• picture
  • picture
PRI's Environmental News Magazine

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of January 16, 1998

This week, facts about...Saguaro cactus

Transcript

KNOY: It's January, and in the Southwest the Sonoran Desert is already in bloom. This year's early flowering is being attributed to -- yep, El Nino. The Sonoran is home to a large and diverse group of plant and animal species, but its best-known inhabitant is the Saguaro cactus. In an average 200-year lifespan, the Saguaro can grow to 50 feet and weigh up to 9 tons. It also has an uncanny tendency to form human shapes, like 2 people hugging or a girl doing a handstand. Saguaros have been legally protected since 1933, but that hasn't stopped vandals from defacing them. So now, cactus cops patrol the desert. But some cacti can take care of themselves just fine. In 1982 a maintenance worker from Phoenix was using a 25-foot Saguaro for target practice, when he shot at one of its long spiny arms. the arm snapped off and fell on the man, killing him. It's still known as the Saguaro that fought back. And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.

 

 

Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

P.O. Box 990007
Prudential Station
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Telephone: 1-617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Newsletter
Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Major funding for Living on Earth is provided by the National Science Foundation.

Committed to healthy food, healthy people, a healthy planet, and healthy business.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live.

Kendeda Fund, furthering the values that contribute to a healthy planet.

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary hummingbird photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.