Wed, Jul 31, 2013 - Page 11 News List

Panda cub natural tongue roller
圓仔吐舌頭 是捲的

The panda cub Yuanzai rolls her tongue at the Taipei Zoo on July 27.
大貓熊寶寶圓仔七月二十七日於台北市動物園捲舌。

Photo courtesy of the Taipei Zoo
照片由台北市立動物園提供

Pandas are natural tongue rollers, and the newborn panda cub tentatively being called Yuanzai, or baby “rice meatball,” is no exception either. Right after being born, whether she is yawning, drinking milk or pooping, she continually has on display her natural tongue rolling abilities. Animal caretakers caught an adorable picture of Yuanzai rolling her tongue on July 27. When she grows up she will be able to use her tongue as a straw to drink water.

Chang Shih-hua, chief of the Taipei Zoo’s Panda Reproduction Center, says that tongue rolling is a dominant gene trait, just like in humans, if one parent carries the gene it will be passed on to their children as an AA or Aa combination, possibly giving the child the ability to roll their tongue. If the gene is not inherited, they will not be able to roll their tongue, and it is not something that can be acquired.

The dominant gene for tongue rolling in pandas is stronger than it is in other animals, he says, adding that according to current data nearly all pandas are capable of rolling their tongues, giving the animal a special behavioral characteristic. Many animals use their tongues to lap up water by creating a rippling effect on the surface of the water, but pandas usually roll their tongues to create a straw effect to drink water, leaving the surface of the water relatively calm, Chang says.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

大貓熊是天生的捲舌好手,就連「圓仔」出生沒多久,現在不論打呵欠、喝奶或排便的時候,都會展露高超的捲舌技巧,動物保育員七月二十七日也捕捉到「圓仔」可愛捲舌的模樣,未來長大後,還可以把舌頭捲起來當作吸管一樣吸水。

大貓熊繁殖計畫召集人張志華說,「捲舌」基因為顯性基因,就如同人類,父母其中一方攜帶此基因,使後代的遺傳基因產生AA或Aa的組合,子女就有可能會捲舌,若未攜帶此基因,便不會產生捲舌行為,有些人要學也學不會。

他也說,因大貓熊「捲舌」的顯性基因較強,從目前文獻來看,幾乎所有大貓熊都會捲舌,這也使牠產生了一種特別的行為,許多動物在喝水時,是用舌頭直接舔水,會使水面產生漣漪,但大貓熊喝水的時候,會把舌頭捲起來當作吸管一樣吸水,因此水面仍然是平靜的。

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. inherit v.

遺傳 (yi2 chuan2)

例: You must have inherited your talent for dancing from your mother. I have two left feet.

(你必定從你媽媽那邊遺傳了舞蹈天分。我只有兩隻左腳。)

2. acquire v.

學到;養成 (xue2 dao4; yang3 cheng2)

例: Jim’s acquired a knack for writing catchy melodies.

(吉姆學會寫動聽而易記的旋律。)

3. lap up v. phr.

舔光;舔完 (tian3 guang1; tian3 wan2)

例: You’d better lap it up. Between the four of us there definitely won’t be anything left after we’re done.

(趕快舔光吧。我們四個人吃完定沒有剩餘。)


(自由時報記者邱紹雯如)

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