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2014-12-04    来源:原版英语学习    【      美国外教 在线口语培训


on Earth,there's no doubt that they have highly developed senses to stay alive and thrive.But while some of their features may be compared to taste,sight,touch and smell in humans,have you ever wondered-can plants think?
世界上共有三十多万种植物,毫无疑问 为了繁荣昌盛 它们的感官都已高度进化。不过 尽管一些特征可以与人类的味觉 视觉 触觉和嗅觉做比,你是否曾想过 植物会思考吗?

On land,the cumulative mass of plants is 1000 times highter than that of animals.But these plants are immobile and can't move around in their environment;which is,seemingly,a pretty big evolutionary disadvantage.This has forced plants to adapt in amazing ways that often go unnoticed by the naked eye.
陆地上 植物总重量比动物高1000倍。但这些植物都是固定不动的,似乎在进化中这也很不利。这点迫使植物采取些容易被眼睛忽略的奇特方式。

Smell something funny?Plants do too-and they react to these chemicals in the air.For example,when fruits start to ripen,they release a chemical called ethylene.And when neighboring fruits sense this pheromone,they ripen faster,so that all fruits mature at the same time.Plants also give off scents which attract insects to spread their pollen.
味道怪味了?植物也能闻 并会对空气中的化学物质做出反应。比如 水果在成熟时会释放出一种叫乙烯的物质。当周围植物感测到这种信息素时 它们会更快成熟,而所有的水果就能同时成熟了。植物也会释放出吸引昆虫传粉的气味。

In particular,the amazing carrion flowers grow tiny hairs,feel warm and smell like rotting flesh in an attempt to mimic a dead corpse.This is to attract flies and beetles as pollinators.On the other hand,when a plant is attacked by an insect,animal or pathogen,it knows.When acacia trees are grazed by animals,they quickly react by producing chemicals called tannins,which make their leaves unappetizing and tough to digest.
特别地 大王花会长出腐肉味的绒毛 籍此模仿死尸。这是为了吸引传粉者 苍蝇和甲虫。另一方面 当植物受到昆虫 植物或病菌的侵害时 它也知道。当金合欢树被动物盯上时 它也会立即产生单宁酸,这让它们的叶子更难吃 难以消化。

Some even produce enough toxin to kill the animal.Perhaps more impressive are some corn and cotton plants,which when eaten by caterpillars,release chemicals in the air that attract parasitic wasps,who fly in and ultimately kill the insects.
有些甚至会产生足以杀死动物的毒素。更惊人的是一些玉米类和棉类植物 在被毛虫啃咬时,它们会释放化学物质 吸引寄生蜂,后者受吸引而来 杀死昆虫。

On some level,they communicate with the wasps.Crazy as it seems,even sound recordings of caterpillars chewing leaves,trigger this response.Without any from of touch,the plants react,as if they can hear.On a large scale,plants also work together.A web of underground fungi can connect tree roots in forests,allowing them to exchange nutrients and information.
一定程度上说 它们能与黄蜂交流。让人诧异的是 毛虫啃咬叶子的录音也会引起这种反应。没有任何形式的触碰 植物也像有听觉一样做出反应。多数情况下 植物也会齐心协力。地下的真菌网会将森林里的树根相连,让它们交换养分和信息。

Using radioactive isotopes,scientists discovered that trees share water and nutrients with others in need.Large trees nourish smaller shaded ones until they are tall enough to reach sunlight,And trees that stay green all year round share nutrients with trees that lose their leaves in winter,helping them through the season.Which is then repaid in the summer months,like a transactional exchange.Some scientist refer to this as the "wood-wide web".
科学家通过同位素观测发现 树木会与有需求者分享水和养料。大树会与受遮蔽的小树分享养分 直到它们能受到日照。四季常青的树木会与冬季落叶的树木分享养分 帮助它们过冬。在夏天它们得到偿还的养分 像是生物交换。一些科学家称此为“树联网”。

Perhaps the most shocking fact,is that some plants seem to have memory.Mimosa pedicab plants,are those leafy plants that close up when touched.This reflex is meant to scare away insects  that land on them.In an experiment on these reflexes,scientists notice that when dropped from 15cm.they would close when they hit the ground,Not so surprising.But after repeating the drop 4 or 5 times,some of the plants stopped closing.as though they had realized the stimulus wasn't harmful.If they were shaken instead,they would close,but any time they were dropped from this same height,they stayed open.this effect lasted for weeks-the plants had memories.
更惊人的是 一些植物似乎有记忆能力。含羞草 一种受触碰时叶子会合拢的植物。这种反射是为了吓唬落在它们身上的植物。在一项关于这种反射的实验中 研究者发现从15厘米高出落下 它们的叶子会在落地时合拢 没什么奇怪的。但重复四五次后 一些植物不再合拢(叶子)了,似乎它们也发现这种刺激不会伤害它们。受到摇晃时 叶子就会合拢,但无论何时 从同样的高度掉下 叶子仍然张开。这种效果会持续数星期 植物也有记忆力。

Of course,plants don't have brains or other cells and organs that we deem necessary for intelligence.Brains and neurons are irreplaceable,but plants are immobile and often attacked,so they must be able to survive after part of them is eaten,or destroyed.A brain just wouldn't work.But if you measure intelligence or thought as the ability to solve problems,interact with an environment,and even work in groups,then plants are incredibly smart.
当然 植物没有大脑或者其他“智力”不可或缺的器官或细胞。大脑和神经无可替代 但植物无法移动 也常受攻击,在部分被吃掉或毁坏后 它们还得能活下去。大脑没什么用。但如果你将智力或思维视作解决问题的能力,与周围环境的交互 甚至团队合作力 那么植物相当聪明。

It's something to think about next time you're munching down on a piece of broccoli!
下次嚼西兰花时 好好想想这点吧!

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