Galapagos: Giant Prickly Pear Cactus

Prickly pear cactus (Opuntia in Latin) is widespread throughout Galapagos but on every island the cactus has evolved into a separate species adapting to soils, sun, rain, and animals. On Santa Cruz, the cactuses are truly giant reaching 12 meters in hight and having tree-like trunks. There are whole massive forests of them covering the dry coastlines of the island. Here and there you can find another cactus species, Candelabra cactus, which is equally giant.