霸王龙从儿童大小的恐龙演变而来
2019-05-14 15:47:35


History's most frightening dinosaur, the Tyrannosaurus rex, came from a long line of smaller creatures.(1)
历史上最可怕的恐龙霸王龙起源于小型生物。

Scientists have identified a new relative of the Tyrannosaurus rex, also known as T. rex.(2)
科学家发现了霸王龙(简称T. rex)的新亲属。

Scientists say this relative was only about one-meter high, the height of a small child.(3)
科学家表示,这一亲属只有大约1米高,这一高度与小孩的身高差不多。

American Sterling Nesbitt, a paleontologist, discovered the dinosaur.(4)
美国古生物学家斯特林·内斯比特发现了这种恐龙。

He told the Associated Press that if the ancient creature raised its head,   an adult human maybe "would be looking at it in the eye."(5)
他对美联社表示,如果这种古代生物抬起头,那成年人也许“可以与其对视”。

Nesbitt is with the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia.(6)
内斯比特来自位于弗吉尼亚州布莱克斯堡的弗吉尼亚理工学院暨州立大学。

In 1998, he found the creature's remains while serving as a volunteer on a dig in New Mexico with a famous paleontologist.(7)
他在1998年发现了这种生物的化石残骸,当时他作为志愿者与一位著名古生物学家共同参与了新墨西哥州的挖掘工作。

At the time, Nesbitt was just 16 years old.(8)
那一年,内斯比特只有16岁。

For about 20 years, scientists were not sure what to make of the remains, until other small relatives of T. rex were discovered.(9)
在此后近20年的时间里,科学家一直无法确定这一化石残骸的身份,直到霸王龙的其他小型亲属相继被发现。

"The small group of tyrannosauroid dinosaurs would give rise to some of the biggest predators that we've ever seen," noted Nesbitt.(10)
内斯比特表示,“这一小群霸王龙可能演化成了我们见过的最大的捕食者。”

He is the lead author of a report of the bones.(11)
内斯比特是一份涉及所发现骨架化石报告的主要作者。

The findings were published earlier this month in the scientific journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.(12)
这份报告于本月早些时候发表在科学期刊《自然·生态学与进化》上。

The new dinosaur is called Suskityrannus hazelae.(13)
新发现的恐龙名为黑兹尔郊狼暴龙。

The name comes from a word in the language of the Zuni, a Native American tribe.(14)
这一名称来源于祖尼语的一个单词,祖尼是美洲土著部落。

It describes another small, but modern predator: the coyote.(15)
这个词描述了另一个体型小的现代掠食者:郊狼。

Scientists say the dinosaur dates back 92 million years, about 20 million years before the T. rex walked the Earth.(16)
科学家表示,这种恐龙生活在9200万年前,而大约2000万年之后,霸王龙才出现在地球上。

The newly discovered cousin weighed between about 20 and 40 kilograms.(17)
新发现的霸王龙近亲体重在20到40公斤之间。

It was three times longer than it was tall. That is almost nothing compared to the nine-ton T. rex.(18)
这一数字是其体长的3倍。但完全无法与9吨重的霸王龙相比。

Suskityrannus hazalae is not the first or even smallest member of the Tyrannosaurus family tree.(19)
黑兹尔郊狼暴龙不是霸王龙家族中的首个成员,甚至不是身型最小的成员。

But Nesbitt said it provides the best example of how this family of smaller dinosaurs evolved into the frightening star of movies and television shows.(20)
但内斯比特认为,这一物种为霸王龙家族如何进化为最令人害怕的影视明星提供了最佳例证。

Hans-Dieter Sues is a paleobiologist with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.(21)
汉斯-迪特尔·苏斯是华盛顿史密森学会的古生物学家。

He suggested it was an important find.(22)
他认为这是一项重要发现。

"Suskityrannus is the first really good record of the early tyrannosaurs in North America," he wrote in an email.(23)
他在电邮中写道,“郊狼暴龙是北美早期霸王龙的首个最佳记录。”

He was not involved in the study.(24)
他并未参与研究。

Scientists are not sure why these meat-eaters were not especially big compared with other dinosaurs alive at the time.(25)
目前科学家还未确定的是,为何与当时生活在地球上的其它恐龙相比,这些肉食动物的体型并不是特别大。

So it is unclear why they later evolved to be so huge.(26)
也就是说,现在并不清楚它们之后为什么会进化为巨型恐龙。

Nesbitt said the newly discovered species is probably among the last of the little dinosaurs.(27)
内斯比特表示,新发现的物种可能是最后一只小恐龙。

It was bigger than earlier members of the species and had big feet needed for speed — something the T. rex lost.(28)
它比同一物种的早期成员体型要大,而且还有奔跑速度所需的大脚——而这是霸王龙所没有的。

I'm Jonathan Evans.(29)
乔纳森·埃文斯报道。


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