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經濟學人:動物行為(2)

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What was needed to clear the point up was an experiment. And fish are easier to experiment on than mongooses or jays.

需要進行一次實驗來弄清楚這一點。與貓鼬或松鴉相比,用魚做實驗更容易。
Jan Naef and Michael Taborsky of the University of Bern, in Switzerland,
瑞士伯恩大學的Jan Naef 和Michael Taborsky因此捕獲了
therefore acquired 96 specimens of N. pulcher and created menages of a pair of dominant landlords
96個美新亮麗鯛試樣,并在沙底水族館創造了支配者房東
and a subordinate tenant in sand-bottomed aquaria.
和從屬租客的模式。
Left alone, the fish behaved much as they would have done in the wild,
如果不去管它,這些魚的行為和它們在野外的行為差不多,
with the tenant doing the grunt work of maintaining the hollows in the sand, and good relations pertaining between all.
而租客則干著維護沙坑的粗活,它們之間的關系也很好。
However, if a tenant was prevented for a time from fulfilling its duties,
但如果一名租客被困在插入魚缸的隔板后面,
by trapping it behind a partition inserted into the aquarium for that purpose, things changed.
并且在一段時間內無法履行其職責,那么情況就會發生變化。

動物行為(2).jpg

When the partition was removed, the landlords attacked it,

當隔離墻被拆除后,房東們就開始攻擊它,
and it showed a big increase in submissive behaviour for several minutes before things returned to normal.
并且在事情恢復正常之前的幾分鐘內,它的服從行為會大幅增加。
Whether similar treatment would be meted out for a failure to defend the landlords' eggs has yet to be determined.
如果租戶們沒能保護好房東們的卵,房東們是否會采取類似的措施還有待確定。
When prevented by a partition from driving away predators,
當由于被隔離而無法趕走捕食者時,
tenants were not subsequently on the receiving end of aggression from landlords—
租客就不會受到房東的攻擊—
but since there were no eggs to defend at the time, that may not have been part of the contract.
由于實驗中沒有需要保護的卵子,所以保護卵子不在合約當中。
The predators in question, a species called Telmatochromis vittatus,
上述提到的捕食者是一個被稱為飾圈沼麗魚的魚種,
are not a threat to adult specimens of N. pulcher, only to eggs and fry.
對美新亮麗鯛試樣沒有威脅,只對卵和魚苗有威脅。
It is nevertheless clear from Dr Naef's and Dr Taborsky's experiment that, for cichlids at least,
但從Naef博士和Taborsky博士的實驗中,我們可以清楚地看到,至少對于美新亮麗鯛來說,
the rent must be paid in a timely fashion, or punishment will be faced.
房租必須及時交納,否則就要受到處罰。

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meek [mi:k]

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adj. 溫順的,謙恭的

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partition [pɑ:'tiʃən]

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n. 分割,隔離物 vt. 區分,隔開,分割

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species ['spi:ʃiz]

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n. (單復同)物種,種類

 
submissive [səb'misiv]

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adj. 服從的,順從的,柔順的

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minutes ['minits]

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n. 會議記錄,(復數)分鐘

 
subordinate [sə'bɔ:dineit]

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n. 屬下,附屬物
adj. 下級的,次要的,

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threat [θret]

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timely ['taimli]

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adv. 及時的

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determined [di'tə:mind]

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