View of cacti growing on volcanic rock

View of cacti growing on volcanic rock

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Credit: DR MORLEY READ/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cactus on volcanic rock. View of two types of cactus seen growing in shrub-land on a base of old volcanic lava. Opuntia have thick brown trunks (seen at right) and Jasminocerus are made of thick green branching stems (centre right). Both types are covered with prickly spines. Cactus spines are modified leaves which protect the plant from herbivores and reduce moisture loss associated with normal plant leaves. Cacti are an example of succulent plants; those that can store water in swollen tissue and survive in desert regions. Photographed on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador,

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Keywords: arid adapted, botany, cactus, evolutionary biology, galapagos, galapagos islands, island, jasminocerus, nature, opuntia, opuntia sp., plant, succulent, succulent plants, type, volcanic rock

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