National Geographic : 1992 Jan
D esertcanteen, a prickly narasfruitfull ofpulp and nutritiousseedsgives sustenance to a black-backedjackal (above). Elephants, hyenas, ostriches, and many other creaturesalso feed on the narasplant, endemic to the Namib. Like a botanical diviningrod, its roots reachdeep to unfailingly locate a water reserve.Nama-speakingpeoples, whose ancestorsfrequented the coast, made multipleuse of the naras.Prehistoricculturesalso depended on the plant, documented by the common presence of its seeds in archaeologicalexcavations. Food awaitsa spider whose web has snaredboth a moth and water droplets con densedfrom fog. When a showerfalls during the December to April wet season, blossoms erupton succulents such as the lithops, one of which is pollinatedby afly (left). Lithops also usefog's moisture, which trickles off rocks andseeps down to the roots.