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科学美国人60秒:座头鲸给人类的灵感

所属教程:科学美国人60秒科学系列 更新:11-28
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Humpback Whale Flippers Do More Than Maneuver

座头鲸给人类的灵感

“Whales move by beating their tails.”

鲸鱼通过拍打尾巴来移动。

Paolo Segre is a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford.

保罗·塞格雷是斯坦福大学的博士后研究员。

“And they’ve got these large muscular tails, which they can move and that’s what powers them forward. And they use their flippers, sort of extended out to the side, to maneuver.”

鲸鱼有大而有力的尾巴,鲸鱼可以移动而它的尾巴驱动其前进。鲸鱼使用鱼鳍伸展操控。

He and colleagues actually affixed cameras onto humpback whales, in the hope of learning more about how they move in their marine habitat. And those cameras caught a glimpse of something completely unexpected.

塞格雷和同事们实际上在座头鲸身上黏上了摄像头,希望了解更多鲸鱼如何在海洋中移动的知识。这些摄像头拍到了一些完全出乎意料的场景。

“We basically got video of it. And it’s the whales actually flapping their flippers, much like a bird flaps its wings, in order to power their forward swimming.”

“我们基本拍摄到了。”实际上,鲸鱼拍打自己的鱼鳍驱动游泳,就像鸟类拍打翅膀一样。

Segre calls the discovery “novel.” Which is science-speak for never-before-noted. The flipper-powered push may come in handy especially when the whales engage in lunge-feeding—opening their giant mouths, then quickly moving forward to take in hundreds of gallons of water and its edible contents.

塞格雷称这一发现“新颖”,这一科学前沿,因为之前从未注意到过。这种以鳍为动力的推力可能会很有用,特别是鲸鱼们在进食时,它们会张开巨大的嘴巴,然后迅速向前移动,以获取数百加仑的水和可食用的食物。

“Most of what we used to know about whales was from the whaling industry, from dissections of whales that washed up on shore, or from those brief glimpses that we got when we were sitting on a boat and see them surface while they’re breathing.”

“过去我们对鲸鱼的了解多来自捕鲸业、从被冲上岸的鲸鱼残骸中或者我们在船上看到鲸鱼呼吸的短暂瞬间。”

The findings are in the journal Current Biology.

该研究结果发表在《当代生物学》杂志上。

Segre says the newly discovered propulsion method is likely unique to the humpback whale, which is known for its very long and extremely mobile flippers. The finding might even lead to some real-world applications among us humans.

Segre说,新发现的推动方式可能是座头鲸的专利,座头鲸以其长的、异常灵活的鱼鳍而出名。这个发现甚至可能会激发人类中一些现实的应用。

“But I think where this could be really interesting is actually with inspiring different shapes and movements of propellers or wind turbines…that’s the type of place that we could look for if we really want to see how moving flippers could translate to something, to an engineering purpose.”

但是我认为,很有趣的地方在于其可以激发多种形状以及螺旋桨或风力涡轮机的运动,如果我们真的想看到运动的“鱼鳍”是如何应用到工程中的,那就是我们可以探索答案的地方。

Turns out the humpback’s flippers tell their own unique tale.

事实证明,座头座的鳍肢是在讲述自己专属故事。

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