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  • Do you know

    譯者: Chien-Ping 洪健彬 Hung 審譯者: Hokila Jan

  • how many species of flowering plants there are?

    你們知道嗎~~

  • There are a quarter of a million -- at least those are the ones we know about --

    這世上到底有多少種類的開花植樹呢?

  • a quarter of a million species of flowering plants.

    光是我們已知的,就有大約25萬種!!

  • And flowers are a real bugger.

    25萬種的開花植物....

  • They're really difficult for plants to produce.

    而花朵真的是個大麻煩,

  • They take an enormous amount of energy and a lot of resources.

    對植物來說,花朵是非常難長出來的,

  • Why would they go to that bother?

    那要耗費極大量的能量和許多的的資源

  • And the answer of course, like so many things in the world,

    這麼麻煩為什麼還是要做呢?

  • is sex.

    這答案正是像世界上許多其它的事情都一樣的,

  • I know what's on your mind when you're looking at these pictures.

    為了"性"

  • And the reason that sexual reproduction is so important --

    嘿嘿~ 我知道當你們在看這些圖片的時候,心裡在想些什麼 :P

  • there are lots of other things that plants can do to reproduce.

    而有性生殖之所以這麼重要.....

  • You can take cuttings;

    植物有許多其它(除了有性生殖之外)的方法可以繁殖

  • they can sort of have sex with themselves;

    你可以用切枝繁殖

  • they can pollinate themselves.

    植物可以和它們自己性愛...

  • But they really need to spread their genes

    自己對自己傳播花粉

  • to mix with other genes

    但其實它們真正需要的,是傳播它們的基因。

  • so that they can adapt to environmental niches.

    並和其它的基因混合,

  • Evolution works that way.

    藉此得到生態上的利基,

  • Now the way that plants transmit that information

    演化,就是這麼進行的。

  • is through pollen.

    植物用以傳播這個生命訊息的方法

  • Some of you may have seen some of these pictures before.

    就是透過授粉

  • As I say, every home should have a scanning electron microscope

    也許你們有人曾看過這些照片

  • to be able to see these.

    就像我說的,每個人家裡都應該放台電子顯微鏡

  • And there is as many different kinds of pollen

    來看這些東西。

  • as there are flowering plants.

    花粉的種類,

  • And that's actually rather useful for forensics and so on.

    正如開花植物那樣的多。

  • Most pollen that causes hay fever for us

    而且其實那只對愛好辯論的人有用。

  • is from plants that use the wind

    大多數會引起花粉症的花粉

  • to disseminate the pollen,

    是從用風力授粉的植物而來

  • and that's a very inefficient process,

    傳播花粉

  • which is why it gets up our noses so much.

    (風力授粉) 是一種非常沒有效益的過程,

  • Because you have to chuck out masses and masses of it,

    這也是為什麼它傳這麼多到我們鼻子裡的原因,

  • hoping that your sex cells, your male sex cells,

    因為這植物必需要發出非常非常大量的花粉,

  • which are held within the pollen,

    來使性胞子, 這邊特指雄性胞子,

  • will somehow reach another flower just by chance.

    也就是花粉所攜帶著的,

  • So all the grasses, which means all of the cereal crops,

    可以最終有希望到達別的花朵上,

  • and most of the trees

    所以所有的草, 這邊"草"指的是所有的穀類植物,

  • have wind-borne pollen.

    和大多數的樹木,

  • But most species

    有著隨風而散佈的花粉,

  • actually use insects to do their bidding,

    但事實上大多數的種類,

  • and that's more intelligent in a way,

    是靠昆蟲來達到它們的目地,

  • because the pollen, they don't need so much of it.

    從某個角度來說,這是相較之下較聰明的,

  • The insects

    因為它們不需要用這麼多的花粉,

  • and other species

    昆蟲

  • can take the pollen,

    和其它的生物,

  • transfer it directly to where it's required.

    可以帶著花粉,

  • So we're aware, obviously, of the relationship

    把它傳到目的地,

  • between insects and plants.

    所以我們可以很明白的發現

  • There's a symbiotic relationship there,

    昆蟲和植物之間的關係

  • whether it's flies or birds or bees,

    那是一種共生的關係,

  • they're getting something in return,

    不論是蟲子或是鳥類,

  • and that something in return is generally nectar.

    它們都可以從中獲得某些回饋,

  • Sometimes that symbiosis

    這裡所謂的回饋在大多數的情況下是花蜜,

  • has led to wonderful adaptations --

    有時候這種共生關系

  • the hummingbird hawk-moth

    會因著適應生存環境而產生美妙的變化

  • is beautiful in its adaptation.

    蜂鳥鷹一般的長喙,

  • The plant gets something,

    就是一種美麗的適應作用

  • and the hawk-moth spreads the pollen somewhere else.

    植物也得到一些好處

  • Plants have evolved

    這鷹一般的長喙把花粉散佈到其它地方時

  • to create little landing strips here and there

    植物已逐步成型

  • for bees that might have lost their way.

    用小的降落用的帶狀記號在這個部位和那個部位

  • There are markings on many plants

    讓錯失方向的蜜蜂可以找到

  • that look like other insects.

    許多植物都有特別的記號

  • These are the anthers of a lily,

    看起來就像是其它的昆蟲

  • cleverly done

    這些是百合花的花藥

  • so that when the unsuspecting insect

    聰明的構造

  • lands on it,

    讓不疑有它的昆蟲

  • the anther flips up and whops it on the back

    停留在上面

  • with a great load of pollen that it then goes to another plant with.

    花藥翻開並拍打在昆蟲的背上

  • And there's an orchid

    讓大量的花粉可以在昆蟲身上並帶去另一棵植物

  • that might look to you as if it's got jaws,

    這是一棵蘭花

  • and in a way, it has; it forces the insect to crawl out,

    也許對你們來說,它看起來就像長了下巴一樣

  • getting covered in pollen that it takes somewhere else.

    而就某方面而言,它的確是。它迫使昆蟲從裡面爬出來,

  • Orchids: there are 20,000, at least,

    因而覆蓋著花粉並帶到別處。

  • species of orchids --

    蘭花有著,至少...

  • amazingly, amazingly diverse.

    2萬以上的種類

  • And they get up to all sorts of tricks.

    非常非常神奇的多樣性

  • They have to try and attract pollinators

    並擁有著各式各樣的花招

  • to do their bidding.

    它們必需試著去吸引播粉者

  • This orchid, known as Darwin's orchid,

    來達到它們的目的

  • because it's one that he studied

    這棵蘭花,也就是所知的"達爾文的蘭花" (中文學名:慧星蘭)

  • and made a wonderful prediction when he saw it --

    因為這就是達爾文所研究

  • you can see that there's a very long nectar tube

    並在看到它時做出驚人的預測

  • that descends down

    你可以看出那有著很長的花蜜管 (學名:花距)

  • from the orchid.

    往下生長

  • And basically what the insect has to do --

    從蘭花本身開始。

  • we're in the middle of the flower --

    而且基本上,昆蟲所必需做的是

  • it has to stick its little proboscis

    從花的中間

  • right into the middle of that

    要把它細細的取食器

  • and all the way down that nectar tube

    伸進這中間

  • to get to the nectar.

    一直順著花距下去,

  • And Darwin said, looking at this flower,

    來取得花蜜。

  • "I guess something has coevolved with this."

    看著這花,達爾文說:

  • And sure enough,

    "我猜有某個物種和這個一同進化了"

  • there's the insect.

    而正是如此

  • And I mean, normally it kind of rolls it away,

    這就是那昆蟲的樣子,

  • but in its erect form,

    我的意思是,雖然通常它都是卷著的

  • that's what it looks like.

    但在伸直之後

  • Now you can imagine

    它看起來就是這樣

  • that if nectar

    現在,你可想像

  • is such a valuable thing

    如果花蜜

  • and expensive for the plant to produce

    是如此寶貴的東西

  • and it attracts lots of pollinators,

    而且對植物來說生產的代價又高

  • then, just as in human sex,

    又吸引這麼多的播種者

  • people might start to deceive.

    那麼,若將此觀念轉移到人類的性愛裡,

  • They might say, "I've got a bit of nectar. Do you want to come and get it?"

    人類也許會開始去欺騙,

  • Now this is a plant.

    也許他們會說,"我這裡有一點花蜜唷!你們想過來弄一些嗎?"

  • This is a plant here

    現在,這裡有棵植物,

  • that insects in South Africa just love,

    這裡的這棵植物

  • and they've evolved with a long proboscis

    是南非的昆蟲所衷愛的,

  • to get the nectar at the bottom.

    而且他們演化出長的口器,

  • And this is the mimic.

    來取得底部的花蜜,

  • So this is a plant that is mimicking the first plant.

    這個則是所謂的"擬態"

  • And here is the long-probosced fly

    而這棵植物則是做出了擬態來模擬前棵植物的樣子

  • that has not gotten any nectar from the mimic,

    這是一隻有著長吸食器的蒼蠅

  • because the mimic doesn't give it any nectar. It thought it would get some.

    它從做出擬態的花得不到任何的花蜜

  • So not only has the fly

    因為這個擬態者並不提供任何花蜜,蒼蠅卻覺得它應該可得到一些

  • not got the nectar from the mimic plant,

    所以不光是這個蒼蠅

  • it's also -- if you look very closely

    沒辦法從擬態的植物得到花蜜,

  • just at the head end, you can see that it's got a bit of pollen

    它也是...假如你很靠近的觀察

  • that it would be transmitting to another plant,

    在頭的項端,你可以看到那兒有一點花粉,

  • if only some botanist hadn't come along

    可以被傳播到另一株植物

  • and stuck it to a blue piece of card.

    不過這也是如果植物學家沒有過來

  • (Laughter)

    把它黏到藍色的卡片上面的話啦...(被拿去做實驗了)

  • Now deceit carries on through the plant kingdom.

    (笑聲)

  • This flower with its black dots:

    這種欺詐的手段遍佈著植物界

  • they might look like black dots to us,

    這種花上有黑點:

  • but if I tell you, to a male insect of the right species,

    對我們來說它們也許看起來就像黑點,

  • that looks like two females

    但如果我告訴你們~ 對於適當種類的雄性昆蟲來說,

  • who are really, really hot to trot.

    那看起來像是

  • (Laughter)

    兩隻非常非常的讓它欲火焚身的雌性昆蟲

  • And when the insect gets there and lands on it,

    (笑聲)

  • dousing itself in pollen, of course, that it's going to take to another plant,

    而當昆蟲落在它上面的時候,

  • if you look at the every-home-should-have-one scanning electron microscope picture,

    把它自己浸在花粉中,當然,那是它要帶到別株植物去的,

  • you can see that there are actually some patterning there,

    如果你看每戶人家都該有的電子顯微鏡照片

  • which is three-dimensional.

    你可以看到實際那上面有一些紋路,

  • So it probably even feels good for the insect,

    是三維立體的,

  • as well as looking good.

    所以它說不定會讓昆蟲感覺很舒服,

  • And these electron microscope pictures --

    不單只是很好看。

  • here's one of an orchid mimicking an insect --

    接下來這些電子顯微鏡的相片--

  • you can see that different parts of the structure

    這是一棵蘭花擬態成昆蟲,

  • have different colors and different textures to our eye,

    你看可看到構造上不同的部份

  • have very, very different textures

    有著看來不一樣的顏色和不同的紋理

  • to what an insect might perceive.

    有著非常非常特別的質地

  • And this one is evolved to mimic

    尤其是對於會被吸引的昆蟲而言

  • a glossy metallic surface

    接著這個演化出模仿

  • you see on some beetles.

    一個發亮的金屬般的表面,

  • And under the scanning electron microscope,

    就像你可以在一些甲蟲身上看到的一樣

  • you can see the surface there --

    而在電子顯微鏡下面來看

  • really quite different from the other surfaces we looked at.

    你可以看到那邊的表面

  • Sometimes the whole plant

    和我們所看到的其它的表面非常的不同

  • mimics an insect, even to us.

    有時候這整棵植物

  • I mean, I think that looks like some sort of flying animal or beast.

    看起來像一隻昆蟲,甚至對我們人類來說也是

  • It's a wonderful, amazing thing.

    我的意思是,我覺得那看起來像是某種飛行中的動物或野獸

  • This one's clever. It's called obsidian.

    這是一個美妙的、驚人的東西

  • I think of it as insidium sometimes.

    這個非常的聰明,它叫做黑曜石

  • To the right species of bee,

    我想它有時被稱為insidium。

  • this looks like another very aggressive bee,

    對於某些蜂類而言,

  • and it goes and bonks it on the head lots and lots of times to try and drive it away,

    這看起來像是非常有侵略性的蜂,

  • and, of course, covers itself with pollen.

    所以用頭去撞這個花好多次以試著去驅逐它,

  • The other thing it does

    而當然的,它也就被覆蓋著花粉了。

  • is that this plant mimics another orchid

    其它模仿的例子中

  • that has a wonderful store

    也有植物擬態成

  • of food for insects.

    那種蘊藏著很好的

  • And this one doesn't have anything for them.

    昆蟲食物的蘭花。

  • So it's deceiving on two levels --

    而這棵裡面卻沒有任何東西可以提供給昆蟲。

  • fabulous.

    所以它的欺騙有兩個層次上

  • (Laughter)

    實在難以置信。

  • Here we see ylang ylang,

    (眾人笑)

  • the component of many perfumes.

    這邊我們可看到"依蘭依蘭"(香水樹)

  • I actually smelt someone with some on earlier.

    是許多香水的原料

  • And the flowers don't really have to be that gaudy.

    我剛剛其實有聞到有人有噴一些在身上。

  • They're sending out a fantastic array of scent

    這花並不需要那樣的艷麗

  • to any insect that'll have it.

    它們大量散發出迷人的香氣

  • This one doesn't smell so good.

    讓任何昆蟲都沾上。

  • This is a flower

    這個植物聞起來不那麼好

  • that really, really smells pretty nasty

    這是一朵

  • and is designed, again, evolved,

    聞起來非常非常惡心的花

  • to look like carrion.

    是經設計,也就是演化

  • So flies love this.

    聞起來像是腐肉

  • They fly in and they pollinate.

    所以蒼蠅很喜歡

  • This, which is helicodiceros,

    會飛來幫它授粉

  • is also known as dead horse arum.

    白星海芋

  • I don't know what a dead horse actually smells like,

    也就是所知的死馬海芋

  • but this one probably smells pretty much like it.

    我不知道一頭死馬實際上聞起來怎樣,

  • It's really horrible.

    但這個大概聞起來就像那樣,

  • And blowflies just can't help themselves.

    真的很糟

  • They fly into this thing,

    緣頭蒼蠅會禁不起誘惑的

  • and they fly all the way down it.

    飛進這個東西

  • They lay their eggs in it,

    而且飛到最裡面

  • thinking it's a nice bit of carrion,

    在那產卵

  • and not realizing that there's no food for the eggs, that the eggs are going to die,

    並以為這是一塊很合適的腐肉

  • but the plant, meanwhile, has benefited,

    卻不知道那裡並沒有可供給那些蛋的食物,那些蛋會死掉

  • because the bristles release

    但這種植物卻同時得到好處

  • and the flies disappear

    因為

  • to pollinate the next flower -- fantastic.

    而這些蒼蠅會走掉

  • Here's arum, arum maculatum,

    去將下一朵花授粉 -- 太美妙了。

  • "lords and ladies," or "cuckoo-pint" in this country.

    這是一棵斑葉疆南星

  • I photographed this thing last week in Dorset.

    叫做君子與淑女,我國稱之為水芋百合

  • This thing heats up

    我上週在多實郡(英國英格蘭西南部的郡)照了這張相

  • by about 15 degrees above ambient temperature --

    這種植物可以升溫到

  • amazing.

    比週圍高15度

  • And if you look down into it,

    真厲害~

  • there's this sort of dam past the spadix,

    如果你往下看進去

  • flies get attracted by the heat --

    有點像是堤壩的東西穿過這個肉穗花序,

  • which is boiling off volatile chemicals, little midges --

    蒼蠅會被熱所吸引

  • and they get trapped underneath in this container.

    熱將化學物質蒸散, 而小蚊子

  • They drink this fabulous nectar

    和蒼蠅被困在這個容器中。

  • and then they're all a bit sticky.

    他們喝這個極佳的花蜜,

  • At night they get covered in pollen,

    然後他們也都變的有點黏黏的

  • which showers down over them,

    到了晚上,他們披覆著

  • and then the bristles that we saw above,

    灑在他們身上的花粉,

  • they sort of wilt and allow all these midges out, covered in pollen --

    我們剛剛看到的短硬毛

  • fabulous thing.

    會變得有些枯萎並讓這些小蚊蟲覆蓋著花粉離開,

  • Now if you think that's fabulous, this is one of my great favorites.

    多美妙的事啊!

  • This is the philodendron selloum.

    若你覺得剛剛的是很棒的,現在的這個是我最愛的之一

  • For anyone here from Brazil, you'll know about this plant.

    這是"裂葉蔓綠絨" (或稱"春羽蔓綠絨",或"天使蔓綠絨")

  • This is the most amazing thing.

    對於這裡任何一位來自巴西的人來說,你們其實知道這個植物

  • That sort of phallic bit there

    這是最神奇的東西

  • is about a foot long.

    那個有點像陽具的東西

  • And it does something

    大約一呎長

  • that no other plant that I know of does,

    據我所知

  • and that is that when it flowers --

    沒有任何其他植物會進行像它那樣的行為,

  • that's the spadix in the middle there --

    那就是當它開花時

  • for a period of about two days,

    這中間的這個是肉穗花序

  • it metabolizes in a way

    為期兩天

  • which is rather similar to mammals.

    它會某方面的變形

  • So instead of having starch,

    變得有點像是哺乳類動物一般

  • which is the food of plants,

    所以它與其像植物般的使用澱粉

  • it takes something rather similar to brown fat

    也就是植物的食物

  • and burns it at such a rate

    它反而使用像是棕脂肪這類的東西

  • that it's burning fat, metabolizing,

    以某種速率燃燒它

  • about the rate of a small cat.

    它燃燒脂肪, 新陳代謝

  • And that's twice the energy output, weight for weight,

    用像是一隻小貓的速度

  • than a hummingbird --

    若和一隻相等重量的蜂鳥相比

  • absolutely astonishing.

    相當於是兩倍的能量輸出

  • This thing does something else which is unusual.

    絕對是另人震驚的

  • Not only will it raise itself to 115 Fahrenheit,

    這個東西還有另一個非比尋常的事情

  • 43 or 44 degrees Centigrade, for two days,

    它不但將它提升到華氏115度的溫度

  • but it keeps constant temperature.

    或攝氏43或44度, 兩天

  • There's a thermoregulation mechanism in there

    還保持恆定的溫度

  • that keeps constant temperature.

    那是一種自體溫度調結的機制

  • "Now why does it do this," I hear you ask.

    並且保持固定的溫度

  • Now wouldn't you know it,

    為什麼它要這樣做呢?我聽你這樣問

  • there's some beetles that just love to make love at that temperature.

    其實你有所不知

  • And they get inside, and they get it all on.

    有某種的金龜子就喜歡在那種溫度作愛,

  • (Laughter)

    它們到那裡面,全力以赴~

  • And the plant showers them with pollen,

    (眾人笑~)

  • and off they go and pollinate.

    而這植物在它們身上灑上花粉