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我们周围看到的动物只占曾经生活在地球上的所有物种的10%。在这些动物中,有些通过进化适应,在地球地质的各种变化中幸存下来,并在灭绝中存活了数百万年。以下是一些经受住了时间考验的史前动物的照片,它们至今仍健在。

The animals we see around us are only 10 percent of all species that have ever lived on earth. Of these animals, some have survived the various shifts of earth's geology through evolutionary adaptation and managed to survive extinction for millions of years. Here is a look at some such prehistoric animals that have stood the test of time and are still around today.

沙丘鹤

Sandhill crane

© ElementalImaging/Getty Images

在西伯利亚和北美部分地区发现的沙丘鹤,沙丘鹤已经存在了1000万年,我们可以从它们与可追溯到中新世(约1000万年前)的化石结构相似性去理解。

Found in Siberia and parts of North America, Sandhill cranes are believed to have been in existence for 10 million years, as can be understood from their structural similarity with a fossil dating back to the Miocene epoch (some 10 million years ago).

皱鳃鲨

Frilled shark

© Awashima Marine Park/Getty Images

这种鲨鱼在其存在的8千万年里几乎没有改过外貌,因此被称为“活化石”。作为一种深海生物,这种罕见的斑点鲨鱼有300颗针状牙齿。

This shark species has hardly changed in appearance in the 80 million years of its existence, earning it the epithet of "living fossils." A deep-sea creature, this rarely spotted shark has 300 needle-shaped teeth.

中国大鲵

Chinese giant salamander

© Tom Mchugh/Getty Images

世界上最大的两栖动物,大约6英尺长(1.8米)的中国大鲵目前被国际自然保护联盟(IUCN)列为极度濒危物种。化石记录显示,这种动物在1.7亿年间几乎没有什么变化。

The largest amphibian in the world, the roughly six-foot-long (1.8 meters) Chinese giant salamander is currently listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Fossil records indicate that the animal has undergone little change in 170 million.

Tapir

© dangdumrong/Getty Images

这种难以捉摸的食草哺乳动物与马和犀牛有亲缘关系。貘最早的化石证据可以追溯到渐新世早期(2000多万年前),从那时起它们就没有多大变化。在五个种类中,有四种分布在中美洲和南美洲,还有一种分布在亚洲。其中四个要么被列为濒危物种,要么被列为脆弱物种。

This elusive, herbivorous mammal is related to horses and rhinoceros. The earliest fossil evidence of tapir dates back to the Early Oligocene period (over 20 million years ago) and they have not changed much since. Of the five species, four are found in Central and South America and one in Asia. Four of them are listed either as endangered or vulnerable.

马蹄蟹

Horseshoe crab

© ShaneKato/Getty Images

马蹄蟹有九只眼睛,它们坚硬的外骨骼里藏着10条腿。因其形状得名,这种动物实际上不是螃蟹,而是蜘蛛和蝎子的近亲。它们在地球的水域中游泳已有3亿多年的历史,比恐龙还要早。

Horseshoe crabs have nine eyes and their hard exoskeleton hides 10 legs. Named so because of their shape, the animal is not actually a crab, but a close relative of spiders and scorpions. They have been swimming in the earth’s waters for over 300 million years and predate dinosaurs.

鳄形目

Crocodylia

© USO/Getty Images

这一目爬行动物包括鳄鱼、短吻鳄、凯门鳄和加利亚鳄等,大约在8500万年前恐龙灭绝时进化而来。真正使鳄鱼成为史前动物的不仅是它们的外表,还有一个原因,那就是这个目本身就是鳄鱼目(一个在2.05亿年前进化而来的类群)的一个分支。

The members of this order of reptiles – crocodiles, alligators, caimans and gharials, among others – evolved around 85 million years ago when dinosaurs were dying out. What makes crocodylians truly prehistoric is not just their appearance but also the fact that the order is itself an offshoot of the Crocodylomorpha – a group that evolved over 205 million years ago.

鲎虫

Tadpole shrimp

© NNehring/Getty Images

这种虾至少在2.2亿年前就已经存在了,这意味着当恐龙在地球上游荡时,它就已经存在了——这使它成为最古老的生物之一。鲎虫的生存是通过一种叫做滞育的进化过程实现的,在这个过程中,卵可以保持休眠状态长达27年,直到环境有利于它们孵化。

This shrimp has been in existence for at least 220 million years ago, which means it was around when dinosaurs roamed the planet – making it one of the oldest living creatures. The survival of tadpole shrimps is made possible through an evolutionary process called diapause, in which the eggs can remain in a dormant state for up to 27 years till the environment is conducive for them to hatch.

喙头蜥

Tuatara

© MollyNZ/Getty Images

喙头蜥只在新西兰发现,它是地球上现存最古老的爬行动物之一。它们看起来像蜥蜴,但完全不同。它们是喙头目中唯一幸存的成员,在恐龙时代有很好的代表。在野外,喙头蜥的寿命可以延长到100年。

Found only in New Zealand, the tuatara is one of the oldest living reptiles on earth. They look like lizards but are completely distinct. They are the only surviving members of the order Sphenodontia, which was well represented during the age of dinosaurs. The lifespan of a tuatara can extend up to 100 years in the wild.

鹦鹉螺

Nautilus

© peilien/Getty Images

这种生活在印度洋和太平洋的海洋生物被认为是“活化石”,至少在5亿年的时间里一直在繁衍生息。它们是唯一有壳的头足类动物,有腔室帮助它们漂浮和捕捉猎物。

Considered to be a “living fossil,” the marine creature found in Indian and Pacific oceans has been thriving for at least 500 million years. They are the only cephalopods with a shell, which has chambers that help them remain afloat and catch prey.

针鼹鼠

Echidna

© Andrew Haysom/Getty Images

一具可以追溯到1700万年前中新世的针鼹鼠化石显示,这种澳大利亚、塔斯马尼亚和新几内亚特有的小型食蚁兽几乎没有经历过进化变化。针鼹鼠——无论是短喙还是长喙——是仅有的两种会产卵的哺乳动物之一(另一种是鸭嘴兽)。

A fossil of an echidna dating back 17 million years ago to the Miocene epoch reveals that this small anteater, endemic to Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea, has hardly undergone evolutionary change. The echidna – both short and long beaked – is one of the only two mammals (the other being platypus) that lays eggs.

水母

Jellyfish

© Vertigo3d/Getty Images

很难找到水母化石,因为它们的身体95%是水,但研究表明,它们已经存在了至少7亿年。水母很常见,可以在世界各地的海洋中找到。

It is difficult to find jellyfish fossils since their bodies are 95 percent water, but research reveals that they have been in existence for at least 700 million years. Jellyfish are common and can be found in seas and oceans around the world.

Turtle

© ShaneMyersPhoto/Getty Images

研究表明,现代龟的祖先生活在2.2亿年前的三叠纪。然而,他们的祖先究竟是哪一群爬行动物还有待确定。陆龟和海龟在世界各地都能找到,但有些已被列为濒危物种。

Research reveals that precursors of the modern turtles lived around 220 million years ago in the Triassic epoch. However, the exact group of reptiles from which they descended is yet to be determined. Both land and sea turtles can be found around the world, but some are listed as endangered species.

沟齿鼩

Solenodon

Cuban Solenodon (Atopogale cubana) - stock photo © James A Hancock/Getty Images Cuban Solenodon (Atopogale cubana) - stock photo

这种有毒的哺乳动物原产于加勒比地区,大约7600万年前的白垩纪时期,也就是恐龙的最后一个时代,它从其他哺乳动物的一个家族中进化而来。这种小型、穴居、夜间活动的鼩鼱只存在两种——伊斯帕尼奥拉岛鼩鼱和古巴鼩鼱(如图),这两种鼩鼱都被世界自然保护联盟列为濒危物种。

The venomous mammal native to the Caribbean region branched from a family of other mammals some 76 million years ago in the Cretaceous period – the last age of the dinosaurs. Only two species of this small, burrowing, nocturnal shrew exist – the Hispaniolan and the Cuban (pictured), both listed as endangered by IUCN.

科莫多巨蜥

Komodo dragon

© ANDREYGUDKOV/Getty Images

科莫多巨蜥是印度尼西亚特有的蜥蜴,是世界上最大、最重的蜥蜴,体长近10英尺(3米),体重约150磅(70公斤)。尽管印度尼西亚被广泛认为是它们的出生地,但2009年在昆士兰发现的化石让科学家们相信,科莫多巨蜥大约在400万年前起源于澳大利亚,然后向西扩散。

Endemic to Indonesia, the Komodo dragon is the world’s largest and heaviest lizard, growing nearly 10 feet (three meters) long and weighing around 150 pounds (70 kilograms). Though Indonesia was widely regarded as their birthplace, the discovery of fossilized bones in Queensland in 2009 has led scientists to believe that Komodo dragons originated in Australia roughly four million years ago and then dispersed westward.

鲟鱼

Sturgeon

© Ekaterina Aleshinskaya/Getty Images

据化石记录显示,鲟鱼看起来像一种原始鱼类,已经存在了至少2.5亿年。这种鱼可以长到7英尺(2米)长,生活在欧洲和北美的河流和湖泊中。它们目前被世界自然保护联盟列为极度濒危物种。 

The sturgeon looks like a primitive fish and has been around for at least 250 million years, as fossil records show. The fish, which can grow up to a length of seven feet (two meters), is found in rivers and lakes in Europe and North America. They are currently classified as critically endangered by IUCN.

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