Thu, Jul 18, 2013 - Page 10 News List

Lizard King: Giant reptile named after Jim Morrison
蜥蜴王:巨型爬蟲類動物以歌手吉姆‧莫里森命名

Barbatuex morrisoni, named after singer Jim Morrison.
以歌手吉姆‧莫里森命名的Barbatuex morrisoni生物。

Photo: AFP
照片:法新社

A giant lizard that lived 40 million years ago has been named in honor of rock singer Jim Morrison, palaeontologists say.

Around 180cm from snout to tail and tipping the scales at up to 27kg, the plant-eating reptile is one of the biggest-known lizards ever to have lived on land. It competed with mammals for food in the humid tropical forests of Southeast Asia.

“We think the warm climate during the late-middle Eocene period allowed the evolution of a large body size and the ability of plant-eating lizards to successfully compete in mammal faunas,” said Jason Head of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, who led the analysis.

The palaeontologists have named the long-extinct species Barbaturex morrisoni — “Barbaturex” means “bearded king” — after the team found ridges on the underside of the jaw that give lizards a beard-like appearance. “Morrisoni” is in tribute to The Doors frontman Morrison, famed for his fascination with reptiles and shamanism.

“I was listening to The Doors quite a bit during research,” said Head. “Some of their musical imagery includes reptiles and ancient places, and Jim Morrison was of course the Lizard King, so it kind of came together.”

(Liberty Times)

古生物學家表示,一種生活在距今四千萬年前的巨型蜥蜴,已被依照搖滾歌手吉姆.莫里森之名來命名。

這種草食性爬蟲類動物自鼻尖到尾巴長約一百八十公分,體重可達二十七公斤,是陸地上體型最大的蜥蜴之一。牠在濕熱的東南亞森林中和哺乳動物爭奪食物。

「我們認為始新世中晚期的溫暖氣候促使生物演化出較大體型,並讓食草性爬蟲類動物能夠成功與哺乳動物競爭,」主持這項分析的內布拉斯加州大學林肯分校學者海德說。

古生物學家把這種早已絕種的物種命名為Barbaturex morrisoni。Barbaturex意指「鬍鬚王」,因為研究團隊在這種蜥蜴的下顎底下發現脊狀突起,使其看起來像是留了鬍子。Morrisoni則是向搖滾樂團「門」的主唱莫里森致敬,莫里森生前以對爬蟲類動物與薩滿教著迷聞名。

「我在研究期間常常聽『門』的歌,」海德說。「他們的部分音樂意象包括了爬蟲類動物和古代地點,而莫里森當然又是眾所周知的蜥蜴王,所以配合得剛剛好。」

(自由時報/翻譯:俞智敏)

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. tip the scales at v. phr.

重達… (zhong4 da2 …)

例: The soldier tipped the scales at 90kg.

(這位士兵重達九十公斤。)

2. fauna n.

動物群 (dong4 wu4 qun2)

例: He is studying the diverse fauna of the island.

(他正研究這座島上多樣的動物群。)

3. come together v. phr.

按照希望的方式進行 (an4 zhao4 xi1 wang4 de5 fang1 shi4 jin4 xing2)

例: The project started slowly, but everything is finally starting to come together now.

(這項計畫起步很慢,但現在一切終於都開始步上軌道。)


This story has been viewed 1115 times.
TOP top