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多彩珊瑚礁

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多彩珊瑚礁

Gaze at the vivid yellows, blues1, and psychedelic(引起幻觉的) swirls2 of a single emperor angelfish(神仙鱼) and you'll sense the whimsy3(怪念头,反复无常) of evolution. Go on to explore its home in lush coral reefs and you'll soon hit sensory4 overload5, assaulted by colors and patterns that range from sublime6 to garish7. Coral reefs are unquestionably the world's most colorful places. But why?

For reasons known only to nature, color explodes across coral reefs, making them Earth's most vivid landscapes. Here in the shallows of a Fijian reef, brilliant soft corals wave in reds, pinks, and yellows as schools of fairy basslets FLASH orange and violet hues9. The basslets' different colors aid in species identification, mate recognition, and even camouflage10 as individuals mass against the kaleidoscope(万花筒) of the reef. What humans see lighted by a photographer's bright strobe may look altogether different in natural light through the eyes of reef creatures. Scientists are now beginning to learn how wavelengths11 of light (and therefore color) change through water at different distances, and—more important—how fish see colors and what messages they might communicate.

Bold horizontal bands of black, white, and yellow pop out on a well-lighted sweetlips (Plectorhinchus polytaenia) in Indonesia. The pattern and colors actually help distort the fish's outline when seen in natural light at a distance through water, helping12 the animal disappear from the view of potential predators14. Nearby, a neon cleaner wrasse also wears stark15 stripes. These little fish eat parasites16 off the flesh and mouths of other fish. The wrasse's stripes may signal that it is a useful helper rather than a ready meal. Neon wrasses vary in coloration geographically17. A yellow cast near the head (as shown here) indicates an Indonesian species; in Fiji many neon wrasses have a yellow blaze near the tail.

The Pacific blue tang (Paracanthurus hepatus)—also known as the artist's pallette surgeonfish due to the shape of the dark patch on its body—was immortalized by the character Dory in the film Finding Nemo. Unlike that benignly18 daft creature, this real-life surgeonfish in Indonesia carries a sharp retractable19 blade of bone near the base of its tail. The tail's yellow blaze gives potential foes20 fair warning: Armed and dangerous.

A leaf scorpionfish (Taenianotus triacanthus) scouts21 for errant fairy basslets in Fijian waters. This ambush22 predator13 can change its color to blend with its surroundings. It then lies still, waiting for prey23 to pass by. "We saw this fish pounce24 a couple of times," says photographer Tim Laman. "His mouth shot out and back in a fraction of a second."

A crescent-tailed bigeye (Priacanthus hamrur) seems to wear its emotions on its sleeve—or on its whole body. This sequence of three frames of the same fish shows how it can change from largely silver to striped to solid orange-red, a transformation25 that occurs in a matter of seconds. Pigment26 cells in its skin, called chromatophores, allow it to change color, but scientists don't yet know what each color pattern signifies. Sometimes a sudden shift in color can be used to startle potential predators or threaten intruders. Red light dissipates beyond about 30 feet (10 meters), so the reddish hue8 of this fish would appear black in deeper waters, allowing some degree of invisibility for this nocturnal hunter.

1 blues

n.抑郁,沮丧;布鲁斯音乐

参考例句:

She was in the back of a smoky bar singing the blues.她在烟雾弥漫的酒吧深处唱着布鲁斯歌曲。

He was in the blues on account of his failure in business.他因事业失败而意志消沉。

2 swirls

n.旋转( swirl的名词复数 );卷状物;漩涡;尘旋v.旋转,打旋( swirl的第三人称单数 )

参考例句:

Swirls of smoke rose through the trees. 树林中升起盘旋的青烟。 来自辞典例句

On reaching the southeast corner of Himalaya-Tibet, It'swirls cyclonically across the Yunnan Plateau. 在到达喜马拉雅--西藏高原东南角处,它作气旋性转向越过云南高原。 来自辞典例句

3 whimsy

n.古怪,异想天开

参考例句:

They are like oracular messages,but witty-jaunty at times-and sometimes trembling on the edge of whimsy.它们都像神谕,但很机智,有时极其轻快,有时又濒于怪诞。

He had a whimsy about flying to the moon.他有个想飞上月球的怪念头。

4 sensory

adj.知觉的,感觉的,知觉器官的

参考例句:

Human powers of sensory discrimination are limited.人类感官分辨能力有限。

The sensory system may undergo long-term adaptation in alien environments.感觉系统对陌生的环境可能经过长时期才能适应。

5 overload

vt.使超载;n.超载

参考例句:

Don't overload the boat or it will sink.别超载,否则船会沉。

Large meals overload the digestive system.吃得太饱会加重消化系统的负担。

6 sublime

adj.崇高的,伟大的;极度的,不顾后果的

参考例句:

We should take some time to enjoy the sublime beauty of nature.我们应该花些时间去欣赏大自然的壮丽景象。

Olympic games play as an important arena to exhibit the sublime idea.奥运会,就是展示此崇高理念的重要舞台。

7 garish

adj.华丽而俗气的,华而不实的

参考例句:

This colour is bright but not garish.这颜色艳而不俗。

They climbed the garish purple-carpeted stairs.他们登上铺着俗艳的紫色地毯的楼梯。

8 hue

n.色度;色调;样子

参考例句:

The diamond shone with every hue under the sun.金刚石在阳光下放出五颜六色的光芒。

The same hue will look different in different light.同一颜色在不同的光线下看起来会有所不同。

9 hues

色彩( hue的名词复数 ); 色调; 信仰; 观点

参考例句:

When the sun rose a hundred prismatic hues were reflected from it. 太阳一出,更把它映得千变万化、异彩缤纷。

Where maple trees grow, the leaves are often several brilliant hues of red. 在枫树生长的地方,枫叶常常呈现出数种光彩夺目的红色。

10 camouflage

n./v.掩饰,伪装

参考例句:

The white fur of the polar bear is a natural camouflage.北极熊身上的白色的浓密软毛是一种天然的伪装。

The animal's markings provide effective camouflage.这种动物身上的斑纹是很有效的伪装。

11 wavelengths 55c7c1db2849f4af018e7824d42c3ff2

n.波长( wavelength的名词复数 );具有相同的/不同的思路;合拍;不合拍

参考例句:

I find him difficult to talk to—we're on completely different wavelengths. 我没法和他谈话,因为我们俩完全不对路。 来自《简明英汉词典》

Sunlight consists of different wavelengths of radiation. 阳光由几种不同波长的射线组成。 来自辞典例句

12 helping

n.食物的一份&adj.帮助人的,辅助的

参考例句:

The poor children regularly pony up for a second helping of my hamburger. 那些可怜的孩子们总是要求我把我的汉堡包再给他们一份。

By doing this, they may at times be helping to restore competition. 这样一来, 他在某些时候,有助于竞争的加强。

13 predator

n.捕食其它动物的动物;捕食者

参考例句:

The final part of this chapter was devoted to a brief summary of predator species.本章最后部分简要总结了食肉动物。

Komodo dragon is the largest living lizard and a fearsome predator.科摩多龙是目前存在的最大蜥蜴,它是一种令人恐惧的捕食性动物。

14 predators

n.食肉动物( predator的名词复数 );奴役他人者(尤指在财务或性关系方面)

参考例句:

birds and their earthbound predators 鸟和地面上捕食它们的动物

The eyes of predators are highly sensitive to the slightest movement. 捕食性动物的眼睛能感觉到最细小的动静。 来自《简明英汉词典》

15 stark

adj.荒凉的;严酷的;完全的;adv.完全地

参考例句:

The young man is faced with a stark choice.这位年轻人面临严峻的抉择。

He gave a stark denial to the rumor.他对谣言加以完全的否认。

16 parasites

寄生物( parasite的名词复数 ); 靠他人为生的人; 诸虫

参考例句:

These symptoms may be referable to virus infection rather than parasites. 这些症状也许是由病毒感染引起的,而与寄生虫无关。

Kangaroos harbor a vast range of parasites. 袋鼠身上有各种各样的寄生虫。

17 geographically mg6xa

adv.地理学上,在地理上,地理方面

参考例句:

Geographically, the UK is on the periphery of Europe. 从地理位置上讲,英国处于欧洲边缘。 来自辞典例句

All these events, however geographically remote, urgently affected Western financial centers. 所有这些事件,无论发生在地理上如何遥远的地方,都对西方金融中心产生紧迫的影响。 来自名作英译部分

18 benignly

adv.仁慈地,亲切地

参考例句:

Everyone has to benignly help people in distress. 每一个人应让该亲切地帮助有困难的人。 来自互联网

This drug is benignly soporific. 这种药物具有良好的催眠效果。 来自互联网

19 retractable

adj.可收回的;可撤消的;可缩回的;可缩进的

参考例句:

a knife with a retractable blade 弹簧刀

So, any thoughts of what you want for the retractable bed kid? 那么想为那个睡折叠床的小子做什么? 来自电影对白

20 foes

敌人,仇敌( foe的名词复数 )

参考例句:

They steadily pushed their foes before them. 他们不停地追击敌人。

She had fought many battles, vanquished many foes. 她身经百战,挫败过很多对手。

21 scouts

侦察员[机,舰]( scout的名词复数 ); 童子军; 搜索; 童子军成员

参考例句:

to join the Scouts 参加童子军

The scouts paired off and began to patrol the area. 巡逻人员两个一组,然后开始巡逻这个地区。

22 ambush

n.埋伏(地点);伏兵;v.埋伏;伏击

参考例句:

Our soldiers lay in ambush in the jungle for the enemy.我方战士埋伏在丛林中等待敌人。

Four men led by a sergeant lay in ambush at the crossroads.由一名中士率领的四名士兵埋伏在十字路口。

23 prey

n.被掠食者,牺牲者,掠食;v.捕食,掠夺,折磨

参考例句:

Stronger animals prey on weaker ones.弱肉强食。

The lion was hunting for its prey.狮子在寻找猎物。

24 pounce

n.猛扑;v.猛扑,突然袭击,欣然同意

参考例句:

Why do you pounce on every single thing I say?干吗我说的每句话你都要找麻烦?

We saw the tiger about to pounce on the goat.我们看见老虎要向那只山羊扑过去。

25 transformation

n.变化;改造;转变

参考例句:

Going to college brought about a dramatic transformation in her outlook.上大学使她的观念发生了巨大的变化。

He was struggling to make the transformation from single man to responsible husband.他正在努力使自己由单身汉变为可靠的丈夫。

26 pigment

n.天然色素,干粉颜料

参考例句:

The Romans used natural pigments on their fabrics and walls.古罗马人在织物和墙壁上使用天然颜料。

Who thought he might know what the skin pigment phenomenon meant.他自认为可能知道皮肤色素出现这种现象到底是怎么回事。

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