2

In the following sentence, what is an alternative, more figurative, way of saying "filled the land"?

In the 70s, 20 types of birds, 40 species of mammals and 10 types of trees filled the land.

2

If replacing "filled" is your primary goal, then you could consider:

"In the 70s, 20 types of birds, 40 species of mammals and 10 types of trees graced the land [and skies]"

or to replace "land," too:

"In the 70s, 20 types of birds, 40 species of mammals and 10 types of trees graced the area."


GRACE VERB (from Oxford Dictionaries.com)

1.1[with object](of a person or thing) be an attractive presence in or on; adorn.

‘Ms Pasco has graced the front pages of magazines like Elle and Vogue’

(Please note that this suggestion would only work if you want to imply that there are now less birds, animals, and trees than in the 70s and that the current state of affairs is bad/sad when compared to how it once was.)

  • This is the charming one. – aparente001 Nov 7 '16 at 9:09
3

In the 70s, 20 types of birds, 40 species of mammals and 10 types of trees abounded (across the land).

abounded: to be present in large numbers Webster's NCD

2

The land was teeming with xyz.

or

The land was alive with xyz.

Teeming is probably your best bet.

Roamed the land would work if it weren't for the trees.

You could also say populated the land.

In the 70s, 20 types of birds, 40 species of mammals and 10 types of trees populated the land.

You could say

By the 70s, xyz had inundated/overrun/infested the land

the words overrun and infested sort of imply that an entity in your piece, or the reader, may find the infestation undesirable. Inundated has those connotations to a lesser degree but in this case could be an exaggeration so typically wouldn't be used to refer to something perceived as benign.

Also "inundated/overrun/infested" should only really be used if your piece also covers a time before these creatures populated the area.

And maybe saying something like continent/island/state/area instead of "land" would allow you to use the word fill without the possibility of it being misunderstood.

if you wanted to use the word fill to indicate their abundance, you could still try to squeeze in the word ubiquitous.

By the 70s xyz were ubiquitous

Or the word flourish to suggest that they were thriving, and if you say a species had flourished in a certain geographic location, it implies that the species may have propagated significantly (so using that in conjunction with flourished in the same sentence would probably be overkill).

1

Well, "filled the land" is hardly idiomatic. You could say "the land supported" or "the land was home to" or even more figuratively, all those creatures "called the land 'home'."

  • Thanks. I didn't intend to say that "filled the land" is idiomatic, but I understand why it came across as though that is what I meant. – Coffee Nov 6 '16 at 23:47
1

were present in the region

were native to the forest outside (name of city)

were found in the park

If it weren't for the trees, we could say inhabited.

  • inhabited would have been my preferred answer too; just wondering why you say If it weren't for the trees! – alwayslearning Nov 7 '16 at 9:24
  • @alwayslearning - I looked up the definition and it only talked about animals. I think it's because of the movement. – aparente001 Nov 8 '16 at 0:04

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