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海豚有多聪明? – 译学馆
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海豚有多聪明?

How smart are dolphins? - Lori Marino

In 1985, three researchers on a dolphin-studying expedition
1985年 海豚研究探险队的三名研究员
got a little bored.
有点无聊
To lighten things up, one pretended to be Poseidon
为了找点事干 一名研究员将海草花环戴在头上假装成波塞冬
by placing a seaweed garland on his head and then throwing it into the ocean.
之后随手将花环扔在了海洋中
Moments later, a dolphin surfaced with the seaweed crowning her head.
过了一会 一只海豚浮出了水面将花环戴在了头上
Sure, this could have been a coincidence,
嗯 这也许是个巧合
but it’s also entirely possible that the dolphin was mimicking the scientist.
但这也完全有可能是海豚在模仿科学家
That’s because dolphins are one of the smartest animals species on Earth.
因为海豚是地球上最聪明的动物之一
So exactly how smart are they?
那么它们能有多聪明呢?
Like whales and porpoises,
和鲸鱼以及鼠海豚一样
dolphins belong to the group of aquatic mammals
海豚属于水生哺乳纲鲸目
known as cetaceans who comprise 86 different species,
其中包括86个不同种类
and share a common link with ungulates, or hoofed animals.
海豚和有蹄类动物还有共同的联系
Originally land mammals,
最初哺乳动物都生活陆地上
the first cetaceans entered the water about 55 million years ago
鲸目动物第一次进入海洋中是在五千五百万年前
as large predators with sharp teeth.
在海洋中它们是有锋利牙齿的大型捕猎者
Then, a shift in ocean temperatures about 35 million years ago
然后 三千五百万年前 海洋的温度开始发生变化
reduced the availability of prey.
可捕食的猎物数量随之下降
One group of cetaceans who survived this distruption,
有一种鲸目动物在这种变化中幸存下来
the odontocetes, wound up smaller with less sharp teeth,
这就是齿鲸类 它们的体型较小且没有那么多利齿
but also larger and more complex brains
但是大脑却更大更复杂
that allowed for complex social relationships,
它们可以形成复杂的社交关系
as well as echolocation to navigate and communicate.
还有用于导航和交流的回声定位系统
Jump ahead to the present,
回到现在
and modern dolphins’ brains are so large that their encephalization quotient,
现代海豚的大脑非常大 智商也很高
their brain size compared to the average for their body size,
它们大脑的大小占身体平均体积的比值
is second only to humans.
仅次于人类
Dolphins have evolved to survive
海豚为了生存已经进化出了许多
through their ability to form complex social networks
从复杂的社交网络获得的能力
that hunt, ward off rivals, and raise offspring together.
它们共同捕食 击败竞争对手 共同养育后代
For example, one group of Florida dolphins
例如一群佛罗里达的海豚
practices a sophisticated form of cooperation to hunt fish.
练习了一种复杂的合作捕鱼方式
A dolphin designated as “the net-maker” kicks up mud
作为“造网者”的海豚会踢起泥水
while another gives the signal
同时另一只海豚发出信号
for the other dolphins to simultaneously line up and catch the escaping fish.
给其他的海豚 它们会列队捕捉逃跑的鱼
Achieving a goal like this requires deliberate planning and cooperation,
实现这样的目标需要深思熟虑的计划和合作
which, in turn, requires some form of intentional communication.
完成这些又需要某种形式的刻意交流
Dolphins pass down their communication methods and other skills
海豚将它们的交流方式和其他技巧
from generation to generation.
一代一代的遗传下去
Different dolphin populations exhibit variations in greetings,
不同的海豚在打招呼的方式 捕猎策略
hunting strategies, and other behaviors.
以及其他行为举止上都会有所不同
This sort of cultural transmission even extends to tool use.
这种信息交流的方式甚至扩展到了工具的使用上
One group of bottlenose dolphins off the Australian coast
一群绰号叫做海豚海绵俱乐部的
nicknamed The Dolphin Sponge Club,
宽吻海豚住在澳大利亚海岸
has learned how to cover their rostrums with sponges when rooting in sharp corals,
它们已经学会了在穿过锋利的珊瑚丛时如何用海绵盖住它们的嘴
passing the knowledge from mother to daughter.
这个技能是妈妈传授给女儿的
Dolphins have even demonstrated language comprehension.
海豚甚至表现出了语言理解能力
When taught a language based on whistles and hand gestures,
当基于口哨和手势来教授一门语言时
they not only understood what the signals meant,
它们不仅能理解指令代表的意思
but that their order had meaning:
还会遵循指令
the difference between bringing the ball to the hoop
它们理解把球带进铁环
and bringing the hoop to the ball.
和把铁环穿过球的区别
So they were able to process two of the main elements of human language:
因此 它们能够处理构成人类语言的两个主要元素
symbols that stand for objects and actions,
代表物体和动作的符号
and syntax that governs how they are structured.
和控制句子结构的语法
Dolphins are also one of the few species who pass the mirror test.
海豚也是少数几个通过镜子测试的物种
By recognizing themselves in mirrors, they indicate physical self-awareness,
通过辨认镜子中的自己 表明它们对自己的身体具有自我意识
and research shows they can recognize not just their bodies,
研究表明它们不仅仅能辨认出自己的身体
but also their own thoughts, a property called metacognition.
还有自己的思想 这个属性叫元认知
In one study, dolphins comparing two sounds
在一个研究中海豚可以对比两种声音
could indicate a same, different, or uncertain response.
做出相同的 不同的 或者不确定的反应
Just like humans,
像人类一样
they indicated uncertainty more often with difficult trials,
它们在困难的试验中表现出更多的不确定性
suggesting they’re aware of what they know,
表明它们了解自己所知道的
and how confident they feel about that knowledge.
以及它们对这些知识的自信程度
But some of the most amazing things about dolphins
但是关于海豚最神奇的事情是
are their senses of empathy, altruism, and attachment.
是它们具有移情 利他 依恋的能力
The habit of helping injured individuals extends across the species barrier
许多证据表明它们帮助受伤个体的习惯
as evidenced by the many accounts
已经跨越物种了
of dolphins carrying humans to the surface to breathe.
有许多海豚帮助溺水人类浮出水面呼吸的事情
And like us, dolphins mourn their dead.
像我们一样 海豚也会因为死亡而难过
When we consider all the evidence,
当我们知道了这些
we may wonder why humans still hunt dolphins for meat,
我们可能会想为什么人类要为了海豚的肉猎杀它们
endanger them through fishing and pollution,
过度捕捞以及海洋污染已经致使海豚成为濒危物种
or imprison them to perform tricks.
或者强迫它们学习表演技巧
The ultimate question may not be whether dolphins are intelligent
最大的问题也许不是海豚是不是聪明的
and complex beings,
复杂的物种
but whether humans can empathize with them enough to keep them safe and free.
而是人类是否能对它们产生足够的同情以保证它们的安全和自由

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