You might think those fierce cactus spines are just to protect them from being eaten. But our biologist, Lucas Majure, knows a lot about cacti and can tell us much more about these unusual plants. He studies succulent plants and has been fascinated by how a variety of cactus species thrive in challenging habitats across the Americas.

When Ted-Ed invited him to talk about some of his favorite plants, Lucas was excited to be a part of this fun and elegantly illustrated educational video.

Read more about Lucas Majure, who is also assistant curator here at the Florida Museum, keeper of the University of Florida Herbarium (FLAS) and co-chair of the IUCN Cactus and Succulents Specialist Group.