科学家解开猛犸象化石绝大多数为雄性遗骨的奥秘

阅读:次      发布时间:2018-01-10

Woolly mammoths once ruled the northern reaches of our planet--roaming from Portugal to Siberia, and beyond to Alaska, Canada and the American midwest. 浑身披着长毛的猛犸象曾经统治着地球上的北部地区--出没区域从葡萄牙到西班牙,再到阿拉斯加,加拿大以及美国的中西部。 And the massive beasts left lots of fossil evidence of their occupation. 这一巨大的野兽为他们曾经占领的区域留下了许多化石依据。 But now scientists have noticed a strange trend among those mammoth remains. 不过现在科学家们在那些猛犸象的遗骸中留意到了一个奇怪的趋势。 The researchers genetically analyzed the fossilized bones, teeth and tusks of 98 individual Siberian mammoths. And they found that 70 percent of the mammoths were males. 研究人员用基因测试的方式对98具西伯利亚猛犸象遗骸的化石骨头、牙齿以及象牙进行了分析研究。他们发现70%的猛犸象是雄性的。

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So essentially we think this is driven by two different things. Love Dalén, a paleogeneticist and professor at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm. In general, in wild animals, males tend to be more risk-taking. 斯特哥尔摩的瑞典自然历史博物馆古遗传学家及教授勒夫·达连表示:“因此,本质上来说,我们认为这是由两个因素造成的。一般来说,在野生动物里面,雄性显得更加冒险。” The second thing, if modern elephant culture is any indication, is that male mammoths may have been solitary loners. 如果以现代象的生活习性作为参照的话,第二个因素就是,雄性猛犸象可能已是独栖的动物。 More likely to crash through thin ice and sinkholes, or get caught in a mudslide than females. These types of death are more likely to become preserved—so those are the remains that we find. The study is in the journal Current Biology. 比起那些母象,雄象更有可能压碎薄薄的冰层和岩溶层,或者陷进淤泥堆里面。这种死亡方式更有可能被保存下来,因此,那些就是我们所发现的遗体。这项研究被刊登在《当代生物学》的期刊上。

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