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SSS 2009-10-22

时间:2010-05-19 01:55来源:互联网 提供网友:mark@li   字体: [ ]
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    (单词翻译:双击或拖选)

Did you know birds sing in dialect? They do. The song of a great tit from the countryside is a far cry from that of his city cousin. And some song dialects can change nearly as fast as human slang—the Indigo1 Bunting changes tune2 from year to year.

To investigate the cultural evolution of such songs researchers have recently completed a study of adjacent White-crowned sparrow dialects from 1969 to 1998 in San Francisco. Biologist David Luther of the University of Maryland and ornithologist3 Luis Baptista of the California Academy of Sciences hypothesized that the pressures of urban noise would tend, over time, to eliminate the lower ranges of the bird's song and cause the sparrows to prefer to learn songs at the higher range. Simply put, birds that sang too low would be drowned out by rumbling4 buses, honking5 cars, or other typical city noises.

And that's exactly what they found.

The lowest frequencies of bird song in the Summer of Love were lower than those to be found during the Dotcom craze. And since sparrows are relatively6 short-lived—average lifespan of just two years—this effect spanned generations. Much like humans, the sparrows seem to be raising their voices to be heard over the sounds of the city.

At least one birdsong dialect died out entirely7, though there were some bilingual birds, and the so-called San Francisco dialect came to dominate all songs, likely because it was tuned8 higher. 

It seems that the need for effective communication in the local environment is the fundamental driver of cultural traits that are passed on from one generation to the next. Ya hear that?!


 


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 indigo 78FxQ     
n.靛青,靛蓝
参考例句:
  • The sky was indigo blue,and a great many stars were shining.天空一片深蓝,闪烁着点点繁星。
  • He slipped into an indigo tank.他滑落到蓝靛桶中。
2 tune NmnwW     
n.调子;和谐,协调;v.调音,调节,调整
参考例句:
  • He'd written a tune,and played it to us on the piano.他写了一段曲子,并在钢琴上弹给我们听。
  • The boy beat out a tune on a tin can.那男孩在易拉罐上敲出一首曲子。
3 ornithologist ornithologist     
n.鸟类学家
参考例句:
  • That area is an ornithologist's paradise.那个地区是鸟类学家的天堂。
  • Now I know how an ornithologist feels.现在我知道做为一个鸟类学家的感受了。
4 rumbling 85a55a2bf439684a14a81139f0b36eb1     
n. 隆隆声, 辘辘声 adj. 隆隆响的 动词rumble的现在分词
参考例句:
  • The earthquake began with a deep [low] rumbling sound. 地震开始时发出低沉的隆隆声。
  • The crane made rumbling sound. 吊车发出隆隆的响声。
5 honking 69e32168087f0fd692f761e62a361acf     
v.(使)发出雁叫似的声音,鸣(喇叭),按(喇叭)( honk的现在分词 )
参考例句:
  • Cars zoomed helter-skelter, honking belligerently. 大街上来往车辆穿梭不停,喇叭声刺耳。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Flocks of honking geese flew past. 雁群嗷嗷地飞过。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
6 relatively bkqzS3     
adv.比较...地,相对地
参考例句:
  • The rabbit is a relatively recent introduction in Australia.兔子是相对较新引入澳大利亚的物种。
  • The operation was relatively painless.手术相对来说不痛。
7 entirely entirely     
ad.全部地,完整地;完全地,彻底地
参考例句:
  • The fire was entirely caused by their neglect of duty. 那场火灾完全是由于他们失职而引起的。
  • His life was entirely given up to the educational work. 他的一生统统献给了教育工作。
8 tuned b40b43fd5af2db4fbfeb4e83856e4876     
adj.调谐的,已调谐的v.调音( tune的过去式和过去分词 );调整;(给收音机、电视等)调谐;使协调
参考例句:
  • The resort is tuned in to the tastes of young and old alike. 这个度假胜地适合各种口味,老少皆宜。
  • The instruments should be tuned up before each performance. 每次演出开始前都应将乐器调好音。 来自《简明英汉词典》
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