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在撒哈拉高溫環境下仍能存活的螞蟻

zlxxm 于2020-01-02發布 l 已有人瀏覽
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撒哈拉沙漠白天的溫度可以達到140華氏度,沒有多少生物能在這種惡劣的環境中生存。但是一種叫撒哈拉銀蟻的昆蟲卻在這里茁壯成長。
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Galloping Ant Beats Saharan Heat

在撒哈拉高溫環境下仍能存活的螞蟻

The Sahara Desert. Where daytime temperatures can reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Not many organisms can survive in this harsh environment. But an insect called the Saharan silver ant thrives. They scurry out onto the sand from their protected nests to gather up the carcasses of less fortunate insects that have died from the heat.

撒哈拉沙漠白天的溫度可以達到140華氏度,沒有多少生物能在這種惡劣的環境中生存。但是一種叫撒哈拉銀蟻的昆蟲卻在這里茁壯成長。它們從藏身的巢穴中迅速跑到沙地上,收集死于高溫的不幸昆蟲的尸體。

The hotter the day, the more insect bodies they will find. The more food they have.Sarah Pfeffer, an animal behaviorist at Ulm University in Germany. She says that to avoid sinking into the Saharan sand dunes, where they could meet the same fate as their lunch, silver ants have to be fast.

“天氣越熱,它們發現的昆蟲尸體越多,就有更多的食物。”德國烏爾姆大學的動物行為學家莎拉·普費弗如是說。她表示,為了避免陷入撒哈拉沙丘,也就是和它們找到的那些午餐一樣不幸,銀蟻必須行動迅速。

To document just how quickly the ants move, Pfeffer and her colleagues set up high-speed cameras above a channel between the entrance to the hungry ants' nest and a food source. The researchers recorded top speeds approaching 35 inches per second.

為了記錄螞蟻移動的速度,普費弗和她的同事在饑餓的螞蟻巢穴入口和食物來源之間的通道上安裝了高速攝像機。研究人員記錄的螞蟻最高速度接近每秒35英寸。

But if you really look how big the animals are and you calculate the body length per second, you come up with a walking speed that is an astonishing 108 body-lengths per second.That figure makes them the fastest known ant on the planet. By comparison, cheetahs top out at about 16 body lengths per second.

“但如果你真的觀察這些動物的體型,并計算它們每秒的體長,你會得出驚人的每秒108條體長的行走速度。”這個數字使它們成為地球上已知速度最快的螞蟻。相比之下,獵豹的最快速度是每秒16個身長。

The videos revealed how the ants achieve such prodigious speeds. As they accelerate, their leg movements become synchronized. They increase their stride length by bringing all six feet off of the sand at once, which Pfeffer describes as a gallop."Really all legs are lifted from the ground. They are in air, but it's not jumping. It's a very smooth run that they have."

視頻揭示了螞蟻是如何達到如此驚人的速度。加速時,它們的腿部運動變得同步。它們擴大了步幅,因為一下子就能在沙地上走出6英寸遠,這在普費弗眼里等同于疾馳。“真的,所有的腿都騰空了。它們雙腳離地了,但又不是跳躍。它們跑得很平穩。”

Pfeffer says they're thus faster than a closely related ant species called Cataglyphis fortis, which has longer legs but a less impressive airborne phase. That ant only reaches about 24 inches per second, or two-thirds of the silver ant's max. The study appears in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

普費弗說,因此它們比一種叫做箭蟻的近親螞蟻要快,箭蟻腿更長,但在空中飛行的階段不那么令人印象深刻。那只螞蟻的速度只有每秒24英寸,也就是銀色螞蟻最大速度的三分之二。這項研究發表在《實驗生物學雜志》上。

The Saharan silver ants' breakneck speeds may be impressive, but two insects are even faster: the California coastal mite and the Australian tiger beetle, both of which also thrive at near-lethal temperatures. Seems that to beat the heat, it pays to be fleet.

撒哈拉銀蟻的驚人速度可能令人印象深刻,但有兩種昆蟲的速度更快:加利福尼亞海岸螨蟲和澳大利亞虎甲蟲,這兩種昆蟲都能在接近致命的溫度下茁壯成長。似乎為了抵御酷暑,必須極速前行。

- Susanne Bard

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