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博主胡德良:邢台学院外语系英语教授,中国译协专家会员,河北省译协常务理事,邢台市译协副会长。爱好翻译,内容涉及宇宙探秘、医疗卫生、家庭保健、生命科学、能源科学、地球科学、环境科学、散文小说和纪实文学等领域。所译文章曾见于《光明日报》《科技日报》《健康时报》《健康报》《英语世界》《英语知识》《科技英语学习》《科学之友》《科学与文化》《世界科学》《生命世界》等全国各大报刊。博客特色:英汉对照、图文并茂,融趣味性、科学性、知识性为一体。

精 明 的 微 蝠(图)  

2009-10-23 03:25:47|  分类: 生命科学 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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精 明 的 微 蝠(图) - 月亮飞船 - 欢迎光临月亮飞船的博客

白折尾蝠

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古氏长耳蝠

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大白线蝠

精 明 的 微 蝠(图) - 月亮飞船 - 欢迎光临月亮飞船的博客

曲翼南蝠

Bright little microbats

By Heather Catchpole   胡德良

Microbats rely on insect activity and thrive when insects are out in numbers. Come spring, bats in their thousands rouse themselves from a period of quiet or a winter holiday and take to the skies.  

 微蝠靠昆虫为生。当昆虫大批出现的时候,微蝠才能茁壮成长。春季到来之时,成千上万的微蝠从冬眠中醒来,朝空中飞去。

 In the tropics, bats are active all year round, while in temperate areas many bats migrate or enter a period of torpor during winter, emerging again in September, and remaining active until April.

 在热带地区,蝙蝠一年四季都很活跃;而在温带地区,冬季有很多蝙蝠迁徙到较为温暖的地区,或者进入一个非活跃阶段,到9月份再度出现,一直活跃到来年4月(58月份为澳大利亚的寒冷季节)。

 There are 90 species of bats in Australia, making up one-quarter of all mammal species. Most of these are insectivores that fly at night or twilight. Although often dwarfed in size and social behaviour by their larger, fruit-and-nectar eating cousins, these skilled fliers have their own fascinating stories to tell.

 澳大利亚的蝙蝠有90种,占所有哺乳动物种类的四分之一。绝大多数种类的蝙蝠是食虫动物,在黄昏、夜间或黎明时分飞行外出。在体形大小和群居习性上尽管比不上以水果和花蜜为食物的食果蝙蝠,但这些飞行技术高超的微蝠却有着另一番值得讲述的迷人故事。

 Microbats range in size from the tiny Little Forest bat, weighing in at 3.5-5 grams or about the same as a teaspoon of water, to the Ghost bat, which may be as long as 11 cm nose to tail. Most are forest dwellers, while others mass in caves, often in large numbers.

 微蝠的体形大小不一:林栖小棕蝠体重仅为3.55克,相当于一茶匙水的重量;而白折尾蝠从鼻子到尾巴可长达11厘米。多数微蝠栖息于森林中,其余的则聚居于洞穴中,数目众多。

 Bats have long since done what children the world over usually try once - using their arms to fly. They are the only mammals, apart from a few gliders, who have developed this capacity. These charming creatures occupy a niche abandoned by all but the night-flying birds, the period from dusk until dawn when insects are generally out in force. They are prey to few animals, making up a tiny portion of the diet of owls, some birds such as hawks, pythons in caves and snakes and goannas in trees.

 全世界的儿童都曾经尝试利用胳膊来飞翔,而蝙蝠很久以前就做到了这一点,除了少数会滑翔的动物之外,它们是唯一通过进化而获得这种能力的哺乳动物。蝙蝠拥有一个被其他一切动物所抛弃的小生境,只有一些夜间飞行的鸟类与之为伴。蝙蝠是极少数动物的猎捕对象,在猫头鹰、一些鸟类(如:鹰)、洞中的巨蟒、树上的蛇和巨蜥等所捕食的动物中,蝙蝠只占很少一部分。

 Bat talk

 交流

 Most bats navigate by echolocation. They emit high frequency pulses of sound through their mouth or nose which bounce off surfaces and objects around them. Bats pick up the echoes of these sounds with the aid of their extraordinary ears, and use this sonar signal to locate where they are and what is flying in front of them. The timing, loudness and direction from which the echo arrives at each ear indicate the direction and distance of the object.

 蝙蝠是靠回声定位法来导航的。它们通过嘴或鼻子发出高频脉冲声,这些脉冲声碰到周围的表面或物体就会反射回来。蝙蝠借助于非同寻常的耳朵来接收这些回声,再利用这一声纳信号来确定物体的位置,也可以确定在它们面前飞行的是什么。回声抵达双耳的时机、回声的大小和回声的方向表明了物体所处的方位和距离。

 A typical bat hunting for prey will produce 10 to 20 individual sounds per second. So precise is this sonar view of the world that bats can distinguish by size, shape and texture something as small as a mosquito. As the bat zooms in on its quarry the sounds may increase in frequency to around 200 sounds per second.  

 捕猎中的蝙蝠通常每秒钟会发出1020 种独特的声音。这种声纳观测法对周围世界的感知极其精确,哪怕象蚊子那么小的物体,蝙蝠也能够辨别其大小、形状和结构。当蝙蝠飞向所追求的目标时,其发出声音的频率可以增加,达到每秒发声200次左右。

 Some of the larger insect-eating bats produce echolocation sounds audible to humans, but for the most part bats seem to fly silently through the night. Bats also produce audible squeaks to communicate amongst themselves.

 一些体形较大的、以昆虫为食的蝙蝠发出的定位声音可以为人们所听到,但从很大程度来说,蝙蝠似乎是静静地在夜空中飞行的。蝙蝠也会发出可以听到的吱吱声,用以在同类当中进行沟通。

 Some insects have picked up on bats' clever hunting strategy and turned it to their own use. Some species of moths have developed hairs on their wings that absorb the bats' sounds. Other moths in the families Noctuidae and Arctiidae have developed membranes that sense bats' echolocation and enable them to take evasive action, flying in a loop or dropping quickly out of the bat's flight path when they detect its presence.

 一些昆虫渐渐地熟悉了蝙蝠明智的捕猎策略,并将其挪为己用。某些种类的蛾子翅膀上长出了绒毛,可以吸收蝙蝠所发出的声音。夜蛾科和灯蛾科中其他种类的蛾子身体上长出了隔膜,可以感知蝙蝠发出的定位声,从而可以采取逃避行动。当发觉蝙蝠出现时,这些蛾子便作环状飞行,或者快速下降,逃出蝙蝠的飞行路线。

 Bats' wings are thinner and respond more quickly than birds' wings, making them capable fliers. Bats also possess hairs on the surface of their wings which let them sense the air flowing over their wings.

 蝙蝠翅膀比鸟类翅膀更薄,所以反应也比鸟类翅膀更为敏捷,这使得它们成为飞行能手。蝙蝠的翅膀表面长有绒毛,可以使它们感觉到通过翅膀的气流。

 Feeding

 进食

 Insect-eating bats dine on a delectable range of food from beetles and moths to ants, and bugs. The majority dine as they fly and are voracious feeders, eating around 50% of their bodyweight each night.

 以昆虫为食的蝙蝠吃各种不同的可口食物,包括甲虫、蛾子、蚂蚁和爬虫等。绝大多数蝙蝠在飞行时进食,而且非常贪吃,每晚吃掉相当于其体重50%的昆虫。

 Some bats have even been utilised in pest control experiments, keeping boll moth numbers down in cotton plantations.

 一些蝙蝠甚至被用来做害虫控制实验,使棉花种植园里的棉铃虫数量呈减少的态势。

 A familiar town-dweller found Australia wide is the Lesser Long-eared bat (Nyctophilus geoffroyi) which is often found catching moths and flying bugs around streetlights.

 在全澳大利亚都可以发现小长耳蝠,它们经常在街灯周围捕捉蛾子和飞虫。

 The Southern Myotis (Myotis macropus) or fishing bat specialises in aquatic foods, including aquatic insects and even small fish. They fly just above the surface of the water, sweeping the liquid with their feet and catching prey with their curved claws.

 食鱼蝙蝠专门进行水上捕食,捕捉水栖昆虫,甚至小鱼。它们擦着水面飞行,用脚扫着水面,用弯曲的爪子抓起猎物。

 The Ghost bat (Macroderma gigas) has become even more specialised, and is one of a few bat species worldwide known to have turned on its own kind. The largest of the microbats, this white-furred cave dweller found across northern Australia also counts lizards and frogs among its prey, and uses its eyes as well as sonar to hunt.

 澳洲假吸血蝠是更为特别的种类,据了解它们是世界上为数不多的攻击同类的蝙蝠种类之一。它们也是微蝠中体形最大的一种,身上长有白毛,居住于洞穴之中,分布遍及澳大利亚北部,蜥蜴和青蛙也属于其捕猎对象,捕猎时除了利用声纳信号之外,同时还利用眼睛。

 Breeding

 繁殖

 Microbats can form colonies from tens to tens of thousands during breeding season. Cave-dwelling females form particularly large nursing colonies, choosing a spot with relatively high temperature and humidity where they gather in their masses to breed. These caves are crucial to the species' survival and disturbances in the area can have dire consequences for the bats.

 在繁衍期,微蝠会形成几十只到几十万只不等的群体。穴居的雌性微蝠选择一个温度和湿度都较高的地方,集结成群,进行繁殖养育,形成特别巨大的养护群体。这些洞穴对于该物种的生存是至关重要的,因为周围的干扰会对蝙蝠造成可怕的后果。

 Females may give birth to one or two infants at a time. They nurse their young for six to eight weeks, during which time the infants cling to their mothers. Young bats have been known to nurse from other females in the colony.

 雌性微蝠每次可产一只或两只幼蝠,哺乳期为68周,在这期间幼蝠贴附在妈妈身上。据了解,幼蝠也会得到种群中其他雌性微蝠的喂养。

 Sleeping

 睡眠

 Winter is an important time of year for cave-dwellers, when they most need to conserve energy. To do this, they enter a state of torpor, a semi-hibernation during which their temperature drops to the same temperature of the cave and they move very little. Forest dwellers may also spend much of their time in this voluntary shut down, explains Rob Gration, president of the Australasian Bat Society.

 对于这些穴居动物来说,冬季是一年当中的重要季节,它们需要保存能量。为了保存能量,它们进入一种非活跃状态,或叫做半冬眠状态,这时它们的体温降至跟洞温相同,很少进行活动。澳大利西亚蝙蝠协会(Australasian Bat Society)主席罗布·格雷希恩说,林栖蝠在冬季大部分时间里也会主动停止活动。

 "They have the capability to virtually shut down their system at any time they need. Having said that I've been out in July when it's 3 degrees and seen them – they will occasionally wake up, have a drink and a top up feed," he says.

 格雷希恩指出:“事实上,只要需要,蝙蝠在任何时候都能够关闭自身系统。我曾提到过,我在7月份气温为3度的时候见到过蝙蝠——它们偶尔会醒来,喝喝水,并饱餐一顿。”

 "People are probably quite often seeing bats without realizing it," adds Gration. Around streetlights in leafy suburbs what often seems like a moth at first glance may in fact be a small bat. Look out for fast flyers with longer wings than moths, he says.

 格雷希恩接着说:“人们很可能经常见到蝙蝠,但就是没注意。”在绿树成荫的郊区,街灯周围经常有乍一看象蛾子的飞行物,而事实上可能是一只微蝠。格雷希恩说,留心一下比蛾子飞行更快,翅膀更长的飞行物,那就是蝙蝠了。

 Threats

 威胁

 The most significant threat to bats is habitat clearance, particularly the removal of the old forest wood where they roost in hollows or under the bark of trees.

 对蝙蝠最严重的威胁来自对其栖息地的彻底破坏,特别是对老林区的砍伐,威胁最大。老林区的树洞或树皮内,是蝙蝠赖以栖息的地方。

 "Most bats are tree hollow-dwelling and an enormous amount of woodland has been cleared in Australia and continues to be cleared," points out bat expert Terry Reardon from the South Australian Museum.

 南澳博物馆的蝙蝠专家特里·里尔顿指出:“多数蝙蝠是在树洞里居住的,可是在澳大利亚大片大片的林地被砍伐一空,而且这种情况在继续。”

 Others who live in caves can suffer if they are disturbed, particularly in the winter when arousal from torpor can cause them to lose critical fat reserves and die.

 其他居住在洞穴里的蝙蝠若受到干扰也会遭难,尤其是在冬季,如果把它们从冬眠中惊醒,会使它们失去关键的脂肪储备,置之于死地。

 Some bats seem to have a knack for finding unusual places to sleep. Bats have been reported in exhaust pipes of vehicles, jackets hung up for the night or the inside of folded canvas chairs. Gould's Long-eared Bats (Nyctophilus gouldi) often choose to live in the abandoned nests of birds, while others such as the Little Pied bat, found in arid areas of New South Wales, may call an abandoned mine their home. The versatile Little Broad-nosed bat, which is found throughout most of northern Australia, can even be found under the metal caps of telephone poles.

 一些蝙蝠好象拥有诀窍,总是能够找到与众不同的地方去睡觉。据报道,在机动车辆的排气管里、晚上挂起来的上衣内、折叠起来帆布椅子中都曾发现蝙蝠的踪迹。古氏长耳蝠通常选择被遗弃的鸟巢用来居住,而其它蝙蝠,如在新南威尔士州干旱地区发现的小染色叶唇蝠,则将废弃的矿井作为自己的家园。有能耐的小阔鼻暮蝠遍布澳大利亚北部的多数地区,甚至可以在电话线杆的金属帽内找到安身之地。

 "The Lesser Long-eared's are particularly notorious for being found in unusual spots," says Gration.

 格雷希恩说:“小长耳蝠尤其是声名狼藉,因为总是在意想不到的地方发现它们。”

 Bats can be fussy in their habits and a little disturbance may have drastic consequences. Horseshoe bats are particularly averse to flying over open ground. Reardon also points out that wind farms may claim bat lives, citing one wind farm which was responsible for the deaths of 4000 bats of eight different species.

 蝙蝠在生活习性上是很挑剔的,稍微受些打扰就会造成严重的后果。菊头蝠特别讨厌在空旷的地面上空飞行。里尔顿还指出,风电场可能会造成蝙蝠的死亡。他举了个例子:一家风电场曾造成了八个不同种类的4000只蝙蝠死亡。

译自:《澳大利亚广播公司》网站  

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