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蝎子为什么会发荧光?

Why Are Scorpions Fluorescent?

Finding scorpions in the desert at night
在夜晚的郊野找到蝎子
is surprisingly easy.
十分容易
All you need is an ultraviolet torch
你只需要一个紫外线手电筒就行
because scorpions are incredibly fluorescent.
因为蝎子竟然会发荧光
Fluorescence means their bodies absorb ultraviolet light
会发荧光意味着它们的身体吸收了紫外线光
and reradiate it in the visible part of the spectrum.
然后再反射出可见光
They glow this bright neon green color.
它们就会发出这种明亮的荧光绿
But scorpions aren’t the only animals that fluoresce.
但蝎子还不是唯一会发荧光的动物
Jellyfish, amphibians, owls, and even platypus’
水母 两栖动物 猫头鹰 甚至鸭嘴兽
glow under ultraviolet light.
在紫外线光照射下都会发光
Part of this video is sponsored by Capital One Shopping.
部分视频内容由Capital One Shopping赞助
More about them at the end of the show.
在视频最后 将会详细介绍
I’m out here in the desert near Bakersfield, California,
我现在是在加州贝克斯菲尔德市的沙漠中
looking for scorpions with Carl Kloock,
和Carl Kloock一起寻找蝎子
a professor of biology at Cal State Bakersfield.
Carl Kloock是加州州立大学贝克斯菲尔德分校的教授
He’s been researching scorpion fluorescence
过去十多年中
for over a decade.
他一直致力于蝎子荧光现象的研究
If you have a black light it’s really pretty easy.
如果你有个紫光灯 就很容易找到
If they’re there, you’re going to spot them.
如果附近有蝎子 你会发现它们的
[Derek] Does he look like he’s in a posture
它的姿势看起来
to like defend himself?
像不像在防守?
– [Carl] Yeah, he’s not real happy. – [Derek] Okay.
– 对 它可不太高兴 – 好吧
(man chuckling)
[笑声]
[Carl] I’m going to grab my high-tech
我要去拿我的高科技
scorpion catching equipment here.
蝎子捕捉器
It’s a tongue depressor with a yellow highlighter on it.
这是一个压舌板 上面有一个黄色的荧光灯
So it fluoresces in black light.
所以它在紫外线灯下会发荧光
– So you can see where it is. – [Derek] Got it.
– 这样你就能看到蝎子在哪 – 明白了
(man chuckling)
[窃笑声]
[Carl] This technique is usually to put
通常的技巧是
the vial behind him,
在它后面放一个小瓶
then in front of him.
然后在它的前面(戳一下)
[Derek] That was impressive.
这太神奇了
All right. Should we give it a shot?
好了 我们来试一试?
[Carl] Just gently pokes him back in.
把它轻轻地向后戳进去
And they usually just kind of do a little
然后它们通常会
side crab walk back.
横着向后走几步
There you go, and just tilt it up.
抓到了 稍微向上倾斜
[Derek] Unbelievable.
竟然跑了
(man chuckles)
[笑声]
Unbelievable.
怎么会呢
All right. I’m going to get him.
好吧 我一定要抓住它
But why are scorpions fluorescent?
那么为什么蝎子会发荧光呢?
I’ve got about 12 hypotheses.
我有大约12种假设
So you test them one at a time.
然后逐个进行测试
[Derek] You’ve got 12 Hypotheses about why
你有12种假设
the scorpions fluoresce?
关于蝎子为什么会发荧光吗?
More like six actually, I was being a little bit…
实际上有超过6种吧
Almost all scorpions fluoresce.
几乎所有蝎子都会发荧光
I haven’t seen it myself,
我没有亲眼见过
but some that live at living caves they don’t fluoresce
但是一些生活在洞穴里的蝎子不会发荧光
but it’s only like one very small group.
但这仅是一小部分
All the other scorpions fluoresce.
其他所有的蝎子都会发荧光
One possibility is just, this is a Relic Trait.
一种可能是 这是一种遗留特征
It’s something they developed way back
是最早登上陆地的蝎子进化出来的物质
when they first came out on land and just haven’t lost.
只是这种物质一直都没有退化
A chemical that has another function
这种化学物质有其他功能
that just happens to fluoresce.
只是碰巧能发荧光
There are plenty of chemicals that fluoresce.
有大量化学物质会发荧光
I mean, we have internal bodily fluids that fluoresce.
我们身体里的体液就会发荧光
And clearly those are never exposed to UV light.
但显然那些体液从来不会接触紫外线光
So the idea of having a function
所以身体里某种物质导致发光的想法
for that fluorescence is kind of silly.
就有点说不通了
This fluoresce is about the same color as a scorpion,
这种荧光和蝎子的颜色相同
but clearly isn’t a scorpion.
但显然不是蝎子本身发出来的
It’s actually a rock.
实际上是一块石头
The color is a little off.
颜色有点不一样
[Derek] But that is like, what is that?
但是很接近了 那是什么?
– It’s plastic from Walpole. – [Derek] Huh.
– 这是来自沃尔波的塑料 – 嗯
You wanted to know if the scorpions were fluorescing
你想知道是否蝎子发出荧光
in order to attract insects.
是为了吸引昆虫
– Right. – [Narrator] So how did you test that?
– 是的 – 那么你如何试验呢?
What I did was I used preserved scorpions like these ones
我用之前保存的蝎子 就像这些一样
and I took half of them and dip them in
我取一半蝎子 让它们裹上一层
UV blocking marine varnish so they didn’t fluoresce.
阻隔紫外线海洋清漆 这样它们就不会发荧光
And then I just used basically flypaper
然后我就用普通捕蝇纸
and took those things outside and set them side by side
把蝎子取出来 并排放在上面
and then found the number of flying insects
然后观察飞虫的数量
that were caught in each.
在每一块纸上各有多少
– [Derek] Okay. – [Carl] So we were outside in moonlight
– 明白了 – 所以我们就在月光下
and I did the same experiment,
做了同样的实验
both under the new moon and the full moon.
分别是在新月和满月时
And so what I found from that was
我的发现是
when there was a new moon,
当出现新月时
there was no difference in the number
飞虫的数量没有区别
of insects caught by the fluorescent
无论是发荧光的蝎子所捕捉的
and non-fluorescent scorpions.
还是没有荧光的蝎子
But under the full moon, there’s nice, bright UV light
但是在满月时 紫外线光足够亮
available there was a difference
区别就显现出来了
and the ones that fluoresce actually caught fewer insects.
发荧光的那一组实际上捕捉到更少的飞虫
It seems kind of counterintuitive.
这个结果好像和我们的直觉相反
So that tells me that my hypothesis was wrong.
所以证明我的假设是错的
Which happens a lot.
这种情况时有发生
Basically yeah, they’re not using
起码我们知道了 它们不是用荧光
their fluorescence to lure insects.
吸引昆虫
In fact, the fluorescence is a bad thing for them in terms
实际上 这种荧光不利于
of their ability to catch flying insects, at least.
蝎子捕捉飞虫
Let me ask you this.
我再提一个问题
If you find that fluorescence is counterproductive
如果你发现荧光
for the scorpion in some way,
某种情况下对于蝎子来说起反作用
doesn’t that indicate that there
这不是恰好表明
has to be something useful?
它们身上有另一种东西起到积极的作用吗?
Exactly. There must be something that counteracts that.
就是这样 一定有一些东西与之相互抵消
– Sort of negative. – That negative, yeah.
– 某种负作用 – 负作用 是的
Scorpions are really well adapted for what they do.
蝎子非常擅长调整它们的行为
One of the cool things here is it scorpions
厉害的一点是
are actually able to metabolize iron and nickel.
蝎子能够代谢铁和镍
And in their pincer here
在它们的钳这里
and on the tips of their claws,
还有螯肢的尖端
they actually have basically iron to strengthen that.
实际上有铁 让这些部位更坚硬
[Derek] Iron and nickel at the end of their tail?
它们的尾巴末端有铁和镍?
[Carl] Yeah. Yeah. You can see like the color here’s a little bit different
是的 你可以看到这里的颜色有一点不同
and that’s because of the iron.
就是因为这里有铁
[Derek] That seems very aggressive to me.
听起来很吓人
One of the main things we’re interested in here
我们现在最感兴趣的是
is how they see.
它们如何看到事物
So I’ve seen two of their eyes.
我看到其中两只眼睛
[Carl] So, those are the median eyes right there.
是的 这是它们的中眼
[Derek] Those two dark spots.
那两个黑点
[Carl] Yeah. There’s a cluster of three eyes right there.
是的 这里还有三只
And of course on the other side, so they’re symmetrical.
当然另一边也有 它们是对称的
So they have a total of eight eyes.
所以蝎子共有八只眼睛
Can they detect the light with parts of their body
它们可以用眼睛以外的身体部位
that are not eyes?
来探测光线吗?
Yeah. Actually they can.
是的 它们可以
[Derek] In a 1968 experiment,
在1968年的一次实验中
researchers put scorpions in half covered Petri dishes.
研究人员把蝎子放进半遮挡的培养皿中
Then they exposed them to bright light and all the scorpions
然后他们用强光照射 这时所有蝎子
quickly hid under the covered part of the Petri dish.
快速躲进了被遮挡的器皿下
Then the researchers painted over the eyes of the scorpions.
然后研究人员把涂料涂在它们的眼睛上
So they couldn’t see and repeated the experiment.
在它们无法看到的情况下 再次进行实验
But when they turned on the light, 93% of the time,
当灯被打开 有93%的几率
the blinded scorpions still scuttled over
这些被蒙上眼睛的蝎子仍然会迅速移动到
to the covered side.
容器被遮挡的一边
The finding was remarkable.
这项研究的发现令人惊叹
Scorpions don’t need their eyes to detect light.
蝎子不需要用眼睛来探测光线
They can sense it with their bodies.
它们可以用身体感觉到光线
That showed that they have what’s called
这表明 在它们的尾巴上
an extra ocular light sense in their tail.
有一种被叫做眼外光感的功能
So they can detect light with their tail.
所以它们可以用尾巴探测光线
They can’t form images, they can’t,
在尾巴上无法成像
but they can detect light.
但的确可以探测到光线
The tail of a scorpion can detect light?
蝎子的尾巴可以探测光线?
One hypothesis is that they use it
其中一种假设是 它们发出荧光是为了
to communicate with one another.
和另一只蝎子交流
The idea being that they use it to determine
我的想法是 它们以此来确定
primarily whether or not
是否
another scorpion out there
在它们面前的另一只蝎子
is of the same species for mating.
是适合交配的同一物种
One fairly low probability hypothesis
还有一种假设 但可能性不大
is that they can use it as camouflage
那就是 蝎子将其用作伪装
because they absorb UV light.
因为它们吸收紫外线光
If they’re sitting on another surface that absorbs UV light
所以如果它们停留在另一个能吸收紫外线光的表面
and you have an organism that sees in the UV light
而有的生物能够在紫外线光中看到物体
like some owls and things like that can do,
就像猫头鹰和其他有这种能力的生物一样
they would tend to blend in very nicely with that.
那么蝎子会和它所在的表面恰好融为一体
So it’s a possibility,
所以说这是一种可能
but not that many organisms see in UV
但能在紫外线光下看到物体的生物不多
and not that many that eat scorpion, see in UV
既捕食蝎子 又具备这种能力的生物也不多
so it doesn’t seem very likely.
所以这种可能性似乎不大
– [Derek] You go for it. – [Carl] You want me to do it upclose?
– 你来抓吧 – 你想让我来吗?
– [Narrator] You do it. – [Carl] Close.
– 你来吧 – 抓到了
Here you go. See?
拿着 看到了吗?
There you go, wow.
这里 哇
One of the ideas is scorpions came out of the water
另一种看法是 蝎子从水中来到陆地上
from Silurian period long time ago.
是在很久以前的志留纪时期
And there was a lot more UV just in sunlight
那时太阳之类的东西 紫外线更强
and things like that then, because we didn’t have
因为我们没有臭氧层
an ozone layer, we didn’t have, you know,
是的 当时的大气层
all these things that are blocking UV in our atmosphere now.
没有用于阻挡紫外线的东西
And so the one of the idea is that
所以另一种观点是
it actually acts as a sunscreen.
蝎子发荧光的现象实际上是一种防晒作用
It’s way to absorb those damaging ultraviolet photons
去吸收那些有害的紫外线光子
and convert them away into something
然后再把这些光线转移到别的东西上
and basically keep them from penetrating into the body
而不是让它们渗透进它的身体里
and causing damage.
从而造成伤害
[Derek] Go in your hole.
进你的洞里去吧
There you go.
给你
You got him.
你抓到它了
And then there have been some other ones
还有一些其他的猜想
that are a little bit more out there.
有着更多的可能
One of which being the one that I actually
其中一个其实是我最终认可的
settled on at the end is that they use it
那就是 它们身体发荧光的行为
as part of their sensory system to detect the presence
是它们感官系统的一部分
of light in the environment.
作用是探测周围环境中光线的存在
So this was the later experiment after I gave up
所以这是在我放弃了最初的想法之后进行的实验
on the initial idea that said that didn’t work.
之前的那个想法宣告失败了
So, all I really did in that one, very simple,
我做的事情非常简单
put a scorpion in each one of these things here
在每个这样的容器里放一只蝎子
and then put this under ultraviolet light
然后把容器放在紫外线光下
and exposed it to ultraviolet light.
让它暴露在其中
And so I measured how long they spent exposed
我测试了它们暴露在紫外线光下的时间
versus unexposed and how many times
和它们没有被紫外线照射的时间
they went back and forth.
以及它们在两个区域往返的次数
[Derek] And you were testing scorpions
你是想要测试
that were fluorescent and not fluorescent.
发荧光和不发荧光的蝎子有什么区别
[Carl] Right. So what I did with that was I developed
是的 因此我的做法就是 我发明了一种技术
a technique to remove, or at least reduce
能够消除或至少能够减少
the ability of scorpions to fluoresce
蝎子发荧光的能力
simply by exposing them for long periods
方法就是让它们长时间接触
of time to ultraviolet light.
紫外线光
So basically, you’re just kind of taking the chemical
所以 你主要的做法就是
that is causing fluorescence in their exoskeleton
消除它们外骨骼中导致发光的化学物质
and your photo bleaching.
让它们褪色
[Derek] So you’re kind of breaking it down?
你等于是在打破它们的防线?
[Carl] So basically, you’re making the chemical
所以你是在让这种化学物质
not be able to function properly anymore.
不再能起作用
What we found is the activity levels changed significantly.
我们发现 它们的活动水平发生了明显的改变
So when you exposed to UV light,
当暴露在紫外线光下
the non-fluorescence scorpions acted like
不发荧光的蝎子的表现
they were in the dark.
就像它们并没有处于光线中
There was no difference between their behavior
它们的行为没有什么不同
and the dark and in UV light.
不论是在无光还是有光时
Whereas when UV light was present for the ones
然而当紫外线光照射发荧光的蝎子时
that can fluoresce, they reduced their activity levels.
它们的活动水平有所下降
[Derek] What’s the conclusion from that?
结论是什么呢?
[Carl] The conclusion from that
结论就是
is that the fluorescents itself is acting as a way to,
发荧光本身是一种
for them to detect the presence of ultraviolet light.
探测紫外线光存在的方式
Another researcher by the name of Douglas Gaffin,
一位叫Douglas Gaffin的研究者
came up with a great phrase for it.
为该现象提出了一个很好的说法
I wish I’d come up with the phrase, but I gotta give credit.
我真希望我也能想出那样的词 但我做不到
He calls it, a whole-body photon detector.
他称之为 全身光子探测器
So it’s part of their sensory system.
因此这属于它们感官系统的一部分
What we don’t know is why they want
我们还不知道的是 它们为何
to detect ultraviolet light so badly
对探测紫外线光的需求如此强烈
that they’ve turned their whole body into a photon detector.
以至于把自己整个身体变成一个光子探测器
The suspicion is that it has to do with determining
我们猜测 这决定了
whether or not they should come out at night.
在夜晚它们是否应该出来
[Derek] The idea is when UV light hits
道理是 当紫外线光照射蝎子的身体
a scorpion’s body, it fluoresces and the tail detects
它开始发荧光 它的尾巴开始探测周围
this emitted green light alerting the scorpion
这种绿光向蝎子发出警示
that it is exposed so it searches for cover.
它暴露了 然后它就会寻找掩护
[Carl] Scorpions are good at starving for long periods of time.
蝎子擅于长时间忍受饥饿
They don’t need to eat that often.
它们不必经常吃东西
And coming out and foraging is dangerous for them.
并且外出和觅食对它们来说都是危险的
And so they don’t like to come out when it’s a moonlit night.
因此它们在月光明亮的晚上不喜欢外出
Typically the only ones you’ll find out in the full moon
通常 在满月的夜晚你唯一能看到的
are the ones that are really hungry, really need food.
是那些饥饿难耐 需要食物的蝎子
If they’re well fed, they’ll stay down.
一旦它们吃饱了 它们便再次躲起来
So they’re using that as basically their cue
所以它们用这样的方式作为一种信号
in the environment and saying, you know,
提醒着它们
okay, this is how bright it is.
这里的光线强度就是这样了
So that’s a cue as to how likely I’m being preyed upon.
这就预示着 我有多大可能被捕食
And then here’s how hungry I am.
然后我还得看看我有多饿
That’s a cue how badly I need to get out and get some food.
这提示我 我有多大的需求去寻找食物
– [Derek] Right. – [Dr. Carl] And then the trade off between those two
– 没错 – 然后两者相权衡
is basically should I go out tonight
决定了我今晚应该出去
– or should I stay in my hole. – [Derek] Yeah.
– 还是待在洞里 – 是的
(techno sound)
[电子音乐声]
If you like overpaying when you shop well,
如果你在购物时喜欢超额消费
then don’t listen to this next part.
那么不要听接下来的内容
But if you want to save money, then keep watching.
但如果你想省钱 请你认真看
Because this portion of the video is sponsored
因为这部分视频内容
by Capital One Shopping, a free browser extension
由Capital One Shopping赞助 这是一个免费的浏览器扩展
that will automatically find the best deals
它可以在你网购的时候
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在结账时会自动生效
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这样你就可以直接在网上买到最划算的商品了
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你不需要成为Capital One的客户
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那么 你可以立刻开始你的省钱之旅了
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感谢Capital One Shopping
for sponsoring this portion of the video.
对视频内容的赞助
And I want to thank you for watching.
感谢观看

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视频概述

视频中,我们将跟随Carl Kloock教授一起探寻蝎子会发荧光的原因。

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

YXG-d703b

审核员

审核员LIN

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-Nr2z5X7Rs

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