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Listen to part of a lecture in a biology class.

  1. Most of them are green.  It has four legs. It can jump and swim. It
    both can live in water and land. It eats bugs.

  2. It’s a type of bear. It lives in the Poles. It has white fur.

  3. They have  long necks. They are quite big. They eat plants. Most of
    them live in Africa.

  4. They have  shell on their back. Their skin color is green. They have
    four legs. And they walk very slow. And can both live in water and land.

  5. They have black and white fur. They eat bamboo. They live in China.

  6. This kind of animal has two lumps on is back. They live in desert.
    People ride them like horses in desert.

  7. It’s a type of bird. It has white feathers a long neck. It’s quite
    big comparing to a bird. And it can swim.

  8. Most of them have black fur. They can swing on trees. They live on
    trees. It said that they got smarter and evolved to people.

  9. It has four legs. It is very cute so some people have them as pets.
    They eat fishes and mice.

  10. It has four legs. A lot of people have them as pets. If it likes you
    it licks you. And if it gets mad or get badly treated it will bite you.
    And it has a lot of breeds.

As Italy struggles to deal with burgeoning populations of an introduced
giant rodent, a mayor has come up with a novel solution – eat them.

Now, James, you said you had been to the State of Maine, right?

从国外引进的一种体型较大的啮齿动物河狸鼠泛滥成灾,意大利正疲于应对,而此时一名市长想出了一个新办法,那就是,吃掉它们。

Yeah, actually I lived in western Maine until I was about sixteen.

Coypu were introduced to Italy a century ago from their native South
America to be farmed for their fur.

Great. So why don’t you tell everybody what is like there in the winter?

大约一个世纪前,意大利从南美洲引进河狸鼠用于养殖,以获取其皮毛。

The winter? Well, it’s cold. And there’s lots of snow, you wouldn’t
believe how much snow we used to get.

But many escaped or were deliberately released after wearing fur fell
out of fashion and the species is now thriving.

Actually I would. I did field research up there a couple of winters.

但随着河狸鼠皮毛的衣饰不再流行,很多河狸鼠逃脱或被故意放生,现已泛滥成灾。

And it really is an incredible environment.

They have fared particularly well in the flatlands of the Po valley in
northern Italy, where farmers complain that they devour crops and
destroy levees and embankments by digging burrows.

And to survive in that sort of environment, animals have to adapt, to
evolve in response to their surroundings.

它们在意大利北部波河流域的平原上大肆繁殖,农民抱怨它们毁掉了庄稼,它们打的洞穴还破坏了防洪堤和路堤。

As you recall, an adaptation is any feature, Um… physical or
behavioral feature of a species that helps it survive and reproduce.

Michele Marchi, the mayor of the town of Gerre de’ Caprioli, has
suggested that numbers could be reduced if only Italians can develop a
taste for coypu meat. He has tried it and says it tastes a bit like
rabbit.

And in adapting to extreme climates, like Maine in the winter time,
animals can evolve in pretty interesting ways.

杰雷德卡普廖利市市长米歇尔?马尔基建议说,只有意大利人肯吃河狸鼠,才有可能控制它们的数量。他自己已尝过河狸鼠,称味道有点像兔肉。

Take, for example, the snowshoe hare. OK, the snowshoe hare, and of
course, that’s H-A-R-E, like a rabbit.

His proposal, launched on his Facebook page, has caused a lively social
media debate, with some people in favour of the idea and others revolted
by the prospect of tucking it what looks like a cross-between a beaver
and a large rat.

Although I probably should mention that technically a hare is not
exactly the same as a rabbit, even though it is very similar.

这条提议发布在其脸书主页后引发了社交媒体热议。一些人表示赞成,而另一些人一想到要吃长得既像海狸鼠又形似大老鼠的河狸鼠就感到厌烦。

The primary difference is that a rabbit’s young are born blind and
without fur, while a hare’s babies are born with a full coat and able to
see.

“The debate about coypu has become bonkers, without coming to any
resolution of the problem,” the 31-year-old mayor wrote.

Now, the snowshoe hare, tell me, what’s sort of adaptations do you think
it has developed that help it survive the Maine winters?

这位31岁的市长写道:“关于河狸鼠的讨论越来越离谱了,得不出任何可行的办法。”

I’ll give you a hint. Food isn’t an issue. The hare actually has
abundant food in the small twigs it finds.

“Here’s my idea – let’s start eating them in restaurants and at village
food festivals.”

Well, I don’t know. I mean, I know we used to try to look for these
rabbits, Eh… hares, …

“我的想法是:让我们开始在餐馆和乡村美食节上食用它们。”

… when we went hiking in the winter , but it was often hard to find
them in the snow.

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