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  • The evolutionary tango of animal genitalia.

    變化多端的動物生殖器演化

  • Can you guess what you're looking at?

    你能猜到這是什麼嗎?

  • If you answered "duck vagina," you'd be right.

    若你回答「鴨子陰道」,那你就對了

  • Although the bird's outward appearance may not strike you as especially odd,

    雖然鴨子的外貌或許不算奇特

  • it uses this strange, intricate,

    卻是透過這奇異、複雜

  • cork-screw shaped contraption to reproduce.

    螺旋型的裝置來繁衍

  • We see similarly unbelievable genitalia in insects,

    類似的奇特生殖器同樣存在於昆蟲

  • mammals,

    哺乳類

  • reptiles,

    爬蟲類

  • fish,

  • spiders,

    蜘蛛

  • and even snails.

    甚至是蝸牛

  • Apparently, no organs evolve faster and into more variable shapes

    很顯然比起其他器官,生殖器官演進速度更快

  • than those involved in procreation.

    構造也更多變

  • Superficially, it makes sense because evolution works via reproduction.

    表面看來這不難理解,畢竟演化就是透過生殖進行

  • When an animal leaves more offspring, its genes will spread.

    當一種動物擁有更多後代,基因也隨著傳撥出去

  • And since genitalia are an animal's tools for reproduction,

    而既然生殖器是動物賴以繁衍的工具

  • any improvement there will have immediate effect.

    任何相關的改進都會立即產生效果

  • And yet, what's the point of having such decorative nether regions?

    然而,有著如此花俏的下半身有何用意?

  • After all, the function of genitalia seems simple.

    畢竟生殖器的運作很單純

  • A penis deposits a bit of sperm

    陰莖釋出一些精子

  • and a vagina receives it and delivers it to the egg.

    陰道接收精子,使卵受精

  • A pipette-like thingy on the male

    雄性擁有滴管型的物體

  • and a funnel-like gizmo on the female should do just fine for any animal.

    雌性擁有漏斗型的構造,這樣對任何動物而言照樣能生殖

  • And yet, that's not what we see.

    但情況並非如此

  • The penis of a chicken flea, for example, looks nothing like a pipette,

    舉例來說,雞蚤的陰莖一點也不像滴管

  • more like an exploded grandfather clock.

    比較像是爆掉的老爺鐘

  • And the vagina of a featherwing beetle

    而一隻羽翅甲蟲的陰道

  • resembles something you'd find in a Dr. Seuss book.

    則形似你在蘇斯博士書裡可能會看到的東西

  • Throughout the animal kingdom,

    在動物世界裡

  • genitalia are very complex things,

    生殖器是很複雜的東西

  • much more complicated than seems necessary for what they're meant to do.

    比起單單為了繁殖還要繁瑣許多

  • That's because genitalia do more than just deposit and receive sperm.

    那是因為生殖器的功用遠多於只是保存精子還有受精

  • Many male animals also use the penis as courtship device, like crane flies.

    許多雄性動物使用牠們的陰莖來求偶,比如大蚊

  • In some South American species,

    某些南美品種的公大蚊

  • males have a tiny washboard and scraper on their penis,

    在陰莖上有迷你洗衣板和刮具

  • which produces a song that reverberates throughout the female's body

    透過交配在母大蚊的體內

  • when they mate.

    迴響一首樂曲

  • It's thought that if female crane flies enjoy this unusual serenade,

    人們猜想要是母大蚊喜歡這首奇特的小夜曲

  • they'll allow the male to father their offspring.

    就會允許公大蚊與牠們繁殖

  • This way, the genes of the most musical penises spread,

    這樣看來,保有最具音樂性陰莖的基因得以延續

  • leading to rapid evolution of insects' phalluses.

    使得昆蟲陰莖迅速演化

  • Similarly, some beetles have two little drumsticks on either side of the penis.

    類似的還有某些甲蟲在陰莖的兩側會有小鼓槌

  • During mating, they'll rub, slap, or tap the female with these.

    在交配過程,它們會摩擦、拍打、或是敲打母甲蟲

  • And some hoofed mammals, like rams and bulls,

    還有一些有蹄哺乳類動物,像是公羊和公牛

  • use a whip-like extension on the penis's left side

    會運用陰莖左側形似鞭子的延伸物

  • to create a sensation during mating.

    帶來交配過程的愉悅感

  • But how can females really choose between males

    但雌性在交配後才能評估

  • if she can only assess them after mating?

    又該如何在眾多雄性間做出抉擇?

  • This is where the power of female adaptation comes into play.

    這就是雌性擇偶能力浮出檯面的時候

  • In fact, insemination is different to conception,

    事實上,接了精子並不等於受精

  • and the female genitalia exploit this distinction.

    雌性生殖器活用了這個差異性

  • For instance, in some dung flies,

    比如有些糞蠅的陰道

  • the vagina contains pockets for separating sperm from different males

    設置有口袋可以分放來自不同雄性的精子

  • depending on how appealing they were.

    這全取決於不同的精子有何優勢

  • Males using their penises for courtship

    雄性運用陰莖求偶

  • and females controlling their own sperm management

    雌性調控管理精子

  • are two reasons why genitalia evolve into such complex shapes.

    這是為何生殖器演變成複雜形狀的兩個原因

  • But there are others

    但還有其他因素

  • because genitalia are also where a sexual conflict is played out.

    因為生殖器也是交配抗爭上演的地方

  • A female's interests are best served if she fertilizes her eggs

    對於雌性來說,用來源最好的精子使卵受精

  • with the sperm of the best fathers

    是最好的結果

  • and creates genetic variability amongst her offspring.

    並能使後代保有基因多樣性

  • For a male, on the other hand, this is bad news.

    這對於雄性來說卻是個壞消息

  • For him, it would be best if a female used his sperm

    對雄性而言,最好的情況是牠所有的精子

  • to fertilize all of her eggs.

    皆被拿來使卵受精

  • So we see cycles of adaptation in an evolutionary arms race

    我們因而看到在自然選擇淘汰下

  • to retain control.

    多方爭奪主控權

  • Black widow spiders have a disposable penis tip

    黑寡婦蜘蛛拋棄式的陰莖頭部

  • that breaks off inside the vagina blocking the attempts of his rivals,

    會斷裂在陰道內,擋住對手精子前進的道路

  • and bed bug males bypass a female's genitalia altogether

    公床蝨則透過像注射器的陰莖

  • using a syringe-like penis to inject sperm cells directly into her belly.

    繞過母床蝨的生殖器,將精子直接注入腹腔

  • Not to be outdone,

    不輕易任人擺佈

  • females have evolved their own countermeasures.

    母床蝨演變出一套對策

  • In some bed bug species,

    在某些品種的床蝨

  • the females have evolved an entirely new set of genitalia

    雌性演化出一套全新的生殖器

  • on their right hand flanks where the males usually pierce them.

    位於公床蝨通常會刺穿的右腹部

  • That allows them to maintain the power to filter out unwanted sperm

    讓她們保有透過生殖器篩選精子

  • with their genitalia.

    的能力

  • And duck vaginas are shaped like a clockwise spiral

    鴨子的陰道則是順時針的螺旋狀

  • so that when the male inflates his long, counterclockwise coiled penis into her,

    所以當公鴨挺入逆時針的捲曲長陰莖時

  • and she disapproves,

    母鴨能夠抵抗

  • all she needs to do is flex her vaginal muscles

    只需彎曲牠的陰道肌

  • and the penis just flubs out.

    陰莖就沒搞頭了

  • So, genitalia differs so much, not just to fascinate us,

    生殖器之所以型式多變,並非為了驚豔他人

  • but because in every species,

    而是因為在各種物種中

  • they're the result of a furious evolutionary tango of sex

    這些生殖器是透過如此激烈的演化過程而來

  • that has been going on for millions of years

    演化歷經了數百萬年

  • and will continue for millions of years to come.

    未來也將持續下去

The evolutionary tango of animal genitalia.

變化多端的動物生殖器演化

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B2 中高級 中文 英國腔 TED-Ed 生殖器 精子 陰莖 雌性 雄性

【TED-Ed】動物生殖器演化,比你想像得複雜多!(The evolution of animal genitalia - Menno Schilthuizen)

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    April Lu 發佈於 2017 年 08 月 06 日
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