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猩猩到底有多聪明? – 译学馆
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猩猩到底有多聪明?

How smart are orangutans? - Lu Gao

傅满楚曾是十九世纪六十年代奥马哈市动物园里
Fu Manchu was one of the most notorious escape artists
最为臭名昭著的越狱高手之一
at the Omaha Zoo in the 1960s.
但它不是演员
But he wasn’t a performer,
它是一只红毛猩猩
he was an orangutan.
每天晚上负责锁笼子的工作人员
The keepers who locked his enclosure every night
第二天都很困惑它怎么跑到了外面
were baffled to find him outside the next day
它要么是和朋友在树上闲逛
hanging out with friends in a tree,
要么就是在屋顶上晒太阳
or sunning on the roof.
直到装上了监控器他们才知道
Only after installing cameras did they realize
傅满楚是用藏在颊囊下面的一条铁丝
Fu Manchu had been picking the lock
打开锁头的
with a metal wire that he kept hidden under his cheek pouch.
动物管理员们没必要为傅满楚的狡猾感到惊讶
The keepers shouldn’t have been surprised at Fu Manchu’s cunningness.
因为和人类的其他猿类表亲
Along with our other great ape cousins,
如大猩猩
the gorillas,
黑猩猩
chimps,
倭黑猩猩一样
and bonobos,
它们也属于人科
they belong to our Hominidae family tree,
这种根源可以追溯到一千四百万年以前
which stretches back 14 million years.
但决不是因为红毛猩猩一头醒目的红发
But it’s not just their striking red hair
才使得它们相比其它猿类更特别
that makes orangutans unique among our cousins.
作为亚洲唯一的大型猿类
As the only great apes from Asia,
红毛猩猩适应了雨林树冠层上的生活
orangutans have adapted to a life high in the rain forest canopies.
它们的技能很多都是
Many of the skills they learn are transmitted through the special bond
从母亲身上习得的
they have with their mothers,
这点和人类尤其相似
the most extended in the animal kingdom next to humans.
红毛猩猩的母亲通常一次只生育一个后代
Orangutan mothers usually give birth to one baby at a time,
至多八年后才会再次生育
waiting up to eight years before having another.
因此这些一出生就有很强依赖性的
This gives the young,
幼年猩猩
who begin as fully dependent infants,
就有充裕的时间学习如何爬树
plenty of time to learn how to climb
和从上百种植物和果实中鉴别出哪些是它们的食物
and distinguish the hundreds of plants and fruits that make up their diet.
雌性猩猩甚至会跟在母亲身边十几年
Female orangutans even stay with their mothers into their teen years
学会如何养育子女
to learn child-rearing.
在成长的过程中 它们通过和家人以及同龄猩猩互动
As they grow up, orangutans also develop a complex set of cooperative social skills
发展出一系列复杂的社交技能
by interacting with their peers and siblings.
这点和人类非常相似
Much like ourselves,
幼年猩猩不自觉地模仿玩伴的
young orangutans involuntarily mimic the facial expressions
面部表情和情绪
and emotions of their playmates,
类似于人类的笑
with behaviors that closely parallel human smiling and laughter.
一旦它们开始独立生活
Once they finally venture out on their own,
它们将不断提高智力水平
orangutans continue to develop their resourcefulness,
并且将学到的东西应用于生活
putting the skills they’ve learned into practice.
成年猩猩每天晚上细心地把小树枝编成窝
Adults build a new nest each night by carefully weaving twigs together,
再铺上柔软的树叶、
topping them with soft leaves, pillows, and blankets.
枕头和毯子整个过程要求一定的灵巧、协调和审美能力
This process requires dexterity, coordination, and an eye for design.
红毛猩猩使用各种工具改善它们在丛林中的生活
Orangutans also use a variety of tools to make their lives in the jungle easier.
它们把树枝用做苍蝇拍和痒痒挠
They turn branches into fly swatters and back scratchers,
下雨的时候用做雨伞
construct umbrellas when it rains,
把树叶做成手套
make gloves from leafy pads,
甚至是做为绷带保护伤口
and even use leaves as bandages to dress their wounds.
但是红毛猩猩的智商相对于雨林中的其它动物还远不只这么简单
But orangutan intelligence goes far beyond jungle survival.
受环境控制的研究表明 红毛猩猩具有自我意识
Research in controlled environments has shown that orangutans are self-aware,
它们是少数几个能够辨别自己外貌的物种
being one of the few species to recognize their own reflections.
它们还表现出卓越的远见、规划以及认知能力
They also display remarkable foresight, planning, and cognition.
有一个实验是研究人员教授红毛猩猩使用吸管
In one experiment, researchers taught an orangutan to use a straw
汲取箱子里它最喜欢的一种果汁
to extract his favorite fruit soup from a box.
然后让它在吸管
That orangutan was later given the choice between the straw
和即食葡萄之间选择一样
or a grape that could be eaten right away,
为了自己能得到另一盒果汁 它选择了吸管
and he chose the straw just in case he was given another box of soup.
在另一个实验中 红毛猩猩知道用吐口水的办法
In another experiment, orangutans figured out how to reach peanuts
拿到长管底部的花生
at the bottom of long tubes by spitting water into them.
即使红毛猩猩还通过了动态颜色的认知测试
While orangutans are able to pass cognitive tests with flying colors,
有些问题它们自己是解决不了的
there are certain problems that they need our help to solve.
印度尼西亚有着世界上最高的森林砍伐率
Indonesia has the world’s highest rate of deforestation,
每年有上百万的雨林被焚烧掉
and millions of acres of rain forest are burned annually
以支撑伐木业和棕榈油工业
to support the logging and palm oil industries.
森林砍伐导致三万多的红毛猩猩
Deforestation exposes the 30,000 orangutans remaining in the wild
暴露在偷猎者面前
to poachers.
他们把母猩猩杀掉 这样小猩猩就可以作为外来宠物卖掉
They kill mothers so that baby orangutans can be sold as exotic pets.
幸运的是 故事并没有就此结束
But fortunately, the story often doesn’t end here.
猩猩孤儿可能会被官方没收并得到第二次机会
Orphans can be confiscated and given a second chance.
它们在特殊森林学校接受心理康复
At special forest schools, they recover from emotional trauma
学习基本的生存技能
and continue to develop essential life skills.
尽管困难重重 这些孤儿还是表现出了惊人的
Against all odds, these orphans demonstrate incredible resilience
韧性和学习禀赋
and readiness to learn.
在马来西亚 “红毛猩猩”这个词的意思是“树人”
In Malay, the word orangutan translates literally to “the person of the forest,”
提醒着我们同根同源
a reminder of our common lineage.
即使红毛猩猩是地球上最聪明的动物之一
And despite orangutans being some of the smartest animals on Earth,
要克服它们的灭绝仍旧需要我们种族所共同享有的 创造力
outsmarting their extinction requires the creativity, empathy, and foresight
同情心和远见
that our species share.

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