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VOA慢速英语:抽屉里“走出”凶猛古兽

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Out of a Drawer Comes a Vicious Ancient Beast

抽屉里“走出”凶猛古兽

Ohio University biologist Nancy Stevens was looking through a drawer of a wooden container at a museum in Kenya when she saw a piece of rock with extremely large teeth.

俄亥俄州大学生物学家南希·史蒂文斯在肯尼亚博物馆从一个木制容器的抽屉里看到一块有着巨大牙齿的石头。

She knew immediately she had come across something important.

她立刻反应到她遇到了重要的事情。

The “rock” and other things she found were overlooked fossils. They were stored at the National Museums of Kenya, in the capital city of Nairobi. The fossils came from one of the largest meat-eating mammals ever to walk the Earth.

这块“石头”和她发现的其他事物是被忽略的化石。它们存放在首都内罗毕的肯尼亚国家博物馆,该化石来自于陆地上最大的肉食哺乳动物之一。

They belonged to an animal known as Simbakubwa kutokaafrika. It lived in Africa 22 million years ago.

化石中的动物是Simbakubwa kutokaafrika,它生活在2200万年前的非洲。

Stevens came across the fossils in 2010. This month, she and co-writer Matthew Borths published their research about the animal in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

史蒂文斯是在2010年看到这些化石的,本月,她和合著者马修·博思在《脊椎动物古生物学》杂志上发表了他们对这种动物的研究。

The animal was bigger than any meat-eating mammal alive today. Its skull was the size of a rhino’s skull. Its teeth were as large as bananas. It weighed about one ton and was 2.5 meters long.

这个动物比当今活着的任何肉食哺乳动物都大,它的颅骨和犀牛颅骨一样大,牙齿大的像香蕉,重约1吨,长2.5米。

According to the research, the fossils were found around 1980 in western Kenya. But, they were never closely examined.

根据研究,化石大约是1980年在肯尼亚西部发现的,但并没有仔细核实过。

Stevens said, “Most of the specimens that I study are quite small, so you can imagine my surprise when I opened a drawer that I hadn’t examined yet, and saw the enormous teeth.”

史蒂文斯说:“我研究的大部分标本都很小,所以你可以想象到当我打开从未检查过的抽屉看到巨大牙齿时是何等惊讶。”

Simbakubwa was a member of a animal group that appeared 62 million years ago. That was about 4 million years after the extinction of the dinosaurs, which created an environment for mammals to take over. The animal came before meat-eating cats and wolves.

Simbakubwa是6200万年前出现的动物种群中的一员,也就是恐龙灭绝后400万年,这段时期为哺乳动物生存创造了环境。这种动物在肉食动物猫和狼之前。

It became extinct about 9 million years ago, researchers say.

研究员说,它是9百万年前灭绝的。

Simbakubwa’s name means “big lion” in the Swahili language. However, it is not a cat. It was the largest animal hunter in its ecosystem, and was probably the largest meat-eating land mammal in Africa up to that time.

Simbakubwa的名字在斯瓦希里语中意为“大狮子”。但是,它不是猫科类,而是其生态系统中最大的动物捕猎者,也很可能是当时非洲陆地上最大的肉食哺乳动物。

I’m Susan Shand.

苏珊·尚德报道。

 

Out of a Drawer Comes a Vicious Ancient Beast

Ohio University biologist Nancy Stevens was looking through a drawer of a wooden container at a museum in Kenya when she saw a piece of rock with extremely large teeth.

She knew immediately she had come across something important.

The “rock” and other things she found were overlooked fossils. They were stored at the National Museums of Kenya, in the capital city of Nairobi. The fossils came from one of the largest meat-eating mammals ever to walk the Earth.

They belonged to an animal known as Simbakubwa kutokaafrika. It lived in Africa 22 million years ago.

Stevens came across the fossils in 2010. This month, she and co-writer Matthew Borths published their research about the animal in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

The animal was bigger than any meat-eating mammal alive today. Its skullwas the size of a rhino’s skull. Its teeth were as large as bananas. It weighed about one ton and was 2.5 meters long.

According to the research, the fossils were found around 1980 in western Kenya. But, they were never closely examined.

Stevens said, “Most of the specimens that I study are quite small, so you can imagine my surprise when I opened a drawer that I hadn’t examined yet, and saw the enormous teeth.”

Simbakubwa was a member of a animal group that appeared 62 million years ago. That was about 4 million years after the extinction of the dinosaurs, which created an environment for mammals to take over. The animal came before meat-eating cats and wolves.

It became extinct about 9 million years ago, researchers say.

Simbakubwa’s name means “big lion” in the Swahili language. However, it is not a cat. It was the largest animal hunter in its ecosystem, and was probably the largest meat-eating land mammal in Africa up to that time.

I’m Susan Shand.

______________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

drawer – n. a box that slides into and out of a piece of furniture (such as a desk) and that is used to store things

fossil – n. something (such as a leaf, skeleton, or footprint) that is from a plant or animal which lived in ancient times and that you can see in some rocks

mammal – n. a type of animal that feeds milk to its young and that usually has hair or fur covering most of its skin

skull – n. the structure of bones that holds up the face and head of a human

extinct – adj. a creature that no longer exists

paleontologist – n. the science that deals with the fossils of animals and plants that lived very long ago especially in the time of dinosaurs


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