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SSS 2010-09-09

时间:2010-10-08 05:37来源:互联网 提供网友:xn0006   字体: [ ]
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    (单词翻译:双击或拖选)

This is Scientific American's 60-Second Science. I’m Karen Hopkin. This will just take a minute.

The first time you visit your boyfriend’s place, he no doubt tidies up, to give you the illusion that he doesn’t live like an animal. Well, animals, too, can use optical illusions to woo a mate. Take the bowerbird.

Male bowerbirds build elaborate shelters to try to attract a female. They decorate these bachelor pads with shells, bones and pebbles1, and even lay a pathway of sticks along which the female can walk to get the best view. But that path provides more than just a welcome mat. It allows the male bird to set the stage so that the décor will accentuate——even exaggerate——his size, a typical sign of good genes2.

See, male bowerbirds line their courtyards with objects arranged from smallest to largest. Viewed from the walkway, this layout makes the court seem smaller and the bird sitting at its center look larger. When scientists went in and reversed the gradient, the male bowerbirds restored it within days, results published in the journal Current Biology.

Of course, the females may be on to the trick. And rather than being fooled about size, a female may be selecting a male based on how clever he is to make himself look so swell3. Or so swelled4.

Thanks for the minute. For Scientific American’s 60-Second Science. I’m Karen Hopkin.
 


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 pebbles e4aa8eab2296e27a327354cbb0b2c5d2     
[复数]鹅卵石; 沙砾; 卵石,小圆石( pebble的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • The pebbles of the drive crunched under his feet. 汽车道上的小石子在他脚底下喀嚓作响。
  • Line the pots with pebbles to ensure good drainage. 在罐子里铺一层鹅卵石,以确保排水良好。
2 genes 01914f8eac35d7e14afa065217edd8c0     
n.基因( gene的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • You have good genes from your parents, so you should live a long time. 你从父母那儿获得优良的基因,所以能够活得很长。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Differences will help to reveal the functions of the genes. 它们间的差异将会帮助我们揭开基因多种功能。 来自英汉非文学 - 生命科学 - 生物技术的世纪
3 swell IHnzB     
vi.膨胀,肿胀;增长,增强
参考例句:
  • The waves had taken on a deep swell.海浪汹涌。
  • His injured wrist began to swell.他那受伤的手腕开始肿了。
4 swelled bd4016b2ddc016008c1fc5827f252c73     
增强( swell的过去式和过去分词 ); 肿胀; (使)凸出; 充满(激情)
参考例句:
  • The infection swelled his hand. 由于感染,他的手肿了起来。
  • After the heavy rain the river swelled. 大雨过后,河水猛涨。
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