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 May 18th is the 37th anniversary of the massive explosion of Mount Saint Helens. But within days of the volcano erupting, the local ecosystem started to bounce back. Thanks to some unassuming little animals that spend lots of time underground. The pocket gophers were the ecological heroes of Mount Saint Helens. Emory University paleontologist and geologist Anthony J. Martin.

5月18日 是圣海伦斯火山爆发37周年纪念日. 可是在火山喷发的日子里,当地的生态系统开始恢复.多亏了一些默默无闻的小动物在地底下的辛勤劳动. 衣囊鼠 就是圣海伦斯火山 地区的生态保护英雄. 这是Emory大学古生物和地理学家Anthony J. Martin.

You normally don't hear those words put together, pocket gopher and hero. But they were these small burrowing mammals were able to survive this massive, devastating volcanic eruption.


Just as numerous animals that live underground have survived catastrophes and predators for hundreds of millions of years. As Martin discusses in his new book The Evolution Underground: Burrows, Bunkers, and the Marvelous Subterranean World Beneath Our Feet.

和许多生活在地下的动物一样,它们在大灾难和食肉动物的威胁下生存了成百上千年了。就像Martin在他的新书 中讨论到的那样。新书的名字是《地底下的进化:洞穴,地下城堡, 和不可思议的在我们脚下的地下世界》

The reports I was reading about this, about how these researchers in helicopters are flying over the devastated landscape - just a few days later there were the burrow mounds. Pop pop pop. Thinking about these gophers that were below the ground. And they survived that.


So that to me was a golden opportunity to talk about that, as this incredible story of survival, but also renewal. That these little burrowing mammals brought back that landscape. Because their burrows served first of all as refuge for any other small animals that were there. So other small mammals and other vertebrates, such as amphibians and reptiles that lived there, they were either in their own burrows or they were in pocket gopher burrows or other small mammal burrows in the area.

所以这对我来讲是一个绝佳的时机来谈论它,因为这是一件令人难以置信的幸存者的故事, 但也是新生。这些小型打洞的哺乳动物使那里的风景恢复如初。 因为它们的洞首先对其它小型动物起到了避难所的意义存在。所以其它小型哺乳动物和其它脊椎动物,比如生活则那里的两栖类和爬行类, 它们要么在自己的洞里,要么就是在衣囊鼠打的洞里,亦或是该地区其它小型哺乳类动物的洞里。

The burrowing also brought up seeds. The seeds are already buried, so that caused plants to start sprouting in the area, where it wasn't so much wind-blown seeds then of course once other animals started coming back into the area, like elk, and they started dropping seeds through their feces and otherwise affecting the surface ecology, that then worked together to bring those ecosystems back to life. But the gophers were key in this. They really were essential for these ecosystems to be able to bounce back.

这种洞也能培育种子。种子已经被埋在地下,这就导致植物在那个地区开始发芽,那里没有太多风吹来的种子,然后当然一旦其它动物开始回归这个地区,像是麋鹿,它们就开始通过粪便散落出种子,还有其它不同的方式来影响着地表的生态, 然后这些因素一起使那些生态系统恢复活力。 可是衣囊鼠是其中的关键所在。它们真的对这些生态系统能恢复是至关重要的 。

You can hear an extended interview with Martin about his book in a Science Talk podcast posted on our website. And there's a children's book just about the gophers and Mount Saint Helens called Gopher to the Rescue by Terry Jennings. Finally, for general information about gophers and their effect on landscapes, check out the nature documentary Caddyshack.

你可以在我们网站上的科学谈话播客节目上收听马丁关于此书采访的相关内容。并且这里还有一本儿童读物是关于衣囊鼠和圣海伦斯火山的,名字叫衣囊鼠的营救, 作者是Terry Jennings. 最后, 关于衣囊鼠和它们对地区景观的影响方面的一般信息内容,可以查阅自然科学记录节目Caddyshack。

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