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发布时间:2014-05-16 11:03:18  

Human beings venture into the highest parts of our planet at their peril(n.危险;冒险). Some might think by climbing a great mountain they have somehow conquered it, but we can only be visitors here. This is a frozen, alien world.



David Attenborough

This is the other extreme. One of the lowest, hottest places on Earth. It?s over a hundred meters below the level of the sea. But here, a mountain is in gestation. Pools of sulphuric acid(硫酸) are indications that deep underground there?re titanic stirrings. This is the Danakil Depression(洼地)(达纳吉尔凹地) In Ethiopia, lying within the colossal(巨大的;<口语>异常的) rent(n.裂缝) in the Earth?s surface where giant land masses() are pulling away from one another. Lava(n.火山熔岩) rises to the surface through this crack in the crust(n.地壳), creating a chain of young volcanoes. This one, Etra-Ale(艾特阿雷火山), is today the longest continually erupting volcano on the planet. A lake of lava that has been molten for over 100 years. This same volcanic forces also created the Ethiopia?s highlands. 70 million years ago, this land was just as flat and as deep as the Danakil Depression. Molten lava, rising from the Earth?s core, forced up a huge dome(n.圆屋顶;像圆屋顶一样的东西;圆顶体育场) of rocks 500 miles wide. The roof of Africa. Over millennia, rain and ice carved the rock into a landscape of spires(n.螺旋;塔尖;尖塔;[) and canyons(峡谷). These summits, nearly 3 miles up, are home to some remarkable(adj. 异常的,引人注目的,;卓越的;显著的;非凡的,非常(好)的) mountaineers. Gelada baboons(狮尾狒). They?re unique to the highlands of Ethiopia. The cliffs where they sleep are for expert climbers only, and Gelada certainly have the right equipment, the strongest fingers of any primate(n.灵长目动物) and an utterly(adj.彻底的,完全的,绝对的) fearless disposition(n.性情,性格;意向). But you need more than a head of height to survive up here. A day in the Gelada?s life reveals how they risen(起义( rise的过去分词 );升起;(数量)增加;休会) to the challenge. For all monkeys, morning is grooming(Vi.打扮) time, a chance to catch to with friends. But unlike other monkeys, Geladas chat constantly while they do it. It?s a great way to network(Vi.沟通,互助) while your hands are busy. But these socials(n.联谊会,联欢会;社交聚会) can?t go on too long. Geladas have a busy daily schedule(时刻表,进度表,英音与美音不同) work to be done. Most monkeys couldn?t live up here. There?s no fruit and few insects to feed on. But geladas are unique. They are only monkeys in the world to live almost entirely on grass. They live in the largest assemblies formed by any monkeys. Some groups are 800 strong and they crop(Vt.种植;收割;修剪;剪短) the high meadows(草地;牧场) like herds of wildebeest(角马,羚羊的一种). The geladas graze(Vi.(让动物)吃草;轻擦,擦破) alongside walia ibex(西敏羱羊), which are unique to these highlands. These rare creatures are usually very shy, but they drop they guard when geladas are around. You might expect that

grazers would avoid each other?s patch(n.补丁,补片;碎片,碎屑;(文章的)一段;斑点), but this ?s a special alliance from which both parts benefit. It?s not risky to put your head down if others are on the lookout. Ethiopian wolves(西门豺). They won?t attempt to attack in broad daylight. But at dusk(黄昏,傍晚;幽暗dusk(黄昏)dawn(破晓)), the plateau becomes a dangerous place. With the grazing largely over, there?s a last chance to socialize before returning to sleeping cliffs. An early warning system puts everyone on alert(n.警报;警戒状态). Their day ends as it began, safe on the cliff. The Ethiopian volcanoes are dormant(adj.潜伏的,蛰服的,休眠的;静止的;资金没有利用的;权利尚待争取的), but elsewhere, others still rage(Vi.发脾气,动怒;流行,风行). Volcanoes form the backbone(n.脊梁骨,脊椎;分水岭;支柱;决心,毅力) of the longest mountain chain on our planet, the Andes of South America. This vast range stretches 5000 miles from the equator(n.赤道;(平分球形物体的面的)圆;(任何)大圆) down to the Antarctic. It formed as the floor of the Pacific Ocean slid(滑动,滑行( slide的过去式和过去分词 );滑落;下跌;打滑) beneath the South American continent, buckling(vi.用搭扣扣紧;(使)变形,弯曲) its edge. At the Southern end stand the mountains of Patagonia(巴塔哥尼亚山脉). It?s high summer. But the Andes have the most unstable mountain weather on the planet and storms can erupt without warning. Temperatures plummet(垂直落下;骤然跌落) and guanacos(n.产于南美安第斯山脉的骆马,羊驼,草泥马) and their newborn young must suddenly endure a blizzard(n.暴风雪;大量;). Truly, all seasons in one day. A puma(美洲狮), the lion of the Andes. Pumas are usually solitary(adj.独自的,独立的;单个的;唯一的;隐居的) and secretive. To see a group walking boldly is extremely rare. It?s a family, a mother with four cubs. She has just one brief summer to teach them mountain survival techniques. Raring four in this age is an exceptional feat(n.功绩,伟业;技艺表演;卓绝的手艺,技术,本领;武艺), but she does have an excellent territory rich in food and water. Although the cubs are now as large as their mother, they still rely on her for their food. It be another year before the cubs could hunt for themselves. Without their mother?s skill and experience, they will never survive their first winter. Battered(vi.连续猛击;捣碎,打烂;磨损;使内倾,使倾斜) by hurricane-force winds, these slopes are now lifeless. Further north, they hold other dangers. Moving 250 miles an hour, the avalanche(n.雪崩) destroys everything in its path. In the American Rockies, 100,000 avalanches devastate(Vt.破坏;毁灭;蹂躏;使荒废) the slopes every winter. This huge mountain chain continue the great spine(n.脊柱;脊椎;(动植物的)刺;书脊) that runs from Patagonia to Alaska. The slopes of the Rockies, bleak(adj. 没有指望的;寒冷的,刺骨的;无遮蔽的,荒

凉的) though they are, provide a winter refuge for some animals. A mother grizzly(n. 北美洲灰熊) emerges from her den after six months dozing(n.瞌睡) underground. Her two cubs follow her and take their first step in the outside world. These steep slopes provide a sanctuary(n.避难所;庇护所;圣所;庇护) for the cubs. A male bear would kill and eat given the chance but big animals find it difficult to get about here. Males may be twice the size of a female, and even she can have problems. Her cubs , however, make light of the snow and of life in general. But the mother faces a dilemma(n.窘境,困境;进退两难). It?s six months since she last fed and the milk is starting to run dry. She must soon leave the safety of this nursery slopes and her cubs away from the mountain. If she delays, the whole family will risk starvation. Summer reveals the true nature of the Rockies. Stripped(脱去) of snow, the peaks bare(Vt.使赤裸;使露出;揭开;脱(衣服) their sculpted(Vt.雕刻,雕塑) forms. Only now can mountaineers reclaim(Vt.开拓,开垦;要求收回) the upper reaches(n.手脚能够到的范围;范围,区域;影响的范围,管辖的范围). Two miles up, the crumbling(adj.捏碎的,弄碎的;) precipices(n.悬崖,峭壁) seem devoid of life. But there?re animals here. A grizzly bear. It seems to be an odd creature to find on these high rocky slopes. It hard to imagine what could have attracted it here. At this time of the year, bears should be fattening up for the winter. Yet they gather in some numbers on this apparently barren slopes. They?re searching for a rather unusual food. Moths(飞蛾). Millions have flown here to escape the heat of lowlands and they?re now roosting(Vi.栖息;过去事情的恶果显现出来;自食恶果;得到报应) among the rocks. Moths nay seem a meager(adj.瘦的;粗劣的;不足的;贫乏的) meal for a bear, but their bodies are rich in fat and can make all difference in a bear?s annual struggle for survival. Another battle is being waged(Vt.实行,进行,作(战等);〈) here but on a much longer scale. These loose(adj.松的,宽的;模糊的;散漫的;自由的) boulders(n.卵石,圆石;巨砾,冰砾;漂砾) are the mountain?s crumbling bones(n.骨头;尸骨;骨质物;有……样的骨头的). The Rockies are no longer rising but slowly disintegrating(Vt.使某物碎裂,崩裂;使某物衰微,瓦解,分崩离析). All mountains everywhere are being worn down(adj.穿旧的,用旧的;穿坏的,用坏的;筋疲力尽的) by forest, snow and ice. The Alps were raised some 15 million years ago as Africa, drifting northwards, collided(Vi.相撞;碰撞;冲突;抵触) with the southern edge of Europe. These spires(n.螺旋;塔尖;尖塔;[动]螺旋部) are the eroded(vi.侵蚀,腐蚀) remains of an ancient seabed that once stretched between the continents. But these are just Alpine foothills(n.山麓,小丘). The range at its center rises to 3 miles high and is crowned with permanent snow. The Matterhorn, It?s summit too steep to hold a snowfield. Mont Blanc, the highest peak in western Europe. The distinctive jagged shape of the Alps were carved by those great sculptors, the glaciers(n.冰河,冰川). Immense rivers of moving ice, laden(adj.满载的,负载的;受压迫的) with rock, grind(Vi.

磨碎,嚼碎;折磨) down their ways down the mountains, gauging(.Vt(用仪器)测量;确定容量,体积或内容;评估,判断;采用) out deep valleys. They?re the most powerful erosive force on our planet. A Moulin(冰川瓯穴), a shaft(n.柄,轴;矛,箭;〈) in ice opened by meltwater as it plunges(Vi.用力插入;使陷入) into the depths of the glacier. Like the water running through it, the ice itself is constantly moving, flowing down the valley with unstoppable force. Alpine glaciers may seem immense, but they?re dwarfed(n.(使)显得矮小;使(发育,智能等)受阻碍;使相形见绌) by those in the great ranges that divide The Indian subcontinent with Tibet. This is the boulder-strewn(adj.散播的) snout(n.(猪等动物的)长鼻子,口鼻部) of the giant Baltoro Glacier in the Karakoram Mountains(喀喇昆仑山脉) of Pakistan. It?s the biggest glacier mountain on Earth, 43 miles long and over 3 miles wide. This huge, ice-filled valley is so large that it?s clearly visible from space. This?s the greatest concentration of peaks over 5 miles high to be found anywhere on Earth. They?re the most dangerous mountains of all. K2(乔戈里峰, 乔戈里峰海拔86ll米,它是喀喇昆仑山脉的主峰,也是世界上第二高峰,国外又称K2峰。) and her sister peaks have claimed more lives than any others. The peaks here rise so precipitously(adj.险峻的;多悬崖的;急躁的;鲁莽的), the glaciers are so steep and crevassed(adj.易碎的), that few except the most skilled mountaineers can penetrate these ranges. Markhor(捻角山羊捻角山羊(Capra falconeri),又名螺角山羊,是分散在喜玛拉雅山西部林地的一种山羊,亦是代表巴基斯坦的动物。捻

角山羊(markhor)的名字来源于波斯语“mar”(蛇)和“khor”(吃),以那对卷曲的、螺旋形的大角而著称。在历史上,捻角山羊的聚居地从土库曼斯坦、乌兹别克斯坦、塔吉克斯坦一直延伸到阿富汗、巴基斯坦和印度北部(克什米尔),但是在今天它们已经很有限了现在。分布于尼泊尔、锡金、不丹,有时也会越国界到我国境地,但越过后不久会回来,因为那里是别的动物的领地) gather for their annual rut(n.发情期;). Male must fight for the right to breed, but on these sheer cliffs, any slips by either animal could be fatal. A snow leopard(雪豹), the rarest of Himalayan animals. It?s a female, returning to her lair(n.(野兽的)巢穴,窝;(人的)藏身处). These are the first intimate(adj.亲密的,亲近的;私人的,个人的;内部的;直接的) images of snow leopard ever filmed in the wild. She greets her one-year old cub. Her den is well chosen. It has an exceptional view of the surrounding cliffs. On these treacherous(adj.骗人的;不忠的;奸诈的;不可信的) slopes, no hunters other than snow leopards would have a chance of catching such agile prey. A f

emale and her young make a easier target. Her large paws give an excellent grip(紧握,抓牢;握力;掌握,理解;能力,胜任), and that long tail helps her balance. Silently she positions herself above her prey(squealing(n.长而尖锐的叫声;〈美〉抗议)). She returns with nothing. Golden eagles patrol these cliffs, in search of the weak or the injured. With a two meter wingspan, this bird could easily take a young markohr. Eagles hunt by sight , and the thickening veil(n.面纱;掩饰;覆盖物;托词) of snow forces then to give up. For the leopard, the snow provides cover and creates an opportunity. The worsening weather dampens(Vt.抑制;使潮湿;使……沮丧;隔音,防音) the sound of her approach, allowing her to get within the striking distance. It was an act of desperation to catch such a large animal. Wolves have made a kill, giving other hunters a chance to scavenge(Vi.(动物)食腐肉). The worst of blizzard brings a success for the snow leopard. But having descended so far to make a kill, she has a grueling(adj.紧张的,激烈的,使极度疲劳的) climb to get back to her lair. The cub must be patient. It will be a year before it has the strength and skill to kill for itself on these difficult slopes. The snow leopard is almost a mythical creature, an icon of wildness, an animal few humans have glimpsed for its world is one we seldom visit. The Karakoram lie at the western end of a range that stretches across a tenth of our planet, the Himalayas. These, the highest mountains in the world, like other great ranges(n.山脉,房屋等的)排列), were created by the collision of continents. Some 50 million years ago, the India collided with Tibet, thrusting(Vi.插入;用力向某人刺去;猛然或用力推) up these immense peaks which are still rising. This vast barrier of ice and rock is so colossal(adj.巨大的;<口语>异常的) it shapes the world?s climate. Warm winds from India, full of moisture(n.水分;湿气;潮湿;降雨量), are forced upwards by the Himalayas. As the air rises, so it cools, causing clouds to form and the monsoon(n.印度洋的)季风;季风雨;夏季季风) is born. At high altitudes(高度,海拔高度;高位,高等;[天]地平纬度;[数]顶垂线) areas, the monsoon rains fall as snow. Latitude(纬度;范围;[天]黄纬;)Here, at far eastern end of the range in China, one inhabitant endures the bitter winters out in the open. Most other bears would be sleeping underground by now, but the giant panda can?t fatten up enough to hibernate(冬眠). Its food, bamboo, on which it totally relies, has so little nutritional value that it can?t build a fat store like other bears. Most of the creatures here move up and down with the seasons, but the panda is held captive by its diet, for the kind of bamboo it eats only grows at this altitude. But these forests hold fewer challenges for the more mobile. The golden snub(adj.(鼻子)短而扁的)-nosed monkey(川金丝猴), like the giant panda, lives only in China. Their thick fur allows them to survive at greater altitudes than any other monkey. And when the cold bites, they have these upper slopes to themselves. Even you have a warm coat, it apparently help to surround yourself with as many layers as possible. But these

monkeys at least have a choice. If they?re tired of tree bark(吠叫;厉声说话, 树皮) and other survival food, they can always descend to lower, warmer altitudes, and not return until spring. A the snows retreat, trees come into bloom. Cherry blossom(n.花,群花;开花时期,(). Rhododendrons(杜鹃花属,杜鹃花[地名] [美国] 罗多登德伦). Here in their natural home, they form the forests and fill the landscape with colors of a new season. These forests are host to a rich variety of springtime migrants. Beneath the blooms(n.(常指供观赏的)花;开花期;), another display. It?s a mating season for oriental pheasants(n.雉,野鸡;野鸡肉)(亚洲雉), Himalayan monal(虹雉)(棕尾虹雉), tragopan(角雉) and blood pheasant(血雉). Musk deer(麝鹿) make the most of a short flush of spring foods. This male smells a potential mate. The red panda(小熊猫), rarely glimpsed in the wild. It was once considered as raccoon(n.浣熊;浣熊毛皮), but is now believed to be a small mountain bear. By midsummer, its larger more famous relative has retreated into a cave. A giant panda nurses a tiny week-old baby. Her tenders cleaning wards(vi.挡住,架住;避开;收容) off infection. She won?t leave this cave for three weeks. Not while her cub is so utterly helpless. Progress is slow, for milk produced on a diet of bamboo is wretchedly(adj.不幸的,悲惨的,可怜的;卑鄙的;恶劣的) poor. Four weeks old, and the cub is still blind. Its eyes do not fully open until three months after its birth. But the chances of the cub reaching adulthood are slim(adj.微小的;细长的;无价值的). The struggle of giant panda mother raising her cub is a touching symbol of the precariousness (adj.危险的;不确定的;) life in the mountains. On the highest summits of our planet, nothing can live permanently. The highest peak of all, Mt Everest, five and half miles above the sea level and is still rising. The roof of our world. Of those humans who tried to climb it, one in ten have lost their lives. Those that succeed can stand for only a few moments on its summit. The Nepalese call it, ”A mountain so high that no bird can fly above it”. But each year, over 50000 demoiselle(<法>闺女,少女) cranes(衰羽鹤蓑羽鹤性羞怯,不善与其他鹤类合群,每多独处。其举止娴雅、稳重端庄,故又名“闺秀鹤”。飞行时呈“V”字编队,颈伸直。秋季。时间大致在10月中、下旬。

确切地说,不是所有的蓑羽鹤都会经历那样的旅程,只有往来于印度和我国西南地区的5万只个体会那样迁徙,具体日期视气候条件而定,而且延续较长一段时间。) set out in one of the most challenging migration on earth. To reach their over-winter grounds in India, they must cross the Himalayas. By late morning, ferocious(adj.残忍的;极度的;凶猛;恶) winds are roaring among the peaks. The cranes must gain height to avoid the building storm. They?ve hit serious turbulence(n.骚动,骚乱;[物]湍流;(海洋、天气等的)狂暴;动荡), they must turn back or risk death. A new day and a new opportunity. The flock stay in close contact by calling to one another. Weak from lack of water and food, they use thermals, rising column of warm air to gain height. For many, this is their first journey across the Himalayas. For some, it will be last. Golden eagles have been expecting them. The eagles work in pairs to separate the young cranes from the flock(n.兽群,鸟群;). It escapes the clutches(vi.抓住,紧紧抓住( clutch的第三人称单数 );(因害怕或痛苦)突然抓住) of one and is caught by another. But an even a young crane is a heavy prize and the eagle has to struggle to control it. The mother can wait no longer. This is a desperate race against worsening weather. The rest of the flock battle on. In a final ascent of the

flock, every win-beat becomes exhausting struggle. At last, they?re over the highest barrier that lies in their way. But like all who visit the world of high mountains, they dare not linger(vi.逗留,徘徊;缓慢消失).

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