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科学美国人60秒双语科学新闻科技篇:鸟儿的语言也要与时俱进

Lily85 于2013-04-07发布 l 已有人浏览
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在2013年说中世纪的英语,除非是在乔叟的粉丝群里,否则你不会再让潜在的恋爱对象印象深刻了。简单来说,雄性草原麻雀必须要确保自己的叫声是最新流行的。
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Unless you're at a Chaucer convention, speaking middle English is not going to impress a potential romantic partner in 2013. Similarly, male Savanna sparrows have to make sure their vocalizations are up to date.
在2013年说中世纪的英语,除非是在乔叟的粉丝群里,否则你不会再让潜在的恋爱对象印象深刻了。简单来说,雄性草原麻雀必须要确保自己的叫声是最新流行的。

Researchers analyzed three decades of recordings of male Savanna sparrows. And birds that changed their tune over the years did better with the ladies. The research is in the journal Animal Behaviour.
研究人员分析了近三十年来雄性草原麻雀的录音。研究发现,在这些年里声音有变化的鸟儿们更招异性的欢心。这项研究发表在《动物行为》杂志上。

While introductory notes of the sparrow's song stayed the same, the middle and end parts changed over time. In the 1980's, songs concluded with longer, high-pitched trills. More recent songs contain a series of clicks in the middle and a shorter, low-pitched trill at the end.
不过,麻雀歌声的开头部分保持不变,中间和结尾部分随着时间而改变。19世纪80年代的麻雀声属于长而尖锐的颤音。而在近期,麻雀声的中间部分会有一系列的滴答声,结尾处则是短促而低调的颤音。

Researchers found that the male sparrows that adopted the newer songs had higher rates of sexual reproduction. Because you don't want to be seen as behind the times. Indeed, Chaucer might have had his pick of the ladies in the 14th century. But few today can make heads or tails of his tales.
研究人员发现,雄性麻雀中声音比较新潮的麻雀有性繁殖的几率更高。因为没人愿意被看作是落伍的人。确实,可能在14世纪乔叟有可供挑选的对象。但是在现代,没有多少人愿意听他故事的开头或结尾。

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