您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 科学 >> 正文

2000万年前的琥珀蜥蜴

更新时间:2015-10-5 10:21:08 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Anoles Going Strong on Hispaniola Millions of Years Later
2000万年前的琥珀蜥蜴

About 15 million to 20 million years ago, anoles were trapped in tree resin on what is now the island of Hispaniola, home to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

大约1500-2000万年,一些安乐蜥被树脂困住了,在现在的西斯盘纽拉岛(Hispaniola),其地域涵盖了海地(Haiti)和多米尼加共和国(Dominican Republic)。

Anoles still live in abundance on the island and throughout the Caribbean. Jonathan Losos, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard, has studied them for decades.

安乐蜥至今仍然在这些岛屿上大量繁衍,并且遍布加勒比海(The Caribeean)。乔纳森・洛索斯(Jonathan Losos),一位来自哈佛大学的进化生物学家, 已经研究它们几十年了。

These lizards, as he has documented, occupy very specific bits of space on trees in rain forests. One species may live from the ground up to six feet high on the trunk, another species from six feet up the trunk to the crown, and another in the crown.

据他的研究资料,这些蜥蜴占据着热带雨林的非常特殊的狭窄空间。一种安乐蜥可能生活在地面到六英尺高的树干上,另外一种可以占据六英尺以上到树冠之间,其他还有栖息在树冠中。

And although there are many different species on different islands, they fall into categories that characterize not only their behavior but their body structure. These forms — body types shaped by ecological niches — are called ecomorphs. The niches and the ecomorphs are the same in anole communities from island to island.

尽管在不同的岛屿上生活着很多不同种类的蜥蜴,它们分为不同物种——囊括了它们的行为以及躯体构造特征。这些形态——被生态位(ecological niches)影响的体型——称为生态形(ecomorph)。不同岛屿的安乐蜥种群的生态位和生态形是相同的。

Dr. Losos was interested in finding out how long such communities have existed, so he turned to Hispaniola, famous for its amber — fossilized tree resin — in which insects and small creatures have been preserved.

洛索斯博士对这些蜥蜴种群存在了多久很感兴趣,因此他回到西斯盘纽拉岛(Hispaniola),那里有闻名的琥珀——变成化石的树脂——其中保存着昆虫和其他小型生物。

With the help of colleagues and private collectors, he managed to gather 38 anoles in amber, all but one of the known such specimens in the world, all 15 million to 20 million years old and all from Hispaniola. About half came from a private collector in Italy.

在同事和私人收藏家的帮助下,他成功收集了38只琥珀中的蜥蜴,此类标本尚属世界首次,它们都是1500-2000万年前、来自西斯盘纽拉(Hispaniola)的琥珀。

With Emma Sherratt, a researcher in his laboratory, and other colleagues, they made micro CT scans of the 20 best specimens. Dr. Sherratt is now at the University of New England in Australia.

和艾玛・谢拉特(Emma Sherratt)——一位来自他实验室的研究人员,以及其他同事一道,他们对其中最好的20个标本做了微CT扫描(micro-CT scan)。谢拉特博士目前在澳大利亚的新英格兰大学。

When they analyzed the body forms of the fossil anoles, they found the same categories that exist now. Dr. Losos said there was a great amount of discussion in evolutionary biology about whether ecological communities stay stable for long periods. It may not happen often, he said, but “our study does show that the same set of types of species can remain very static for long periods of time.”

当分析不同化石变色蜥的体型时,他们发现了和现在相同的种类。谢拉特博士说,在进化生物学界,有很多关于生态群落(ecological communities)是否能在长时间内保持稳定的争论。这也许并不是经常发生,他说,但是“我们的研究的确表明同样类别的物种在长时间内能够保持相当 的静态(static)”。

It also shows a remarkable collection of amber and its captives, almost magical in the detail of their preservation. And although the preserved lizards have revealed valuable secrets, they remain puzzling in some ways. One anole, for instance, is preserved in great detail, except for its skeleton and internal organs, which for unknown reasons seem to have rotted away.

这(指该研究)也展示了引人注目的收藏——琥珀和它的俘虏,在细节的保存方面几乎不可思议。尽管这些保存下来的蜥蜴揭示了重要的秘密,在一些方面它们仍然令人不解。比如,一个变色蜥,其他部分都得到完好保存,除了它的的骨骼和内藏器官,似乎因为一些未知原因而腐烂了。

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表