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  • On the extensive grasslands of The Plains of Venezuela,

    在委內瑞拉平原的廣闊草原上。

  • small patches of jungle provide oases for the local fauna.

    小片的叢林為當地動物提供了綠洲。

  • These jungles are mere specks on the vast open plains, but during the dry season,

    這些叢林只是廣袤的平原上的斑點,但在旱季。

  • when the heat turns the grasslands into an inferno, they are the only the shade,

    當炎熱的天氣把草原變成了地獄,他們是唯一的陰涼。

  • the only refuge for many of the animals of this forgotten corner of the world.

    在這個被遺忘的世界角落,許多動物的唯一避難所。

  • In the shelter of the forest, the animals find food and protection.

    在森林的庇護下,動物們找到了食物和保護。

  • While out on the plains the abundance which follows the rains is soon replaced by the scarcity of the long dry season,

    而在平原上,雨後的豐收很快就被漫長的旱季的匱乏所取代。

  • here, among the trees, it is always possible to find food, in the form of fruits, leaves and seeds.

    在這裡,在樹木之間,它總是有可能找到食物,以水果,樹葉和種子的形式。

  • And with so many vegetarians around, hunters, naturally, are also drawn here.

    而周圍有這麼多的素食者,獵人,自然也會被吸引到這裡來。

  • The "matas", as these small Venezuelan forests are called, also contain dangers.

    這些委內瑞拉的小森林被稱為"matas",也包含著危險。

  • The shadows of the enormous trees provide relief from the burning sun,

    巨大的樹影為我們緩解了烈日下的壓力。

  • but may also at times conceal death.

    但有時也可能隱藏著死亡。

  • Our story begins here, in the heart of the forest.

    我們的故事從這裡開始,在森林的中心。

  • In the shade of the impressive ceibas and mangos our heroine, a morrocoy tortoise,

    在令人印象深刻的塞巴斯和芒果的樹蔭下,我們的女主角,一隻莫羅科伊龜。

  • is enjoying the abundance and the cool of the mata,

    正享受著馬塔的豐盛和清涼。

  • little suspecting her luck is about to change.

    小懷疑她的運氣要變了。

  • Though it is a species in danger of extinction, the morrocoys are a sought-after delicacy on the plains.

    雖然它是一個瀕臨滅絕的物種,但在平原上,莫洛可伊是一種受人追捧的美味。

  • From time to time, people enter the forest in search of a change from their usual diet of rice and beans,

    人們不時地進入森林,以尋求改變平時的米飯和豆類的飲食。

  • and the tortoises are both tasty and easy to catch.

    而烏龜既好吃又容易抓。

  • Unaware that her life hangs by a thread, our heroine now begins an extraordinary journey.

    我們的女主角不知道自己的生命已經岌岌可危,現在開始了一段不平凡的旅程。

  • The plains-dwellers cook them in their shells as soon as they get back to the village.

    平原居民一回到村裡,就把它們放在殼裡煮。

  • But luck is on her side.

    但運氣是站在她這邊的。

  • In her white prison, in a world she is incapable of understanding,

    在她的白色監獄裡,在一個她無法理解的世界裡。

  • the morrocoy tortoise does not know she is about to discover the different worlds of the Plains of Venezuela.

    摩羅科伊龜不知道自己即將發現委內瑞拉平原的不同世界。

  • It will be a long, dangerous journey to get back home.

    要想回家,將是一段漫長而危險的旅程。

  • This is her story, the adventure of a voyage in search of paradise in hell.

    這是她的故事,是一場在地獄中尋找天堂的冒險之旅。

  • During the hot months night comes as a great relief out on the open plains.

    在炎熱的幾個月裡,夜晚在空曠的平原上顯得格外輕鬆。

  • For the plains dwellers, this is the time to sit around the fire and exchange their experiences of the day.

    對於平原居民來說,這時候圍坐在火堆旁,交流一天的經歷。

  • Alcohol is passed round, relaxing both mind and body, and making them less alert.

    酒精傳來傳去,身心都放鬆了,警惕性也降低了。

  • For the captured tortoise, their relaxed mood offers a chance to make a dash for freedom.

    對於被抓的烏龜來說,它們輕鬆的心情為它們提供了一個衝向自由的機會。

  • With slow steps, she leaves behind certain death and escapes into the night.

    她邁著緩慢的腳步,拋下必死之局,逃進了夜色中。

  • But her odyssey has just begun.

    但她的奧德賽才剛剛開始。

  • Because far away from the forest, the plains are a constant survival test.

    因為遠離森林,平原上的生存考驗不斷。

  • At dawn, life, until then hidden, again stirs on the vast open expanses.

    在黎明時分,生命,直到那時被隱藏起來,再次在廣闊的開闊地上激盪。

  • Three hundred thousand square kilometres of apparently deserted horizons fill with living shadows.

    三十萬平方公里明顯荒蕪的地平線,充滿了活生生的影子。

  • The animals take advantage of the hours before the heat sets in to eat and gather together.

    動物們利用炎熱來臨前的幾個小時,吃東西,聚在一起。

  • The entire plain comes to life with the constant movement of thousands of living beings.

    整個平原隨著成千上萬的生靈的不斷移動而變得生機勃勃。

  • The capybaras scare great flocks of red-billed whistling ducks,

    薺菜嚇壞了大群的紅嘴哨鴨。

  • whose wing beats sound out over the swamps every day at dawn.

    他的翅膀每天在黎明時分都會在沼澤地上響起。

  • They are just one part of the incredible community of birds on the plains,

    它們只是平原上不可思議的鳥類社區的一部分。

  • where there are more different species than in the United States and England put together.

    在那裡,有更多不同的物種比在美國和英國加起來。

  • The forest also comes to life at dawn,

    黎明時分,森林也會變得生機勃勃。

  • and it does so with the cries of the howler monkeys.

    而且它還用吼猴的叫聲來做。

  • This noisy communication between groups, marking out their territories,

    這種群體之間的嘈雜交流,標出了他們的領地。

  • shows that no predator can reach them up in the treetops.

    說明沒有任何捕食者能到達它們的樹梢。

  • But down below, on the ground, things are very different.

    但在下面,在地面上,情況就大不相同了。

  • The peccaries are permanently on the alert.

    啄木鳥長期處於警戒狀態。

  • They also take advantage of the cool hours around dawn to make short trips beyond the limits of the forest.

    它們也會趁著黎明前後的涼爽時間,到森林的極限之外進行短途旅行。

  • It is a less frequented area, so it is easier to find fruits which have fallen from nearby trees;

    這裡是人跡罕至的地方,所以比較容易找到附近樹上掉下來的果子。

  • a trophy which is often the cause of disputes.

    獎盃,經常引起糾紛。

  • Beyond, stretches the sea of grass, a world open to the sun,

    後面,是綿延的草海,是向陽的世界。

  • the natural habitat of animals adapted to these conditions, but an unknown world for a tortoise

    適應這些條件的動物的自然棲息地,但對烏龜來說卻是一個未知的世界。

  • who has spent her entire life in the shade of the jungle.

    她的一生都在叢林的陰影下度過。

  • Thinking only of returning home,

    只想著回家。

  • the morrocoy tortoise sets out across the landscape of parched grasses,

    莫羅科伊龜在乾枯的草地上出發。

  • unaware that attentive, yellow eyes are closely observing her.

    殊不知一雙細心的黃眼睛正密切觀察著她。

  • A burrowing owl sees her approach his nest, and is not prepared to tolerate intruders.

    一隻穴居貓頭鷹看到她接近自己的巢穴,並不準備容忍入侵者。

  • Under the ground, in a pleasant, cool tunnel, his chick is hidden,

    地底下,在一條宜人的、涼爽的隧道里,藏著他的小雞。

  • and the owl plucks up his courage and tries to scare off the armoured stranger.

    貓頭鷹鼓起勇氣,試圖嚇退鎧甲的陌生人。

  • The tortoise does not know what is happening.

    烏龜不知道發生了什麼。

  • No bird in the forest in which she lived had ever attacked her.

    在她生活的森林裡,沒有一隻鳥攻擊過她。

  • There, they all know that the morrocoys are inoffensive.

    在那裡,他們都知道,莫洛可人是不進攻的。

  • But this is the open plain, and here any animal is a potential enemy.

    但這裡是開闊的平原,在這裡任何動物都是潛在的敵人。

  • Confused, the tortoise changes his course, away from the little owl's nest.

    烏龜困惑地改變了自己的路線,遠離了小貓頭鷹'的巢穴。

  • This has been her first contact with this new, harsh and hostile world to which she does not belong,

    這是她第一次接觸這個不屬於她的、嚴酷而充滿敵意的新世界。

  • a world she will have to cross if she wants to again reach the safety of the forest.

    如果她想再次到達森林的安全地帶,就必須穿越這個世界。

  • As the tortoise scuttles off, life again returns to normal for the owl family.

    隨著烏龜的飛奔,貓頭鷹一家的生活又恢復了正常。

  • Once the danger has passed, the female emerges from the hole,

    一旦危險過去,雌性就會從洞裡出來。

  • accompanied by the only surviving chick from the eleven eggs she had laid,

    伴隨著它下的11個蛋中唯一倖存的小雞。

  • while the male flies off in search of nearby prey.

    而雄鳥則飛去尋找附近的獵物。

  • The burrowing owls eat almost any animal which is not bigger than them.

    穴居貓頭鷹幾乎吃任何不比它們大的動物。

  • If you hope to survive in this harsh environment you can't afford to be a choosy eater,

    如果你希望在這種惡劣的環境中生存,你就不能挑食。

  • and these small birds of prey happily devour anything from insects and amphibians to squirrels and lizards.

    這些小鳥的獵物快樂地吞食任何東西 從昆蟲和兩棲動物到松鼠和蜥蜴。

  • On this occasion it is a mouse that has fallen into his claws.

    在這場合,它是一隻落入他爪中的老鼠。

  • The male breaks its neck with his beak, and then carries it back to the hole,

    雄性用喙折斷它的脖子,然後把它抱回洞裡。

  • where the female tears it apart and prepares it.

    在那裡,女性把它撕開,準備。

  • But the chick, which has already developed feathers, becomes impatient,

    但已經長出羽毛的小雞卻變得不耐煩了。

  • and decides to take the largest part of the booty into the safety of the nest to devour it in peace.

    並決定把最大部分的戰利品帶到安全的巢穴中去安然吞食。

  • The burrowing owls rarely dig their own holes.

    穴居的貓頭鷹很少自己挖洞。

  • Generally, they use the tunnels made by another inhabitant of these wide plains,

    一般來說,他們使用的是這些寬闊的平原上另一個居民開闢的隧道。

  • an ancient animal which in the early morning retires underground.

    一種古老的動物,它在清晨退居地下。

  • The nine-band armadillo is one of the descendents of a race of armour-plated creatures

    九帶犰狳是鍍甲生物種族的後裔之一。

  • that have lived on earth for millions of years, with virtually no physiological changes.

    在地球上生活了數百萬年,幾乎沒有生理變化的。

  • The armour from which their name comes protects them against enemies

    他們的名字所來自的盔甲保護他們免受敵人的傷害。

  • and allows them to make their way through the undergrowth.

    並允許他們在灌木叢中開路。

  • But it presents a distinct disadvantage during the hot hours on the plains.

    但在平原上的高溫時段,它卻呈現出明顯的劣勢。

  • The leathery surface of its dark scales rapidly absorbs heat.

    其黑色鱗片的皮革表面能迅速吸收熱量。

  • When the sun comes out and temperatures rise, the armadillo's protective shields cause it to overheat,

    當太陽出來,溫度上升時,犰狳'的保護罩會導致它過熱。

  • and it has to seek cover underground.

    而它必須在地下尋求掩護。

  • And this curious survivor of former ages not only does this rapidly and efficiently,

    而這位奇特的前世倖存者不僅能快速有效地。

  • but what's more, digs its burrows at the base of the termite mounds that are scattered across the plains,

    但什麼'的更多,挖它的洞穴在白蟻丘的基礎上,是散佈在平原上。

  • an impressive adaptive strategy.

    一個令人印象深刻的適應性戰略。

  • These structures offer the armadillo two great advantages.

    這些結構為犰狳提供了兩大優勢。

  • On the one hand, they have a sophisticated ventilation system

    一方面,他們擁有先進的通風系統。

  • and, on the other hand, they are full of termites.

    而另一方面,它們又充滿了白蟻。

  • The lodger thus has an air-conditioned room and a larder full of food.

    是以,住宿者有一個有空調的房間和一個裝滿食物的貯藏室。

  • For our tortoise, the sun becomes increasingly unbearable.

    對於我們的烏龜來說,陽光變得越來越難以忍受。

  • Its reptile physiology will help it to bear the heat,

    它的爬行動物生理機能會幫助它承受高溫。

  • but she is disorientated in this dry, suffocating world.

    但她卻在這個乾燥、令人窒息的世界裡迷失了方向。

  • Finally, a breeze carries across the smell of water, and indicates which way she should proceed.

    最後,一陣微風帶過水的味道,並訓示她該往哪邊走。

  • And slowly, patiently she enters the lowlands where the water

    慢慢地,耐心地,她進入了水的低地。

  • left behind after the rains still feeds the last patches of green on the plain.

    雨後留下的,還在餵養著平原上最後的那片綠色。

  • Swamps and low-lying areas still hold water until well into the dry season.

    沼澤地和低窪地帶在進入旱季前仍有水。

  • The soil of the plains is thick clay,

    平原的土壤是厚厚的粘土。

  • and this is the essential factor making such incredible biodiversity possible

    這也是使這種令人難以置信的生物多樣性成為可能的重要因素

  • in a place where conditions are so harsh.

    在一個條件如此惡劣的地方。

  • Because the clay prevents the water from draining away, and so pools form.

    因為粘土會阻止水的流失,所以形成了水池。

  • For the animals of the plains, the flooded areas provide relief from the intense heat.

    對於平原地區的動物來說,洪澇區為它們提供了緩解酷暑的機會。

  • While the burning sun paralyses life on the grasslands,

    當火熱的太陽使草原上的生命癱瘓時。

  • the fauna of the plains gathers here in search of food and water.

    平原上的動物群聚集在這裡尋找食物和水。

  • During the day, thousands of birds come here to feed.

    白天,成千上萬的鳥兒來到這裡覓食。

  • Under the shallow waters of the flood areas swim innumerable fish.

    洪水區的淺水之下,遊動著無數的魚兒。

  • As the dry season advances, the patches of water become increasingly smaller

    隨著旱季的到來,成片的水面越來越小。

  • and the fish progressively concentrate, making them easier to catch.

    而魚兒逐漸集中,使其更容易捕捉。

  • And so, the pool is crowded with fishers.

    於是,池子裡擠滿了釣魚的人。

  • The American ibises search the cloudy waters for small fish.

    美國的伊壁鳩魯在雲霧繚繞的水中尋找小魚。

  • They move their extraordinarily specialised beaks from side to side until they find their prey,

    它們的嘴會左右移動,直到找到獵物。

  • fish of between three and five centimetres in length.

    三到五釐米長的魚。

  • If they touch weeds, branches or fish of different sizes they calmly continue their search.

    如果它們碰到了雜草、樹枝或大小不一的魚,它們會冷靜地繼續尋找。

  • But if the beak brushes up against one of the fish they are looking for,

    但如果喙與它們要找的魚擦肩而過。

  • it will clamp shut with amazing speed,

    它將以驚人的速度夾緊關閉。

  • trapping the victim in twenty-five thousandths of a second

    在二萬五千分之一秒的時間內將受害者困死

  • one of the fastest reactions of any vertebrate in the world.

    是世界上所有脊椎動物中反應最快的一種。

  • Scarlet ibises, spoonbills, ducks and egrets, American ibises

    緋紅朱鷺、琵鷺、鴨子和白鷺、美洲朱鷺。

  • each one uses a different technique,

    每個人都使用不同的技術。

  • hunts different prey and has a different shaped tool, the beak.

    獵殺不同的獵物,有不同形狀的工具--喙。

  • It is a mass gathering of specialists with jaws adapted to a specific type of prey,

    它是一種大規模的專家聚集,其下顎適應於特定類型的獵物。

  • and so reducing competition among species.

    從而減少物種之間的競爭。

  • From up in the air, too, there is a beak that can skim the water in search of fish close to the surface,

    從空中看,也有一張嘴,可以在水面上掠過,尋找靠近水面的魚。

  • and that beak belongs to the scissorbill.

    而那張嘴屬於剪刀鳥。

  • Like the ibises, the scissorbills are selective and only close their beaks

    像朱䴉一樣,剪刀鳥是有選擇性的,只關閉他們的嘴。

  • if they touch a fish of the right size.

    如果他們碰上大小合適的魚。

  • Even so, it is a risky fishing technique because on occasions

    即便如此,這也是一種危險的釣魚技術,因為在某些情況下

  • the obstacles they come across turn out to be spectacled caimans.

    他們遇到的障礙物原來是眼鏡凱門鱷。

  • The water masses of the Orinoco basin are often covered in a blanket of bright green.

    奧裡諾科盆地的水體常常被一片翠綠的毛毯所覆蓋。

  • Millions of water hyacinths colonise the pools, forming small floating forests.

    數百萬株水風信子在池子裡繁殖,形成了小型的漂浮森林。

  • Below the water, the hyacinths form an intricate network, a tangled aquatic maze.

    水面下,風信子形成了一個錯綜複雜的網絡,是一個糾纏不清的水生迷宮。

  • Floating on the swollen shoot of its base leaves, the hyacinths spread out their roots

    風信子漂浮在基部葉子膨脹的嫩枝上,舒展著自己的根部

  • until they join with those of neighbouring plants,

    直到它們與鄰近植物的植物結合。

  • to such an extent that they completely cover the surface of the pools,

    以至於它們完全覆蓋了池子的表面。

  • preventing sunlight from penetrating into the water, or gases being exchanged.

    阻止陽光穿透到水中,或氣體交換;

  • This could be fatal for the aquatic fauna and flora.

    這對水生動植物來說可能是致命的。

  • But the plains also have a powerful army of hyacinth-eaters,

    但平原上也有一支強大的食風信子大軍。

  • which clear the surface of the water as they incessantly graze.

    它們在不斷地吃草,清除水面。

  • Thousands of capybaras daily feed on the succulent leaves of the aquatic plants.

    每天有成千上萬的capybaras以水生植物的肉質葉子為食。

  • These powerful rodents, the largest in the world,

    這些強大的齧齒動物,是世界上最大的。

  • live an amphibious life between the warm clear banks

    水陸兩用

  • and this enormous vegetable soup where they find food,

    和這個巨大的蔬菜湯,他們在那裡找到食物。

  • protection and relief from the implacable sun.

    保護和緩解無情的陽光。

  • To be able to dominate this aquatic world,

    為了能夠主宰這個水生世界。

  • the capybaras have acquired important physiological adaptations over millions of years of evolution.

    在數百萬年的進化中,capybaras獲得了重要的生理適應性。

  • These are their weapons with which to conquer the water:

    這些都是他們征服水的武器。

  • paws with webbed fingers to swim and dive, and eyes, ears and nostrils placed at the top of the head,

    爪子上有蹼手指可以游泳和潛水,眼睛、耳朵和鼻孔放在頭頂。

  • so they can receive all the information from the surface when they are submerged.

    以便它們在水下時能接收到來自表面的所有資訊。

  • A great part of their