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  • Locusts are grasshopperswith unusual superpowers.

    蝗蟲其實就是是蚱蜢,只是有著不同尋常的超強力量。

  • When triggered by overcrowding, they literally transform themselveschanging from green to brown, eating more, getting muscular, mating more, and congregating in crowds.

    當牠們被過度繁殖的壓力所刺激時,牠們自身便會發生轉變:顏色從綠色變為棕色、吃得更多、長出更多肌肉、更頻繁地交配並成群地聚在一起。

  • Then, their shy alter egos forgotten, they swarm across the landscape, searching for food, colonizing and recolonizing breeding grounds, and being a general nuisance.

    接著牠們便忘記了自己過去的型態,開始成群地飛過大地、尋找食物、稱霸適合繁殖的土地,成為令人頭痛的存在。

  • There are about a dozen locust species on Earth, and only one has been found in North America: the Rocky Mountain locust, which devastated crops across the Great Plains from 1850 to 1880.

    全世界的蝗蟲大約有 12 個品種,而在北美洲只有一種被發現過,那就是洛磯山蝗蟲。 從 1850 到 1880 年間,這種蝗蟲摧毀了北美大平原中的農作物。

  • The fact that the locusts preferred cultivated crops to prairie grasses ensured that their massive swarms caught the attention of white settlers... though really, the locusts would have been hard to miss.

    由於蝗蟲比起雜草更喜歡精耕細種的農作物,使它們巨大的蟲群引起了白人移民者的注意... 但說實在的,要不發現蝗蟲反而更難。

  • One observer in Nebraska in 1875 watched a mile-high stream of locusts pass overhead for 5 days straight.

    1875 年,一位觀測者在內布拉斯加州觀測到一個高約一英里的蝗蟲蟲群,整整五天不停地從頭上飛過。

  • Together with telegraphed reports from neighboring towns, he estimated the swarm to be 110 miles wide and 1,800 miles long, roughly twice the size of Colorado.

    結合了隔壁村鎮傳來的電報,他預估這個遷徙蟲群大約有 110 英里寬、1800 英里長,大約是整個科羅拉多州的兩倍大小。

  • During the biggest outbreaks, locusts consumed all crops in their path, as well as, reportedly, fence posts, leather, and the wool off of sheep.

    在蝗害最嚴重時,蝗蟲吃光了所有牠們所經路徑中的的農作物,據說就連圍欄、皮革,還有羊身上的毛都被吃光了。

  • They were such a challenge to the settlement of the western US and Canada that bounty hunters were paid as much as $100 per bushel of dead grasshoppers, and settlers dynamited their breeding grounds.

    蝗蟲對美國與加拿大西部的移居地居民來說是個嚴重的挑戰,讓他們甚至給獵殺蝗蟲的賞金獵人每蒲式耳蝗蟲 100 美元的賞金,而移民們則用炸藥爆破了蝗蟲的繁殖地。

  • While these methods may have been more satisfying than successful, ultimately, the settlers did end up controlling the Rocky Mountain Locusts.

    雖然這些方法的安慰效果比實際效果來得更高,但最終移民們仍舊控制住了落磯山蝗蟲的數量。

  • In fact, they made them go extinct. By accident.

    事實上,他們直接讓蝗蟲絕種了。在不小心的狀況下。

  • Locusts, like settlers, need to eat and reproduce.

    就像移民們一樣,蝗蟲也需要進食和繁衍下一代。

  • And after outbreaks, locust populations typically retreated back to their permanent breeding grounds in the valleys of the northern Rockies to lay their eggs.

    在蝗害發生後,蝗蟲通常會回到他們在落磯山北部山谷間的永久繁殖地產卵。

  • However, because these river bottomlands were fertile and had plenty of water, they were also prime locations for pioneer farms and ranches.

    然而,由於這些河谷地土壤肥沃且水資源豐富,讓它們也成為了拓荒者開拓農場與牧場的主要地點。

  • It turns out that plows, livestock, and irrigation excel at destroying locust eggs and crucial locust nymph habitat.

    結果人們發現,犁、牲畜還有灌溉剛好是摧毀蝗蟲蟲卵和重要蝗蟲蟲蛹棲地的好工具。

  • By the 1890s, swarming white settlers had covered so much western river bottomland that the locusts weren't able to attain the numbers or density needed to transform into their buff alter egos, and they never swarmed again.

    截至 1890 年代為止,蜂擁而至的白人移民已遍布西方河谷地各處,讓蝗蟲無法達到轉變為淺黃色交替型態的數量與密度,並讓牠們再也沒有成群出現。

  • The disappearance of these superbugs less than 30 years after they nearly ate agriculture off the Great Plains, is most likely the only extinction of a pest species in the history of agriculture.

    這些「超蟲」們在吃光北美大平原幾乎所有農作物的 30 年後便完全消失,而這很可能是農業史上唯一一次有害蟲完全滅絕的狀況。

  • Because it turns out, agriculture was their kryptonite.

    因為,農業之於蝗蟲就如同超人之於氪星石一樣 (一種出現於《超人》中的礦石,是超人的剋星)。

Locusts are grasshopperswith unusual superpowers.

蝗蟲其實就是是蚱蜢,只是有著不同尋常的超強力量。

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C1 高級 中文 美國腔 蝗蟲 農作物 超人 繁殖 型態 白人

北美大蝗災 (The Great North American Locust Plague)

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    Bing-Je 發佈於 2021 年 10 月 08 日
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