2021考研英语阅读分析(3)

2020-06-27 03:25:12

Just because they cant sing opera or ride a bicycle doesnt mean that animals dont have culture. Theres no better example of this than killer whales. As one of the most brutal predators , killer whales may not fit the image of a cultured creature. However, these beasts of the sea do display a vast range of highly refined behaviors that appear to be driving their genetic development.

The word culture comes from the Latin colere which literally means to cultivate. In other words, it refers to anything that is acquired or learnt, rather than instinctive or natural. Among human populations, culture not only affects the way we live, but also writes itself into our genes, affecting who we are. For instance, having spent many generations hunting the fat marine mammals of the Arctic, the Eskimos of Greenland have developed certain genetic adaptations that help them digest and utilize this fat-rich diet, thereby allowing them to thrive in their cold climate.

Like humans, killer whales have colonized a range of different habitats across the globe, occupying every ocean basin on the planet with an empire that extends from pole to pole. As such, different populations of killer whales have had to learn different hunting techniques in order to gain the upper hand over their local prey. This, in turn, has a major effect on their diet, leading scientists to speculate that the ability to learn population-specific hunting methods could be driving the animals genetic development.

动物不会唱歌剧或不会骑自行车并不意味着它们就没有文化。对于这个问题,没有比虎鲸更好的例子了。作为最残忍的食肉动物之一,虎鲸可能不符合有文化的生物的形象。然而,这些海洋生物确实表现出了大量有教养的行为,这些行为似乎驱动着它们基因的发展。

文化这个词来自拉丁语colere,字面意思是培养。换句话说,它指的是任何后天习得、学到的东西,而不是本能的或天生的东西。在人类群体中,文化不仅影响着我们的生活方式,而且还写入了我们的基因,影响着我们的样子。例如,格陵兰岛的爱斯基摩人花了许多代人的时间猎捕北极地区的肥胖海洋哺乳动物,他们已经发展出某些帮助他们消化和利用这种富含脂肪的饮食的遗传适应性,从而使他们能够在寒冷的气候中发展壮大。

像人类一样,虎鲸在全球范围内聚居在一系列不同的栖息地,占据了地球上的每一个海洋盆地,形成了从一个极点延伸到另一个极点的帝国。因此,不同种群的虎鲸不得不学习不同的捕猎技巧,从而在与当地猎物的较量中占上风。这转而又会对它们的饮食产生重大影响,这促使科学家们推测,学习种群特定狩猎方法的能力可能会推动这些动物的基因进化。

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