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科学美国人60秒: 座头鲸的歌曲

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Humpback Whales Swap Songs at Island Hub

座头鲸的歌曲

In 1964 the Beatles set foot in America and kicked off the British invasion. But musical revolutions don’t occur only in human culture. They happen among humpback whales and their songs, too.

1964年,甲壳虫乐队踏足美国,席卷英国。但是音乐革命并不仅仅发生在人类文化中。也发生在座头鲸和它们的歌声中。

“Yeah it’s very much like a fashion or a new type of song that comes from a different country, and all of a sudden, it’s number one, and everyone wants to listen to it.”

“是的,这很像来自不同国家的一种时尚或一种新类型的歌曲,突然间,它成为了冠军,每个人都想听一听。”

Clare Owen, a marine scientist at the University of St. Andrews. The number one songs she’s talking about are the tunes sung by humpback whales in the South Pacific, which Owen’s team recorded at half a dozen wintering grounds.

圣安德鲁斯大学的海洋科学家克莱尔·欧文说道。她谈论的第一首歌曲是南太平洋座头鲸唱的歌,欧文的团队耗时六个月录制了这首歌。

Among the recordings, they found several variations on an older theme throughout the region.

在这些录音中,他们在整个地区发现了一些关于一个古老主题的变化。

[CLIP: Song 1]

歌曲片段1

But they also found a new, more commonly recorded song.

但他们也发现了一首新的、更常见的歌曲。

[CLIP: Song 2]

歌曲片段2

Even though that song was new, it had spread rapidly through multiple whale populations, replacing the old tune. In other words: it was a hit.

尽管这首歌是新的,但它已经迅速在多个鲸鱼种群中传播开来,取代了原来的曲调。换句话说:它很成功。

And the key to that rapid spread, Owen says, might be a newly studied hub of cetacean musical exchange: the uninhabited Kermadec Islands, north of New Zealand, where whales from all over the South Pacific converge en route to Antarctica.

欧文表示,这种快速传播的关键可能是一个新近被研究的鲸类音乐交流中心:来自南太平洋各地的鲸鱼在前往南极洲的途中汇聚在新西兰北部无人居住的科马德克群岛。

And the search for songs—and their information—may be a reason for the convergence.

对歌曲及其信息的搜索可能是这种融合的原因之一。

“We have whales traveling from the Cook Islands and making a huge deviation to the Kermadec on their southerly migration.

“我们有鲸鱼从库克群岛出发,在向南迁徙的过程中,向克马德克群岛做出了巨大的偏离。

It certainly opens up that question of: Why is this so important? And what does this learning of the song mean to their survival and maybe their reproduction?”

这无疑引出了一个问题:为什么这一点如此重要?学习这首歌对它们的生存和繁殖意味着什么?”

Maps, details and links to the full songs are in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

地图,细节和完整歌曲的链接都刊登在《皇家学会开放科学》杂志上。

Owen’s team did catch one whale who was singing a mash-up of the older song and the newer “hit” song—evidence, perhaps, of it being caught in the act of revising its repertoire—and of the new tune rising to the top of the humpback charts.

欧文的团队确实捕捉到了一只鲸鱼,它正在唱一首融合了老歌和新歌的“热门”歌曲——这或许是它在修改曲目时被捕捉的证据——以及这首新歌升至座头鲸排行榜首位的证据。

Humpback Whales Swap Songs at Island Hub

In 1964 the Beatles set foot in America and kicked off the British invasion. But musical revolutions don’t occur only in human culture. They happen among humpback whales and their songs, too.

“Yeah it’s very much like a fashion or a new type of song that comes from a different country, and all of a sudden, it’s number one, and everyone wants to listen to it.”

Clare Owen, a marine scientist at the University of St. Andrews. The number one songs she’s talking about are the tunes sung by humpback whales in the South Pacific, which Owen’s team recorded at half a dozen wintering grounds.

Among the recordings, they found several variations on an oldertheme throughout the region.

[CLIP: Song 1]

But they also found a new, more commonly recorded song.

[CLIP: Song 2]

Even though that song was new, it had spread rapidly through multiple whale populations, replacing the old tune. In other words: it was a hit. And the key to that rapid spread, Owen says, might be a newly studied hub of cetacean musical exchange: the uninhabited Kermadec Islands, north of New Zealand, where whales from all over the South Pacific converge en route to Antarctica.

And the search for songs—and their information—may be a reason for the convergence.

“We have whales traveling from the Cook Islands and making a huge deviation to the Kermadec on their southerly migration. It certainly opens up that question of: Why is this so important? And what does this learning of the song mean to their survival and maybe their reproduction?”

Maps, details and links to the full songs are in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

Owen’s team did catch one whale who was singing a mash-up of the older song and the newer “hit” song—evidence, perhaps, of it being caught in the act of revising its repertoire—and of the new tune rising to the top of the humpback charts.


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