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「澳洲大火中的野生動物:短尾矮袋鼠、袋鼬、袋鼠、袋熊、無尾熊」- Surviving Australia's Fires: Quokkas, Koalas & Kangaroos


The Outback is home to a crazy wide variety of critters. And it's easy to see every species has a little bit of magic to them. And in case you hadn't noticed, they could really use our help right about now.

Have you met the "quokka"? Beyond its disarming smile, this charming little marsupial has a neat survival trick up her sleeve. The quokka gives birth to one offspring each year. And while they keep their baby tucked away in that pouch for six months, bad things can still happen. The quokka has prepared for this. In that a day after it gives birth, it mates again. The new embryo will stay dormant inside her. If the original baby lives, and the embryo just degenerates. But if the baby dies within its first five months of life, the embryo resumes its development and is born about a month later. Wow. That's one hell of a backup plan.

Ever heard of the "quoll"? This energetic marsupial is an all-out carnivore known for its relentless appetite. It'll eat just about anything it can get its paws on. With an average lifespan of about five years, it has to pump out babies fast. Quolls mate with multiple partners during the winter breeding season, their babies each from different fathers. Neat, right?

Hopping right along, we say hello to a familiar friend: the kangaroo. Did you know they're able to hop about 15 feet in a single bound and reach hopping speeds of 30 miles per hour? Speaking of hopping, do you know why kangaroos hop to the way they do? Well, their legs actually can't move independently of one another. Luckily, that strong tail acts like an extra leg, helping them get about.
繼續往下跳,我們要來跟一位熟悉的朋友打招呼:袋鼠。你們知道嗎?袋鼠一跳就是 15 英尺(約 4.8 公尺),速度高達每小時 30 英里(約 48 公里)呢!說到跳躍,你知道袋鼠為什麼這樣跳嗎?其實牠們的腳無法分開移動。幸運的是,牠們強而有力的尾巴就像是另外一隻腳一樣,能幫牠們到處趴趴走。

Moving on, we give you the "wombat." Now, these guys might not be as cute or daring as the rest of their marsupial relatives, but they sure can dig. Able to burrow up to 650 feet in length, their underground tunneling skills are masterful. But the most unique thing about wombats? Get this. Those gnarly teeth of theirs never stop growing! A dentist's nightmare.
接下來,為你介紹「袋熊」。袋熊可能不像其他有袋類親戚那麼可愛或大膽,但牠們超會挖洞。牠們可以往下挖 650 英尺(約 198 公尺)深,在地底下挖隧道的功力簡直是大師級的。但牠們最獨特的地方是什麼呢?看好囉。牠們可怕的牙齒會無限生長!完全是牙醫師的惡夢。

Next up, the "koala bear." It's actually not a bear at all. In fact, they too are marsupials and known for a number of exceptional "koala-ties", like the ability to sleep up to 22 hours a day! Um...must be nice. Or the fact that they exclusively eat eucalyptus leaves, which are poisonous. It takes them a few days to digest the leaves, which actually explains why they sleep so much. Um... Well, maybe they're not the sharpest tools in the shed, but there is one really cool thing about them. They happen to be the only non-primate animal with a fingerprint. Ah, a penchant for sleeping and the ability to be ID'd by the cops—so much like us.
接下來是「無尾熊」。牠們其實根本不是熊。事實上,牠們也是有袋類動物,還有很多為人所知的厲害「特質(註一)」,像是牠們一天長達 22 小時的時間都在睡覺!嗯...一定很棒。或者,牠們只吃尤加利樹葉,這樹葉可是有毒的耶。牠們消化樹葉要好幾天的時間,這也是為什麼牠們睡眠時間那麼長。嗯...牠們可能比較笨,但是牠們有個很酷的特質。牠們碰巧是唯一擁有指紋的非靈長類動物呢。牠們愛睡覺,還要被警察檢查指紋--跟我們有夠像的。

While we humans might not be equipped with super cool tails or teeth that can grow for miles, we do have some pretty capable hands and an extraordinary capacity for heart, which we can use if we choose to look out for others, like these guys.

註一:原要傳達的單字為 qualities(特質),講者故意唸成 koala-ties,是因為「koala」是「無尾熊」的意思。




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