字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント This is a story of a plant, but not just any plant. It is the story of a plant that long, long ago once ruled the world. A plant that, today, is the very last of its kind. It's this plant, behind me, Encephalartos woodii. E. Woodii for short, and I've been looking after it for over 20 years. It was named for British botanist, John Medley Wood, who in 1895 discovered it growing on a hillside on the coast of South Africa. A strange, handsome plant caught his eye, and he carefully removed a small portion of it, and had it shipped all the way to London, to here, Kew Gardens, where it's been for the last 117 years. But its history goes much, much further back. You see, Encephalartos woodii, is what is known as a cycad, and cycads have been around for 300 million years. As the millennium rolled on, cycads flourished, providing shade for triceratops, a perch for pterodactyls, and a tasty snack for brontosauruses. At one point during the Jurassic, cycads made up 20% of all the plants on Earth, and covered every corner of the globe. But the good times couldn't last forever. The dinosaurs went extinct. Ice ages came and went. New modern plants, like conifers and fruit trees started pushing cycads out. And the once proud population of E. Woodiis were reduced, and reduced, and reduced until there was possibly only one left. One single solitary E. Woodii growing quietly on the hillside, which brings us right back to John Medley Wood. At the time, he had no way of knowing just how rare his discovery was; but expedition after expedition in search of more E. Woodii have proved fruitless. You see, cycads are dioecious, meaning, you need separate male and female plants to create a new one, and this one happens to be a male, a true lonely bachelor. If a female mate cannot be found, it really will be the last of its kind. To this day, researchers are still looking. After all, it's a big world, there might just be a chance. In the meantime, it'll have me to keep him company.