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So lets say youre a common ground squirrel. Just for a moment, pretend youre minding your own business, searching for seeds, doing whatever it is that squirrels like to do. Then, suddenly, out from behind a bush slithers a huge, sinister rattlesnake, coiled and ready to strike. What do you do?假如你是一只普通的地松鼠,在专心于自己的事情,找寻种子不吃,或者在做到任何松鼠讨厌做到的事。忽然,从你身后的灌木丛中钻进了一条极大的、残暴的响尾蛇,它缠绕起身体,准备好了对你展开反击。你该怎么办呢?Obviously, you run away, play dead, or perhaps negotiate a deal of some sort. In any case, given that youre a furry, gentle squirrel and the snake is a deadly, rattling killer, whatever you do, you dont stand your ground and fight. Right?似乎,你不会自由选择逃走,躲起来,也可能会与它谈谈条件。

鉴于自己是一只毛茸茸的,温顺的松鼠,而响尾蛇则是可怕的刺客,无论如何你都会车站在原地与之展开搏斗,对吧?Wrong! Calling upon the instincts passed down from your ancient squirrel ancestors, you rush at the snake, kick sand in its face, try to bite its tail, and then turn your back on it and whip your tail around.你拢了!从祖先那里承继的本能不会让松鼠冲出响尾蛇,向它的脸上右脚沙子,企图嘴巴它的尾巴,接着转过身来,晃动自己的尾巴。Now why on earth, you might be wondering, would my squirrel self take such suicidal measures? Kicking sand and biting might do some good, but tail waving? Why further taunt a venom-fanged snake already bent on violence?你可能会深感为难,为何松鼠会自由选择这种以鸡蛋摸石头的作法?右脚沙子和嘴巴尾巴有可能还管点用,但摇尾巴又是意欲为何呢?面临早已俯身作好反击打算的、具有毒牙的蛇,松鼠为何还要展开激怒呢?As you may have guessed, there is a method to such madness. When confronted by a rattlesnake, squirrels tails heat up, getting hotter by almost four degrees Fahrenheit. The infra-red sensors built into rattlesnakes eye sockets sense this increase in temperature as a big, waving, fiery blotch.有可能你也知道了,松鼠的这种看起来可怕的作法只不过是有它的道理的。当遇上响尾蛇时,松鼠的尾巴不会变热,温度下降约4度(华氏)。


而通过眼睛窝中的红外线感应器的组织,响尾蛇感受到的则是一个大的,转动的红点。This alarming display, plus the fact that squirrels are partially immune to rattlesnake venom, actually gives the squirrel a distinct advantage when it confronts a rattlesnake. More often than not, the rattlesnake will slither away in search of a less intimidating foe.这种让蛇方寸大乱的演出,再行再加松鼠对响尾蛇的毒液有一定的免疫力,让松鼠在遇上响尾蛇的时候具备了本能优势。多数情况下,响尾蛇不会爬开,去找寻不这么可怕的猎物。