近親繁殖讓鳥兒不會唱歌

Inbred Songbirds Croon out of Tune

Just like humans have to learn to talk. Some birds , songbirds aren’t born singing . - they have to learn to carry a tune. From So in the beginning , they just bubblebabble. Raissa de Boer, a behavior behavioral ecologist at the Unversity University of Antwerp in Belgium. And they learn from a tweetertutor, so they need an example song in order to learn it.

She says that the example song might come from the chick’s father. And over time, the baby bird tweets tweaks that tweet, to make it a songits own. And then it takes almost a year until they are they’re fully adults adult, and until the next spring, for the final song to come out.

De Boer and her colleagues investigated that song-learning process in canaries, using two groups of baby birds. : the first consists consisted of inbred birds, whose parents were siblings, ; the second had the parents that were unrelated. And the researchers found that the songs of inbred birds , and those of the other, outbred birds . Sounds sound pretty similar to the human ear. I cannot tell the difference.

But computer analysis revealed that the inbred birds sang notes at slightly different pitches - and with tones that were not quite as pure. So basically the sing they sang out of tune, in comparison to outbred birds. The results appear in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Even though our untrained ears have a hard time telling the tones apart. , female canaries seem seemed to notice. They turned tended to lay smaller eggs, and fewer ovum of them, when they meet mated with inbred birds as opposed with to the better songsters. Suggesting that the quality of the songs gene a songbird’s genes may be revealed in its tunes.

• Words wortsh to be remembered:
• songbird n. 鸣禽,鸣鸟,女歌手
• babble n. 潺潺声；胡言乱语 v. 喋喋不休；含糊不清地说，呀呀学语；作潺潺声；泄露
• Antwerp 安特衛普, 比利時城市
• tweak n. 拧，捏，扭；苦恼；微调，改进 v. 拧，捏，扭；稍稍调整
• canary 金丝雀,告密者,歌女 (复数)
• inbreed vt. 使同系繁殖,使近亲交配,使在内部生成
• inbred adj. 天生的,生来的,同系繁殖的
• outbreed vt. 使远系繁殖
• pitch n. 投；投球；音高；程度；沥青 v. 投掷；为…定音高；搭帐篷；用沥青涂
• songster n. 歌手,作曲者,诗人,鸣鸟

譯文

De Boer 和她的同事们调查了金丝雀的音乐学习之路，她们用的是两组幼鸟：第一组是近亲繁殖的后代，它们的父母是有血缘关系的。第二组的不是近亲的后代。随后研究人员们发现，近亲后代的鸟叫和非近亲后代的鸟叫对人类的耳朵来讲，没什么差别。我就分不清谁是谁呢。

Chaochen Wang 王　超辰
Assistant Professor

All models are wrong, but some are useful.