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墨尔本PTE素材库——Wolves have Local Howl Accents

 

墨尔本PTE素材库——Wolves have Local Howl Accents

 

中文批注

不同地方的狼也有不同的口音?这段podcast就讲解了关于犬科动物中的不同“口音”问题的科学研究。农场主也利用这一研究,通过播放特定的叫声,来驱逐自己农场附近的狼,避免造成损失。

这段材料生词数量适度,难度也适度,是一段很好的Dictation和Re-tell Lecture的材料。大家可以先听写,然后再跟Transcript对比,看看自己听写的正确率如何。

澳大利亚语言学院整理的PTE素材库,旨在用最贴近PTE Official Question Criteria的材料,给大家提供一系列不同话题的PTE素材!让大家可以在平时练习听力、阅读、口语、写作,不至于陷入“题荒”的境地哦!

【Key Vocabulary】

rancher n. 大农村经营者,大农厂工人

livestock n. 牲畜,家畜

howling n. 咆哮,啸鸣

collaborator n. 合作者,勾结者

variation n. 变化,变异

canid n. 犬科动物

coyote n. 土狼

categorize v. 分类

vocabulary n. 词汇,词汇量

dialect n. 方言,土话

arbitrary adj. 任意的,武断的

Full Transcript

Understanding the regional vocal patterns of various canid species sheds light on animal communication and could help ranchers broadcast “keep away” messages to protect livestock.

“She has this thing where she goes to a movie theater, watching a horror movie and there was a wolf howling in the background.” University of Cambridge zoologist Arik Kershenbaum, talking about his collaborator Holly Root-Gutteridge, a biologist at Syracuse University. She said to herself, ‘Well, that’s wrong. That’s clearly a European wolf and not a North American wolf like it should be in the scene.'”

Slight variations in the way we speak allow us to tell whether someone is from Boston or New York just by listening to them. The same turns out to be true for the animals known as canids, which includes wolves, dogs and coyotes. They all howl to communicate—but those howls vary. Canids can tell which howls belong to their known associates and which belong to strangers.

So Kershenbaum and Root-Gutteridge decided to categorize the howls of different canids around the world. Together with colleagues, they compiled recordings of more than 2,000 canid howls, including European wolves, Mexican wolves, arctic wolves, dingoes, coyotes, golden jackals, domestic dogs, New Guinea singing dogs, and more. A computer program sorted the howls into different types. The study was published in the journal Behavioral Processes. [Arik Kershenbaum et al,Disentangling canid howls across multiple species and subspecies: Structure in a complex communication channel]

Based on the analysis, canids use 21 different kinds of howls to communicate. If you think of the howls as words, then all canids have the same vocabulary—but each species or sub-species has its own unique dialect. Some words are more common in one dialect, while other words are more common in another dialect and so on. By matching dialect with species and geography, researchers could monitor endangered species, like red wolves, just by listening.

[AK:] “Being able to distinguish between the howls of a coyote and the howls of a red wolf opens the possibility for techniques of passive monitoring, passive population monitoring, using acoustics.”

Meanwhile, ranchers have tried to broadcast specific howls to discourage grey wolves from feasting on their livestock, but it’s never been successful.

[AK:] “Because we don’t really know what message we’re conveying to the wolves when we play back an arbitrary howl. For all we know, we could be playing back a howl that means come and eat, there’s lots of interesting food over here.”

The research could thus finally bring peace to the conflict between ranchers and wolves, by finally speaking to the predators in their own language.

—Jason G. Goldman

(Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/wolves-have-local-howl-accents/)

 

 

墨尔本PTE 澳大利亚语言学校AIL
墨尔本PTE 澳大利亚语言学校AIL
墨尔本PTE 澳大利亚语言学院PTE备考课程一共四周,由听说读写四项组成。课程将包含大量PTE官方考题资料以及应试技巧,帮助学生在四周的时间内熟悉PTE的考试形式,破题方法以及完成基础词汇的累积。