Учебно-методическое пособие по английскому языку для бакалавров и специалистов экологического факультета 2 этап обучения Краснодар 2011 г

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Reading for Understanding

1. Read the text and choose the headline.

a) Prehistoric Animals

b) Ice Age

c) The Sabre-toothed Cat

d) Extinct Animal
About 40 million years ago, a fierce hunter, called the sabre-toothed cat, lived on the earth. This animal was found everywhere, except in Australia and Antarctica. The best known sabre-toothed cat was the Smilidon. Its remains have been found in Los Angeles, California. The Smilidon probably lived on the grassy plains of North and South America.

These prehistoric cats were distant cousins of modern tigers but looked more like lions. Sabre-toothed cats had long sharp front teeth, which were probably used for stabbing their prey, and wide jaws. They were very heavy animals, which made them quite slow. Sabre-toothed cats had short, powerful legs, so they couldn’t run very fast or very far. They probably hid and waited for prey to come by and then pounced.

Surprisingly, sabre-toothed cats often survived even after they had been badly wounded. How did they get enough to eat when they were unable to hunt? They probably lived in groups and ate leftovers from prey that the other cats had killed.

At the end of the last Ice Age – about 10,000 years ago – the climate slowly got warmer. Different kinds of plants began to grow, and forests became grassy plains. Scientists believe the cats’ prey couldn’t live in this new environment. As a result, sabre-toothed cats had nothing to eat and died out. Although these magnificent cats are extinct, scientists are still finding out lots of exciting things about them!


fierce hunterсвирепый охотник jaw – челюсть

sabre – сабля, шашка remains - останки

to stab – закалывать; наносить удар to pounce – набрасываться

prey – добыча leftoversостатки

to survive – выживать grassy plains – луга
2. Find in the text the equivalents to the following word combinations:
доисторические кошки; дальние родственники; были больше похожи на львов; острые передние зубы; широкие челюсти; короткие мощные ноги; тяжело раненный; не способные охотиться; остатки от добычи; новая окружающая среда; в результате; величественные кошки
3. Select the statement that best expresses the main idea of the text.

    1. The best known sabre-toothed cat was the Smilidon.

    2. These prehistoric cats were distant cousins of modern tigers.

    3. Sabre-toothed cats survived even after they had been wounded.

    4. About 40 million years ago sabre-toohted cats lived on the Earth and were extinct due to the changed environment.

4. Is it true or false? Correct the wrong statements.

  1. The sabre-toothed cat was found in Australia and Antarctica.

  2. The Smilidon’s remains have been found in California.

  3. The Smilidon probably lived in the forests of North and South America.

  4. The sabre-toothed cats were distant cousins of modern lions.

  5. Their long sharp front teeth were used for stabbing their prey.

  6. They were very light animals, which made them quite quick.

  7. They could run very fast and very far.

  8. Sabre-toothed cats often survived even after they had been badly wounded.

  9. At the end of the last Ice Age the climate slowly got colder.

  10. Scientists believe that the cats’ prey couldn’t live in this new environment.

5. Choose the right theory of sabre-toothed cats extinction.

    1. They became extinct because people hunted them for food.

    2. They were hunted until they were extinct because they attacked farm animals.

    3. The climate changed and they couldn’t live in the new conditions.

    4. The weather became hotter and other kinds of plants started growing, so the animals they used to feed on died.

6. Retell the text.

7. Read the following English proverbs and learn them by heart. Match the right Russian equivalents from the given below.

    • The wolf may lose his teeth, but never his nature.

    • It’s a bold mouse that nestles in the cat’s ear.

    • A cursed cow has short horns.

    • A lazy sheep thinks its wool heavy.

    • You cannot sell the cow and drink the milk

( Бодливой корове бог рог не даёт. Продав корову, не жди от неё молока. Смела та мышь, которая приютилась у кота в ухе. Привычка – вторая натура. Ленивой лошади и хвост в тягость.)
8. How do plants and animals differ? Fill in the blanks with “plants” or “animals”.
-… generally are rooted in one place an do not move on their own.

-… contain chlorophyl and can make their own food.

-… cells do not have cell walls and have different structures than plant cells.

-Most … have the ability to move fairly freely.

-… give off carbon dioxide which plants need to make food and take in oxygen which they need to breathe.

-… cells have cell walls and other structures differ from those of animals.

-… have a much more highly developed sensory and nervous system.

-… cannot make their own food and are dependent on plants and other animals for food.

-… give off oxygen and take in carbon dioxide given off by animals.

-… have either no or very basic ability to sense.

9. Find some interesting information about animals on the Internet. Retell it.

Reading for Translating

Tigers Return to India

At least 20 tigers have resurfaced in a tropical rainforest in western India, almost three decades after it was thought that poaching had wiped them out forever. The big cats were sighted over 300 square miles of mountainous forest in the western state of Maharashtra, bringing rare good news in a country that is rapidly losing its wildlife due to poaching and habitat destruction. “There was good forest cover, an ideal habitat and an ideal prey base but tigers were not sighted in the Sahyadri range since the late 1970s,” Vishwas Sawarkar, former head of the state-run Wildlife Institute of India, said. “ My estimate is there are at least 20 of them now,” said Mr Sawarkar, adding that the discovery was made during a nationwide tiger census.

India is believed to have half the world’s surviving tigers, but according to a census in 2001 and 2002, their numbers have dwindled to 3,642 from 40,000 a century ago. Conservationists say the actual number is between 1,300 and 1,500, based on the initial findings of the census. Experts said the last remaining tigers could have benefited from poachers moving on to other areas in search of their lucrative prey, whose body parts are used in traditional Chinese medicines and whose skins fetch thousands of dollars. Conservationists hope Sahyadri will be declared a tiger reserve.
(Periscope Review, №11, 2009)

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