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    科學美國人60秒: 雄性蝙蝠用嘴里的食物提高交配幾率

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    Male Bats Up Mating Odds With Mouth Morsels

    雄性蝙蝠用嘴里的食物提高交配幾率

    Sharing a meal is a standard first step in the mating rituals of many mammals. But Egyptian fruit bats take “splitting an entrée” to a whole other level. Because males that allow females to take the food right out of their mouths are repaid with reproductive rights—and are more likely to sire offspring with their favorite female fruit finaglers. That’s according to a study in the journal Current Biology.

    分享食物是許多哺乳動物交配儀式的標準第一步。但埃及果蝠將“分一道主菜”的做法提升到了一個全新的高度。因為雄性允許雌性直接從它們的嘴里取出食物,就會得到繁殖權的回報——而且更有可能與它們最喜歡的雌性水果騙子繁衍后代。這是根據《當代生物學》雜志上的一項研究得出的結論。

    A couple years back, researchers noticed that in fruit bat colonies, some bats forage for food while others simply snatch it from the foragers’ mouths.“And there are different hypotheses for explaining this.”Yossi Yovel of Tel-Aviv University has studied these bats for years. Maybe the scroungers were relatives, he says. Or maybe they were just socially dominant bullies.“What we observed is that mostly scroungers are females.”That got the researchers thinking about something of great importance to most animals: reproduction.

    幾年前,研究人員注意到,在果蝠群落中,一些蝙蝠覓食,而另一些則直接從覓食者的嘴里搶食物。對此有不同的假設。特拉維夫大學的Yossi Yovel多年來一直在研究這些蝙蝠。他說,也許行乞者是他們的親戚。或者他們只是社會上占主導地位的恃強凌弱者。“我們觀察到,大多數行乞者是女性。這讓研究人員想到了對大多數動物來說非常重要的事情:繁殖。

    “And specifically we were wondering whether females might then mate with males that provide them with food. So this was the hypothesis, the sex-for-food hypothesis, that we tested.”Yovel and his colleagues monitored the interactions among bats in their colony for more than a year. And they checked the paternity of the baby bats that were born. What they found is that females were more likely to make babies with those males that provided free meals.

    “我們特別想知道的是,雌性是否會與提供食物的雄性交配。這就是我們測試的假設,性換食物的假設。Yovel和他的同事們在一年多的時間里一直在觀察蝙蝠群體之間的互動。他們檢查了出生蝙蝠寶寶的父親。他們發現,女性更有可能與那些提供免費食物的男性生孩子。

    But Yovel says that the process is not strictly transactional: “So sometimes they took a lot of food from a specific individual but did not mate with him. What’s important is, what we think, is the bond between the two. So if this individual is the main provider of the female then the probability that they will later mate increases.”

    但是Yovel說這個過程并不是嚴格意義上的交易:“所以有時候他們從一個特定的個體身上拿走很多食物,但卻沒有和他交配。我們認為,重要的是,這兩者之間的聯系。因此,如果這個個體是雌性的主要供養者,那么它們以后交配的可能性就會增加。”

    That means that offering free lunch is no guarantee for an amorous male, but it does up his odds. And unlike human males, batboys clearly learn that it’s in their romantic interest to chew with their mouths open.

    這就意味著,對一個多情的雄性來說,提供免費的午餐并不能保證一定成功,但這確實增加了他的勝算。與人類男性不同的是,蝙蝠男們很清楚地知道,他們喜歡張大嘴巴咀嚼食物。

    Male Bats Up Mating Odds With Mouth Morsels

    Sharing a meal is a standard first step in the mating rituals of many mammals. But Egyptian fruit bats take “splitting an entrée” to a whole other level. Because males that allow females to take the food right out of their mouths are repaid with reproductive rights—and are more likely to sire offspring with their favorite female fruit finaglers. That’s according to a study in the journal Current Biology.

    A couple years back, researchers noticed that in fruit bat colonies, some bats forage for food while others simply snatch it from the foragers’ mouths.“And there are different hypotheses for explaining this.”Yossi Yovel of Tel-Aviv University has studied these bats for years. Maybe the scroungers were relatives, he says. Or maybe they were just socially dominant bullies.“What we observed is that mostly scroungers are females.”That got the researchers thinking about something of great importance to most animals: reproduction.

    “And specifically we were wondering whether females might then mate with males that provide them with food. So this was the hypothesis, the sex-for-food hypothesis, that we tested.”Yovel and his colleagues monitored the interactions among bats in their colony for more than a year. And they checked the paternity of the baby bats that were born. What they found is that females were more likely to make babies with those males that provided free meals.

    But Yovel says that the process is not strictly transactional: “So sometimes they took a lot of food from a specific individual but did not mate with him. What’s important is, what we think, is the bond between the two. So if this individual is the main provider of the female then the probability that they will later mate increases.”

    That means that offering free lunch is no guarantee for an amorous male, but it does up his odds. And unlike human males, batboys clearly learn that it’s in their romantic interest to chew with their mouths open.


    內容來自 VOA英語學習網http://www.kh771.com/show-8762-241770-1.html
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