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Chapter 17 Chapter 14 High Altitude Organisms

Everest Epic 佛蘭西斯.楊赫斯本 2588Words 2023-02-05
The highest mountain in the world has not yet been conquered, but humans have climbed to an altitude of 27,000 feet by their own strength.Has any other creature ever done this?Has any other beast, or insect, or even bird, ever reached such astonishing heights?There is no doubt about it.A red-billed chough flew up two years later. It flew up to that altitude with another climbing group to collect food scraps from the climbers.But crows don't fly that high for that majestic view or the glory of ascent.And this is the first time in history that food was brought up to an altitude of 27,000 feet.So we can assume that no red-billed chough has ever been to that height before.Condors fly high, and Wollaston observed one in 1921 flying 25,000 feet above North Peak, but not more than 2,000 feet; Highest elevation for bald eagle sightings.They do not fly higher than necessary, and there is no apparent need for them to go as high as twenty-seven thousand feet.

It is universally acknowledged that, up to that time, man had achieved heights in 1922 higher than any living creature could have attained by himself.The place he reached with his legs was already higher than the place where winged creatures flew. These few Everest expeditions have provided the perfect opportunity to learn how high a variety of creatures can live.This question was studied in particular detail by the naturalist on the next echelon of the expedition, Major Hinton of the Indian Medical Service.But three successive expeditions have contributed to this, and the present is an appropriate time to describe their results.

The tallest permanent inhabitant on Earth appears to be some kind of spider discovered by Major Hinston at an altitude of 22,000 feet.They are small Attid spiders that appear to be pre-grown, tiny and black.They live among rock debris, sneak in crevices, and hide under rocks.Exactly what they feed on remains a mystery, as at that altitude there is nothing but bare rock and ice without any vegetation, or organic life of any kind visible to the naked eye.Bees, butterflies and moths may occasionally be blown to such high altitudes, but this seems to be the natural home of these spiders: residents, not visitors.

The highest altitude plant ever seen was a small sand grass (A. musciformis); Wollaston found them in cushion-like clusters, several inches across, growing up to 20,000 feet.He also found a variety of grasses and mosses and alpine edelweiss at 20,000 feet. These are the tallest living creatures in the world.Among the visitors, apart from the vulture that Wollaston saw flying at 25,000 feet, and the red-billed chough that flew to 27,000 feet with a climbing team in 1924, Somerway I also saw some red-billed choughs at 23,640 feet on Kharta Phu.The tracks seen in the snow at 21,500 feet were almost exclusively made by wolves, and the wolves themselves were seen at about 19,000 feet.Wollaston has twice seen a hoopoe fly over the 21,000-foot Kharta Glacier.At about the same time, he also saw a small goshawk flying across the sky.

In the third camp at 21,000 feet, Hinston saw several choughs and a touca, both of which seemed to have flown up from the tent.The one he had seen there seemed to have migrated across the mountains.Another visitor was a bumblebee.Wollaston saw fox and hare tracks at 21,000 feet, and they themselves were seen at 20,000 feet. On the Kada Glacier, the camp at an altitude of 20,000 feet is visited by vultures, crows, choughs, alpine crows, and black-eared kites every day.Blue goat droppings can be seen at an altitude of 20,000 feet, and sheep are quite common between 17,000 and 19,000 feet.A new species of short-eared pickup (a hare, Ochotona wollastomi) was found between 15,000 and 20,000 feet.An unrevealed mouse was eating food in a 20,000-square-foot tent.

In the Kada Valley, at an altitude of 19,000 feet, the dwarf species of Meconopsis meconopsis and various species of Saxifraga were found, and a strange sasusurea flower covered with cotton wool was found. large Compositae. In the upper Kada Valley at 18,000 feet there are the smallest rhododendrons (R. setosum and R. zepidotum) and a hairy dwarf blue delphinium (D. brunnoneanum); Dun also saw a very beautiful red-breasted Suzaku.And Hinston discovered a new genus of miniature grasshoppers on a desolate glacier at an altitude of 18,000 feet; a Gudenstadt's redstart (Guldenstadt's redstart) was also seen at the same altitude.

Down to 17,000 feet, the variety of creatures is even more diverse.In the Kada Valley, growing along the banks of the streams is a very pretty Gentian (G. nubigena) bearing half a dozen flowers on a single stalk; nearby is a very fragrant purple and yellow Chrysanthemum (A. heterochoeta) and a bright yellow yellow garden (S. arnicoides), the leaves are smooth and shiny.On dry ground, a strange dark blue wild nettle (Dracocephalum Speciosum) grows.He also mentions that he has seen beautiful Gentiana ornata, but it is not clear whether he saw it at such a high altitude. At this altitude, humans emerged.Hingston mentions that in the valley of the Rongbuk River, a hermit closed himself in a secret room at an altitude of 17,000 feet.At this altitude, he also saw insect-eating flies, predatory wasps, Tibetan hares (a pika), and tortoiseshell butterflies, Apollo butterflies, and a herd of blue goats working along the wall.

Wollaston saw many different species of birds at the same elevation in the Kada Valley.Large flocks of Tibetan partridges (Tetraogallus tibetanus) are common above the snow line.In the streams he saw the river bird (Cinclus cashmiriensis); among the great circular glacial mounds he saw a small, dark wren.The habitats of the snow grenadier and the oriental rockpit appear to be as high as the snow line.In September, above 17,000 feet, many different species of migratory birds can be seen, including Temminck's stint, painted sandpiper, long-tailed mallard, martin, and several species of wagtails.You can hear the calls of migrating wading birds several times in one night. It must be curlew, and you can't be wrong.

There is Rongbuk Monastery at 16,000 feet, and Hinston saw chrysanthemums, brown pipilots, wall finches, ravens, buzzard vultures, rock pigeons, and red-billed choughs at the base camp.Adam's robins and Guttenstad's redstarts also nest at this elevation.The dung beetle can be seen in every tuo of feces and under every animal carcass.A rare species of wasp is used to working in the clay here.Hemiptera can be seen, and ticks hide under stones. Now that we have descended to the level of Mont Blanc, there is no need to dwell on this subject.But we may observe this; how many different kinds of life live at altitudes above the highest peaks in Europe!Animals will climb mountains in search of their usual food, Hinston said, and won't be deterred by physical danger.They will be unafraid of cold winds and increasingly thinning atmosphere, as long as a proper food supply is ensured.He believed that if he camped on the summit of Mount Everest, the red-billed choughs would follow.

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