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[翻译]SCIENCE IN THE NEWS - What do Spider Webs and Guitar Strings Have in Common?

更新时间:2016/11/21 9:07:27 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

Spider webs have something in common with guitar strings.

蜘蛛网和吉它弦有一些共同之处。

The long, thin strings on a guitar can vibrate. They move back and forth, or from side to side.

吉它上又长又细的弦可以来回振动。

So do webs made by spiders. The lines of silk they produce can carry vibrations. This movement gives the small creature information about what landed on the web.

蜘蛛织的网也是如此,它们吐出的蜘蛛丝可以传播振动。振动能给这种小生物提供信息,让它们知道蛛网上落了什么东西。

Spiders have eight legs and usually eight eyes. The animals build webs with their own soft, naturally-made silk. And much like playing the strings of a guitar, a spider can send out vibrations across its web across many different frequencies.

蜘蛛有8条腿,通常也有8只眼睛。这种动物用它们自己吐出的软软的丝来织网。就像是弹奏吉它弦一样,蜘蛛可以在它的网上发出多种不同频率的振动。

Scientists at the University of Oxford have shown how spiders control the tension of their webs. They do this to make use of the power of their senses.

牛津大学的科学家已经展示了蜘蛛如何控制蛛网的张力,它们运用自身感官的能力来实现这点。

Spiders catch their food, usually insects, in their web. They make small movements, which spread across their web. The vibrations can tell the spider what is there — maybe a possible mate, or something tasty to eat.

蜘蛛在它们的蛛网上捕食,一般捕到的都是昆虫。它们制造出传遍整张蛛网的小振动,这种振动会告诉蜘蛛有什么东西在蛛网上,可能是潜在伴侣,或是一些美味。

Beth Mortimer works in the Zoology Department at the university. She says the vibrations gives the spider details about what is caught in the web. They can tell the spider where that next meal is, and what it might be. But she says, vibrations are not just used to identify what is for dinner.

贝丝·莫蒂默(Beth Mortimer)就职于该大学的动物学系。她说,振动会给蜘蛛提供蛛网上抓到了什么的详细信息,它们能告诉蜘蛛下一顿美食在哪,可能是什么东西。但是她表示,振动不仅被用于确定下顿美食是什么。

"But vibrations are also important in courtship, so lots of males will actually generate a very specific kind of a musical pattern which the females can use to determine not only that they're a male, but they're the right species, and whether she might want to mate with them as well.”

莫蒂默说,“振动在求爱中也很重要。所以很多公蜘蛛会制造一种特殊的音乐节奏,母蜘蛛不仅可以凭此确定它们的性别,还能确定它们的物种,以及它是否愿意同它交配。”

Mortimer adds that a spider make its own vibrations to find out the condition of the web.

莫蒂默补充说,蜘蛛通过自身的振动确定蛛网状况。

How do the researchers know that? They used special equipment to send out laser pulses into the web of a garden cross spider. Then they used a laser to measure the very small vibrations, which spread through the web. They sent their own vibration to learn more.

研究人员如何知道这些的呢?他们利用特殊设备向一只十字园蛛的蛛网上发出激光脉冲,然后他们利用激光测量这种传遍蛛网的微小振动。他们发出自己的振动来了解更多。

“We were able to input our own vibration into the web, move this vibration around to different locations to work out how the spider is able to locate where vibration sources are coming from and how the vibrations change as they move through the web structure."

莫蒂默说,“我们能够将自己的振动传到蛛网上,将这种振动移动到不同位置,来找出蜘蛛如何能够定位振动源来自何处,以及振动在穿过蛛网结构时如何变化。”

Using computer models, the scientist could show how a spider can change the size of a wave vibration. The spider does this by changing the tension — or tightness — of the silk lines.

通过计算机模型,科学家能够展示蜘蛛如何改变波动的大小。蜘蛛是通过改变丝线的张力或紧密度来做到这点。

Mortimer says by controlling the tightness of the material, it lets the spider “effectively tune their web’s properties.” The spiders then can control how information is getting to them where they hang out in the middle of the web.

莫蒂默表示,通过控制材料的紧密度可以让蜘蛛有效地调整蛛网的属性。然后当蜘蛛在蛛网中心呆着,它们可以控制信息要如何传回给它们。

The research shows that spiders have a special ability to shape the physical properties of their self-made materials and creations. The scientists think that spider silk may have changed over time for this purpose.

研究表明,蜘蛛具有一种特殊能力,可以塑造其自制的蛛丝和蛛网的物理特性。科学家认为,为此目的,蛛丝可能会随着时间推移而变化。

And, Mortimer explains, in a way, spiders can move their silk threads, much like a musician plays the strings of a guitar.

莫蒂默也解释说,在某种程度上,蜘蛛可以移动它们的丝线,就像是音乐家拨动吉它的弦一样。

"They are constantly able to monitor the tensioning on their webs by, they can kind of feel around with their legs, so they have a behavior where they kind of bounce on their webs slightly and sometimes they pluck the silk fibers as well. So they're able to send out a vibratory signal into the web and they can monitor what comes back."

莫蒂默说,“它们可以不间断地监控蛛网上的张力,这种张力可以被蜘蛛腿感受到。所以它们会在蛛网上轻微晃动,有时候它们也会拨动蛛丝。这样它们就能向蛛网发出振动并监测有何回应。”

Engineers might be able to learn a thing or two from spiders. This information could help engineers better understand how structures react to energy, and how vibrations affect a building.

工程师们也许能够从蜘蛛身上学到一两件事。这些信息可以帮助工程师更好地了解结构如何对力量做出反应,以及振动如何影响建筑物。

I’m Anne Ball.

Words in This Story

vibrate – v. to move back and forth or from side to side with very short, quick movements

frequency – n. the number of times that something (such as a sound wave or radio wave) is repeated in a period of time (such as a second)

courtship – n. the behavior of animals that leads to sexual activity or the period of time when such behavior occurs

generate – v. create or make something happen

monitor – v. watch closely and keep track of

bounce – v. to move in one direction, hit a surface (such as a wall or the floor), and then quickly move in a different and usually opposite direction

pluck – v. to pull and release (a string on a musical instrument) with your fingers in order to make a sound

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