科学美国人(翻译):奔跑的蚂蚁打败撒哈拉热 2019.10.19

cathy0301 2019-10-23 301 阅读
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Galloping Ant Beats Saharan Heat

奔跑的蚂蚁打败撒哈拉热

The Sahara Desert. Where daytime temperatures can reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Not many organisms can survive in this harsh environment. But an insect called the Saharan silver ant thrives. They scurry out onto the sand from their protected nests to gather up the carcasses of less fortunate insects that have died from the heat.

撒哈拉沙漠。白天的温度可以达到华氏140度。没有多少生物能在这种恶劣的环境中生存。但是一种叫撒哈拉银蚁的昆虫却在这里茁壮成长。它们从被保护的巢穴中迅速跑到沙地上,收集死于高温的不幸昆虫的尸体。

“The hotter the day, the more insect bodies they will find. The more food they have.”Sarah Pfeffer, an animal behaviorist at Ulm University in Germany. She says that to avoid sinking into the Saharan sand dunes, where they could meet the same fate as their lunch, silver ants have to be fast.

“天气越热,他们发现的昆虫尸体越多。他们有更多的食物。德国乌尔姆大学(Ulm University)的动物行为学家莎拉·菲弗(Sarah Pfeffer)说。她说,为了避免陷入撒哈拉沙丘,在那里它们可能会遭遇和午餐一样的命运,银蚁必须行动迅速。

To document just how quickly the ants move, Pfeffer and her colleagues set up high-speed cameras above a channel between the entrance to the hungry ants’ nest and a food source. The researchers recorded top speeds approaching 35 inches per second.

为了记录蚂蚁移动的速度,Pfeffer和她的同事在饥饿的蚂蚁巢穴入口和食物来源之间的通道上安装了高速摄像机。研究人员记录的最高速度接近每秒35英寸。

“But if you really look how big the animals are and you calculate the body length per second, you come up with a walking speed that is an astonishing 108 body-lengths per second.”That figure makes them the fastest known ant on the planet. By comparison, cheetahs top out at about 16 body lengths per second.

“但如果你真的观察这些动物的体型,并计算它们每秒的体长,你会得出惊人的108条体长每秒的行走速度。”这个数字使它们成为地球上已知速度最快的蚂蚁。相比之下,猎豹以每秒16个身长的速度最多。

The videos revealed how the ants achieve such prodigious speeds. As they accelerate, their leg movements become synchronized. They increase their stride length by bringing all six feet off of the sand at once, which Pfeffer describes as a gallop.“Really all legs are lifted from the ground. They are in air, but it's not jumping. It's a very smooth run that they have.”

视频揭示了蚂蚁是如何达到如此惊人的速度的。当他们加速时,他们的腿部运动变得同步。他们的步幅增加了,因为他们一下子就把六英尺的距离从沙地上挪开了。“真的,所有的腿都从地上抬起。它们在空中,但它不跳。这是一个非常平稳的过程。”

Pfeffer says they’re thus faster than a closely related ant species called Cataglyphis fortis, which has longer legs but a less impressive airborne phase. That ant only reaches about 24 inches per second, or two-thirds of the silver ant’s max.  The study appears in the Journal of Experimental Biology. (Sarah E. Pfeffer, et al.,High-speed locomotion in the Saharan silver ant,Cataglyphis bombycina)

Pfeffer说,因此它们比一种叫做箭蚁的近亲蚂蚁要快,箭蚁腿更长,但在空中飞行的阶段不那么令人印象深刻。那只蚂蚁的速度只有每秒24英寸,也就是银色蚂蚁最大速度的三分之二。这项研究发表在《实验生物学杂志》上。

The Saharan silver ants’ breakneck speeds may be impressive, but two insects are even faster: the California coastal mite and the Australian tiger beetle, both of which also thrive at near-lethal temperatures. Seems that to beat the heat, it pays to be fleet.

撒哈拉银蚁的惊人速度可能令人印象深刻,但有两种昆虫的速度更快:加利福尼亚海岸螨虫和澳大利亚虎甲虫,这两种昆虫都能在接近致命的温度下茁壮成长。似乎为了抵御酷暑,快速航行是值得的。

—Susanne Bard

—来自Susanne Bard


Galloping Ant Beats Saharan Heat

奔跑的蚂蚁打败撒哈拉热

The Sahara Desert. Where daytime temperatures can reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Not many organisms can survive in this harsh environment. But an insect called the Saharan silver ant thrives. They scurry out onto the sand from their protected nests to gather up the carcasses of less fortunate insects that have died from the heat.

撒哈拉沙漠。白天的温度可以达到华氏140度。没有多少生物能在这种恶劣的环境中生存。但是一种叫撒哈拉银蚁的昆虫却在这里茁壮成长。它们从被保护的巢穴中迅速跑到沙地上,收集死于高温的不幸昆虫的尸体。

“The hotter the day, the more insect bodies they will find. The more food they have.”Sarah Pfeffer, an animal behaviorist at Ulm University in Germany. She says that to avoid sinking into the Saharan sand dunes, where they could meet the same fate as their lunch, silver ants have to be fast.

“天气越热,他们发现的昆虫尸体越多。他们有更多的食物。德国乌尔姆大学(Ulm University)的动物行为学家莎拉·菲弗(Sarah Pfeffer)说。她说,为了避免陷入撒哈拉沙丘,在那里它们可能会遭遇和午餐一样的命运,银蚁必须行动迅速。

To document just how quickly the ants move, Pfeffer and her colleagues set up high-speed cameras above a channel between the entrance to the hungry ants’ nest and a food source. The researchers recorded top speeds approaching 35 inches per second.

为了记录蚂蚁移动的速度,Pfeffer和她的同事在饥饿的蚂蚁巢穴入口和食物来源之间的通道上安装了高速摄像机。研究人员记录的最高速度接近每秒35英寸。

“But if you really look how big the animals are and you calculate the body length per second, you come up with a walking speed that is an astonishing 108 body-lengths per second.”That figure makes them the fastest known ant on the planet. By comparison, cheetahs top out at about 16 body lengths per second.

“但如果你真的观察这些动物的体型,并计算它们每秒的体长,你会得出惊人的108条体长每秒的行走速度。”这个数字使它们成为地球上已知速度最快的蚂蚁。相比之下,猎豹以每秒16个身长的速度最多。

The videos revealed how the ants achieve such prodigious speeds. As they accelerate, their leg movements become synchronized. They increase their stride length by bringing all six feet off of the sand at once, which Pfeffer describes as a gallop.“Really all legs are lifted from the ground. They are in air, but it's not jumping. It's a very smooth run that they have.”

视频揭示了蚂蚁是如何达到如此惊人的速度的。当他们加速时,他们的腿部运动变得同步。他们的步幅增加了,因为他们一下子就把六英尺的距离从沙地上挪开了。“真的,所有的腿都从地上抬起。它们在空中,但它不跳。这是一个非常平稳的过程。”

Pfeffer says they’re thus faster than a closely related ant species called Cataglyphis fortis, which has longer legs but a less impressive airborne phase. That ant only reaches about 24 inches per second, or two-thirds of the silver ant’s max.  The study appears in the Journal of Experimental Biology. (Sarah E. Pfeffer, et al.,High-speed locomotion in the Saharan silver ant,Cataglyphis bombycina)

Pfeffer说,因此它们比一种叫做箭蚁的近亲蚂蚁要快,箭蚁腿更长,但在空中飞行的阶段不那么令人印象深刻。那只蚂蚁的速度只有每秒24英寸,也就是银色蚂蚁最大速度的三分之二。这项研究发表在《实验生物学杂志》上。

The Saharan silver ants’ breakneck speeds may be impressive, but two insects are even faster: the California coastal mite and the Australian tiger beetle, both of which also thrive at near-lethal temperatures. Seems that to beat the heat, it pays to be fleet.

撒哈拉银蚁的惊人速度可能令人印象深刻,但有两种昆虫的速度更快:加利福尼亚海岸螨虫和澳大利亚虎甲虫,这两种昆虫都能在接近致命的温度下茁壮成长。似乎为了抵御酷暑,快速航行是值得的。

—Susanne Bard

—来自Susanne Bard


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