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萬物簡史(MP3+中英字幕) 第679期:一個星球,一次實驗(9)

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Remarkably, Rothschild's collecting efforts were neither the most extensive nor the most generously funded of the nineteenth century.

不可思議的是,在19世紀,無論從規模還是從投資方面來講,羅特希爾德的標本收集都不是最大的。
That title almost certainly belongs to a slightly earlier but also very wealthy British collector named Hugh Cuming,
這項桂冠幾乎肯定屬于比他稍早而又同樣十分富裕的英國收藏家休.康明。
who became so preoccupied with accumulating objects that he built a large oceangoing ship and employed a crew to sail the world full-time,
康明非常癡迷于標本收集,為此專門訂造了一艘大型遠洋船,并且雇傭了全職的船員到世界各地收集標本
picking up whatever they could find—birds, plants, animals of all types, and especially shells.
鳥類、植物,各種動物,尤其是貝殼。
It was his unrivaled collection of barnacles that passed to Darwin and served as the basis for his seminal study.
他們搜集了數量眾多的藤壺后來轉送給達爾文,作為他正在從事的有關生殖方面研究的基礎。
However, Rothschild was easily the most scientific collector of his age, though also the most regrettably lethal,
不過,羅特希爾德確實是那個時代最具有科學頭腦的收集者,同時也是最可悲的殺戮者,
for in the 1890s he became interested in Hawaii, perhaps the most temptingly vulnerable environment Earth has yet produced.
因為到了19世紀90年代,他開始對夏威夷產生興趣,那里也許是地球上最具吸引力而又是最容易遭受破壞的地方。
Millions of years of isolation had allowed Hawaii to evolve 8,800 unique species of animals and plants.
數百萬年的與世隔絕使得8800種獨特的動植物在夏威夷進化。
Of particular interest to Rothschild were the islands' colorful and distinctive birds,
尤其使羅特希爾德感興趣的是那里五顏六色的珍稀鳥類,
often consisting of very small populations inhabiting extremely specific ranges.
這些鳥類數量往往都不多,活動的范圍也十分狹窄。

收集標本.jpg

The tragedy for many Hawaiian birds was that they were not only distinctive, desirable, and rare

對于夏威夷的許多鳥類來說,它們的可悲之處不僅在于它們特點鮮明,惹人喜愛,非常稀少
a dangerous combination in the best of circumstances—but also often heartbreakingly easy to take.
它們危險地集這些特點于一身,而且令人傷心的是,它們往往還十分容易被捕提到。
The greater koa finch, an innocuous member of the honeycreeper family, lurked shyly in the canopies of koa trees,
體形較大的寇阿根思樹雀科鳴鳥,美色食蟲鳴鳥中的一種無害的鳥兒,經常怯生生地棲息,在寇阿相思樹樹陰中,
but if someone imitated its song it would abandon its cover at once and fly down in a show of welcome.
可是只要有人模仿它的叫聲,它就會立即飛下來以示歡迎。
The last of the species vanished in 1896, killed by Rothschild's ace collector Harry Palmer,
最后一只雀科鳴鳥于1896年被羅特希爾德手下最得力的助手哈里.帕爾默殺害,從此銷聲匿跡。

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environment [in'vaiərənmənt]

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n. 環境,外界

 
specific [spi'sifik]

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adj. 特殊的,明確的,具有特效的
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v. 進展,進化,展開

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