PETER CHADWICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER CHADWICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Halfmens or elephant's trunk plants (Pachypodium namaquanum) growing in the desert. These succulent plants can reach a height of 3 metres. Succulent plants are adapted for survival in arid areas, using water-conserving structures such as the thick trunks and spines possessed by these plants. The northward-pointing heads of the trunks (upper centre) bear a crinkled crown of leaves and flowers. Halfmens are found in the deserts of southern Africa, where local beliefs held that the plants were inhabited by ancestral spirits. Photographed in Richtersveld National Park, South Africa.
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