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PNAS :蛇与灵长类动物生态关系复杂

来源:EurekAlert 2011-12-13 14:44

一项发表在PNAS杂志上的研究报告"Hunter–gatherers and other primates as prey, predators, and competitors of snakes"说,蛇与包括人类在内的灵长类动物之间的关系的历史悠久而且很复杂,其中灵长类动物是捕食者、被捕食者和竞争者。

这篇论文的主要研究人员Thomas N. Headland 和Harry W. Greene研究了蛇对非人类灵长类动物,以及对过着没有文字的狩猎采集生活方式的20世纪人类造成的危险。

科研人员提出了一种假说,即广泛存在的人类对蛇的恐惧可能反映了这些物种之间共同的长期进化史,但是由于蛇完整地吞下被捕食者,蛇捕食灵长类动物的化石证据比较缺乏。这组作者对菲律宾的120位Agta Negrito狩猎采集者进行了民族志观察,结果发现在1934年到1973年间62位Agta女性和58位男性中的15位在网纹蟒的袭击后存活下来,还有6例致命的袭击。Agta人还常吃至多长达23英尺的蟒蛇——以及几种蟒蛇捕食的物种,诸如鹿、野猪和猴——这让人类成为了蛇的被捕食者、捕食者和潜在的竞争者。这组作者发现,自然史纪录进一步揭示出蛇捕食26种非人类灵长,而许多灵长类动物杀死蛇并且有的时候吃蛇。蛇与小动物的饮食习惯的重合也让灵长类动物和蛇成为了潜在的食物竞争对手。

这组作者说,这些发现支持了一个事实,即蛇与包括人类在内的灵长类动物在共同的进化史中有重要的关系。(生物谷bioon.com)

Hunter–gatherers and other primates as prey, predators, and competitors of snakes

Thomas N. Headlanda,1 and Harry W. Greeneb,1

Relationships between primates and snakes are of widespread interest from anthropological, psychological, and evolutionary perspectives, but surprisingly, little is known about the dangers that serpents have posed to people with prehistoric lifestyles and nonhuman primates. Here, we report ethnographic observations of 120 Philippine Agta Negritos when they were still preliterate hunter–gatherers, among whom 26% of adult males had survived predation attempts by reticulated pythons. Six fatal attacks occurred between 1934 and 1973. Agta ate pythons as well as deer, wild pigs, and monkeys, which are also eaten by pythons, and therefore, the two species were reciprocally prey, predators, and potential competitors. Natural history data document snake predation on tree shrews and 26 species of nonhuman primates as well as many species of primates approaching, mobbing, killing, and sometimes eating snakes. These findings, interpreted within the context of snake and primate phylogenies, corroborate the hypothesis that complex ecological interactions have long characterized our shared evolutionary history. .

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