Hippos can recognise their friends’ voices 河馬也能聞聲識友

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野生河馬是吵鬧的動物,叫聲可以傳到湖泊和河流另一邊的遠處。但到目前為止,這種動物發出的一種響亮叫聲有何確切的作用仍是一個謎。不過,科學家現在有了一個有趣的發現。

Hippos are noisy creatures making squeals, grunts, bellows and honks. But until now, the function of the loudest 『wheeze honks’ the animals make has been a mystery.

河馬是會發出尖叫聲、哼哼聲、低吼聲和鳴叫聲的吵鬧動物。但到目前為止,這種動物發出的最響亮的 「喘叫聲」 有何用處仍是一個謎。

The researchers recorded hippo talk at a nature reserve in Mozambique to find out more about the behaviour of these talkative mammals. They broadcast the recordings through loudspeakers over lakes and found resident hippos responded differently to friends, neighbours and strangers, suggesting they could tell each other apart.

研究人員在莫桑比克的一個自然保護區記錄了河馬之間的交流,以瞭解這些叫個不停的哺乳動物的更多習性。他們用擴音器在湖邊播放河馬叫聲的錄音,發現當地河馬對同伴、鄰居和陌生河馬的反應不同,表明它們可以區分彼此。

Hippos are not yet endangered, but their numbers are plummeting fast. The scientists say their study has important implications for conservation policy and could help the management of hippo populations in the wild.

雖然河馬尚未瀕臨滅絕,但它們的數量正在驟減。科學家表示,他們的研究對動物保護政策有重要意義,可能有助於野生河馬種群的管理。

詞彙表

squeals 尖叫聲
grunts 哼哼聲
bellows (低沉的)吼叫聲
honks 鳴叫聲
function 功能,用途
talkative 健談的(本文比喻河馬叫個不停)
resident 在當地生活的
endangered 瀕臨滅絕
plummeting 急劇下降
implications 意義,可能產生的影響

閱讀理解:請在讀完上文後,回答下列問題。

1. True or false? Scientists weren’t sure why hippos made the noises they did.

2. How did researchers find out about how hippos were communicating?

3. What did researchers broadcast over loudspeakers?

4. How endangered is the hippo population?

答案  

1. True or false? Scientists weren’t sure why hippos made the noises they did.
True. Until now, the function of the loudest 『wheeze honks’ the animals make has been a mystery.

2. How did researchers find out about how hippos were communicating?
The researchers recorded hippo talk at a nature reserve in Mozambique to find out more about the behaviour of these talkative mammals.

3. What did researchers broadcast over loudspeakers?
They broadcast the recordings of hippos talking through loudspeakers.

4. How endangered is the hippo population?
They’re not endangered, but their numbers are plummeting fast.