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科学美国人60秒:幼年大白鲨的饮食

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Young Great White Sharks Eat Off the Floor

幼年大白鲨的饮食

The image of a dorsal fin cutting through the sea surface is iconic. But scientists studying the stomach contests of young great white sharks off the coast of Australia were in for a surprise when they learned that the predators seem to spend a lot of time patrolling the sea floor.

背鳍划破海面的图像是鲨鱼的标志性。但是,科学家们在研究澳大利亚海岸附近年轻大白鲨的胃斗时,却大吃一惊。因为他们发现这些捕食者似乎会花很多时间在海底巡逻。

"They have a predominantly fish-based diet, which is not unexpected for juvenile white sharks. The most important prey species we identified was Eastern Australian salmon."

“它们主要以鱼类为食,这对幼鲨来说并不意外。我们发现的最重要的猎物是澳大利亚东部的鲑鱼。”

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University of Sydney graduate student Richard Grainger. He and his team sorted through the stomach contents of more than fifty juvenile white sharks that died after being entangled in shark exclusion nets meant to protect swimmers.

悉尼大学研究生理查德·格兰杰说。他和团队对50多只幼鲨的胃里的东西进行了分类,这些幼鲨被用来保护游泳者的防鲨网缠住后死亡。

"The overall unexpected finding was just the diversity and importance of bottom dwelling fishes. Things like stargazers, which bury themselves in the sand, they're quite strange looking fish. And flathead. But also stingrays."

“总的来说,意外的发现就是海底栖息鱼类的多样性和重要性。像占星师,它们把自己埋在沙子里,看起来很奇怪。容易让人受到欺骗。同时还有黄貂鱼。”

People actually did not have a good idea of the particulars of great white shark diets. As Grainger points out, the sharks enjoy protections throughout the world. So most researchers estimated their diets through the chemical markers that they can ethically access by taking small skin samples. These measurements indicate at what level of the food chain the predator is feeding, but not the actual critters that make up their meals.

实际上,人们对大白鲨饮食的细节并不了解。正如格兰杰所指出的,鲨鱼在全世界都受到保护。所以大多数研究人员通过化学标记来评估鲨鱼的饮食,这些化学标记可以通过采集小的皮肤样本来获得。测量表明了捕食者在食物链的哪个层次上捕食,但并不待变它们真正的捕食对象。

"There's quite a lot of evidence that lots of different animals, so even carnivores, omnivores, herbivores…self-select different prey or food based on a particular balance of nutrients."

“有相当多的证据表明,很多不同的动物,即使是食肉动物、杂食动物、草食动物……也会根据特定的营养平衡选择不同的猎物或食物。”

Grainger hopes that by further understanding what juvenile white sharks like to eat, he can begin to piece together how and why they make their predatory choices. The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

格兰杰希望通过进一步了解幼年大白鲨喜欢吃什么,这样可以开始拼凑出它们是如何以及为什么做出捕食选择的。这项研究发表在《海洋科学前沿》杂志上。

"Understanding and predicting when sharks might be more abundant in certain areas would be an ultimate end goal of all of this."

“了解和预测某些区域的鲨鱼何时会增多,将是这些研究的最终目标。”

Avoiding or mitigating human-shark conflicts means understanding the sharks' nutritional goals. And if researchers can anticipate where and when sharks are likely to spend their time hunting, they can better protect humans from getting bitten—and sharks from getting killed.

避免或减少人类与鲨鱼之间的冲突意味着要了解鲨鱼的营养目标。如果研究人员能够预测鲨鱼可能在何时何地捕猎,他们就能更好地保护人类免受鲨鱼的伤害。

Young Great White Sharks Eat Off the Floor

The image of a dorsal fin cutting through the sea surface is iconic. But scientists studying the stomach contests of young great white sharks off the coast of Australia were in for a surprise when they learned that the predators seem to spend a lot of time patrolling the sea floor.

"They have a predominantly fish-based diet, which is not unexpected for juvenile white sharks. The most important prey species we identified was Eastern Australian salmon."

University of Sydney graduate student Richard Grainger. He and his team sorted through the stomach contents of more than fifty juvenile white sharks that died after being entangled in shark exclusion nets meant to protect swimmers.

"The overall unexpected finding was just the diversity and importance of bottom dwelling fishes. Things like stargazers, which bury themselves in the sand, they're quite strange looking fish. And flathead. But also stingrays."

People actually did not have a good idea of the particulars of great white shark diets. As Grainger points out, the sharks enjoy protections throughout the world. So most researchers estimated their diets through the chemical markers that they can ethically access by taking small skin samples. These measurements indicate at what level of the food chain the predator is feeding, but not the actual critters that make up their meals.

"There's quite a lot of evidence that lots of different animals, so even carnivores, omnivores, herbivores…self-select different prey or food based on a particular balance of nutrients."

Grainger hopes that by further understanding what juvenile white sharks like to eat, he can begin to piece together how and why they make their predatory choices. The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

"Understanding and predicting when sharks might be more abundant in certain areas would be an ultimate end goal of all of this."

Avoiding or mitigating human-shark conflicts means understanding the sharks' nutritional goals. And if researchers can anticipate where and when sharks are likely to spend their time hunting, they can better protect humans from getting bitten—and sharks from getting killed.


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