专家称鸟儿通过倾听学习彼此的“语言” 分享到
Birds Learn Each Other’s ‘Languages’ by Listening, Experts Say 2018-08-1590745

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Wild animals are known to listen to each other for warnings that predators are near. Some birds, for example, flee when neighbors make a loud noise to announce a snake’s presence.
众所周知,野生动物会互相倾听,以获取捕食者靠近的警告。例如,有些鸟儿听到邻居发出很大的声音告知蛇来了,便会逃走。
The fairy wren is a small Australian songbird. It is not born knowing the “languages” of other birds. But recent research says it can learn the meaning of a few important sounds.
细尾鹩莺是澳大利亚的小型鸣禽。它不是天生就知道其他鸟类的“语言”。但最近的研究表明,它可以学习一些重要声音的含义。
Andrew Radford is a biologist at the University of Bristol in England and co-writer of the new report published in early August in the journal Current Biology.
安德鲁·拉德福德(Andrew Radford)是英国布里斯托尔大学的生物学家,也是一位8月初在《当代生物学》期刊上发表新报告的共同撰稿人。
He told the Associated Press, “We knew before that some animals can translate the meanings of other species’ ‘foreign languages,’ but we did not know how that ‘language learning’ came about.”
他告诉美联社,“我们之前知道有些动物可以翻译其他物种的‘外语’的意思,但我们不知道这种‘语言学习’是如何产生的。”
Birds have several ways of learning life skills. Some knowledge is genetically passed by their parents and some comes from direct experience with the world.
鸟儿有几种学习生活技能的方法。有些技能是从它们的父母那里遗传获得,有些是来自世界的直接经验。
But Radford and other scientists are exploring a third kind of knowledge: information from peers.
但拉德福德和其他科学家正在探索第三种技能:来自同伴的信息。
Radford and researchers at the Australian National University carried out the study in the country’s National Botanic Gardens in Canberra. They attached to their bodies specially-designed, sound-producing equipment called “tweeter speakers.” They wanted to see if fairy wrens would react to sounds of other birds even if they could not see them.
澳大利亚国立大学的研究人员和拉德福德在澳大利亚堪培拉的国家植物园进行了这项研究。他们在它们的身体上放上了专门设计的能产生声音的设备,这一设备被称为“扬声器”。他们想看看细尾鹩莺是否会对其他鸟类的声音做出反应,即使在看不到它们的情况下。
The scientists first played the birds two recorded sounds that they likely had never heard before. One was a warning cry of an allopatric chestnut-rumped thornbill, a bird not native to Australia. The other was a computer-generated bird sound called “buzz.”
科学家首先向鸟儿播放了两种它们以前从未听过的录音。一种录音是异域的栗尾刺嘴莺的警告声,这种鸟不是澳大利亚本土的。另一种录音是电脑生成的“嗡嗡”鸟叫声。
When the 16 fairy wrens in the study first heard the sounds, they had no special reaction.
当被研究的16只细尾鹩莺第一次听到这些声音时,它们没有特别的反应。
The scientists then tried to train half the birds to recognize the thornbill’s cry as a warning sound. They tried to train the other half of the birds to recognize the computer-generated “buzz” as a warning call.
然后科学家试图训练一半的鸟儿将栗尾刺嘴莺的哭声视为警告声。他们也试图训练另一半的鸟儿将电脑生成的“嗡嗡声”作为警告。
They did so by playing the sounds in addition to other noises that the birds already knew as warnings. These included the fairy wrens’ own threat call.
除了鸟儿已经知道的其他警告声之外,他们通过播放这些声音训练着。其中包括细尾鹩莺自己的警告声。
After three days, the scientists tested what the birds had learned — and their students passed the test.
三天后,科学家测试了这些鸟儿的学习情况,它们通过了测试。
The fairy wrens trained with the thornbill’s cry, fled when they heard it. The group trained with the buzz, fled when they heard that sound. Neither group reacted to the sound taught to the other.
用栗尾刺嘴莺哭声训练的细尾鹩莺一听到哭声就逃走了。另一半用“嗡嗡”声训练的鸟儿一听到这种声音也逃走了。没有一组鸟儿对另一组训练设定的警告声有反应。
Twelve of the 16 birds fled every time the researchers played their given sound. The other four birds fled at two-thirds or more of the playbacks.
每当研究人员播放为它们设定的声音时,16只鸟中有12只鸟会逃走。其他4只鸟在播放到三分之二或再次重放时会逃走。
Christopher Templeton is a biologist at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon who was not involved in the study.
克里斯托弗·坦普顿(Christopher Templeton)是俄勒冈州格罗夫森林太平洋大学的生物学家,他没有参与这项研究。
“Until this study, we had limited knowledge about how an animal learns what calls from other species actually mean,” Templeton said.
坦普顿说:“在这项研究之前,我们对动物如何从其他物种的信息中获取实际意义知之甚少。”
“What this new study does is remove the predator entirely. It shows that these birds can learn to associate new sounds with danger, without having to learn them through trial and error,” he added.
他补充道,“这项新研究的作用是彻底避开捕食者。这表明这些鸟儿可以学会将新声音与危险联系起来,而不必通过反复试验来学习它们,”。
Andrew Radford of the University of Bristol noted that the ability to learn to link sounds with meaning makes biological sense.
布里斯托尔大学的安德鲁·拉德福德指出,学习将声音与意义联系起来的能力具有生物学意义。
“If you can only learn in the presence of a predator, that’s quite dangerous,” he said.
他说,“如果你只能在捕食者面前学习,那就非常危险,”。
I’m Pete Musto.
皮特·马斯托为您播报。

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