動物界的愛情大騙子

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動物界的愛情大騙子

作者 Jenny Wilsen

Cheaters of the Animal Kingdom

 

Our friends in the animal kingdom might not show their love with roses and chocolates, but some species do so in their own way. Partnered swans swim neck-to-neck, and gorillas groom one another for intimacy. These animals are thought to be in love and faithful, but that’s simply not the case! But, just because these animals have decided to stick with one mate, not all of them remain faithful. From swans to vultures to gorillas, animals cheat. Male great grey shrikes, a kind of small bird that lives in northern climates, will bring his “wife” gifts of lizards, insects, and mice, but he will bring his “mistress” gifts of even larger lizards, insects, and mice. Female baboons will venture away from their group to have “extramarital” affairs with males from other groups.

Not every cheater gets away with his actions! Black vultures, known for flying in circles over dead animals and fighting viciously over food, mate for life. Their love affair starts with an impressive dance, and pairs of birds will set up nests and care for each other. When one is thought to be cheating, though, the community comes together to attack the cheater and show the cheater that he or she has broken the rules. Once the punishment has been delivered, it’s back to life as usual for these birds.

Some animals make it through  thick and thin, working together to raise little ones and keep each other safe. Penguins will couple together to build a nest and produce an egg, and they have been seen to pair up with the same mate a few years in a row. One couple of Magellanic penguins have met up 16 years in a row, an especially long time when you consider that penguins only live about 20 years!

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動物界的愛情大騙子

 

動物們也許不會用玫瑰花和巧克力示愛,但有些仍會以自己的方式表達愛意。成雙成對的天鵝形影相隨地優游,大猩猩則幫彼此整理毛髮以示親密。這些動物看起來像是忠誠的眷侶,但事實並非如此!上面提到的這兩種動物雖然和另一半形影不離,但並非都能和另一半天長地久。舉凡天鵝、禿鷹和大猩猩,這些動物還是會偷吃。雄性的灰伯勞鳥是一種棲息於北方氣候的小型鳥類,牠會送上蜥蜴、昆蟲和老鼠這類的食物給「元配夫人」,然而卻會送更大隻的蜥蜴、昆蟲和老鼠給牠的「小情婦」。母狒狒則會放膽脫離自己的族群,和其他族群中的公狒狒發展「婚外情」。

但並非所有的負心漢都能全身而退!黑美洲鷲是以盤旋腐屍、爭相搶食而聞名的鳥類,但卻會為了繁衍下一代而尋找終生伴侶。牠們會用一段別出心裁的舞蹈展開戀情,配對成功後便會共築愛巢、照顧彼此。當一方有出軌的跡象時,族群裡的其他夥伴會聯合攻擊背叛者,讓對方明白牠犯了錯。一旦懲罰落實,最後還是可以盡棄前嫌,回歸往常的生活。

有些動物會和另一半同甘共苦,共同撫育下一代並守護彼此。企鵝會共同築巢、下蛋,而且連續好幾年下來都維持同一位伴侶。其中有一對麥哲倫企鵝甚至相守了16年之久,當你知道企鵝的壽命只有20年時,你就會知道這就像是一輩子一樣長!

// 精選單字 //

  • cheater 騙子(cheat為動詞「欺騙」)
  • intimacy 親密;親密感
  • faithful 忠誠的
  • mate 伴侶
  • mistress 情婦
  • extramarital affair 婚外情
  • get away with 脫身;潛逃
  • through thick and thin 同甘共苦