Towering Monadnocks are Islands of Ecology

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uluru sunset orange photo
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Usually, mountains rise together with each individual peak sloping into the next, forming ranges and chains. Sometimes, however, erosion and local geology combine and allow for a single mountain to stand alone in the middle of an otherwise flat plane.

Unlike volcanoes—like Kilermanjaro—which rise from the ground, monadnocks form when a core of hard rock resists erosion as the surrounding softer rock and soil is slowly carried away.

Monadnocks like Uluru, seen here, have been recognized as sacred places throughout the world—and throughout human history. Often, however, their height in an otherwise flat landscape creates a unique habitat for plants and animals.

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Photo credit: nosha/Creative Commons

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