Monkey puzzle tree is an odd looking tree native to South America which is also called Chile Pine. This tree is the national tree of Chile. The scientific name of the monkey puzzle tree is Araucaria araucana. They could also be seen at botanical gardens of Europe. It is so closely covered with overlapping spiny scales on the trunk and branches that is not climbable even by a monkey. Thus it got its name.
The monkey puzzle is a conifer with hard, dark green scales instead of needles. It is contained in large cones, its almond size nuts were once a staple in the diet of people of certain regions of South America. Though monkeys do not climb these trees, they are visited by parrots that extract nuts with their powerful hooked bills.
The tree can live for even 1000 years and sometimes called as living fossil. The tree was declared a natural monument in Chile to provide it protection from logging activity. Today it is an endangered species due to its declining abundance.
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