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科学美国人60秒双语科学新闻综合篇:雄蜘蛛用假礼物引诱雌性

Lily85 于2013-04-07发布 l 已有人浏览
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雄性保育蛛通常用丝裹的礼物像潜在的对象求爱。交配可能随之而来,在此期间雌性解开礼物外层裹着的丝,期待找到美味的食物。但雄蜘蛛可就有点不道德了,一些礼物里面是
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Male nursery web spiders often woo potential lady-friends with gifts wrapped in silk. Mating may ensue, during which a female unspools the present, expecting to find a tasty treat. But the males can be unscrupulous . Some offerings contain inedible plant seeds or empty insect exoskeletons.
雄性保育蛛通常用丝裹的礼物像潜在的对象求爱。交配可能随之而来,在此期间雌性解开礼物外层裹着的丝,期待找到美味的食物。但雄蜘蛛可就有点不道德了,一些礼物里面是不能吃的植物种子或者昆虫空骨头。

How do males get away with such egregious behavior?
雄蜘蛛是如何用这些恶劣的行为侥幸成功的?

Researchers provided males with potential gifts—either a fly or an inedible item, such as a bit of cotton. Other males had to give it a shot with no gift at all.
研究人员给部分雄蜘蛛一只苍蝇或者一些不能吃的东西,比如一点棉花,做为可能的礼物。而另一部分雄蜘蛛,则试试看完全没有礼物会怎样。

The empty-handed males were mostly unsuccessful at mating. Whereas those with a gift could get the girl. But if the gift was worthless, the females quickly realized the deceit and pushed the copulating males off. Which gave the males less time to transfer sperm.
两手空空的雄蜘蛛几乎都未成功交配。而那些有礼物的能够得到雌性的青睐。但如果礼物毫无价值,雌蜘蛛会很快发现这个骗局并把雄蜘蛛从身体推开,这使得雄蜘蛛没有足够时间完成交配。

The study is in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology. [Maria J. Albo et al., "Worthless donations: male deception and female counter play in a nuptial gift-giving spider"]
这项研究发表在英国医学委员会《进化生物学》杂志上。『Maria J. Albo等,“无价值的礼物:雄蜘蛛的欺骗与雌蜘蛛的反应”』

Females clearly prefer males bearing edible presents. But some males know they can get limited action without expending the energy on a real gift. And the females laid almost the same amount of eggs fertilized by males bearing real or phony gifts. With both strategies successful, the behavior gets maintained. And the species stays stocked with deadbeat dads.
雌蜘蛛显然更喜欢带有食物礼品的雄蜘蛛。但是,一些雄蜘蛛知道,即使他们认真准备一个真正的礼物也可以一亲芳泽。对于带有真假礼物的雄蜘蛛,雌蜘蛛留下的受精卵几乎相同。随着两个方式的成功,这种欺骗得以延续,这类游手好闲的雄蜘蛛也得以存在下去。

unscrupulous adj.无道德的 inedible adj.不能吃的 deceit n.欺骗 phony n.骗人的东西

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