科学美国人(翻译):城市鸟大脑袋,后代少;小脑袋,后代多 2020.03.28

cathy0301 2020-04-01 953 阅读
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City Birds: Big Brained with Few Offspring or Small-Brained with Lots

城市鸟:大脑袋,后代少;小脑袋,后代多

As long as humans have been building cities, wildlife has been fleeing from them. After all, cities are noisy, crowded, and dangerous for animals. Including many birds. But we know that some birds do very well in urban areas.“So in many cities we have pigeons or doves, any kind of crow species.”

University of Gothenburg biologist Ferran Sayol. He and his colleagues are interested in why some birds thrive in urban environments. They suspected that having a large brain in relation to overall body size could be an advantage.

只要人类还在建造城市,野生动物就一直在逃离城市。毕竟,城市是嘈杂的,拥挤的,对动物来说是危险的。包括许多鸟类。但我们知道,有些鸟类在城市里生活得很好。“所以在很多城市,我们有鸽子,任何种类的乌鸦。”哥德堡大学生物学家Ferran Sayol说。他和他的同事对为什么一些鸟类在城市环境中茁壮成长很感兴趣。他们怀疑,拥有一个大的大脑相对于整个身体尺寸可能是一个优势。

“Having a big brain give you more behavioral flexibility. So for instance, in cities, maybe these big-brained species are better able to identify opportunities for finding food. Also to identify dangers in the city.”But this scenario doesn’t account for birds like pigeons—which are decidedly lacking in the brainpower department.

“大脑越大,你的行为就越灵活。例如,在城市里,也许这些大脑袋的物种更能识别寻找食物的机会。也可以识别城市中的危险。但这种情况并没有考虑到像鸽子这样的鸟类——它们显然缺乏脑力。

Sayol and his colleagues analyzed the relative brain sizes of 629 bird species from 27 cities around the world, as well as their tolerance for urban life. They found that birds that flourish in cities come in two extremes: they’re either big-brained but produce few offspring over their lifetime, or they’re small-brained and super fertile. 

萨约尔和他的同事分析了来自世界27个城市的629种鸟类的相对脑容量,以及它们对城市生活的耐受力。他们发现,在城市里繁盛的鸟类有两种极端:一种是脑容量大但一生只繁殖很少的鸟,另一种是脑容量小但繁殖能力强的鸟。

“So then this means that we have these two opposing strategies. So for species that have a low frequency of reproduction, if they have a large brain, they are good urban dwellers. Or you have a small brain, but you reproduce frequently. For example, pigeons, if they start breeding and if they lose these eggs, then they can start to breed again almost immediately. It’s like spreading the risk. So if you lose one, it's not a big deal.”

所以这意味着我们有两种相反的策略。所以对于繁殖频率低的物种来说,如果它们有一个大的大脑,它们就是很好的城市居民。或者你的大脑很小,但你的生育频率很高。例如,鸽子,如果它们开始繁殖,如果它们失去了这些蛋,那么它们几乎可以立即开始繁殖。这就像分散风险。所以如果你失去了一个,也没什么大不了的。”

Sayol says that both of these extreme examples of what are technically known as life history strategies tend to be uncommon in nature. “When we go to the city we start to see that the few species that have these strategies become more and more abundant.”Meanwhile, in natural habitats, the vast majority of birds have average-sized brains.“The ones that have average brains, they are less and less abundant in cities.”The study is in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. [Ferran Sayol, et al., Brain size and life-history interact to predict urban tolerance in birds]

Sayol说,这两个极端的例子,在技术上被称为生命史策略,在自然界中往往是不常见的。“当我们来到城市,我们开始看到少数有这些策略的物种变得越来越多。“与此同时,在自然栖息地,绝大多数鸟类的大脑都是中等大小。“那些拥有普通大脑的人在城市里越来越少。这项研究发表在《生态学和进化前沿》杂志上

Understanding how brain size, behavioral flexibility, and life history traits interact can help researchers predict how species will respond to a rapidly urbanizing planet. Where survival can mean taking it to the extremes.

了解大脑大小、行为灵活性和生命史特征如何相互作用,可以帮助研究人员预测物种将如何应对一个快速城市化的星球。在那里,生存意味着走向极端。

—Susanne Bard

—来自Susanne Bard


City Birds: Big Brained with Few Offspring or Small-Brained with Lots

城市鸟:大脑袋,后代少;小脑袋,后代多

As long as humans have been building cities, wildlife has been fleeing from them. After all, cities are noisy, crowded, and dangerous for animals. Including many birds. But we know that some birds do very well in urban areas.“So in many cities we have pigeons or doves, any kind of crow species.”

University of Gothenburg biologist Ferran Sayol. He and his colleagues are interested in why some birds thrive in urban environments. They suspected that having a large brain in relation to overall body size could be an advantage.

只要人类还在建造城市,野生动物就一直在逃离城市。毕竟,城市是嘈杂的,拥挤的,对动物来说是危险的。包括许多鸟类。但我们知道,有些鸟类在城市里生活得很好。“所以在很多城市,我们有鸽子,任何种类的乌鸦。”哥德堡大学生物学家Ferran Sayol说。他和他的同事对为什么一些鸟类在城市环境中茁壮成长很感兴趣。他们怀疑,拥有一个大的大脑相对于整个身体尺寸可能是一个优势。

“Having a big brain give you more behavioral flexibility. So for instance, in cities, maybe these big-brained species are better able to identify opportunities for finding food. Also to identify dangers in the city.”But this scenario doesn’t account for birds like pigeons—which are decidedly lacking in the brainpower department.

“大脑越大,你的行为就越灵活。例如,在城市里,也许这些大脑袋的物种更能识别寻找食物的机会。也可以识别城市中的危险。但这种情况并没有考虑到像鸽子这样的鸟类——它们显然缺乏脑力。

Sayol and his colleagues analyzed the relative brain sizes of 629 bird species from 27 cities around the world, as well as their tolerance for urban life. They found that birds that flourish in cities come in two extremes: they’re either big-brained but produce few offspring over their lifetime, or they’re small-brained and super fertile. 

萨约尔和他的同事分析了来自世界27个城市的629种鸟类的相对脑容量,以及它们对城市生活的耐受力。他们发现,在城市里繁盛的鸟类有两种极端:一种是脑容量大但一生只繁殖很少的鸟,另一种是脑容量小但繁殖能力强的鸟。

“So then this means that we have these two opposing strategies. So for species that have a low frequency of reproduction, if they have a large brain, they are good urban dwellers. Or you have a small brain, but you reproduce frequently. For example, pigeons, if they start breeding and if they lose these eggs, then they can start to breed again almost immediately. It’s like spreading the risk. So if you lose one, it's not a big deal.”

所以这意味着我们有两种相反的策略。所以对于繁殖频率低的物种来说,如果它们有一个大的大脑,它们就是很好的城市居民。或者你的大脑很小,但你的生育频率很高。例如,鸽子,如果它们开始繁殖,如果它们失去了这些蛋,那么它们几乎可以立即开始繁殖。这就像分散风险。所以如果你失去了一个,也没什么大不了的。”

Sayol says that both of these extreme examples of what are technically known as life history strategies tend to be uncommon in nature. “When we go to the city we start to see that the few species that have these strategies become more and more abundant.”Meanwhile, in natural habitats, the vast majority of birds have average-sized brains.“The ones that have average brains, they are less and less abundant in cities.”The study is in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. [Ferran Sayol, et al., Brain size and life-history interact to predict urban tolerance in birds]

Sayol说,这两个极端的例子,在技术上被称为生命史策略,在自然界中往往是不常见的。“当我们来到城市,我们开始看到少数有这些策略的物种变得越来越多。“与此同时,在自然栖息地,绝大多数鸟类的大脑都是中等大小。“那些拥有普通大脑的人在城市里越来越少。这项研究发表在《生态学和进化前沿》杂志上

Understanding how brain size, behavioral flexibility, and life history traits interact can help researchers predict how species will respond to a rapidly urbanizing planet. Where survival can mean taking it to the extremes.

了解大脑大小、行为灵活性和生命史特征如何相互作用,可以帮助研究人员预测物种将如何应对一个快速城市化的星球。在那里,生存意味着走向极端。

—Susanne Bard

—来自Susanne Bard


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