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【中英文】关于动物的14个误解 个个让你惊掉下巴


发布日期:2019/9/10 16:25:14
 听说,星巴克有一种饮料是用小虫子的尸体做成的,香草冰淇淋里有海狸屁股的分泌物,狗和猫都是色盲,蝙蝠是瞎子?不要再散播谣言了,听科学家来一一澄清误解。

The animal kingdom is home to one remarkable fact after another.
动物王国里充满了一个又一个神奇的事实。

To name a few: Sperm whales can hold their breath for an hour, the most venomous animal on Earth is a snail, and tiny freshwater hydras can live so long they may as well be immortal.
举几个例子来说:抹香鲸可以屏住呼吸一个小时,地球上毒性最大的动物是蜗牛,微小的淡水水螅属动物可以活很长很长时间,几乎可以说是长生不老。

But for each surprisingly true assertion about animals, there's invariably another that's exaggerated, misguided, or just plain wrong.
但是每一个关于动物的惊人真相身边总是伴随着另一个被夸大、误导或完全错误的言论。

下面是几个关于动物最常见的误解,以及它们背后的真相——或者最接近真相的认识。

MYTH: Beaver butt secretions are in your vanilla ice cream and other foods.
误解一:香草冰淇淋和其他食品里有海狸屁股的分泌物。

You've probably heard that a secretion called castoreum, isolated from the anal gland of a beaver, is used in flavourings and perfumes.
你大概听说过有一种叫作海狸香的分泌物,这是从海狸的肛腺中分离出来的物质,用于制作调味料和香水。

But castoreum is so expensive, at up to $70 per pound of anal gland (the cost to humanely milk castoreum from a beaver is likely even higher), that it's unlikely to show up in anything you eat.
但是海狸香非常昂贵,每磅肛腺价格高达70美元(如果用人道的方式从海狸屁股汲取海狸香花费很可能更高),所以海狸香在你食用的东西里出现是不大可能的。

In 2011, the Vegetarian Resource Group wrote to five major companies that produce vanilla flavoring and asked if they use castoreum. The answer: According to the Federal Code of Regulations, they can't. (The FDA highly regulates what goes into vanilla flavoring and extracts.)
2011年,素食资源团体写信给五个生产香草调味料的大公司,问他们是否使用了海狸香。答案是:根据美国联邦法规,他们不能这么做。(美国联邦法规对用于香草调味料和香草精的物质有严格规定。)

It's equally unlikely you'll find castoreum in mass-marketed goods, either.
同样,在大众化商品中找到海狸香也是不太可能的。

MYTH: Dogs and cats are colourblind.
误解二:狗和猫都是色盲。

Dogs and cats have much better colour vision than we thought.
狗和猫对颜色的辨别力比我们想的强多了。

Both dogs and cats can see in blue and green, and they also have more rods – the light-sensing cells in the eye – than humans do, so they can see better in low-light situations.
狗和猫都可以辨别蓝色和绿色,而且它们的视杆细胞(眼睛里的感光细胞)比人类还多,在弱光环境下视力比人类更好。

This myth probably comes about because each animal sees colours differently than humans.
这个误解很可能是源于每种动物看到的颜色都和人类不同。

Reds and pinks may appear more green to cats, while purple may look like another shade of blue.
红色和粉色在猫看来可能更绿一些,而紫色也许在猫眼里是另一种蓝色。

Dogs, meanwhile, have fewer cones – the colour-sensing cells in the eye – so scientists estimated that their colour vision is only about 1/7th as vibrant as ours.
与此同时,狗的视锥细胞(眼睛里的感色细胞)更少,所以科学家估计狗对颜色的辨别力只有人类的七分之一。

MYTH: Humans evolved from chimpanzees.
误解三:人类是从大猩猩进化而来的。

Chimps and humans share uncanny similarities, not the least of which is our DNA – about 98.8 percent is identical.
大猩猩和人类确实是有很多诡异的相似之处,尤其是DNA——大约有98.8%是相同的。

However, evolution works as incremental genetic changes add up through many generations. Chimps and humans did share a common ancestor between 6 and 8 million years ago but a lot has changed since then.
但是,进化是经历许多代累积产生的基因改变。大猩猩和人类确实在600万至800万年前拥有同一个祖先,但是自那以后很多事情都发生了变化。

Modern chimps evolved into a separate (though close) branch of the ape family tree.
现代大猩猩进化成了猿猴大家族的一个独立(尽管关系很近的)分支。


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