Photo of the Day 7 October 2008

Coconut Palm, New Caledonia, France, 2000
Photograph by Peter Essick
A coconut palm stands on a breezy tropical beach in France's New Caledonia. Tourists enjoy these sun-soaked beaches, but botanists explore the island’s incredible plant diversity. Out of 3,400 identified native plant species, three-quarters are endemic to this archipelago and many can be traced to the Cretaceous era.