媒体英语:Owls Change Colour Due to Weather 气候变化使猫头鹰群体“变色”

发表时间:2011-12-22内容来源:VOA英语学习网

Owls Change Colour Due to Weather 气候变化使猫头鹰群体“变色”

By Victoria Gill, BBC news

Tawny owl

Tawny owls inherit the colour of their plumage from their parents

媒体英语会带大家一起学习BBC撰稿人在报道世界大事时常用到的单词和短语。

Background: 芬兰科学家最近指出,气候变化影响该国不同颜色猫头鹰群体的比例。芬兰赫尔辛基大学研究人员报告说,在温暖气候里,棕色猫头鹰比灰色猫头鹰更容易存活。

Despite their name, tawny owls actually come in two colours. And in Finland, the freezing, snowy winters give pale grey birds a camouflage advantage over their darker brown-feathered counterparts. But as the Finnish winters get milder, the grey owls are disappearing.

The University of Helsinki team gathered 30 years' worth of genetic and population data on tawny owls. They found that the birds inherited their plumage colour from their parents. The grey tawnys, as well being better hidden from predators in the snow, seem to be endowed with other genetic advantages that make them healthier and stronger. But despite this, the brown owl population is now overtaking that of the greys, because the warmer winters have improved the brown owls' chances of survival.

The lead researcher, Dr Patrik Karell, said that this showed that the birds were evolving in response to climate change, so the tawny owl gene pool is actually getting browner. This is the first evidence of climate change having such an effect in the animal kingdom.

Glossary 词汇表

tawny owls棕色猫头鹰

camouflage(动物的)保护色

counterparts 相似的物种

milder 越来越温暖

plumage colour鸟类羽毛的颜色

predators 食肉动物

endowed 赋予

in response to对…做出反应

gene pool基因库

the animal kingdom动物王国,动物界

来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: http://www.tingvoa.com/html/20111222/61029.html