Buttress roots are wide plank-like roots extending across the surface of the ground at the base of a tree trunk. Their purpose is to support the tree, in this case a Looking Glass Mangrove (Heritiera littoralis) by stopping it from falling over because the root system is shallow in waterlogged and nutrient poor soil. There tend to be more of these roots on the side of the tree from which he worst prevailing winds come. The occurrence of this type of mangrove marks the landward edge of the mangrove swamp because it is able to tolerate some freshwater as well as saltwater. The one tree on the roadside shown above has some buttress roots that are projecting mid-air – maybe because the tree has established itself away from water altogether and they are redundant? Other buttress roots take on amazing designs and some even resemble giant dinosaur feet.