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"Still lie the sheltering snows, undimmed and white;
And reigns the winter's pregnant silence still;
No sign of spring, save that the catkins fill,
And willow stems grow daily red and bright.
These are days when ancients held a rite
Of expiation for the old year's ill,
And prayer to purify the new year's will."
Helen Hunt Jackson, A Calendar of Sonnet's: February

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Monday Night Owls - 9 July 2018 - Animals and plants living in cities

NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 965 Teacher
We read an article about the types of plants and animals that flourish in cities:

https://theconversation.com/urban-nature-what-kinds-of-plants-and-wildlife-flourish-in-cities-71680

Vocabulary Top 10:

coral - a hard material formed on the bottom of the sea by the skeletons of small creatures

dweller - a person or animal that lives in a particular place

patch - a small spot or area that is different from the surrounding area

thrive - to grow or develop successfully : to flourish or succeed

nuisance - a person, thing, or situation that is annoying or that causes trouble or problems

raze - to destroy (something, such as a building) completely

trait - a quality that makes one person or thing different from another

pollinator - an animal which gives a plant pollen from another plant of the same kind so that seeds will be produced

persist - to continue to occur or exist beyond the usual, expected, or normal time

neglected - not given enough attention or care


What animals and plants have you seen in big cities? Do you think that there are many different kinds?

Comments

  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 1,849 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sometimes it's amazing to think that a city is a habitat also for animals and plants.

    You wouldn't guess so, given the confusion, noise, pollution characterizing the roads of a city. How could an animal feel comfortable among bustling citizens in the rush ?

    They manage though; in my town, during daylight hours, you can spot wild boars rooting for food along the dry bed of the town's river, within sight of center's landmarks.

    Large seagulls keep circling above the buildings, skimming their edges, from time to time landing on the ground to search for food, scavenging among leftovers in parks or rubbish overflowing from bins.

    Flocks of pigeons have landed and stormed the spot too, flapping a few feathers off, in order to oustrip closest competitors to the trove.

    Now they're rushing their way, waddling towards some unperceived bread's crumbles, which the bread roll's eaters have dropped behind them, in an appetizing wake.

    During the night and at dawn, you can spot the blackbird, shadow among the shadows; it isn't shy, you can get close to it: maybe it thinks that its black feathers blend its shape with the surrounding night.

    It stands stiff for a while, straightening up its chest; all of a sudden it lowers its head, pointing out its beak, it starts off its short run, its determined charge against its enemy and prey: the insect: sometimes it can be an earth-worm or also a cock-roach.

    What about plants ? There are lots of them of many different species, in particular within parks.

    What is singular with plants, is that, despite their attitude which could make you think they are kind of sniffy, snob beings, they aren't at all, they are actually the opposite: very sociable and welcoming ones.

    Take pollination's process: they need pollen to be brought from one flower to the other, in order to allow fertilization and subsequent production of seeds, which will ensure spread and continuity of the single species.

    What can the plants rely on ? The wind, obvious; but what happen when the wind ceases blowing ? They need to enlist a purposely payed courier, someone who might meet two basic requirements: not mind having to get dusty and having sort of a sweet tooth.

    The bees and butterflies both meet requirements: they tirelessly keep flying from flower to flower, try to suck the nectar up, in doing so getting the pollen powder all over their bodies.

    When reaching the next flower, their bodies rubbing against the petals, the pollen which is essentially made up of the male reproductive cells, eventually manage to make all way across to the local female reproductive cells, allowing fertilization.

    It is amazing to think of the strategies some plants have evolved and come up with, in order ever more to allure their pollinators and ensure spread of pollen.

    Some plants have reshaped one of their flowers' petals to render a landing platform.

    Some others have reshaped such one petal to resemble the female of the pollinator insect, even their hair and smell, so the male is attracted and ends up trying to copulate with the flower.

    Pollination is one of the marvel of Nature, its strategies are finely and continually elaborated, while its final purpose is inextricably linked with life on The Earth: biodiversity.

    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
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