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Science and Technology科技Prehistoric reptiles史前爬行动物A loving mother慈母Family life in plesiosaurs蛇颈龙的家族生活THE Mesozoic land was dominated by dinosaurs.中生代时期,恐龙统治着陆地。At sea, though, the most abundant reptiles were the ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs.但是在海里,最繁盛的爬行动物要属鱼龙和蛇颈龙了。Roughly speaking, these animals filled the ecological niches now occupied by toothed cetaceans such as dolphins and killer whales.大致上讲,这些动物填补了由现代齿鲸目动物海豚和虎鲸所占据的生态龛位。Ichthyosaurs, indeed, looked somewhat like dolphins, though plesiosaurs—with their long necks and diamond-shaped paddles—were unlike anything now alive.鱼龙看上去的确有点象海豚,但拥有长颈和菱形鳍状前肢的蛇颈龙却与现存的任何动物不相类似。Ichthyosaurs also resembled cetaceans in another way: unlike most living reptiles, which lay eggs, they gave birth to live young.鱼龙与鲸类动物还有另一点相似之处:大多数现存的爬行动物靠产卵繁殖,而鱼龙是通过怀胎产子的。For years, palaeontologists have wondered if the same was true of plesiosaurs.数年来,古生物学家一直想知道蛇颈龙是否也通过怀胎方式繁殖后代。Now they have found out that it was—but with an interesting twist.如今他们实了这一点——但却是以一种有趣的方式。Robin OKeefe of Marshall University in West Virginia has analysed a plesiosaur fossil found in Kansas in 1987, which palaeontologists had suspected was a pregnant female about 4.7 metres (15 feet) long, but which had not been cleaned up and studied until last year.西弗吉尼亚州马歇尔大学的罗宾·奥基夫对1987年在堪萨斯州发现的蛇颈龙化石进行了分析。此前,古生物学家一直怀疑它是一条身长4.7米(15英寸)雌性怀蛇颈龙,但直到去年才将其清理和研究完毕。As he reports in Science, he found an array of tiny bones, apparently belonging to a small specimen of the same species, in the fossils abdominal cavity (see above; the extra bones are highlighted).奥基夫在《科学》杂志报告中指出,在蛇颈龙化石腹腔内(额外的骨骼被高亮显示)发现了一些小骨骼阵列,它们显然是属于同类物种的小标本。It is unlikely that these were the remains of a meal because the bones are not broken down in the way that would be expected if they were partly digested.这些小骨骼不可能是食物的残渣,因为如果它们是被部份消化的其它动物的骨骼,那么它们的断裂方式应该研究人员所预想的方式相同,但结果却不是。Instead, Dr OKeefe believes he has discovered evidence that plesiosaurs, too, gave birth to live young.反过来,奥基夫士相信他已发现了蛇颈龙同样靠胎生繁殖的据。What is more, all the baby bones come from a single individual, estimated to have been 1.5 metres long.此外,所有幼蛇颈龙的骨骼皆来自于单一的个体,身长估计有1.5米。Ichthyosaurs and other contemporary viviparous species, by contrast, gave birth to multiple offspring.对比之下,鱼龙和其它现代胎生物种可以生育多个后代。The fetuss level of development indicates that it was at most two-thirds mature.从蛇颈龙幼胎的发育水平来看,它最多有三分之二的成熟度。Had it survived to birth it would have been about 1.8 metres in length, and about one and a half times as heavy (relative to parental weight) as the offspring of other viviparous species of the time.如真能够成功分娩,幼蛇颈龙的身长可能为1.8米左右,体重大约是同时期其它胎生物种后代的1.5倍(相对于父母的重量)。That it was so heavy, and also alone, is of great interest.蛇颈龙幼胎超重且单独的个体引起了古生物学家的极大兴趣。Georges Cuvier, an early palaeontologist, made his reputation by predicting the anatomies of newly discovered fossil species from scant evidence, such as single bones.早期古生物学家乔治·居维叶能在实据不足的情况下(如单一的骨骼)预测出新发现的化石物种的躯干结构,这使他在业界声名显著。He did so by applying to fossils the principles of comparative anatomy, asking what light the body shapes of living animals could cast on the shapes of creatures from the past.之所以能做到这点是因为他将对比解剖学的规则应用于化石样本并探寻现存动物的体形对古代动物的体形有什么样的启发借鉴作用。Many modern palaeontologists try to do something similar, except that what they reconstruct is behaviour.许多现代古生物学家除了重现古代动物的行为外,也在尝试做着同样的事情。Dr OKeefe has performed such an analysis on his find.奥基夫士已将这种分析应用于他的发现。He starts from a fundamental observation about reproduction: you can go for quantity or quality.他的实验开始于对繁殖现象的基本观察:你能选择数量或质量。Having one child at a time is the ultimate expression of quality.每次只生育一胎是追求质量的最终体现。It implies huge parental investment in the offspring since, if you lose it, you lose everything.它意味着父母在后代身上的巨大投入,一旦失去了这个幼子也就等于失去了一切。Often, too, it implies membership of a social group, within which favours can be traded to sp the load of parenthood.它也常常意味着社会群体的成员身份,在这个社会群体中,幼子关爱可以通过利益交换得到以减轻父母的负担。Most speculatively, it might even imply a degree of intelligence—for the most intelligent mammals and birds are generally those that live in groups.从最大程度上猜测,它甚至可能意味着动物的智商程度——生活在群体中的哺乳动物和鸟类通常是最聪明的。All this is a lot to load on a single fossil, of course.当然仅凭这个单一化石,古生物学家未免猜想得太多了。But it would make sense.但它却能够说明问题。It would mean plesiosaurs not only occupied a similar ecological niche to whales, but behaved like them, too.它将意味着蛇颈龙不仅占据着与鲸鱼相似的生态龛位,其行为方式也与鲸鱼相仿。 /201211/208318

Garota de Ipanema, Girl from Ipanema, had been written by Jobim and Vinicius in 1962 as they sat in this bar of Copacabana, watching the girls walk by.在1962年当若宾和维尼坐在科帕卡巴纳海滩的酒吧,看女孩子走过后,他们脑中就有了来自伊帕内玛的女孩的加罗塔·伊帕内玛这首歌曲。They wrote that song just because they saw the same girl passing by the bar, going towards the beach every day.他们写这首歌只是因为他们看到每一天相同的女孩经过酒吧,走向海滩。And they were like, oh my god, check it out.而且他们对此着迷,感觉就像是我的上帝,看啊。Check the way she walks, check how charming she is when she crosses the roads.看看她的走路方式, 她穿过马路时候是多么迷人。And I don’t know if today these people still can have that naive or romantic way of approaching words and songs in the way that they used to do 40, 60 years back.我不知道今天这些人是否仍然可以按照40,60年前人们经常表达的天真或者浪漫歌曲辞藻。Girl from Ipanema would become a massive hit in the States in July 1964 when it was sung in English by Joao Gilberto’s then wife, Astrud.来自伊帕内玛的女孩 这首歌曲1964年7月用英语演唱时成为一首大热门单曲,而且其演唱者是若宾?吉尔托当时的妻子阿斯塔德。 注:听力文本来源于普特201301/221302

Its so easy to label and package Charles Dickens to exhibit him some sort of Victorian showman, a unique oneoff,a dazzling talent like Harry Houdini or Charlie Chaplin, a superstar from the past. 打上标签并包装查尔斯·狄更斯来展示他某种维多利亚时代的表演者风范是如此容易,一个独特的人,一位耀眼的天才,就像喜欢哈利胡迪尼或查理·卓别林等过去的超级巨星们。I want to show that the work of Charles Dickens isnt just quality entertainment for a long dead audience.我想展现的是查尔斯·狄更斯的作品并不仅是为了过去的大众而已。Dickens world of imagination is as complex and as dark and as sophisticated as any modern city, and the characters he creates are as real and psychologically driven as the inhabitants of any urban landscape today.狄更斯的想象世界中非常复杂,就好比任何现代城市一样黑暗复杂,而他创造的人物在真实的和心理上如同今天任何城市风景中的居民一样。And thats why I believe that the true Dickensian world is our world.这就是为什么我相信真正的狄更斯的世界就是我们的世界。Dickens, the 19th century novelist, speaks to us now, and I want to gage his impact and relevance by talking not to literary critics and biographers, but to his ers.19世纪的小说家狄更斯,对现在的我们讲述,而我想他的影响及关联并不是文学家和传记作家做出,而是他的读者们给予。I meet those who Dickens makes laugh.我见到那些使狄更斯发笑的人。It was difficult to enjoy his society, without becoming conscious of a smell of spirits.没有自我意识的精神感觉就很难去享受他的社会。So what he is basically saying is this woman stank of alcohol.所以他基本上说的是这个女人发出恶臭的酒精味道。英文文本来自普特英语,译文属201303/231571


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