DR MORLEY READ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR MORLEY READ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Prop roots of a palm tree (Iriartea sp.). Prop roots (also known as stilt roots) emerge from the main trunk and give extra support to trees with wide spreading branches. This is in addition to the root's main roles of subterranean support and absorption of water and minerals. Prop roots are found on a large number of tropical trees. In forests prone to flooding, such as mangroves, they can serve to aerate the roots. Photographed in the Amazon rainforest, Ecuador.
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