英语家园

 找回密码
 注册

QQ登录

只需一步,快速开始

搜索

我们是历史幸运儿,99%物种没有活着看到这一天

发布者: 千缘 | 发布时间: 2021-1-6 01:03| 查看数: 470| 评论数: 0|



Congratulations. By beinghere, listening, alive, a member of a growing species, you areone of history's greatest winners -- the culmination of a success storyfour billion years in the making. You are life's one percent. Thelosers, the 99 percent of species who have ever lived, are dead-- killed by fire, flood, asteroids, predation, starvation, ice,heat and the cold math of natural selection. Yourancestors, back to the earliest fishes, overcame all thesechallenges. You are here because of golden opportunities madepossible by mass extinction.   

恭喜大家! 能够来到这里, 活着听演讲, 作为一个不断壮大的物种中的一员, 你们是进化史上的大赢家—— 达到了40亿年物种进化的顶峰。 你们占了物种的1%。 而那些没能来到这里的失败者, 那些曾经活着的99%, 已经死了—— 不是死于火灾,水灾,小行星撞击,被捕食,就是死于饥寒交迫和高温, 或被物竞天择这一冷酷无情的法则淘汰。 而你们的祖先, 也就是那些早期的鱼类, 克服了种种困难存活了下来。 你们今天来到这里实属难得, 而这要归因于物种大灭绝。

It's true. The same is true of yourco-winners and relatives. The 34,000 kinds of fishes. How did we allget so lucky? Will we continue to win? I am a fish paleobiologist whouses big data -- the fossil record -- to study how some species winand others lose. The living can't tell us; they know nothing butwinning. So, we must speak with the dead.

千真万确。 这包括你们那些活下来的同伴和亲戚, 也就是其它34000 种鱼类。 为何我们如此幸运? 这种幸运会持续多久? 我是一个鱼类古生物学家,我通过大数据 —— 也就是化石记录—— 研究物种存活或灭绝的原因。 那些活着的鱼什么也不能告诉我们, 它们除了活着,什么也不知道。 所以,我们必须要从那些死去的物种身上找答案。

How do we make dead fishestalk? Museums contain multitudes of beautiful fish fossils, but theirreal beauty emerges when combined with the larger number of ugly, brokenfossils, and reduced to ones and zeros. I can trawl a500-million-year database for evolutionary patterns. Forexample, fish forms can be captured by coordinates and transformed toreveal major pathways of change and trends through time.        

但我们如何使死鱼说话呢? 博物馆里存放着大量美丽的鱼化石, 但将它们和更多难看而又支离破碎的 鱼化石相结合,并且被分为有意义和无意义两个类别后, 它们真正的价值才显现出来。 我可以从一个记录着五亿年进化史的数据库里,打捞出进化模式。 比如: 将鱼的形状进行归类, 然后重组,就能够揭示跨越时空的 主要进化途径和规律。

Here is the story of the winners andlosers of just one pivotal event I discovered using fossildata. Let's travel back 360 million years --six times as long ago as thelast dinosaur -- to the Devonian period; a strangeworld. Armored predators with razor-edge jaws dominated alongsidehuge fishes with arm bones in their fins. Crab-like fishes scuttled acrossthe sea floor. The few ray-fin relatives of salmon and tuna coweredat the bottom of the food chain.

化石数据显示,优胜劣汰的故事 和一个生死攸关的事件有关。 让我们穿越回3.6亿年前—— 也就是距最后的恐龙灭绝的时间 再往前推大约六倍的时间, 即古生代, 那是一个奇异的世界。 有着利刃般下颚的身披盔甲的 捕食动物是主宰者, 与它们共存的是那些 鱼翅中长着臂骨的巨型鱼。 这些鱼如同螃蟹一样在海底穿行。 而三文鱼金枪鱼的几个亲戚,那些鳍刺鱼类, 则蜷缩在食物链的底层。

The few early sharks lived offshore infear. Your few four-legged ancestors, the tetrapods, struggled intropical river plains. Ecosystems were crowded. There was noescape, no opportunity in sight. Then the world ended.         

几种早期的鲨鱼为了求生栖居在近海区域。 而你们少数四条腿的祖先,那些四足动物, 在热带河流平原勉强度日。 生态系统拥挤不堪, 逃无可逃, 生机渺茫。 然后就是世界末日。

No, it is a good thing. 96 percent ofall fish species died during the Hangenberg event, 359 million yearsago: an interval of fire and ice.A crowded world was disrupted and sweptaway.   

别误会,这可是件好事。 96%的鱼类 死于3.59亿年前的泥盆纪末生物大灭绝: 那真是一个冰与火的轮回炼狱。 从前拥挤不堪的世界格局被打破并抹平了。

Now, you might think that's the end of thestory. The mighty fell, the meek inherited the earth, and here weare. But winning is not that simple. The handful of survivors camefrom many groups -- all greatly outnumbered by their own dead. Theyranged from top predator to bottom-feeder, big to small, marine tofreshwater. The extinction was a filter. It merely leveled theplaying field. What really counted was what survivors did over the nextseveral million years in that devastated world.

现在,你也许认为故事就这么结束了。 大家伙倒台,小生物逆袭, 于是就有了我们。 但是胜出并没有那么易如反掌。 那些为数不多幸存下来的不同物种—— 相较于那些死去的同类,数量少得可怜。 可以将它们从强到弱, 由大到小, 由海洋生物到淡水生物排列来开。物种大灭绝是一种过滤。 但仅仅是扫平了战场而已。 而真正起作用的是那些幸存者在接下来几亿年光阴的所作所为, 末日后的世界,一片狼藉。

The former overlordsshould have had an advantage. They became even larger, storingenergy, investing in their young, spreading across theglobe, feasting on fishes, keeping what had always worked, and bidingtheir time. Yet they merely persisted for a while, declining withoutinnovating, becoming living fossils. They were too stuck in theirways and are now largely forgotten.         

从前的大家伙因为有着先天优势, 从而变得更巨大, 储蓄能量, 并传递给后代, 它们的群体渐渐遍布整个地球, 以鱼类为食, 保留曾经起作用的机能,并等待它们的时机。 但它们并没有兴旺多久, 因为没有进化,数量越来越少, 直至成为活化石。 它们困于自身的局限性里, 直至今日,几乎被遗忘。

A few of the long-suffering ray-fins, sharksand four-legged tetrapods went the opposite direction. They becamesmaller -- living fast, dying young, eating little and reproducingrapidly. They tried new foods, different homes, strange headsand weird bodies.         

一些耐得住考验的鳍刺鱼类, 鲨鱼,和四腿生物的命运 却与那些大家伙背道而驰。 它们体型变得更小—— 长得快,死的早, 吃得少,繁殖快。 它们尝试新食物, 新环境, 长得奇形怪状。

And they found opportunity,proliferated, and won the future for their 60,000 livingspecies, including you. That's why they look familiar.You know theirnames.        然后它们找到了机会,繁衍生息, 并为6万活着的物种赢得了将来, 包括你们。 这就是为何它们看起来如此面熟。 你知道它们的名字。

Winning is not about random events oran arms race. Rather, survivors went down alternative, evolutionarypathways. Some found incredible success, while others became deadfish walking. A real scientific term.         

胜出不是偶尔事件, 或体能竞赛。 相反,是因为幸存者选择了 不同的进化途径。 有的令人难以置信的成功了, 而有的虽生犹死。这是真正的科学术语。

I am now investigating how thesepathways to victory and defeat repeat across time. My lab has alreadycompiled thousands upon thousands of dead fishes, but many moreremain. However, it is already clear that your ancestors' survivalthrough mass extinction, and their responses in the aftermath madeyou who you are today.   

现在,我在研究 这些胜败之路是如何 在时间的长河里重复上演的。 我的实验室里堆满了数以万计的鱼骸, 而且还会有所增加。 然而,目前很清楚的是, 你们的祖先从生物大灭绝中死里逃生, 而它们在劫后余生的反应, 造就了今日的你们。

What does this tell us for thefuture? As long as a handful of species survive, life willrecover. The versatile and the lucky will not just replace what waslost, but win in new forms. It just might take several million years. Thank you.   

这些对未来有什么启示呢? 那就是,只要有为数不多的物种存活, 生命就会繁衍不息。 那些幸运、适应力又强的家伙不但会取代已经没落的物种, 而且会以新的形态胜出。 只不过,这要花上几百万年。谢谢大家。


最新评论

快速回复 返回顶部 返回列表