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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第635期:神秘的两足动物(13)

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These were the australopithecines, and for the next five million years they would be the world's dominant hominid species. (Austral is from the Latin for "southern" and has no connection in this context to Australia.) Australopithecines came in several varieties, some slender and gracile, like Raymond Dart's Taung child, others more sturdy and robust, but all were capable of walking upright. Some of these species existed for well over a million years, others for a more modest few hundred thousand, but it is worth bearing in mind that even the least successful had histories many times longer than we have yet achieved.
这些就是非洲南方古猿。在以后的500多万年里,它们成为世界占据主导地位的人科动物。(Austral源于拉丁语,是“南方”的意思,这里与澳大利亚无任何关系。)非洲南方古猿形成了几个分支,有的较为纤细,像雷蒙德·达特发现的塔翁男孩,有的较为粗壮,但是它们全都能直立行走。这些种属有的存在了足足100多万年,有的只存在了几十万年。但是有一点必须明确,即便是生存年代最短的种类,它们的历史也是我们的好多倍。
The most famous hominid remains in the world are those of a 3.18-million-year-old australopithecine found at Hadar in Ethiopia in 1974 by a team led by Donald Johanson. Formally known as A.L. (for "Afar Locality") 288-1, the skeleton became more familiarly known as Lucy, after the Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." Johanson has never doubted her importance. "She is our earliest ancestor, the missing link between ape and human," he has said.

最有名的人科动物遗骸是1974年由唐纳德·约翰森带领的考古小组在埃塞俄比亚的哈达尔发现的几块318万年前的南方古猿化石。它的编号是A.L(意思是“阿法地区”)288 -1。后来,人们根据披头士乐队一首动听的歌曲《在钻石天空下的露西》给她取了一个更为亲切的名字名露西。约翰森从未怀疑她的重要性。他说:“是我们最早的祖先。猿和人类之间的缺环。”

Lucy was tiny—just three and a half feet tall. She could walk, though how well is a matter of some dispute. She was evidently a good climber, too. Much else is unknown. Her skull was almost entirely missing, so little could be said with confidence about her brain size, though skull fragments suggested it was small. Most books describe Lucy's skeleton as being 40 percent complete, though some put it closer to half, and one produced by the American Museum of Natural History describes Lucy as two-thirds complete. The BBC television series Ape Man actually called it "a complete skeleton," even while showing that it was anything but.
露西身材短小——只有1米高,她会行走,尽管她是否能很好地行走还没有定论。她明显是一位攀缘高手,其他方面的情况就无从考证了。她的头盏骨几乎完全不在了,因此很难有把握确定她的脑容量大小,不过残留的头盏骨碎片表明她的大脑并不大。在提到露西的骨骼时,有很多书上说其中40%是完整的,有的说接近50%是完整的,美国自然史博物馆出版的书中则说三分之二是完整的,而BBC电视系列节目《猿人》的的解说词甚至说是“一副完整的骨骼”,可是电视镜头里所显示的图像根本不是如此。
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['ænsistə]

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n. 祖宗,祖先,原种

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江苏快三计划adj. 强健的,健全的

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江苏快三计划n. 登山者;攀缘植物;尽力改善自己社会地位的人

 
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adj. 占优势的,主导的,显性的
n. 主宰

 
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n. 骨架,纲要,骨骼,骨瘦如柴的人或动物,家丑

 
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n. 头骨,骷髅头
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