Turtle navigation discovery 新發現:綠海龜辨別方向的方法

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綠海龜是怎樣在漫無邊際的海洋中航行、找到阿森松島的沙灘並在那裡搭窩的?科學家們對它們的這一習性有了新的見解。

文字稿

Every year between December and June, thousands of green sea turtles migrate. They go to Ascension Island to nest – females crawling ashore to lay their eggs in the sand. Because of the remote location and cost of research though, scientists still do not understand exactly how they get there.

每年12月到次年6月,成千上萬隻綠海龜遷徙。它們游到阿森松島搭窩:雌龜爬上岸,在沙灘上挖坑產卵。然而,由於地點偏遠和研究成本高昂,科學家們仍不清楚它們是如何到達那裡的。

Now they’ve developed a model which simulates part of that arduous journey. What the scientists found is that the species uses a range of weak cues rather than a few strong ones, which could lead them off course. It makes sense – as relying on a single navigating cue, such as an inbuilt compass, could render them sensitive to change.

現在,他們研發出了一個模型來模擬綠海龜的那段艱辛征程。科學家們發現,該物種使用一系列微弱的線索來辨別方向,而不是靠可能引導它們偏離航線的大線索。這是有道理的,因為依靠單一的線索來定向,比如其體內的生物羅盤,可能使它們對變化十分敏感。

The scientists say that understanding how fish, animals and birds navigate could help them figure out how to protect those that are endangered, as well as what factors might affect their behaviour.

科學家們說,瞭解魚、獸和鳥類的定向方式可以幫助他們弄清楚如何保護瀕危動物以及哪些因素可能影響這些動物的行為。

1. 詞彙

migrate (動物)遷徙
crawling 緩慢地爬行
remote 偏遠的,遙遠的
simulates 模擬
arduous 艱辛的,艱巨的
weak cues 弱線索
off course 偏離方向
navigating 用來確定、辨別方向的
render 使變得
figure out 理解,弄清楚

2. 閱讀理解:請在讀完上文後,回答下列問題 。

1. True or false? If turtles followed less frequent, stronger cues, they are more likely to lose direction.

2. Where do the female turtles lay their eggs?

3. Why has research into the green sea turtles been difficult to do in the past?

4. What might be the benefit of this research about turtles?

3. 答案

1. True or false? If turtles followed less frequent, stronger cues, they are more likely to lose direction
True. Scientists found that the species uses a range of weak cues rather than a few strong ones, which could lead them off course (or get lost).

2. Where do the female turtles lay their eggs?
They lay their eggs on the land, buried in the sand.

3. Why has research into the green sea turtles been difficult to do in the past?
Because of the Ascension Island’s remote location and cost of research, scientists have not been able to understand exactly how they get there.

4. What might be the benefit of this research about turtles?
The scientists say that understanding how fish, animals and birds navigate could help them work out how to protect those that are endangered – such as the green sea turtles.