How the camel kept its cool

When the temperature soars around the sweltering 40C mark, you'll take anywhere as respite from the scorching rays no matter how unusual it looks.

This camel sought refuge in the baking heat on the Island of Soqotra in Yemen by sheltering in the shade under an unusual tree which looks like a giant mushroom.

The Dragon Blood Tree is so rare it is only found on the island in Yemen, while its name originates from the tree's tendency to ooze bright red resin.

The red sap secreted by the tree is still used today in Yemen to paint local pottery and in cosmetic products.

The unusual shape of the dragon's blood tree comes from its adaptation to the arid mountaintop conditions where it often grows, which usually feature low amounts of soil.

The large, mushroom-like tightly-packed crown of branches at the top helps provide shade for its own seedlings growing under the adult tree while also reducing evaporation.

Photographer Edoardo Scepi took the snap of the camel cooling down while he was visiting the island to do conservation work.


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