Lava Cactus at Santiago, Galapagos Islands
Best viewed Large on Black
After a volcanic island erupts from the sea it takes a long time for life to take hold. Brought by birds and wind, the plants that first colonize the lava fields must take root where few others can. Often, these are cacti present in a nearby island. These first colonizers in turn make soil which then makes it possible for other plants to take hold and eventually replace these first colonizers. Of course with plants come small animals and predators soon follow.
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