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  • In the grasslands of Mauritania,

    在茅利塔尼亞的草原上,

  • a gazelle suffering from tuberculosis takes its last breath.

    一隻飽受結核病之苦的瞪羚嚥下了牠的最後一口氣。

  • Collapsing near a small pool,

    這隻動物在一個小池子旁邊倒下,

  • the animal’s corpse threatens to infect the water.

    牠的屍體可能會侵染水源,造成威脅。

  • But for the desert’s cleanup crew, this body isn’t a problem; it’s a feast.

    但對於沙漠的清理小組而言,這具屍體不是個問題,而是頓大餐。

  • Weighing up to 10 kilograms

    體重可高達十公斤,

  • and possessing a wingspan of nearly 3 meters,

    翅膀張開時可以達到近三公尺寬,

  • the lappet-faced vulture is the undisputed king of the carcass.

    肉垂禿鷹可說是屍體之王,當之無愧。

  • This bird’s powerful beak and strong neck

    這種鳥類有強力的鳥嘴 和強壯的脖子,

  • easily tear through tough hide and muscle tissue,

    可以很輕易就撕開 堅韌的獸皮和肌肉組織,

  • opening entry points for weaker vultures to dig in.

    為其他較弱的禿鷹起個頭, 讓牠們可以繼續挖進去。

  • This colossal competition is too dangerous for the tiny Egyptian vulture.

    對於小型的埃及禿鷲(白兀鷲) 而言,這種可觀的競爭太危險了。

  • With a wingspan of only 180 centimeters,

    這隻禿鷹的翅膀完全展開後 只有一百八十公分寬,

  • this vulture migrated to Africa from his family nest in Portugal,

    牠是從葡萄牙的居巢 遷移到非洲的,

  • using thermal updrafts to stay aloft for hours at a time.

    牠會利用上升暖氣流, 一次可以待在空中數小時。

  • But upon arrival, he finds himself near the bottom of the pecking order.

    但在抵達時,牠卻發現自己 在啄序當中幾乎排名最後。

  • Fortunately, what he lacks in size, he makes up for in intelligence.

    幸運的是,牠用智慧 來補足尺寸上的劣勢。

  • A short distance away, he spots an unguarded ostrich nest,

    牠看到不遠處有一個 無防備的駝鳥巢,

  • full of immense, but impenetrable eggs.

    裡面滿是巨大但無法刺穿的蛋。

  • Using a large rock, he smashes one open for a well-earned meal

    牠使用一塊大石頭,將一顆蛋 砸開,成為牠應得的餐點

  • though hell circle back to the gazelle once the larger birds are gone.

    不過,當大型鳥類離開之後, 牠又會繞回到瞪羚的屍體所在。

  • High above the commotion are Ruppell’s Griffon vultures.

    飛在這騷動上方 高處的是黑白兀鷲。

  • Soaring at an altitude of over 11,000 meters,

    這些鳥類能在超過 一萬一千公尺高的地方翱翔,

  • these birds fly higher than any other animal.

    牠們飛得比任何動物都高。

  • At this height, they can’t see individual carcasses.

    在這個高度,牠們 看不見個別的屍體。

  • But the sight of their fellow vultures guides them to the feeding.

    但看見牠們的禿鷹夥伴, 就能引導牠們找到食物所在。

  • Their featherless heads help them regulate

    當牠們下降時,無毛的頭能協助

  • the sudden rise in temperature as they descend

    牠們調節突然升高的溫度——

  • and keep them clean as they tear into the decaying gazelle.

    並讓牠們在撕開腐爛的 瞪羚時還能保持乾淨。

  • The carcass is stripped clean in hours,

    數小時內,瞪羚就被吃乾淨了,

  • well before the rotting meat infects the water supply.

    腐爛的肉根本 還來不及侵染到水源。

  • And the tuberculosis doesn’t stand a chance at infecting the vultures.

    而結核病完全沒有機會感染禿鷹。

  • These birds have evolved the lowest gastric pH in the animal kingdom,

    這些鳥類演化出動物王國中 最低的胃 pH 值,

  • allowing them to digest diseased carrion and waste without becoming sick.

    讓牠們能夠消化染病的腐屍 和廢物而不會生病。

  • In fact, species like the mountain-dwelling bearded vulture

    事實上,生活在山上的 胡兀鷲這類物種

  • have stomachs so acidic,

    胃部的酸性非常高,

  • they can digest most bones in just 24 hours.

    讓牠們能夠在二十四小時內 將骨頭消化掉。

  • This adaptation helps smaller vultures supplement their diet with dung,

    這種適應性的改變,讓較小型的 禿鷹可以用糞來補充食物,

  • while larger vultures can consume diseased meat up to 3 days old.

    而較大型的禿鷹則能消化 已經病死三天的動物的肉。

  • Their acidic stomachs protect them from living animals too:

    牠們的酸性胃也能保護牠們 不受活動物的侵擾:

  • their rancid vomit scares off most predators.

    牠們的腐臭嘔吐物能把 大部分捕食性動物給嚇跑。

  • These stomachs of steel are essential to removing pathogens like cholera,

    這些鋼鐵胃很重要,它們能夠除去非洲生態系統的病原體,如霍亂

  • anthrax, and rabies from the African ecosystem.

    、炭疽,及狂犬病。

  • But while vultures can easily digest natural waste,

    雖然禿鷹可以輕易 消化大自然的廢物,

  • man-made chemicals are another story.

    人造的化學物質又是另一回事了。

  • Diclofenac, a common veterinary drug used to treat cattle in India,

    雙氯芬酸是種常見的獸醫用藥, 在印度用來治療牛隻,

  • is fatal to vultures.

    這種藥對禿鷹很致命。

  • And because local religious beliefs prohibit eating beef,

    因為當地的宗教信仰禁止吃牛肉,

  • scavengers often consume cattle carcasses.

    食腐動物通常會吃牛的屍體。

  • Since the 1990s, the drug,

    從 1990 年代起,這種藥

  • along with threats from electricity pylons and habitat loss,

    以及其他威脅(從高壓線 鐵塔到棲息地消失)

  • has contributed to a 95% decline in the region’s vulture population.

    已經造成了該區域的 禿鷹數量下降 95%。

  • In nearby Africa, poachers intentionally poison carcasses

    在鄰近的非洲,偷獵者 會刻意對屍體下毒,

  • to prevent the birdspresence from alerting authorities to their location.

    目的是避免這些鳥類的出現 讓管理機構發現偷獵者的所在。

  • One poisoned carcass can kill over 500 vultures.

    一具被下毒的屍體就可以 造成至少五百隻禿鷹死亡。

  • Today, more than 50% of all vulture species are endangered.

    現今,有超過 50% 的 禿鷹物種瀕臨絕種。

  • In regions where vultures have gone extinct,

    在禿鷹已經絕種的地區,

  • corpses take three times longer to decay.

    屍體要花三倍長的時間才會腐爛。

  • These carcasses contaminate drinking water,

    這些屍體會污染到飲用水,

  • while feral dogs and rats carry the diseases into human communities.

    而野生的狗類和鼠類則會 把疾病帶到人類社區內。

  • The Asian and African Vulture Crisis has led to an epidemic of rabies in India,

    亞洲和非洲的禿鷹危機已經造成了印度的狂犬病大流行,

  • where infections kill roughly 20,000 people each year.

    在那裡,每年大約有兩萬人死於狂犬病感染。

  • Fortunately, some communities have already realized how important vultures are.

    幸運的是,有些社區 已經知道禿鷹有多麼重要。

  • Conservationists have successfully banned drugs like Diclofenac,

    保育人士已經成功禁止雙氯芬酸等藥物,

  • while other researchers are working to repopulate vulture communities

    還有其他研究者致力於繁殖計畫

  • through breeding programs.

    來重新增加禿鷹的數量。

  • Some regions have even opened vulture restaurants

    有些地區甚至有禿鷹餐廳

  • where farmers safely dispose of drug-free livestock.

    一些農場主將一些不含藥的家畜安全地放置於此

  • With help, vultures will be able to continue their role

    有了這些協助,禿鷹就可以延續他們的角色。

  • conserving the health of our planettransforming death and decay into life.

    維護這個星球的健康-將死亡與衰落轉化成生命。

In the grasslands of Mauritania,

在茅利塔尼亞的草原上,

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B2 中高級 中文 美國腔 TED-Ed 屍體 鳥類 動物 狂犬病 非洲

禿鷲。生態系統中的吐酸、消滅瘟疫的英雄--肯尼-庫根。 (Vultures: The acid-puking, plague-busting heroes of the ecosystem - Kenny Coogan)

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    shuting1215 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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