Galapagos Daily: Holy prickly pear cactus, Batman!

Imagine my surprise and delight to walk the pathway to Tortuga Bay on Day 2 and discover a forest of giant prickly pear cacti (Opuntia gigantea)! On islands with land iguanas, like Santa Cruz, this species of cactus (1-3 ft. tall elsewhere in the world), grows to tree-like proportions to avoid being eaten. Tree-like, because it is not a woody plant--instead, the cactus pads flatten and thicken into something resembling a trunk.

Imagine my surprise and delight to walk the pathway to Tortuga Bay on Day 2 and discover a forest of giant prickly pear cacti (Opuntia gigantea)! On islands with land iguanas, like Santa Cruz, this species of cactus (1-3 ft. tall elsewhere in the world), grows to tree-like proportions to avoid being eaten. Tree-like, because it is not a woody plant–instead, the cactus pads flatten and thicken into something resembling a trunk. Yet another Galapagoan example of a species responding to challenges in their environments.

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