经济学人:海洋生物的隐身斗篷 (02)

The deep ocean has other sources of light than astronomical bodies, though.

除了天体,深海还有其他光源。

Three-quarters of marine organisms off the coast of California produce their own, and that is probably true in most oceans,

加利福尼亚沿岸3/4的海洋生物会发光,大部分海洋情况都是如此,

says Steve Haddock of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

蒙特雷湾水族馆研究所的史蒂夫·哈多克说道。

Recently, Dr Haddock brought back the first full-colour high-definition videos of bioluminescence in the abyss.

最近,哈多克博士带回了关于深海生物光的首部彩色高清录像。

At a meeting in Monterey, in September, he offered a preview. Sea cucumbers, normally pale and beige, rippled with waves of blue bioluminescence.

在九月蒙特雷的一次会议上,他播放了该视频。海洋海参类通常是浅色和浅棕色的,它们会微微泛起蓝色生物光。

A shimmery gold viperfish, when disturbed by Dr Haddock's remotely operated submarine, suddenly switched its lights on, covering every detail in its skin.

闪闪发光的金色蝰鱼受到哈多克博士的远程操控潜水艇打扰后,突然发光,全身每一寸皮肤都被光覆盖。

A jellyfish displayed swirling blue pinwheels. A brittleworm glowed yellow.

水母亮出了自己的蓝色旋转风车。海蛇尾发出黄色的光。

Dr Haddock hopes his new submarine borne camera will grant him a better understanding of how animals use bioluminesce in the deep.

哈多克博士希望他的潜水艇运载摄影机可以让他对深海动物如何利用生物光有更好的理解。

Some predators, for instance, employ glowing lures to attract prey. Others produce pulses of light to illuminate their targets

例如,一些捕食者利用发光的鱼饵吸引猎物。其他捕食者会产生脉冲强光照亮它们的目标

—in which case, from the prey's point of view, having an invisibility cloak has obvious advantages.

—在这种情况下,从猎物的角度来讲,拥有一件隐身斗篷就占据绝对优势。

Some organisms use bioluminescence as a defence mechanism. Lighting up an attacker can make it more vulnerable to the attentions of others.

一些生物体利用生物光作为一种防御机制。照亮袭击者可以让它们不那么容易引起其他生物的注意。

And there are times when switching the lights on is a better camouflage than absorbing light.

有时产生光是一种比吸收光更好的伪装。

Watases lanternfish are generally hunted by predators that strike from below.

渡濑眶灯鱼通常会被来自下方的捕食者袭击捕获。

It may seem surprising, therefore, that among the light-producing cells distributed across their bodies

这看似让人意外,在分布它们全身的发光细胞中

they have a set that point downward from their bellies towards the sea floor. They also, however, have light-sensing cells pointing upwards on their backs.

有一种细胞从它们的肚皮处向下指向海底。但它们背部还有一种光敏细胞指向上。

At the meeting in Monterey José Paitio, of Chubu University in Japan, described how the two sets of cells work together.

在蒙特利会议上,来自日本中部大学的 José Paitio描述了两类细胞是如何合作的。

The dorsal ones sense the colour and intensity of light filtering downwards.

背部细胞感知颜色以及下方过滤光的强度。

The ventral ones respond to that signal, generating exactly the amount of light required to blend in,

腹部细胞对这种信号做出反应,产生混合所需的确切数量的光

so that the fish disappears from view when seen from underneath. A truly bright idea.

当从下边往上边看时,这条鱼就消失在了视野中。这真是个好主意。

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