文章来源:未知 文章作者:enread 发布时间:2020-07-13 09:20 字体: [ ]  进入论坛
We all need a little pampering1 from time to time and the animal world is no exception. Creatures from the same species, and frequently from a completely different one, engage in a variety of cleaning and grooming2 behaviours for a wide range of disparate reasons. So slip on a fluffy3 robe, lie back, relax and enjoy a mini spa day courtesy of these beautiful bathing beasts.
Let’s start at the top shall we? It’s a familiar, practically iconic, image. A group of primates4, huddled5 together, grooming one another. Delicately picking at, and stroking, the fur of a companion and popping the occasional tasty morsel6 into their mouths. But what purpose does it serve? This allogrooming, or tending to the pelt7 of a member of the same species, is certainly social, used to indicate dominant8 social structure as well as to help fend9 off disease from germ-carrying parasites10 or ticks. But there are other, more surprising benefits. In macaques, this sort of attention has been shown to reduce heart rate and alleviate11 stress, while a study of vervet monkeys has shown that grooming helps to insulate their fur by fluffing it up like a duvet.
Sometimes a grooming or cleaning regime helps to reach the parts that other grooming can’t reach. Honey bees are fastidious cleaners. Through millions of years of evolution, they instinctually know that their hive has to be kept completely clean of microbes and any other germ-ridden threat from the outside world. Which is tricky12, as they tend to deal in the transportation of sticky substances such as pollen13 and propolis, or ‘bee glue’ which is used to construct their hives. To make sure they are free of such residue14, a specially15 designated worker bee will clean the mouth parts, antenna16 and any other bits of the insect that they can’t quite reach themselves.
But you don’t have to rely on members of your own clan17 to help keep spick and span. Some quite extraordinary, symbiotic18 relationships have developed between differing species which occasionally involve creatures that would usually be viewed as predator19 and prey20. One of the more remarkable21 involves the Nile Crocodile and the Egyptian Plover22. Against every natural instinct pulsating23 through its little bird brain, the plover flies into the croc’s mouth and frees food that’s stuck to their not insubstantial teeth. As well as the birds getting a quick snack, it helps to stave off infection that trapped morsels24 can cause in the crocodile’s mouth.
If you’ve ever known or been in close contact with a cat, you’ll appreciate that they have a tendency to be needy26. And kneady. Yes, cats love to knead. They push on a surface - another cat, a cushion, their owners - with a distinctive27 left paw, right paw motion, as if they are massaging28 whatever they are touching29. Or possibly making bread. But why do they do it? In fact, no one is really sure. One theory is it’s a throwback to kittenhood, when it was a technique used to start the flow of milk from their mother’s teat, so they repeat it when feeling safe and content. Another notion is that it harkens back to ancestral big cat behaviour, when they would trample30 down a soft space before sleeping or giving birth. Or else it’s a territorial31 thing, marking a spot with the scent32 glands33 on their paws. Nothing is ever straightforward34 with cats.
Thankfully, that strange craze for fish being used to nibble35 dead skin from people’s feet as a form of pedicure has passed by. Unless you’re a hippo. Hippos are known for being incredibly bad-tempered36 and quick to anger. So most animals steer37 well clear of them once they appear. Except for the wily barb38 fish who shadows a wallowing hippo as it relaxes on a riverbed, then nibbles39 and chews at its patient’s skin, removing parasites and unwanted intruders from any cracks and scars on the surface. They even delve40 into the hippo’s mouth for a quick dental check. Rather than being annoyed, the hippo seems to enjoy the experience and then actually goes into a sort of trance after being attended to, lying in the water, eyes closed and without a care in the world.
It may appear to be an unfeeling shield of bone, but the shell of the Hawaiian green sea turtle is covered in living skin and needs to be looked after. Many types of fish, such as the striking yellow tang fish, line up to clean algae41 from their shells, acting42 like a sort of ‘fish car wash’. The turtles even adopt a specific, ‘standing on tiptoe’ posture43, so every inch of them can be dealt with. Some researchers believe that the turtles don’t necessarily appreciate why the algae needs to be removed, or even if it necessarily has to be cleaned at all, and so they partake in this behaviour merely for the pleasant tickling44 sensation it produces.


1 pampering 02c53488e446442c68ed39d5e01ab5f1     
v.纵容,宠,娇养( pamper的现在分词 )
  • But you need to make an appointment because these people are usually very busy pampering pets. 但是你需要先预约,因为这些人通常都在忙于照顾宠物们。 来自超越目标英语 第2册
  • He had been pampering, and coaxing, and indulging that individual all his life. 他一生都在姑息、迁就、纵容那家伙。 来自辞典例句
2 grooming grooming     
n. 修饰, 美容,(动物)梳理毛发
  • You should always pay attention to personal grooming. 你应随时注意个人仪容。
  • We watched two apes grooming each other. 我们看两只猩猩在互相理毛。
3 fluffy CQjzv     
  • Newly hatched chicks are like fluffy balls.刚孵出的小鸡像绒毛球。
  • The steamed bread is very fluffy.馒头很暄。
4 primates 9536f12c27d026e37c108bd6fc53dbba     
  • Primates are alert, inquisitive animals. 灵长目动物是机灵、好奇的动物。
  • Consciousness or cerebration has been said to have emerged in the evolution of higher primates. 据说意识或思考在较高级灵长类的进化中已出现。
5 huddled 39b87f9ca342d61fe478b5034beb4139     
  • We huddled together for warmth. 我们挤在一块取暖。
  • We huddled together to keep warm. 我们挤在一起来保暖。
6 morsel Q14y4     
  • He refused to touch a morsel of the food they had brought.他们拿来的东西他一口也不吃。
  • The patient has not had a morsel of food since the morning.从早上起病人一直没有进食。
7 pelt A3vzi     
  • The boy gave the bully a pelt on the back with a pebble.那男孩用石子掷击小流氓的背脊。
  • Crowds started to pelt police cars with stones.人群开始向警车扔石块。
8 dominant usAxG     
  • The British were formerly dominant in India.英国人从前统治印度。
  • She was a dominant figure in the French film industry.她在法国电影界是个举足轻重的人物。
9 fend N78yA     
  • I've had to fend for myself since I was 14.我从十四岁时起就不得不照料自己。
  • He raised his arm up to fend branches from his eyes.他举手将树枝从他眼前挡开。
10 parasites a8076647ef34cfbbf9d3cb418df78a08     
寄生物( parasite的名词复数 ); 靠他人为生的人; 诸虫
  • These symptoms may be referable to virus infection rather than parasites. 这些症状也许是由病毒感染引起的,而与寄生虫无关。
  • Kangaroos harbor a vast range of parasites. 袋鼠身上有各种各样的寄生虫。
11 alleviate ZxEzJ     
  • The doctor gave her an injection to alleviate the pain.医生给她注射以减轻疼痛。
  • Nothing could alleviate his distress.什么都不能减轻他的痛苦。
12 tricky 9fCzyd     
  • I'm in a rather tricky position.Can you help me out?我的处境很棘手,你能帮我吗?
  • He avoided this tricky question and talked in generalities.他回避了这个非常微妙的问题,只做了个笼统的表述。
13 pollen h1Uzz     
  • Hummingbirds have discovered that nectar and pollen are very nutritious.蜂鸟发现花蜜和花粉是很有营养的。
  • He developed an allergy to pollen.他对花粉过敏。
14 residue 6B0z1     
  • Mary scraped the residue of food from the plates before putting them under water.玛丽在把盘子放入水之前先刮去上面的食物残渣。
  • Pesticide persistence beyond the critical period for control leads to residue problems.农药一旦超过控制的临界期,就会导致残留问题。
15 specially Hviwq     
  • They are specially packaged so that they stack easily.它们经过特别包装以便于堆放。
  • The machine was designed specially for demolishing old buildings.这种机器是专为拆毁旧楼房而设计的。
16 antenna QwTzN     
  • The workman fixed the antenna to the roof of the house.工人把天线固定在房顶上。
  • In our village, there is an antenna on every roof for receiving TV signals.在我们村里,每家房顶上都有天线接收电视信号。
17 clan Dq5zi     
  • She ranks as my junior in the clan.她的辈分比我小。
  • The Chinese Christians,therefore,practically excommunicate themselves from their own clan.所以,中国的基督徒简直是被逐出了自己的家族了。
18 symbiotic FrbwR     
  • Racing has always had a symbiotic relationship with betting.赛马总是与赌博相挂钩。
  • Engineering completely new symbiotic relationship is obviously not an imminent possibility.筹划完全新的共生关系显然是可能性不大。
19 predator 11vza     
  • The final part of this chapter was devoted to a brief summary of predator species.本章最后部分简要总结了食肉动物。
  • Komodo dragon is the largest living lizard and a fearsome predator.科摩多龙是目前存在的最大蜥蜴,它是一种令人恐惧的捕食性动物。
20 prey g1czH     
  • Stronger animals prey on weaker ones.弱肉强食。
  • The lion was hunting for its prey.狮子在寻找猎物。
21 remarkable 8Vbx6     
  • She has made remarkable headway in her writing skills.她在写作技巧方面有了长足进步。
  • These cars are remarkable for the quietness of their engines.这些汽车因发动机没有噪音而不同凡响。
22 plover HlLz11     
  • He wondered if the plover was the fastest bird.他想知道千鸟是不是最快的鸟。
  • American plover of inland waters and fields having a distinctive cry.美洲内陆水域和牧场的鸻,叫声特别。
23 pulsating d9276d5eaa70da7d97b300b971f0d74b     
adj.搏动的,脉冲的v.有节奏地舒张及收缩( pulsate的现在分词 );跳动;脉动;受(激情)震动
  • Lights were pulsating in the sky. 天空有闪烁的光。
  • Spindles and fingers moved so quickly that the workshop seemed to be one great nervously-pulsating machine. 工作很紧张,全车间是一个飞快的转轮。 来自子夜部分
24 morsels ed5ad10d588acb33c8b839328ca6c41c     
n.一口( morsel的名词复数 );(尤指食物)小块,碎屑
  • They are the most delicate morsels. 这些确是最好吃的部分。 来自辞典例句
  • Foxes will scratch up grass to find tasty bug and beetle morsels. 狐狸会挖草地,寻找美味的虫子和甲壳虫。 来自互联网
25 massage 6ouz43     
  • He is really quite skilled in doing massage.他的按摩技术确实不错。
  • Massage helps relieve the tension in one's muscles.按摩可使僵硬的肌肉松弛。
26 needy wG7xh     
  • Although he was poor,he was quite generous to his needy friends.他虽穷,但对贫苦的朋友很慷慨。
  • They awarded scholarships to needy students.他们给贫苦学生颁发奖学金。
27 distinctive Es5xr     
  • She has a very distinctive way of walking.她走路的样子与别人很不相同。
  • This bird has several distinctive features.这个鸟具有几种突出的特征。
28 massaging 900a624ac429d397d32b1f3bb9f962f1     
按摩,推拿( massage的现在分词 )
  • He watched the prisoner massaging his freed wrists. 他看着那个犯人不断揉搓着刚松开的两只手腕。
  • Massaging your leg will ease the cramp. 推拿大腿可解除抽筋。
29 touching sg6zQ9     
  • It was a touching sight.这是一幅动人的景象。
  • His letter was touching.他的信很感人。
30 trample 9Jmz0     
  • Don't trample on the grass. 勿踏草地。
  • Don't trample on the flowers when you play in the garden. 在花园里玩耍时,不要踩坏花。
31 territorial LImz4     
  • The country is fighting to preserve its territorial integrity.该国在为保持领土的完整而进行斗争。
  • They were not allowed to fish in our territorial waters.不允许他们在我国领海捕鱼。
32 scent WThzs     
  • The air was filled with the scent of lilac.空气中弥漫着丁香花的芬芳。
  • The flowers give off a heady scent at night.这些花晚上散发出醉人的芳香。
33 glands 82573e247a54d4ca7619fbc1a5141d80     
n.腺( gland的名词复数 )
  • a snake's poison glands 蛇的毒腺
  • the sebaceous glands in the skin 皮脂腺
34 straightforward fFfyA     
  • A straightforward talk is better than a flowery speech.巧言不如直说。
  • I must insist on your giving me a straightforward answer.我一定要你给我一个直截了当的回答。
35 nibble DRZzG     
  • Inflation began to nibble away at their savings.通货膨胀开始蚕食他们的存款。
  • The birds cling to the wall and nibble at the brickwork.鸟儿们紧贴在墙上,啄着砖缝。
36 bad-tempered bad-tempered     
  • He grew more and more bad-tempered as the afternoon wore on.随着下午一点点地过去,他的脾气也越来越坏。
  • I know he's often bad-tempered but really,you know,he's got a heart of gold.我知道他经常发脾气,但是,要知道,其实他心肠很好。
37 steer 5u5w3     
  • If you push the car, I'll steer it.如果你来推车,我就来驾车。
  • It's no use trying to steer the boy into a course of action that suits you.想说服这孩子按你的方式行事是徒劳的。
38 barb kuXzG     
  • The barb of his wit made us wince.他那锋芒毕露的机智使我们退避三舍。
  • A fish hook has a barb to prevent the fish from escaping after being hooked.鱼钩上都有一个倒钩以防上了钩的鱼逃走。
39 nibbles f81d2db2a657fa0c150c0a63a561c200     
vt.& vi.啃,一点一点地咬(nibble的第三人称单数形式)
  • A fish nibbles at the bait. 一条鱼在轻轻地啃鱼饵。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • Units of four bits are sometimes referred to as nibbles. 有时将四位数字组成的单元叫做半字节。 来自辞典例句
40 delve Mm5zj     
  • We should not delve too deeply into this painful matter.我们不应该过分深究这件痛苦的事。
  • We need to delve more deeply into these questions.这些是我们想进一步了解的。
41 algae tK6yW     
  • Most algae live in water.多数藻类生长在水中。
  • Algae grow and spread quickly in the lake.湖中水藻滋蔓。
42 acting czRzoc     
  • Ignore her,she's just acting.别理她,她只是假装的。
  • During the seventies,her acting career was in eclipse.在七十年代,她的表演生涯黯然失色。
43 posture q1gzk     
  • The government adopted an uncompromising posture on the issue of independence.政府在独立这一问题上采取了毫不妥协的态度。
  • He tore off his coat and assumed a fighting posture.他脱掉上衣,摆出一副打架的架势。
44 tickling 8e56dcc9f1e9847a8eeb18aa2a8e7098     
  • Was It'spring tickling her senses? 是不是春意撩人呢?
  • Its origin is in tickling and rough-and-tumble play, he says. 他说,笑的起源来自于挠痒痒以及杂乱无章的游戏。
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