Saving the turtles Answers and Questions

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Saving the Turtles Reading Passage

Saving the turtles

Like other sea turtles, leatherbacks have a broad, flattened body, two sets of large flippers, and a relatively short tail. The leatherback, like other sea turtles, has flattened forelimbs that improve its propulsion while swimming. On neither set of flippers do you find any claws? Among living sea turtles, the leatherback has the largest flippers relative to its body size. The front flippers of a large leatherback can reach a length of 2.7 meters, making them the longest of any sea turtle. The leatherback turtle, the last of its kind, stands out from the rest of the sea turtle population in a number of ways. It stands out from other living sea turtles because it does not have a protective shell (carapace) made of bone.

There have been four turtles found on the coasts of Ireland, from Wexford to Kerry, in the past month. When they wander off course, these turtles are more common in warmer waters. They probably came from Florida in the United States. An autopsy will be performed on two specimens at the Coastal and Marine Resources Centre at University College Cork to determine their age, sex, and country of origin. It was also an unusually busy month for stranded turtles in Ireland and the United Kingdom generally, with two Leatherbacks discovered in Scotland and a rare Kemp’s Ridley discovered in Wales.

There has been a lot of study into sea turtles’ remarkable ability to navigate back to their nesting grounds, sometimes from hundreds of miles away. Strong currents in the water significantly alter their course. Turtles are able to navigate back along their migratory routes despite their poor eyesight and the absence of landmarks in the open ocean. A possible explanation for this observation is that sea turtles have the ability to sense the direction and strength of Earth’s magnetic fields.

Leatherback turtles, on the other hand, are rarely seen in Irish waters because the water is too cold for them to survive. The Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and the eastern coast of North America are much more comfortable temperatures for adult Leatherbacks. Four turtles were discovered, and all four were likely native to North America. Nonetheless, genetic testing is needed to verify this suspicion. It is hypothesized that after leaving the nesting beach, the hatchling turtles enter the North Atlantic Gyre, which carries them from America to Europe and then down to North Africa and back to America again via a different current. This incredible journey around the world could take many years, during which these tiny turtles could grow by several centimeters each year. Leatherbacks may make multiple trips across the North Atlantic before settling in the coastal waters of Florida or the Caribbean.

Those four turtles were probably trying to make a circumnavigation of the Atlantic when they got a little lost and ended up in colder waters than the Gulf Stream usually warms. The North East Atlantic’s cooler waters are too cold for Leatherback turtles, so their doom was sealed once they entered them. This is in contrast to other turtle species, which have evolved a variety of morphological and physiological adaptations that allow them to thrive in a wide range of ocean temperatures. When a Leatherback enters cold water, its body goes into ‘cold stun,’ eventually leading to hypothermia and death.

In the near future, leatherbacks will likely become extinct. The collection of eggs from nests is an important consideration. Some cultures falsely believe that Leatherback eggs, a delicacy in their own right, have aphrodisiacal properties. While Leatherback turtles aren’t hunted as frequently for their meat as Green Sea turtles are, the rising human population and burgeoning black market trade have accelerated the decline in Leatherback egg numbers. Furthermore, longline fishing, gill nets, and habitat loss are major contributors to the decline of leatherbacks. There are probably no more than 35,000 leatherback turtles left in the world, according to scientists.

Until a species disappears forever, we may never know the full extent of its influence on the natural world. Past lessons have taught us enough to recognize that every animal and plant is a vital cog in the wheel of nature, even if we do not know the specific role that it plays in maintaining ecological balance. Now, researchers are wondering if the Leatherback could help revive dwindling fish populations. The Leatherback helps maintain healthy jellyfish populations by eating their weight in them every day. A significant portion of a jellyfish’s diet is made up of fish larvae. There has been a dramatic rise in jellyfish and a precipitous fall in fish populations in the world’s oceans at the same time that Leatherback populations have declined rapidly over the past 50 years. It takes a global effort to protect sea turtles.

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Saving the turtles IELTS Reading Questions

Questions 1-6

Choose the most suitable heading for paragraphs B-G from the list of heading below.

Write the appropriate number (i-x) in boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet.

NB   There are more headings than paragraphs, so you will not use them all.

List of Headings

i. what happened to those poor turtles
ii. The species still retains its diversity
iii. Trace out the potential migration paths
iv. What should the format of travel itineraries be like?
v. The role of the leatherback
vi. Distinctive qualities of Leatherbacks
vii. Causes of the decline in the human population
viii. It’s not common to see sea turtles in these kinds of places
ix. The Techniques Used to Monitor Transportation Paths
x. How far along the process of hatching

  1. Paragraph B
  2. Paragraph C
  3. Paragraph D
  4. Paragraph E
  5. Paragraph F
  6. Paragraph G

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Questions 7-10

Choose words from the passage to answer questions 7-10. Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

7. What did Irish waters have to do with the demise of leatherback turtles?
8. Which direction did the four turtles most likely come from?
9. In general, how many Leatherbacks are there?
10. What distinguishes leatherback sea turtles from other types of turtles?

Questions 11-13

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C, or D.

11. How can sea turtles get back on the paths they took before they started migrating?

  • Due to strong currents in the water
  • Excellent Eyesight
  • (detecting) Earth’s magnetic fields
  • Because of landmarks

12. Which species have not evolved a variety of morphological and physiological adaptations?

  • Jellyfish
  • Leatherback
  • Hatchling turtles
  • Green Sea turtles

13. Why are humans actively killing Green Sea turtles?

  • For their carapace
  • For their meat
  • Black market trade 
  • For their larvae

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Recommended Questions:

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Saving the turtles Reading Answers

1. viii
2. ix
3. iv
4. i
5. vii
7.Thirty-five Thousand
8. The bony carapace
9. Coldwater
10.Florida, America
11. C
12. B
13. B


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