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科学美国人60秒双语科学新闻综合篇:蟋蟀化石揭示远古之歌

Lily85 于2013-04-07发布 l 已有人浏览
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蟋蟀的鸣声是夏夜的一个美妙音符。它们早在1.65亿年前就这样做了。借助一个灌丛蟋蟀的遗骸,古生物学家还原了这个早已灭绝了的蟋蟀物种的歌声。
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Crickets make a big contribution to the sounds of a summer night. And they’ve been doing so for some 165 million years. Now paleontologists have reconstructed the song of a long-extinct bushcricket—based on its remains.
蟋蟀的鸣声是夏夜的一个美妙音符。它们早在1.65亿年前就这样做了。借助一个灌丛蟋蟀的遗骸,古生物学家还原了这个早已灭绝了的蟋蟀物种的歌声。

The researchers got hold of a bushcricket fossil from the Jurassic period with well preserved wings. Even the stridulating organs, which insects rub together to make noise, were visible, which allowed researchers to compare the extinct cricket to 59 living species.
研究人员获得了一个侏罗纪时期的蟋蟀化石,它的翅翼保存完好,甚至它的发声器官——相互摩擦的双翼,都清晰可见。这一切使得研究人员可以拿这个灭绝物种同现存的59个蟋蟀物种进行比较。

The scientists concluded that the crickets produced single frequencies in short bursts. And based on physiology and the comparisons, they estimated the pitch and length of each note that the ancient species sang. Here’s the call:
科学家们得出结论:这种蟋蟀在短时间内发出单一频率的鸣声。基于生理学和比较学的理论,他们估计出了这个古老物种的每个音符的音高和长度。这是它的鸣叫声:

The study is in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
这项研究结果刊登于美国国家科学院院刊。

This work shows that the anatomy to make music had already evolved over a hundred million years ago. Like modern bushcricket species, the ancient male crickets probably sang to advertise their presence and reproductive quality to potential mates. As a bonus, they’ve helped us know a bit about the sound of their long-lost world.
这项研究表明,能够发声的生物结构早在1.65亿万年前就出现了。正如现在的灌丛蟋蟀一样,古老的雄性蟋蟀可能是通过鸣声宣示他们的存在或向潜在配偶显示雄性力量。而它们也帮我们略微知晓了来自那个久已失去了的世界的声音。

重点讲解

1. reconstruct vt.重建
例句:We reconstructed what the dinosaur looked like from a few of its bones. 我们根据恐龙的一些骨头重组恐龙的原貌。

2. preserve vt.保护,维持;保存,保藏;
例句:In the summer, large crops of fruit may be preserved by freezing or bottling. 夏天收获的大量水果可冷藏或装瓶装罐加以保存。

3. species n.种,类
例句:We should do our best to save endangered species. 我们应该竭尽全力挽救濒于灭绝的生物。

4. evolve v.(使)演变,(使)进化,(使)发展
例句:He has evolved a new theory after many years of research. 他经过多年的研究,逐渐总结出了新的理论。

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