Saguaro Boot

Saguaro Boot

C028/7695 Rights Managed

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Credit: C.K. Lorenz/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Saguaro cacti (Carnegiea gigantea) respond to injury by secreting callus tissue. The secretion moulds itself to the shape of the injury, whether a deep hole made by a woodpecker or a shallow tunnel made by a moth caterpillar. Callus tissue hardens into a corklike layer that remains in place through the life of the cactus, protecting it from invasion by bacteria and fungi. The Saguaro boot becomes the nesting cavity for woodpeckers, owls, martins, and other desert birds. The cavity remains relatively cool during the day and warm at night, offering relief from the desert's temperature extremes. Tucson, AZ.

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Keywords: botanical, botany, cactaceae, cactus, cactus chamber, carnegiea, carnegiea gigantea, giant saguaro, healed cactus, plant, plant tissue, saguaro, saguaro boot, saguaro cactus, saguaro callus, saguaro scar

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