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为何鸟类成了唯一一种幸存的恐龙?

kira86 于2018-07-04发布 l 已有人浏览
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大部分恐龙都灭绝了,但有一种幸存了下来---鸟类恐龙,也就是我们所说的鸟类。为何鸟类成为唯一幸存的恐龙呢?
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Why are birds the only surviving dinosaurs?

为什么鸟类是唯一幸存的恐龙?

Dinosaurs were the dominant land animals for hundreds of millions of years.

恐龙陆地动物霸主的地位曾维持了上亿年。

But then, 66 million years ago, an asteroid hit Earth. Dust clouds filled the sky and blocked out the sunlight. It became much colder.

但,6600万年前,一颗小行星撞击了地球。乌云蔽日,气温急剧下降。

Plants died. And because it was so cold and dark, new ones didn't grow very well.

植物纷纷死亡,由于寒冷黑暗的环境,新生植物的长势也不喜人。

Large volcanic eruptions also added to the bad conditions.

大规模的火山喷发也加剧了环境的恶劣程度。

Most dinosaurs were wiped out, but one group survived. These were the avian dinosaurs, which most of us know as birds.

大部分恐龙都灭绝了,但有一种幸存了下来---鸟类恐龙,也就是我们所说的鸟类。

So why were birds the only dinosaurs that survived? There are three main ideas.

为什么鸟类成了唯一一种幸存的恐龙呢?主要原因有三:

Firstly, most birds are small. The ones that survived the mass extinction of the dinosaurs were no bigger than ducks.

第一,大多数鸟类都体型娇小。从恐龙灭绝潮中幸存下来的种类体型还没有鸭子大。

Small creatures breed faster. This means they adapt quicker to new situations.

小体型动物繁殖速度更快。这意味着它们可以更快地适应新情况。

So birds were able to adapt more quickly to the new conditions than larger animals could.

所以,鸟类可以比其它大型动物更快地适应新环境。

Birds' small size also gave them another advantage: they didn't need to eat as much as large animals.

鸟类的小体型还有另一重优势:它们吃得少。

This was handy because food became harder to find.

这个特点非常有用,因为当时食物相当紧缺。

A second reason for birds' survival is the fact they eat pretty much anything.

帮助鸟类幸存下来的第二个因素是:它们什么都能吃。

Birds eat a lot of different things, including seeds, fruit, insects and even fish.

鸟类的食谱很广,包括植物种子、水果、昆虫,甚至鱼类。

This is partly thanks to their different beak shapes. More and more beak shapes appeared from about 80 million years ago onwards.

这一优势部分要归功于它们形状各异的鸟喙。从大约八千万年前开始,鸟类演变出各种各样的喙形。

A third reason birds survived is because they could fly. Flying takes less energy than walking or running to travel long distances.

幸存的第三个原因是:鸟类可以飞。在长途旅行中,飞行消耗的能量低于步行或奔跑。

So birds could easily escape the bad conditions and find new food sources and safer places to live.

因此鸟类可以快速地从恶劣环境中脱身,找到新的食物来源和安全的栖息地。

Today birds are a hugely successful group. There are at least 11,000 different species.

如今,鸟类家族兴盛繁荣,拥有至少11,000个不同品种。

They are very diverse - just think how different penguins, sparrows and eagles are.

各品种之间差异明显——想想企鹅、麻雀和老鹰是多么不同就知道了。

Birds are found everywhere on the planet - on all continents and in all environments, from icy Antarctica to tropical rainforests.

从冰冷的南极洲到热带雨林,地球上的任何角落都能找到鸟类的身影。

They are incredible creatures that soar above mountain tops, survive in dry deserts and even swim in the sea.

它们是一种难以置信的生物,能在山顶上翱翔,能在干旱的沙漠中生存,甚至能在海里游泳。

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