are widely considered the most sophisticated trapping mechanism in the plant kingdom… as well as the fastest, producing recorded accelerations of several hundred g forces. Even with high-speed camera playback slowed down 100x, the trap’s firing mechanism is faster than the human eye can process. Photography of this plant is limited by the tiny scale of its bladders and its natural tendency to form mats, so all available media are shot under a microscope. This animation provides an *in situ* look at this fascinating plant. The narration and camera work are meant to invoke the style of popular nature documentaries that a lay audience would be familiar with. Moreover, its light script avoids getting bogged down in minutiae, and its timing is designed to let viewers digest information with care. The text for the title card and credits have a contrast ratio of over 3: 1 all around, despite the range of tones in the background content.