科学美国人(翻译):千足虫如何避免种间性滑移 2019.06.03

cathy0301 2019-06-17 790 阅读
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How Millipedes Avoid Interspecies Sexual Slips

千足虫如何避免种间性滑移

Most animals are pretty good at avoiding the embarrassing faux pas of having sex with the wrong species. But what if you’re a millipede, under a cramped, dark, slippery rock? With a dozen or more species all scurrying about, looking for love?

大多数动物都很擅长避免与错误物种发生令人尴尬的失礼行为。但如果你是一条千足虫,在狭窄、黑暗、光滑的岩石下呢?有一打或更多的物种四处奔波,寻找爱情?

Fortunately, the critters evolved a solution: elaborate male gonopods—literally “genital feet”—with all manner of branches, bumps, and bristles. And even with 12,000 species of millipedes, no two varieties of gonopods are exactly the same. So the little arthropods can immediately tell if they’re consorting with the wrong species—convenient not only for the millipedes, but also for biologists.

幸运的是,这些动物进化出了一个解决方案:精心制作的雄性性腺——字面意思是“生殖器脚”——有各种各样的树枝、肿块和鬃毛。即使有12000种千足虫,也没有两种性腺动物是完全相同的。因此,这些小节肢动物能够立即分辨出它们是否与错误的物种混在一起——这不仅对千足虫很方便,对生物学家也很方便。

“So you just have to pick it up and look at it and you say, yup, that’s the species, and you can identify it.”That’s millipede researcher Petra Sierwald, at the Field Museum in Chicago. The only problem is—no offense to any male millipedes—the gonopods are tiny.“If you look at a millipede, it’s not that big to begin with. So you can imagine their modified legs…are even smaller.”

“所以你只需要拿起它,看着它,你说,是的,这就是物种,你可以识别它。这是芝加哥菲尔德博物馆的千足虫研究人员佩特拉·西尔瓦尔德说的。唯一的问题是——不要冒犯任何雄性千足虫——性腺动物很小。“如果你看看千足虫,它一开始并没有那么大。所以你可以想象它们经过改造的腿……甚至更小。”

Now, before we go any further, you might be wondering, “Who cares about millipedes, let alone their genitals?” And the answer is, not enough of us. Millipedes are believed to be the first land animals, lured out of the water by tasty dead vegetable matter on earth’s primeval shores.“They have been in the business of waste management for 460 million years. And that means they are eating rotting vegetation. That returns the nutrients to the soil. And the healthy soil is what we need to grow our food.”

现在,在我们进一步讨论之前,你可能会想,“谁在乎千足虫,更不用说它们的生殖器了?”答案是,我们不够。千足虫被认为是最早的陆地动物,它们是被地球原始海岸上美味的死植物物质从水中引诱出来的。“他们从事废物管理已经有4.6亿年了。这意味着它们正在吃腐烂的植物。这样就把养分送回了土壤。健康的土壤是我们种植食物所需要的。”

But today, there aren’t enough millipede researchers to determine if their populations are stable and healthy. In fact, Sierwald says there are thousands of unknown millipede species out there, just tapping their many, many, many, many feet, waiting to be noticed.Which brings us back to gonopods. Recently, Sierwald and her colleagues decided to shine ultraviolet light onto the millipede collection at the Field Museum, because that’s just exactly the sort of thing people who work in museums do.

但是今天,没有足够的千足虫研究人员来确定它们的种群是否稳定和健康。事实上,西瓦尔德说,还有成千上万种未知的千足虫物种,它们只是拍打着自己许许多多、许许多多、许许多多脚,等待着被发现。这让我们回到了性腺动物。最近,西瓦尔德和她的同事决定用紫外线照射菲尔德博物馆的千足虫藏品,因为这正是博物馆工作人员所做的事情。

“We found…that their copulatory organs fluoresce.”

And not just with one color, which would have been cool enough.

“Different parts of this copulatory organ will fluoresce in different colors:  blue, greenish, bluish-greenish, and yellow.” The finding is in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. [Petra Sierwald et al, Taxonomic synthesis of the eastern North American millipede genusPseudopolydesmus (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Polydesmidae), utilizing high-detail ultraviolet fluorescence imaging]

“我们发现……他们的交媾器官会发出荧光。”

而不仅仅是一种颜色,这已经足够酷了。

这个交媾器官的不同部位会发出不同的荧光:蓝色、绿色、蓝绿色和黄色。这一发现发表在《林奈学会动物学杂志》上

As to why the male sex organs fluoresce, Seirwald says no one—perhaps not even the millipedes themselves—know for sure. But the color-coded private parts do make identifying millipedes much easier for scientists. Sierwald and her colleagues are now working to photograph different species.

“We need pictures of the male gonopods, and we need them on line, and we need them fast!”

So that scientists can help millipedes keep the soil healthful, for them and for us.

至于为什么男性的性器官会发出荧光,塞瓦尔德说,没有人确切地知道,也许连千足虫自己也不知道。但是,彩色编码的私人部分确实使科学家更容易识别千足虫。西瓦尔德和她的同事们现在正致力于拍摄不同的物种。

“我们需要雄性性腺动物的照片,我们需要它们在线,而且我们需要它们快!”

这样科学家就可以帮助千足虫保持土壤的健康,对它们和我们都有益。

—Bob Hirshon

—来自Bob Hirshon


How Millipedes Avoid Interspecies Sexual Slips

千足虫如何避免种间性滑移

Most animals are pretty good at avoiding the embarrassing faux pas of having sex with the wrong species. But what if you’re a millipede, under a cramped, dark, slippery rock? With a dozen or more species all scurrying about, looking for love?

大多数动物都很擅长避免与错误物种发生令人尴尬的失礼行为。但如果你是一条千足虫,在狭窄、黑暗、光滑的岩石下呢?有一打或更多的物种四处奔波,寻找爱情?

Fortunately, the critters evolved a solution: elaborate male gonopods—literally “genital feet”—with all manner of branches, bumps, and bristles. And even with 12,000 species of millipedes, no two varieties of gonopods are exactly the same. So the little arthropods can immediately tell if they’re consorting with the wrong species—convenient not only for the millipedes, but also for biologists.

幸运的是,这些动物进化出了一个解决方案:精心制作的雄性性腺——字面意思是“生殖器脚”——有各种各样的树枝、肿块和鬃毛。即使有12000种千足虫,也没有两种性腺动物是完全相同的。因此,这些小节肢动物能够立即分辨出它们是否与错误的物种混在一起——这不仅对千足虫很方便,对生物学家也很方便。

“So you just have to pick it up and look at it and you say, yup, that’s the species, and you can identify it.”That’s millipede researcher Petra Sierwald, at the Field Museum in Chicago. The only problem is—no offense to any male millipedes—the gonopods are tiny.“If you look at a millipede, it’s not that big to begin with. So you can imagine their modified legs…are even smaller.”

“所以你只需要拿起它,看着它,你说,是的,这就是物种,你可以识别它。这是芝加哥菲尔德博物馆的千足虫研究人员佩特拉·西尔瓦尔德说的。唯一的问题是——不要冒犯任何雄性千足虫——性腺动物很小。“如果你看看千足虫,它一开始并没有那么大。所以你可以想象它们经过改造的腿……甚至更小。”

Now, before we go any further, you might be wondering, “Who cares about millipedes, let alone their genitals?” And the answer is, not enough of us. Millipedes are believed to be the first land animals, lured out of the water by tasty dead vegetable matter on earth’s primeval shores.“They have been in the business of waste management for 460 million years. And that means they are eating rotting vegetation. That returns the nutrients to the soil. And the healthy soil is what we need to grow our food.”

现在,在我们进一步讨论之前,你可能会想,“谁在乎千足虫,更不用说它们的生殖器了?”答案是,我们不够。千足虫被认为是最早的陆地动物,它们是被地球原始海岸上美味的死植物物质从水中引诱出来的。“他们从事废物管理已经有4.6亿年了。这意味着它们正在吃腐烂的植物。这样就把养分送回了土壤。健康的土壤是我们种植食物所需要的。”

But today, there aren’t enough millipede researchers to determine if their populations are stable and healthy. In fact, Sierwald says there are thousands of unknown millipede species out there, just tapping their many, many, many, many feet, waiting to be noticed.Which brings us back to gonopods. Recently, Sierwald and her colleagues decided to shine ultraviolet light onto the millipede collection at the Field Museum, because that’s just exactly the sort of thing people who work in museums do.

但是今天,没有足够的千足虫研究人员来确定它们的种群是否稳定和健康。事实上,西瓦尔德说,还有成千上万种未知的千足虫物种,它们只是拍打着自己许许多多、许许多多、许许多多脚,等待着被发现。这让我们回到了性腺动物。最近,西瓦尔德和她的同事决定用紫外线照射菲尔德博物馆的千足虫藏品,因为这正是博物馆工作人员所做的事情。

“We found…that their copulatory organs fluoresce.”

And not just with one color, which would have been cool enough.

“Different parts of this copulatory organ will fluoresce in different colors:  blue, greenish, bluish-greenish, and yellow.” The finding is in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. [Petra Sierwald et al, Taxonomic synthesis of the eastern North American millipede genusPseudopolydesmus (Diplopoda: Polydesmida: Polydesmidae), utilizing high-detail ultraviolet fluorescence imaging]

“我们发现……他们的交媾器官会发出荧光。”

而不仅仅是一种颜色,这已经足够酷了。

这个交媾器官的不同部位会发出不同的荧光:蓝色、绿色、蓝绿色和黄色。这一发现发表在《林奈学会动物学杂志》上

As to why the male sex organs fluoresce, Seirwald says no one—perhaps not even the millipedes themselves—know for sure. But the color-coded private parts do make identifying millipedes much easier for scientists. Sierwald and her colleagues are now working to photograph different species.

“We need pictures of the male gonopods, and we need them on line, and we need them fast!”

So that scientists can help millipedes keep the soil healthful, for them and for us.

至于为什么男性的性器官会发出荧光,塞瓦尔德说,没有人确切地知道,也许连千足虫自己也不知道。但是,彩色编码的私人部分确实使科学家更容易识别千足虫。西瓦尔德和她的同事们现在正致力于拍摄不同的物种。

“我们需要雄性性腺动物的照片,我们需要它们在线,而且我们需要它们快!”

这样科学家就可以帮助千足虫保持土壤的健康,对它们和我们都有益。

—Bob Hirshon

—来自Bob Hirshon


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