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相得益彰的房东与租客

所属:生活杂谈 来源:快乐英语网 阅读:2833 次 评论:0 条 [我要评论]  [+我要收藏]

小编摘要:本文用很短的篇幅讲述了树与蚂蚁之间巧妙的双赢邻里关系,语言生动活泼,语气变化有序,值得仔细多听,慢慢体会文字的奥妙。

俗话说,远亲不如近邻。也许你可以用身边众多的例子证明这一点,但这绝不是人类独有的特性,文章的主角也用无言的行动诠释了“守望相助”的含义。读完这篇文章后,你会有这么一个感觉:我们跟它们是多么相似啊。

本文用很短的篇幅讲述了树与蚂蚁之间巧妙的双赢邻里关系,语言生动活泼,语气变化有序,值得仔细多听,慢慢体会文字的奥妙。

ant and tree


Plants are the basis of all life, for only they can combine minerals in the ground with gases from the air and produce something worth eating. Insects, however, not only eat them, they also exploit them in much more devious ways.

植物是所有生命的基础,只有植物能把土壤中的矿物质跟大气中的气体结合,制造出食物。然而,昆虫不仅仅会吃植物,还会用更阴险的方法利用它们呢。

Tropical rainforests are famous for being thick, tangled masses of vegetation. But in this one in Peru there are mysterious clearings, where only one, or at most two, kinds of trees will grow. The local people call such places as this “devil's gardens” and believe that spirits kill other kinds of trees. And the real killers of those trees? Well, they've only just been discovered.

热带雨林以其浓密出名,植物全都密密麻麻地纠结在一起。但是,秘鲁这片雨林有一些神秘的空地,这里只有一种,或者顶多两种树。当地人称这种地方为“恶魔的花园”,并且认为恶灵把其他树都害死了。究竟是谁杀死这些树呢?凶手到最近才真相大白。

The leaves of the surviving trees all have these swellings on their stems, and going in and out are armies of tiny, tiny ants. The swellings are their homes, specially developed for them by the tree. And in them, safe from predators, the ants keep their eggs and larvae. They even keep domestic livestock, white scale insects which, like aphids, supply the ants with drinks of honeydew.

这些活了下来的树,它们的叶茎全部都鼓了起来,进进出出的是一群小之又小的蚂蚁,它们住在叶茎鼓胀的部分,这是树特别为它们打造的窝。在里面,蚂蚁不用担心蛋和幼虫遭掠食者入侵,它们甚至养起了家畜——白介壳虫,它们跟蚜虫一样会提供蜜露给蚂蚁喝。

Producing this accommodation also benefits the tree, for the ants provide their landlord with a valuable service: they guard it against its enemies.

为蚂蚁提供这种住宿环境对树也有好处,因为蚂蚁会为其房东提供非常重要的服务:守卫树木,抵抗外侮。

All kinds of insects will eat a plant's leaves given the chance. But they don't get a chance—not on this tree—so the 9)caterpillar goes elsewhere.

各式各样的昆虫只要逮到机会就会吃植物的叶子,可是要想对这棵树下手,门儿都没有。毛虫只好换个地方了。

The ants not only repel their host's animal enemies, they also, perhaps more remarkably, keep competing plants at bay. A squad of them leaves the barracks and sets out on one of their regular patrols of the neighbourhood. They've found a newly sprouted sapling. Perhaps it's grown from one of their landlord's seeds, in which case all well and good. But this one hasn't: it's an intruder. They go into action biting its stems. Reinforcements arrive. Hundreds of tiny jaws cut into its stems. The sapling begins to wilt.

蚂蚁不仅会帮房东赶走动物敌人,此外更了不起的是它们还会阻止有竞争性的植物接近。一群蚂蚁离开了兵营,到附近的地盘进行例行性巡逻。它们找到一棵刚发芽的树苗。说不定这是房东的后代,要是这样的话,就万事大吉,不过这株不是,它是入侵者。蚂蚁展开行动,咬起了树苗的茎。援军也到了,几百只蚂蚁用小嘴啃咬树茎,最终,这棵树苗开始枯萎了。

But bites alone are not enough for the ants to achieve their ends. They lift their abdomens and inject formic acid into the crippled plant's wounds. The poison spreads through the plant's tissues hastening its death. And, within a few days of being comprehensively stung, all these plants are dead. And the ants, or the devils, have extended their garden still further.

但是蚂蚁光靠啃是没办法达到目的的,它们挺起了肚子开始把蚁酸注入枯萎的植物伤口里。毒液通过植物的组织在体内扩散,加速了它的死亡。然后,经过在这些植物浑身上下一连几天又啃又咬,这些植物都死了。恶魔蚂蚁就这样扩大了花园的面积。

But the benefit of this drastic gardening, of course, is not restricted to the plants. The ants also profit. They have ensured that their plant landlord can extend its territory without competition, and that provides them with more homes so they too can increase their numbers.

当然,这些激烈的园艺手法之下,受益的不光是植物,蚂蚁也获益匪浅。它们确保了房东可以扩张地盘,又没有竞争对手。这样的话,蚂蚁就会有更多的住房,它们的家族也就壮大起来了。

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2011-11-08 15:11 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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