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科学美国人: 鸟蛋颜色受当地气候影响

kira86 于2020-04-09发布 l 已有人浏览
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鸟蛋颜色受当地气候影响,越冷的地方鸟蛋颜色越深。
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Bird Egg Colors Influenced By Local Climate

鸟蛋颜色受当地气候影响

Most supermarket eggs look pretty boring. Plain white chicken eggs, brown ones if you're lucky. However: "There's a couple breeds that have blue eggs... And you can buy them at Whole Foods, actually."

大多数超市里的鸡蛋看起来都很乏味。纯白色的鸡蛋,如果幸运的话,还有棕色的鸡蛋。然而:“有一些品种的禽类还会下蓝颜色的蛋……实际上你可以在全食超市买到。”

Daniel Hanley, an evolutionary ecologist at Long Island University... who has a very specific reason for caring about the color of his eggs. "I'm always thinking about eggs. It's one of the tools I use to understand ecological and evolutionary processes. I study the function and evolution of natural colors. And the main system I use are birds eggs."

长岛大学的进化生态学家丹尼尔·汉利(Daniel Hanley)关心蛋的颜色有一个非常特殊的原因。“我脑子里整天想的都是蛋。因为这是我用来理解生态和进化过程的工具之一。我研究自然颜色的功能和演变。我使用的主要系统是就是鸟蛋。”

Unlike white supermarket eggs, most bird eggs are colored various shades of bluish-green or brown, due to two characteristic pigments birds produce. And by examining the egg colors of 634 species from around the world, Hanley and his colleagues found a curious pattern.

与超市里的白色鸡蛋不同,大多数鸟蛋都是蓝绿色或棕色的,这是由鸟类产生的两种特殊色素造成的。通过研究来自世界各地634个物种的蛋的颜色,汉利和他的同事们发现了一个奇怪的模式。

In the northern climates where it's the coolest, eggs are darker and browner. And those colors should give some type of adaptive benefit to those parents to be off of their eggs for a slightly longer period of time.

“在北方气候最冷的地方,鸡蛋颜色更深,颜色更深。而这些颜色在适应性方面应该对鸟爸鸟妈有一些好处,让它们(在孵蛋时)可以离开他们的蛋更长时间。

Darker eggs, in theory, would absorb more of the scarce sunlight in the Arctic, keeping the eggs warmer, and allowing their parents to spend more time away from the nest looking for food. And indeed, when Hanley's team left 66 differently colored duck, quail and chicken eggs in the sun, they found that the darker the eggs, the more slowly they lost their heat. The details, and a world map of egg colors, are in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.

理论上,深色的蛋会吸收更多北极地区稀少的阳光,让蛋保持温暖,让它们的父母有更多的时间离开巢穴寻找食物。事实上,当汉利的团队将66个不同颜色的鸭蛋、鹌鹑蛋和鸡蛋放在阳光下晒时,他们发现鸡蛋颜色越深,散热越慢。这些细节和鸟蛋颜色的世界分布地图发表在《自然生态与进化》杂志上。

And if you're wondering, are dark brown chicken eggs from some ancestral arctic chicken? "No, no no no..." They just come from a different breed of hen. One that maybe prefers to buck the trend.

如果你想知道,深褐色的鸡蛋是不是来自一些北极鸡的祖先?“不,不,不,不……”它们只是来自不同品种的母鸡。一个可能更喜欢逆潮流而动的品种。

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