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科学美国人60秒:海豚识别新方法

所属教程:科学美国人60秒地球系列 更新:12-16
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Something Clicks for Dolphin Identification

海豚识别新方法

Light doesn't travel well underwater. So dolphins and other toothed whales navigate like bats, using echolocating clicks.

光在水下不能传播。所以海豚以及其他齿鲸像蝙蝠一样,利用回声波来进行定位。

"They're like lasers of sound they produce out of their forehead, and they bounce them off things the same way bats do, to interpret their environment."

“这些就像前额发出的声音束,这些声音像蝙蝠发出的回声波一样反弹,来诠释周围的环境。”

Kait Frasier is an oceanographer at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. And her studies of underwater clicks include tossing computers, worth $100,000 dollars each, over the side of a ship, into the Gulf of Mexico.

Kait Frasier是斯克里普斯海洋研究所的一位海洋学家。她对水下的研究包括将价值10万美元的电脑沿着船边投掷入墨西哥湾。

"It just feels so wrong. But a year later you go back, you send out this little ping signal, it goes, doo doo doo doo doo, and that goes out to the instrument and it drops its weights and floats to the surface. And it's this magical moment, like 'I never thought we'd get that back.'"

就是感觉太糟糕了。但是一年以后你回来,你发送些砰砰的信号,信号传播,嘟嘟嘟到机器,物体失重,浮到水面。这是神奇的时刻,类似“我从未想过能把它找回来。”

The waterproof computers have underwater microphones attached…. So when they float back up, they're loaded with a symphony of underwater sounds. Including more than 50 million clicks. And by the way that sample was slowed down by half, and lowered an octave.

防水电脑带有水下麦克风……所以当电脑浮出水面,也就满载了水下的“交响乐”。 其中包括超过5000万点击量。顺便说一下,样品的速度降低了一半,降低了八个音阶。

Frasier used to comb through that audio, staring at the signals, trying to differentiate one from the other. "Yeah, more than I would like to spend my time sifting through."

Frasier梳理了那段音频,他盯着这些声音信号,试图将信号区分开来。“是的,我不止想把时间花费在筛选音频上。”

So she set machine learning algorithms at the data instead… which sifted out seven distinct clicking patterns. And the algorithms were able to identify one species—called Risso's dolphin—by sound alone.

所以她把计算机算法应用到了数据上……筛选了7个不同的点击模式。这些算法仅通过声音能够识别一种叫做灰海豚的物种。

The results are in the journal PLOS Computational Biology.

该研究结果发表在《PLoS计算生物学》杂志上。

Traditional marine mammal surveys scan surface waters from a boat, and extrapolate from there. But this tech might offer an alternative. "Instead of going out on a boat ,you put this instrument out, and it does this passive acoustic listening for a year, or many years in a row, and you can use that to get better time series of these animals over a long period of time."

传统方法对于海洋哺乳动物调查仅从船只旁的表面水域进行或者推测。但是,上述技术提供了一种新的可能性。“不用乘坐船只,你把这台仪器放出来,它就会在一年或多年的时间里进行被动的声音监听,你可以利用仪器在很长一段时间里获得更好的时间序列。”

If it can figure out how to tease out more individual species types, this survey method might really click.

如果这台仪器能找出如何分辨更多的物种类型,这个调查方法可能真的会奏效哦~

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