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双语:中国古墓惊现已绝种的全新属种长臂猿

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发表于 2018-6-30 18:16:14 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
  British researchers have identified a gibbon found in an ancient Chinese
tomb as a never-before-seen, now-extinct genus and species.
          英国研究人员确认,在中国一处古墓中发现的长臂猿是一种前所未见且现已灭绝的属种。
          Samuel Turvey, a conservationist and gibbon expert, was touring a Chinese
museum in 2009 when a partial skull caught his eye. It had been found buried,
along with several other animals in the tomb of Lady Xia, a grandmother of
China’s first emperor Qin Shihuang, in what is now Shaanxi, China. The tomb was
estimated to be 2,200 to 2,300 years old.
          2009年,环保主义者、长臂猿专家塞缪尔.特维(Samuel
Turvey)在中国一座博物馆内参观时,一个不完整的头骨吸引了他的注意。头骨是在位于中国陕西的夏姬墓中发现的,同时被埋葬的还有其他动物。夏姬是中国第一位皇帝秦始皇的祖母,这座墓估计有2200至2300年的历史。
          Dr. Turvey was struck by the shape of the head, which didn’t look like any
modern animal he knew, said James Hansford, a postdoctoral student in Turvey’s
lab at the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London.
          在特维的伦敦动物学会(Zoological Society of London)动物研究所实验室读博士后的詹姆斯.汉斯福德(James
Hansford)说,这个头部的形状让特维吃了一惊,它看起来不像他所知的任何现代动物。
          A new paper, published Thursday in Science, confirms that his instinct was
correct. Dr. Turvey’s research team, identified the animal as a member of a new
genus and species, Junzi imperialis. Gibbons were seen as a symbol of
scholar-officials in ancient China, and junzi means “scholarly gentlemen.”
          周四在《科学》(Science)杂志上发表的一篇新论文证实,他的直觉没错。特维的研究团队明确了该生物是一种新的属和种——帝王君子(Junzi
imperialis)长臂猿。在古代中国,长臂猿被视为是士大夫的象征,君子则有“有修养的学者”之意。
          There are four gibbon genera alive in Asia today, including a species that
is the most endangered mammal on earth.
          亚洲如今现存四个长臂猿属,其中一个物种还是地球上最濒危的哺乳动物。
          In comparison to living gibbons, the new one has a comparatively flat,
small face, Mr. Hansford said, with canines that are particularly long for the
animal’s size.
          汉斯福德说,与现存的长臂猿相比,新发现的这个物种有着相对较扁平且较小的面部,且按该物种的大小来说牙齿特别的长。
          The team was not able to do DNA analysis on the cranium and jaw, but, using
digital scans, compared its shape to skulls from hundreds of animals across Asia
and in collections in Germany and England, Dr. Hansford said. “This one sticks
out as really different, something definitely separate as a genus,” he said.
          该团队无法对颅骨和下颌进行DNA分析,但汉斯福德表示,通过数字扫描并将其形状与亚洲数百个同类动物以及德国和英国的收藏进行比较,“该物种十分突出,非常的不一样,绝对可以另外归为一属,”他说。
          No other gibbon has ever been found in a tomb, said Susan Cheyne, who was
not involved in the research, but who collaborates with team members. It’s
extremely rare, she said, to find such old gibbon remains anywhere because their
forest habitat tends to degrade bones quickly.
          未参与研究但与团队成员有协作的苏珊.切尼(Susan
Cheyne)表示,此前从未在坟墓内发现过长臂猿。她表示,不论在哪里找到如此古老的长臂猿遗骸都是极其罕见的,因为它们的栖息地在森林,这往往会让它们的骨骼迅速降解。
          The animal’s placement in the tomb suggests it was kept as a pet. Such a
practice could have been devastating to the species, and may explain why it went
extinct, said Dr. Cheyne, an associate lecturer in primate conservation at
Oxford Brookes University.
          长臂猿在墓中的放置表明它曾被当作宠物饲养。作为牛津布鲁克斯大学(Oxford Brookes
University)灵长类动物保护副讲师的切尼表示,这一点对该物种来说可能是毁灭性的,可能也解释了为什么它会走向灭绝。
          The gibbon probably would have been captured as a youngster, she said,
because they are particularly “small and cute and fluffy.” That could have meant
killing its mother, “potentially impacting the social structure of entire group,
which may not survive the loss of an adult,” Dr. Cheyne said. “So each live
individual being kept as a pet certainly represents a bigger loss of individuals
from the wild.”
          她表示,这一长臂猿可能幼年就被人捕获,因为小长臂猿尤其“又小又可爱,毛绒绒的”。这有可能意味着要杀掉它的母亲,“有可能影响整个种群的社会结构,而它们的社会结构在失去一只成年长臂猿后可能难以维系,”切尼说。“所以,每次捕回一只活体当做宠物,必然意味着在野外失去了更多的长臂猿。”
          Its presence in the tomb strongly suggests that humans played a role in the
species’ extinction, she said.
          她说,长臂猿在墓中的出现充分显示了人类对该物种的灭绝产生了影响。
          The field of gibbon research has taken off in recent years, Cheyne said,
with eight new species of living gibbons discovered since 2000 and two just in
the last two years. “It goes to show how much we still have to learn about these
animals,” she said.
          切尼说,长臂猿研究领域近几年已开始蓬勃发展,自2000年起,已新发现现存的八种长臂猿,仅在过去两年就发现了两种。“这不断证明着我们对于这些生物还有许多需要了解的地方,”她说。
          The 20 known living species include, in China, the recently discovered
Skywalker gibbon, and the Hainan, which is found only in a small part of Hainan
Island, off the southern tip of China. It is considered the most endangered
mammal on earth, with fewer than 30 known individuals left in the species, she
said.
          已知现存的20个物种包括最近在中国发现的天行长臂猿,以及在中国最南部只能在海南岛上的一小块地区找到的海南长臂猿。她说,这种长臂猿被视为地球上最濒危的哺乳动物,已知只剩不到30只。
          Dr. Cheyne said that conserving a species requires a multipronged effort,
including the end of hunting and the preservation of habitat.
          切尼说,保护一个物种需要多方努力,包括停止捕猎以及栖息地保护。
          Jo Setchell, a professor of anthropology at Durham University and president
of the Primate Society of Great Britain, who was not involved in the work, said
the discovery provided new insights.
          杜伦大学(Durham University)人类学教授、大英灵长类动物协会(Primate Society of Great
Britain)主席乔.塞切尔(Jo Setchell)并未参与研究工作,她表示该发现提供了新的视角。
          “The broader message is that we might have underestimated the number of
primate extinctions caused by humans in the past,” she wrote in an email.
“Understanding past extinctions will help us to predict how vulnerable current
species are, and therefore help us to protect them more effectively.”
          “更广层面的信息是,我们可能低估了过去因人类而灭绝的灵长类动物数量,”她在邮件中写道。“了解过去的灭绝情况将有助于我们预测现有物种的脆弱程度,从而帮助我们更加有效地进行保护。”
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