VOA英语学习网 > 科学美国人 > 2022年科学美国人 > 科学美国人60秒科学系列 >
缩小放大

科学美国人60秒:蜘蛛的网,就是它们的耳朵

[提示:]双击单词,即可查看词义!
中英对照 听力原文

Some things are so adorable, we say they’re cute as a bug’s ear. Of course, bugs don’t have ears. But a new study shows that orb-weaving spiders can use their webs to detect sounds. The findings are unfurled in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

有些东西太可爱了,我们会说它们像虫子的耳朵一样可爱。当然,虫子没有耳朵。但一项新的研究表明,圆网蛛可以利用它们的网来探测声音。研究结果发表在《美国国家科学院院刊》上。

Ron Hoy: Any animal that makes sounds is likely to have an ear.

任何能发出声音的动物都可能有耳朵。

Hopkin: Ron Hoy studies neurobiology and behavior at Cornell University in Ithaca.

罗恩·霍伊在伊萨卡的康奈尔大学学习神经生物学和行为学。

Hoy: …ranging all the way from tiny crickets, and flies that are even smaller than crickets, all the way through to humans of course.

……从小蟋蟀到比蟋蟀还小的苍蝇,当然一直到人类都是如此。

Ron Miles: It’s also pretty interesting that a great many animals don’t have eardrums. But they still hear.

有趣的是,很多动物没有耳膜,但它们仍然听到。

Hopkin: That’s Ron Miles.

这是罗恩·迈尔斯。

Miles: The two Rons, here.

这里有两位罗恩。

Hopkin: Ron Miles, who’s been collaborating with Ron Hoy for 30 years, is an engineer at Binghamton University…

与罗恩·霍伊合作了30年罗恩·迈尔斯是宾汉姆顿大学的一名工程师。

Miles: …an hour’s drive away from Cornell.

这所大学距康奈尔大学有一小时车程。

Hopkin: Critters lacking eardrums receive audio input very fine hairs.

没有耳膜的小动物通常会有非常细的毛发。

Miles: If you look at spiders and insects, they’re covered with hairs.

如果你仔细看看蜘蛛和昆虫,就会发现它们身上长满了毛发。

Hopkin: Because these whispy little filaments can float freely in the breeze, they’re great at sensing the air currents that comprise sound waves.

因为这些纤细的毛发可以在微风中自由漂浮,它们非常擅长感应包含声波的气流。

Miles: Since we knew that so many animals like small insects and spiders have hairs that can sense sound, … we were kind of wondering how would you make something that could sense sound the way that some of these small animals do.

既然我们知道像小昆虫和蜘蛛这样的许多动物都有可以感知声音的毛发,……我们有点想知道该如何制造出像这些小动物那样可以感知声音的东西。

Hopkin: A possibility appeared during an afternoon stroll.

下午散步时我们发现了一种可能性。

Miles: My graduate student, Jian Zhou, was walking in our campus nature preserve one day and he noticed when the wind blew, if you look at a spider web, it moves with the wind. And he thought maybe a fine spider web or spider silk could act as a sound sensor.

我的研究生周健有一天在校园自然保护区散步时,注意到风一吹,蜘蛛网就会随风移动。他认为,也许一张精细的蜘蛛网或蜘蛛丝可以充当声音传感器。

Hopkin: To find out, the researchers coaxed a spider into giving them a bit of silk…

为了找出答案,研究人员诱使一只蜘蛛给他们吐出了一点丝……

Miles: … and we played sound at a little strand of spider silk and found that when the silk is very thin, it moves with the air in a sound field amazingly well… over a wide range of frequencies, from 1 hz to 50 khz. So we knew then that the spider silk was sort of an ideal, perfect sound sensor.

……我们在一小股蜘蛛丝上播放声音,发现当蜘蛛丝很薄时,它会在声场中随空气移动得非常好……频率范围很广,从 1 赫兹到 50 赫兹。所以我们当时就知道蜘蛛丝是一种理想的、完美的声音传感器。

Hopkin: That was eye-opening for the researchers…but is it ear-tickling for the spiders?

这让研究人员大开眼界……但对蜘蛛来说不会很痒吗?

Miles: So we set out to try to figure out if the spiders were actually able to hear sound using their web. And this was a hard question to answer.

所以我们开始尝试弄清楚蜘蛛是否真的能够通过网听到声音。这是一个很难回答的问题。

Hopkin: For one thing, they had to find a way to get a whole web into the special soundproof chamber in the basement of the lab building.

首先,他们必须想办法将整张网放入实验室大楼地下室的特殊隔音室。

Miles: You know, spider webs are very delicate. You can’t go out in the woods and find a spider web and grab it and take it home. It’s attached to things. And it’s not easy to get it intact.

蜘蛛网是非常脆弱的。你不能在树林里找到蜘蛛网然后把它带回家。它依附于事物。而且要完好无损并不容易。

Hopkin: Especially those made by the industrious orb-weavers…spiders like the title character in Charlotte’s Web.

尤其是那些由勤劳的圆球蛛编织的,就像《夏洛的网》中的主角一样。

Hoy: We’re talking about quite a spectacular web. It’s this wheel-shaped web that is around upstate New York…if you walk through any field, you’ve either gonna walk through one or you’re gonna see it and avoid it because they’re big. It can get as big as a yard or a meter across.

我们说的是巨大的蜘蛛网。这是一张车轮状的网,分布在纽约州北部。如果你在此地的任何一个区域穿行,你要么会穿过蜘蛛网,要么会发现蜘蛛网从而避开它,因为这些蜘蛛网很大。这种蜘蛛网可以达到一码或一米宽。

Hopkin: So Jian Zhou and fellow student Junpeng Lai came up with a way to get custom-made webs custom to go.

因此,周健和他的同学赖俊鹏想出了一种获得定制网络的方法。

Miles: What they did is make a little wooden frame… kind of the size of a decent sized picture frame…and they placed this frame on the windows of our building.

他们制作了一个小木框……跟一个大相框差不多大……他们把这个框架放在我们大楼的窗户上。

Hopkin: The lights in the building attracted bugs…and the bugs attracted spiders.

大楼里的灯吸引了虫子……而虫子吸引了蜘蛛。

Miles: So…the spiders built their webs on the frames. Then in the morning, my students would go and collect the frames and basically hijack the spiders and take them over and put the frame in the…chamber intact.

所以……蜘蛛就在框架上结网了。到早上,我的学生们会去收集木框,其实就是劫持蜘蛛,把蜘蛛拿下来,把木框完好无损地放在房间里。

Hopkin: Now, how can you tell whether a web functions as an arachnid hearing aid? One way is to keep an eye on the spider’s brain.

现在,您如何判断网络是否起到蛛形助听器的作用?一种方法是密切关注蜘蛛的大脑。

Hoy: My lab, the neurophysiologists, made some recordings from the nervous system sensory system that showed that indeed you get an acoustic response in the nerves to sound…coming from a speaker a little more than a meter away.

神经生理学家在实验室录到了一些神经系统和感官系统的反应,这表明神经会对一米多一点的扬声器发出的声音作出声学反应。

Hopkin: But even more revealing was how the spiders acted.

但更能说明问题的是蜘蛛的行为。

Hoy: To very loud sounds, you could get a strong response…the spider would either flatten out or it might actually crouch. But it’s really hunkering down. That is indicative [to a biologist] of an alarm response.

对于非常大的声音,可能会有强烈的反应——蜘蛛要么会横冲直撞,要么会蜷伏起来。蜘蛛真的会蜷伏起来。在生物学家眼中,这是一种警报反应。

Hopkin: And when serenaded with sounds that are maybe 10 decibels or 100 times softer…

当用10分贝或100倍轻的声音唱小夜曲时……

Hoy: Without changing its body posture or making any other movements, it might simply raise its front two legs off of the web.

在不改变身体姿势或做任何其他动作的情况下,蜘蛛可能只会将两条前腿抬离蛛网。

Hopkin: That leg lift, says Hoy…

霍伊说,抬腿……

Hoy: …is a spider’s way of maybe putting two more sensors out there to see what’s coming. We don’t know that yet. But that response to a very soft stimulus might be simply the spider’s reaction to, “I know something’s out there, I heard it, but I need more information.” So…that’s essentially the demonstration that was needed to show that spiders can hear sound.

……抬腿是蜘蛛放置两个传感器,看看接下来会发生什么的一种方式。但这种对柔和刺激的反应可能只是蜘蛛对“我知道外面有东西,我听到了,但我需要更多的信息”的反应。这基本上就是证明蜘蛛能听到声音所需要的演示。

Hopkin: This filamentous approach to acoustics could someday change the way we make microphones…and take webcasting to a whole new level.

这种与蜘蛛丝有关声学方法有一天可能会改变我们制造麦克风的方式……并将网络广播提升到一个全新的水平。

For Scientific American’s 60 Second Science, I’m Karen Hopkin.

以上是《科学美国人》的60秒科学,我是凯伦·霍普金。

Some things are so adorable, we say they’re cute as a bug’s ear. Of course, bugs don’t have ears. But a new study shows that orb-weaving spiders can use their webs to detect sounds. The findings are unfurled in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Ron Hoy: Any animal that makes sounds is likely to have an ear.

Hopkin: Ron Hoy studies neurobiology and behavior at Cornell University in Ithaca.

Hoy: …ranging all the way from tiny crickets, and flies that are even smaller than crickets, all the way through to humans of course.

Ron Miles: It’s also pretty interesting that a great many animals don’t have eardrums. But they still hear.

Hopkin: That’s Ron Miles.

Miles: The two Rons, here.

Hopkin: Ron Miles, who’s been collaborating with Ron Hoy for 30 years, is an engineer at Binghamton University…

Miles: …an hour’s drive away from Cornell.

Hopkin: Critters lacking eardrums receive audio input very fine hairs.

Miles: If you look at spiders and insects, they’re covered with hairs.

Hopkin: Because these whispy little filaments can float freely in the breeze, they’re great at sensing the air currents that comprise sound waves.

Miles: Since we knew that so many animals like small insects and spiders have hairs that can sense sound, … we were kind of wondering how would you make something that could sense sound the way that some of these small animals do.

Hopkin: A possibility appeared during an afternoon stroll.

Miles: My graduate student, Jian Zhou, was walking in our campus nature preserve one day and he noticed when the wind blew, if you look at a spider web, it moves with the wind. And he thought maybe a fine spider web or spider silk could act as a sound sensor.

Hopkin: To find out, the researchers coaxed a spider into giving them a bit of silk…

Miles: … and we played sound at a little strand of spider silk and found that when the silk is very thin, it moves with the air in a sound field amazingly well… over a wide range of frequencies, from 1 hz to 50 khz. So we knew then that the spider silk was sort of an ideal, perfect sound sensor.

Hopkin: That was eye-opening for the researchers…but is it ear-tickling for the spiders?

Miles: So we set out to try to figure out if the spiders were actually able to hear sound using their web. And this was a hard question to answer.

Hopkin: For one thing, they had to find a way to get a whole web into the special soundproof chamber in the basement of the lab building.

Miles: You know, spider webs are very delicate. You can’t go out in the woods and find a spider web and grab it and take it home. It’s attached to things. And it’s not easy to get it intact.

Hopkin: Especially those made by the industrious orb-weavers…spiders like the title character in Charlotte’s Web.

Hoy: We’re talking about quite a spectacular web. It’s this wheel-shaped web that is around upstate New York…if you walk through any field, you’ve either gonna walk through one or you’re gonna see it and avoid it because they’re big. It can get as big as a yard or a meter across.

Hopkin: So Jian Zhou and fellow student Junpeng Lai came up with a way to get custom-made webs custom to go.

Miles: What they did is make a little wooden frame… kind of the size of a decent sized picture frame…and they placed this frame on the windows of our building.

Hopkin: The lights in the building attracted bugs…and the bugs attracted spiders.

Miles: So…the spiders built their webs on the frames. Then in the morning, my students would go and collect the frames and basically hijack the spiders and take them over and put the frame in the…chamber intact.

Hopkin: Now, how can you tell whether a web functions as an arachnid hearing aid? One way is to keep an eye on the spider’s brain.

Hoy: My lab, the neurophysiologists, made some recordings from the nervous system sensory system that showed that indeed you get an acoustic response in the nerves to sound…coming from a speaker a little more than a meter away.

Hopkin: But even more revealing was how the spiders acted.

Hoy: To very loud sounds, you could get a strong response…the spider would either flatten out or it might actually crouch. But it’s really hunkering down. That is indicative [to a biologist] of an alarm response.

Hopkin: And when serenaded with sounds that are maybe 10 decibels or 100 times softer…

Hoy: Without changing its body posture or making any other movements, it might simply raise its front two legs off of the web.

Hopkin: That leg lift, says Hoy…

Hoy: …is a spider’s way of maybe putting two more sensors out there to see what’s coming. We don’t know that yet. But that response to a very soft stimulus might be simply the spider’s reaction to, “I know something’s out there, I heard it, but I need more information.” So…that’s essentially the demonstration that was needed to show that spiders can hear sound.

Hopkin: This filamentous approach to acoustics could someday change the way we make microphones…and take webcasting to a whole new level.

For Scientific American’s 60 Second Science, I’m Karen Hopkin.
 


内容来自 VOA英语学习网https://www.chinavoa.com/show-8834-243260-1.html
内容推荐
<