《中英對照讀新聞》Egg of extinct elephant bird was mislabeled as fake for decades, museum realizes 博物館發現,絕種象鳥的蛋被誤認為贗品數十載


2018-06-04 06:00

◎ 劉宜庭

A museum in Buffalo, N.Y., recently discovered that a rare elephant bird egg in its collection had been mislabeled as a model for decades.

紐約水牛城的一座博物館最近發現,它的收藏品中有一顆罕見的象鳥蛋,數十年來一直被誤認為模型。

A collections manager at the Buffalo Museum of Science was updating its catalog to a digital system when she discovered the "realistic" cream-colored egg among its collection of more than 1,000 eggs. The partially fossilized egg measured 28 inches around and weighed more than 3 pounds.

水牛城科學博物館的一名收藏品經理,之前更新電子系統目錄時,在超過1000顆蛋類收藏品中,發現這顆「真正的」淡黃色的蛋。這顆局部化石化的蛋,圓周約28英寸,重達3磅多。

The curators took the egg to the Art Conservation Department at the State University of New York at Buffalo for a radiography — a technique that uses X-rays to see inside an object. The test not only confirmed their suspicions, but it also showed "specs of white" that indicated it could have been fertilized.

該名博物館員將蛋拿到美國紐約州立大學水牛城分校的藝術修護學系,接受放射線攝影,那是一種透過X射線檢視物品內部的技術。這項檢驗不僅證實他們的猜測,還照出了顯示這顆蛋已經受精的「白點」。

Museum records showed a previous curator had acquired the elephant bird egg in 1939 from a London taxidermist for $92. The taxidermist had bought the egg on the island of Madagascar — located off the southeast coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean — the birds’ native habitat.

博物館紀錄顯示,一名前館員1939年從倫敦一名動物標本製作者手中,以92美元購得這顆象鳥蛋。該名標本師在(非洲東南方海岸外、印度洋上的)馬達加斯加島買下這顆蛋,那座島是這種鳥類的原產地。

The flightless bird grew to be 10 feet tall, weighed between 770 and 1,100 pounds and laid the largest eggs of any vertebrate — even dinosaurs. It went extinct more than 600 years ago.

這種不會飛的鳥類能長到10英尺高,重量介於770磅至1100磅之間,所產的蛋是脊椎動物中最大的,甚至比恐龍蛋還大。牠已在600多年前滅絕。

新聞辭典

elephant bird:名詞,象鳥。例句:There are fewer than 40 intact elephant bird eggs held in public institutions.(公共機構典藏的完整象鳥蛋不到40顆。)

collection:名詞,收藏品。例句:It was so much bigger than any other eggs in our collection.(在我們的收藏品當中,它比其他所有的蛋都大。)

model:名詞,模型、模特兒。例句:It looked too realistic to be a model.(它看起來真實得不像是個模型。)

  • 美國紐約水牛城科學博物館的「象鳥蛋」收藏品。(美聯社檔案照)

    美國紐約水牛城科學博物館的「象鳥蛋」收藏品。(美聯社檔案照)