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科学美国人60秒:飘扬的羽毛可能会产生新的物种

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中英对照 听力原文

Fluttering Feathers Could Spawn New Species

飘扬的羽毛可能会产生新的物种

Charles Darwin is most famous for his finches, from whose beaks he gleaned the idea that a single species might radiate into many.

查尔斯·达尔文最出名的是他的雀类他从雀的喙中收集到一个物种可能会进化成多个物种的观点。

But he studied other attributes of birds, too—like the rhythmic sounds some species made during courtship by fluttering, shaking or rattling their feathers together.

但他也研究了鸟类的其他特性,比如一些鸟类在求爱期通过拍打、摇晃或使羽毛碰撞发出的有节奏的声音。

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“Since Darwin, there’s been this fact that birds produce sounds with wings and tails or flight feathers. So there’s species of manakins that do this sound; there’s hummingbirds that do this sound.”

“从达尔文开始,就有这样一个事实,鸟类通过翅膀和尾巴或飞行羽毛来发声。有一种马纳金(一种鸟类)会发出这种声音;蜂鸟就会发出这种声音。”

Valentina Gómez-Bahamón is an evolutionary biologist and ornithologist at the Field Museum in Chicago.

瓦伦蒂娜·戈麦斯-巴哈蒙是芝加哥菲尔德博物馆的进化生物学家和鸟类学家。

She and her team have now observed that nonvocal-sound-production phenomenon in another type of bird: the fork-tailed flycatcher. The researchers studied two groups of the birds in South America—and recorded the birds making these fluttering sounds with their wings during morning courtship rituals ...

现在,她和团队在另一种鸟类——叉尾捕蝇鸟身上观察到这种无声发声的现象。研究人员研究了南美的两组鸟类,并记录了它们在清晨求偶仪式中用翅膀拍打的声音。

... and in combat between males.

还有和雄性之间战斗发出的拍打声音。

One of the two flycatcher subspecies is migratory. The other stays put. And by carefully measuring the birds’ feathers, the research team found that the migratory birds had longer, thinner feathers—presumably for some aerodynamic advantage. But that altered feather shape also meant the birds’ fluttering produced a different frequency.

两种捕蝇亚种中有一种是迁徙的。另一个保持不变。通过仔细测量这些鸟的羽毛,研究小组发现候鸟的羽毛又长又薄——可能是为了一些空气动力学优势。但是,羽毛形状的改变也意味着鸟儿拍打翅膀产生了不同的频率。

Compare the migratory birds’ flutter ...... to the stationary birds’.

将候鸟和非迁徙鸟类的拍打进行比较。

“So basically what we think is that because of loss of migration, pressures for flight may influence the shape of the individual feathers to the point where the sound quality changes.”

“所以基本上我们认为,由于迁徙的减少,飞行压力可能会影响单个羽毛的形状,直至拍打音质发生变化。”

The details are in the journal Integrative & Comparative Biology.

详细资料发表在《综合与比较生物学》杂志上。

Gómez-Bahamón says they’re still not certain what role the sounds play in day-to-day flycatcher life—if the birds do indeed even pay attention to them. But she suspects the sounds may have some cultural importance to the birds.

Gomez-Bahamon说,他们仍然不确定这种声音在捕蝇鸟日常生活中扮演了什么角色——如果鸟儿真的注意到它们的话。但她怀疑这些声音可能对鸟类文化有重要作用。

In which case, she says, the communication differences between the migratory and nonmigratory birds could further divide the two types of birds—or in other words, give rise to the origin of species.

她说,在这种情况下,候鸟和非候鸟之间的交流差异可能会进一步划分这两种鸟类——或者换句话说,导致了物种的起源。

Fluttering Feathers Could Spawn New Species

Charles Darwin is most famous for his finches, from whose beaks he gleaned the idea that a single species might radiate into many.

But he studied other attributes of birds, too—like the rhythmic sounds some species made during courtship by fluttering, shaking or rattling their feathers together.

“Since Darwin, there’s been this fact that birds produce sounds with wings and tails or flight feathers. So there’s species of manakins that do this sound; there’s hummingbirds that do this sound.”

Valentina Gómez-Bahamón is an evolutionary biologist and ornithologist at the Field Museum in Chicago.

She and her team have now observed that nonvocal-sound-production phenomenon in another type of bird: the fork-tailed flycatcher. The researchers studied two groups of the birds in South America—and recorded the birds making these fluttering sounds with their wings during morning courtship rituals ...

... and in combat between males.

One of the two flycatcher subspecies is migratory. The other stays put. And by carefully measuring the birds’ feathers, the research team found that the migratory birds had longer, thinner feathers—presumably for some aerodynamic advantage. But that altered feather shape also meant the birds’ fluttering produced a different frequency.

Compare the migratory birds’ flutter ...... to the stationary birds’.

“So basically what we think is that because of loss of migration, pressures for flight may influence the shape of the individual feathers to the point where the sound quality changes.”

The details are in the journal Integrative & Comparative Biology.

Gómez-Bahamón says they’re still not certain what role the sounds play in day-to-day flycatcher life—if the birds do indeed even pay attention to them. But she suspects the sounds may have some cultural importance to the birds.

In which case, she says, the communication differences between the migratory and nonmigratory birds could further divide the two types of birds—or in other words, give rise to the origin of species.


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