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Cacti - Prickly Hermits
Cacti - Prickly Hermits

Video: Cacti - Prickly Hermits

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The cactus world is bizarre. In any corner of the North Mexican desert, giants of Cereus, similar to Cyclopean lamps, stand proudly. The fleshy trunks of Cereus, emerging from the hot soil, gradually widen, but from the middle they again barely noticeably narrow to the top, which has ascended twenty meters in height. From a distance they seem completely smooth, and only from a close distance can one see how these giants are armed with numerous and very strong thorns.


As if to contrast with the powerful Cereus, not far off, the stems of a snake-like cactus twine like a boa constrictor, and then a huge, slightly oblong green ball. And all of them are decorated with flowers in the hottest, stifling time. Here you can also find awkward prickly pears, as if entirely consisting of awkward thick highlights - "leaves" strewn with thorns.

Why would a cactus need its defensive outfit?

It turns out that the matter is very simple. For many herbivores, "green meat" is already very attractive, and therefore there are many thirsty people to feast on it. The most persistent "hunters" for cacti are antelopes and bison. They say that the antelopes "invented" even a special device in order to protect themselves from the painfully wounding cactus peaks. Holding a dense leaf of another plant in their mouths, animals use it as a shield, looking for suitable places on the cactus where they could painlessly "snatch" a tidbit. Like powerful pumping units, using the thinnest "plumbing system" of roots, cacti pump water (along with nutrients dissolved in it) from the bowels of the earth into their green reservoirs. They often accumulate several tons of such a fertile nutrient solution in giant candelabra of stems.Such a solid supply makes it possible for the cactus to live successfully, even when all life around has dried up. No wonder they call him the green camel.

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