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Prickly pear cactus

Prickly pear cactus

B620/0184

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Credit

DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Prickly pear cactus (Opuntia sp.). The Opuntia cacti typically form these pad-shaped structures. Cacti are found in arid environments, like the one seen here. Their tissues are adapted to minimise water loss. Cactus leaves are reduced to narrow spines, and the plant surface is covered in a thick, waxy outer layer. Many cacti also have a means of storing water. Photographed in a volcanic area of Lanzarote, Canary Islands.

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