Trunks, Tusks, and Big Brains|象鼻、象牙,和『大』脑


by Evan M. Gioia

It is said that elephants never forget a face, but they also never cease to amaze.

  In the 1970s, two Asian elephants, Jenny and Shirley, performed in the same traveling circus for a few months only to be separated soon afterward. In 1999, after being apart for more than 20 years, Jenny and Shirley were _(1)_ at the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee. Shirley and Jenny spent every last waking moment together foraging for food, drinking from creeks, or sleeping in their den. Sadly, these two friends were separated once and _(2)_ all when Jenny died in 2006. Jenny and Shirley's _(3)_ reunion provides an amazing insight into these animals' incredible powers of intelligence, compassion, and memory.


  The source of elephants' remarkable cognitive abilities lies _(4)_ their enlarged brains. Naturally, big animals have huge brains, though it is the _(5)_ of elephants' brains that rivals that of even the cleverest beasts in the animal kingdom. This is most _(6)_ demonstrated in how elephants grieve over the loss of a loved one. In the wild, when an elephant dies, the other members of the herd will stand around the carcass _(7)_ mournfully for hours until sunrise. Soon afterwards, they will take tree branches, sticks, and leaves to cover the remains as if to bury the _(8)_ elephant. Elephants are the only animals, besides humans, that have recognizable rituals for death. These ritualistic behaviors play a pivotal role in the inner workings of elephant society.


  Most elephants in the wild live in highly matriarchal, close-knit families. Matriarchs will lead a mixed group of 20 to 30 sisters, aunts, daughters, and young calves, with each sharing in the responsibilities of daily life. Older male elephants typically live out their days in _(9)_. They join a herd only during mating season. It is this tight family structure _(10)_ helps young calves to learn about their environment, so that after 20 years they may still remember their favorite watering holes, places to forage, and even their best friends they have not seen in years.


(A) in (B) solitude (C) for (D) trumpeting (E) deceased

(F) reunited (G) that (H) complexity (I) heartwarming (J) acutely

 

象鼻、象牙,和『大』脑

据说大象永远不会忘记见过的脸孔,而牠们也永远充满惊奇。

  1970 年代,两头名叫珍妮和雪莉的亚洲象在同一个巡回马戏团里表演了几个月的时间,但不久后就被分开了。珍妮和雪莉彼此分离二十多年后,牠们终于在 1999 年于田纳西州霍恩沃尔德的大象保护区再度重逢。在生命的最后时光里,雪莉和珍妮时时刻刻都待在一起,牠们一同觅食、一同在溪边喝水或是一同在牠们的兽栏里睡觉。遗憾的是,珍妮于 2006 年去世,这对好友便彻底地分离了。珍妮和雪莉之间温馨的重逢让我们对于这些动物惊人的智慧、同情心和记忆力有了深刻的了解。


  大象卓越的认知能力来自牠们体积很大的大脑。体型较大的动物,大脑自然也会比较大,但是大象的聪明才智之所以能媲美动物王国中最聪明的野兽是因为其大脑结构的复杂性。这从大象悼念失去挚爱的表现中一览无遗。在野外,当一头大象过世时,象群里的其他成员会围绕着牠的尸体并悲伤地吼叫,持续数个小时,直至天明。不久之后,牠们会将树枝、树条和树叶覆盖在死去的大象身上,就如同埋葬牠一样。除了人类以外,大象是唯一拥有对死亡仪式有所认知的动物。这些仪式性的行为在象群社会的内部运作中扮演了重要的角色。


  大部份的野生象都生活在母系地位崇高且关系紧密的家族里。母象家长会带领着大约二十到三十头不等的姊妹、阿姨、女儿以及幼象,共同分担日常生活中的各项职责。年纪较长的公象通常则会独自度过余年。牠们只有在交配期才会加入象群。正是这样紧密的家庭结构使幼象能够了解牠们的生长环境,以致于在二十年后,牠们可能还记得自己最喜欢的水坑、觅食的地方,甚至是数年未见的挚友。


答案: 1. F 2. C 3. I 4. A 5. H

6. J 7. D 8. E 9. B 10. G




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Trunks, Tusks, and Big Brains|象鼻、象牙,和『大』脑