Saguaro cactus ribs

Saguaro cactus ribs

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Credit: C.K. Lorenz/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: A mature Saguaro cactus (Carnegia gigantea) can grow to 50 feet tall, have up to 50 arms and can weigh up to 9 tons. Despite their succulent, water-filled bodies, the Saguaro cacti are able to reach these remarkable, tree-like heights because they possess woody, internal structures. The Saguaro is supported by a ring of 12 to 30, vertical wooden ribs, which can often be seen still standing after the Saguaro dies and the flesh has fallen away. Saguaro National Park (East) Tucson, AZ.

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