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科学美国人60秒:波士顿的“邪恶”鸽子

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Boston's Pigeons Coo, 'Wicked'; New York's Birds Coo, 'Fuhgeddaboudit'

波士顿的“邪恶”鸽子

Boston and New York are famed for their rivalries: everything from the Yankees versus the Red Sox to who makes the correct clam chowder. Even the local wildlife has hometown pride—because pigeons that roost near Rockefeller Center are genetically distinct from those that summer at the Cape. The finding is in the journal Evolutionary Applications.

波士顿和纽约以之间的竞争而闻名:从洋基队到红袜队,再到谁会做正确的蛤杂烩汤,一切都应有尽有。甚至当地的野生动植物也是家乡的骄傲,因为在洛克菲勒中心附近栖息的鸽子在遗传上与那年夏天在海角的鸽子截然不同。该发现发表在《进化应用》杂志上。

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“I don’t think we could be in a city without thinking about pigeons. And for many people, it’s one of the few daily interactions they have with wildlife.”Elizabeth Carlen, a graduate student at Fordham University in the Bronx.

“我不认为我们可以想到一个城市,但是却想不到鸽子。对于许多人来说,这是他们与野生动植物进行的少数日常互动。”伊丽莎白·卡伦,是布朗克斯福德汉姆大学的研究生。

As an evolutionary biologist, Carlen was curious about whether pigeons in one city are closely related, genetically speaking, to those from cities nearby. So she did a research-inspired road trip, making stops from Boston to D.C.

作为进化生物学家,卡伦很好奇,对于城市中的鸽子,从基因上讲,是否与附近城市的鸽子密切相关。因此,她进行了一次以研究为灵感的公路旅行,从波士顿出发,前往哥伦比亚特区。

“I would drive to a city and start talking to people at Starbucks. Anybody that I could chat with, I would start asking them questions about where they saw pigeons. And I kind of started to gather intel that way.”Once she’d found a flock, she’d lay down some bird seed ...

“我会开车去一个城市,然后开始与星巴克的人们聊天。任何可以与我聊天的人,我都会开始问他们关于在哪里看到鸽子的问题。我开始以这种方式收集情报。”一旦找到一群各自,她就放下一些鸟食...

“And then use a net gun, which is basically something that looks like a big flashlight. And it shoots a net out over the pigeons.”With birds literally in hand, she would take a DNA sample.

“I like to call like it a pigeon 23andMe. We’re looking for ancestry and proportion of shared ancestry. And so we can build this big map with all these individuals that kind of tells us who’s more closely related to who.”

“然后使用网枪,这基本上就像一个大手电筒。而且它在鸽子身上射出了一个网。”从字面上看,她会拿一个DNA样本。“我喜欢称它为23andMe鸽。我们正在寻找血统和共享血统的比例。因此,我们可以与所有这些人一起构建这张大地图,以告诉我们谁与谁关系更密切。”

Carlen was surprised to find that pigeons in the Northeast can be divided into two distinct populations.

卡伦惊讶地发现东北的鸽子可以分为两个不同的种群。

“One population is in Boston and Providence. And then the other population ranges from New York down to Washington, D.C. I had actually, based on previous research, thought that pigeons in each city would form their own separate populations. Because if you have food, and you have mates, why would you go anywhere? Why would you disperse? And what I’m starting to realize is that pigeons actually kind of view this northeastern megacity as one giant city—at least from New York down to Washington, D.C.”And it wouldn’t take much to promote avian intermixing within this megacity.

波士顿和普罗维登斯有一个人口。然后,从纽约到华盛顿特区的其他人群,根据我以前的研究,我实际上认为,每个城市的鸽子都将形成各自独立的种群。因为如果您有食物,并且有伴侣,您为什么要去任何地方?你为什么要分散?我开始意识到,鸽子实际上是将这个东北大城市视为一个大城市,至少从纽约到华盛顿特区都是如此。”而且,在这个大城市中促进禽类混杂并不需要太多。

“One pigeon will leave New York and go down Philly. And then maybe a pigeon from Baltimore will come up to Philly. And that’s allowing there to be gene flow between all these cities.”Maybe the feathered foragers are simply following the food. Just think of all the French fries left behind at rest stops along I-95.“If humans are traveling this corridor quite a bit, it makes sense that pigeons also are traveling it.”

“一只鸽子将离开纽约,然后飞到费城。然后也许来自巴尔的摩的鸽子会来到费城。这使得所有这些城市之间都能有基因交流。”也许有羽毛的觅食者只是在跟随食物。试想一下I-95沿途停留的所有炸薯条。“如果人类在这条走廊上走了很多路,那么鸽子也在走这条路就很有意义了。”

As to why pigeons don’t bother making the trip between Boston and New York, Carlen points to the more manicured lawns of Connecticut.“Connecticut is a lot more suburban than these other areas, and that might be why pigeons in Providence and Boston are kind of falling out as separate from pigeons in more southern cities.”

至于为什么鸽子不打扰波士顿和纽约之间的旅程,卡伦指出了康涅狄格州修剪得更整齐的草坪。“康涅狄格州比其他地区郊区得多,这也许就是为什么普罗维登斯和波士顿的鸽子与其他南方城市的鸽子分开的原因。”

Next up, Carlen says she’d like to further explore the relationships that exist within flocks.“ Are they aunts and uncles and cousins and parents and grandparents? Or are they just a random group of individuals that happen to come together?” Hopefully not in the middle of the road.

接下来,卡伦说她想进一步探索鸽群中存在的关系。“它们是阿姨,叔叔,堂兄弟姐妹以及父母和祖父母吗?还是它们只是偶然碰巧在一起的一群人?”希望不要在路上的行人。

Boston's Pigeons Coo, 'Wicked'; New York's Birds Coo, 'Fuhgeddaboudit'

Boston and New York are famed for their rivalries: everything from the Yankees versus the Red Sox to who makes the correct clam chowder. Even the local wildlife has hometown pride—because pigeons that roost near Rockefeller Center are genetically distinct from those that summer at the Cape. The finding is in the journal Evolutionary Applications. [Elizabeth Carlen and Jason Munshi‐South, Widespread genetic connectivity of feral pigeons across the Northeastern megacity]

“I don’t think we could be in a city without thinking about pigeons. And for many people, it’s one of the few daily interactions they have with wildlife.”

Elizabeth Carlen, a graduate student at Fordham University in the Bronx.

As an evolutionary biologist, Carlen was curious about whether pigeons in one city are closely related, genetically speaking, to those from cities nearby. So she did a research-inspired road trip, making stops from Boston to D.C.

“I would drive to a city and start talking to people at Starbucks. Anybody that I could chat with, I would start asking them questions about where they saw pigeons. And I kind of started to gather intel that way.”

Once she’d found a flock, she’d lay down some bird seed ...

“And then use a net gun, which is basically something that looks like a big flashlight. And it shoots a net out over the pigeons.”

With birds literally in hand, she would take a DNA sample.

“I like to call like it a pigeon 23andMe. We’re looking for ancestry and proportion of shared ancestry. And so we can build this big map with all these individuals that kind of tells us who’s more closely related to who.”

Carlen was surprised to find that pigeons in the Northeast can be divided into two distinct populations.

“One population is in Boston and Providence. And then the other population ranges from New York down to Washington, D.C. I had actually, based on previous research, thought that pigeons in each city would form their own separate populations. Because if you have food, and you have mates, why would you go anywhere? Why would you disperse? And what I’m starting to realize is that pigeons actually kind of view this northeastern megacity as one giant city—at least from New York down to Washington, D.C.”

And it wouldn’t take much to promote avian intermixing within this megacity.

“One pigeon will leave New York and go down Philly. And then maybe a pigeon from Baltimore will come up to Philly. And that’s allowing there to be gene flow between all these cities.”

Maybe the feathered foragers are simply following the food. Just think of all the French fries left behind at rest stops along I-95.

“If humans are traveling this corridor quite a bit, it makes sense that pigeons also are traveling it.”

As to why pigeons don’t bother making the trip between Boston and New York, Carlen points to the more manicured lawns of Connecticut.

“Connecticut is a lot more suburban than these other areas, and that might be why pigeons in Providence and Boston are kind of falling out as separate from pigeons in more southern cities.”

Next up, Carlen says she’d like to further explore the relationships that exist within flocks.

“Are they aunts and uncles and cousins and parents and grandparents? Or are they just a random group of individuals that happen to come together?”

Hopefully not in the middle of the road.


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