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科学家发现新物种圆耳象鼩

2014-07-04    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

It may seem hard to believe that such an unusual looking animal has remained hidden for so long.
世界上存在如此相貌罕见而不为人知的动物,这似乎有点难以置信。

But scientists have only just discovered a new species of elephant shrew – or round-eared sengi - in the remote deserts of south western Africa.
但科学家在遥远的西非南部刚刚发现了象鼩的一个新品种——圆耳象鼩。

While it is the smallest known member of the 19 sengis in the order Macroscelidea, the small creature is in fact genetically more closely related to an elephant than a true shrew.
虽然这一新发现的小动物是象鼩品种中最小的,但从遗传学角度看它却是大象的亲戚,而非鼩鼱科。

The Etendeka round-eared sengi was discovered by scientists from the California Academy of Sciences. It is the third new species of elephant shrew to be found in the wild in the past decade.
这种圆耳象鼩是被加利福尼亚州科学院的科学家发现的,它是过去十年中新发现的第三种象鼩新品种。

The diminutive animal is smaller than other sengi and has rust-coloured fur, a large, hairless gland on the underside of its tail and lacks dark skin pigment, according to the study published in the Journal of Mammalogy.
据《哺乳动物学杂志》的研究报告称,这种小动物体型比其他象鼩要小,长着黄锈色的皮毛,尾巴下方有着大型无毛腺,缺乏深色皮肤色素。

Its unusual appearance attracted the attention of experts Jack Dumbacher and Galen Rathbun, who noted it looked different from any museum specimens they had encountered.
圆耳象鼩独特的外表吸引了Jack Dumbacher和Galen Rathbun两位科学家,他们发现这种动物和他们之前看到过的任何一种博物馆样本都不一样。

Genetic analysis showed important differences between this specimen and close relatives.
基因分析表明,这一品种和其他相似物种有着重要的区别。

Together with experts from the National Museum of Namibia and the Republic of Namibia Ministry of Environment and Tourism, they scoured museums for similar animals and conducted more genetic tests, before confirming that they had found a new species.
两位科学家同纳米比亚国家博物馆及纳米比亚共和国环境和旅游局的专家一起,追踪了博物馆中的类似物种,做了更多的基因测试。之后才得出了这是一个新物种的结论。

‘The differences between this and all other known species are very subtle,’ said Dr Dumbacher.
Dumbacher博士说道:“这种小动物和所有相似物种的区别非常微小。”

Elephant shrews are restricted to Africa and despite their small size, are more closely related to elephants, manatees (known as sea cows) and aardvarks than they are to true shrews.
象鼩生活在非洲。虽然体型微小,但和鼩类动物相比,它们与大象、海牛、土豚等大型动物的关系更密切。



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