IELTS Academic Reading Practice 33

 
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This reading practice simulates one part of the IELTS Academic Reading test. You should spend about twenty minutes on it. Read the passage and answer questions 27-38.

Questions 27-33

The reading passage has seven sections, A-G.

Choose the correct heading for sections A-G from the list of headings below.

Write the correct number i-vii in boxes 27-33 on your answer sheet.

List of Headings
  1. Coastal habitats are home for many species
  2. Marine mammals’ adaptations for oxygen preservation
  3. The adaptive leaves and stems of marine plants
  4. The roots of marine plants differ from land plants
  5. The unique sizes and shapes of marine mammals
  6. Marine mammals’ other underwater adaptations
  7. Fish adapt gills for underwater respiration

27. Section A
28. Section B
29. Section C
30. Section D
31. Section E
32. Section F
33. Section G
Questions 34-38

Complete the sentences below.  

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.
Write your answers in 34-38 on your answer sheet.

“Hydrodynamic” sea animals have body plans that make their , as minimal as possible, allowing them to swim faster.

By using their , marine animals, such as fish and sharks, have adapted to draw oxygen from water.

For , the roots mostly serve the purpose of taking water and nutrients out of the soil and up to their leaves.

Buoyancy underwater supports sea animals’ huge bodies without the need for  a sturdy to do so.

marine mammals withstand high amounts of in their muscles.


Answer Sheet
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
N/A
14
N/A
15
N/A
16
N/A
17
N/A
18
N/A
19
N/A
20
N/A
21
N/A
22
N/A
23
N/A
24
N/A
25
N/A
26
N/A
27
N/A
28
N/A
29
N/A
30
N/A
31
N/A
32
N/A
33
N/A
34
N/A
35
N/A
36
N/A
37
N/A
38
N/A
39
N/A
40
N/A


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Marine Animals and Plants

Section A

As animals and plants have adapted to suit the environments of earth’s specific biomes, most have evolved in ways which allow them to take advantage of their surroundings in order to get what they need. These adaptations themselves may cause some species to be more successful than others depending on the habitat in question. Coastal regions are one such habitat, and are likely home to the greatest number of unique species of organisms on earth. Coastal, or marine regions, as they’re sometimes called, exist between the high tide areas and the oceanic continental shelf. In coastal regions around the world, the animals and plants who have evolved to live in them display a wide array of interesting specialized adaptations.

Section B

As they spend their entire lives underwater, marine animals’ bodies must adapt in order to provide their blood with oxygen. They can do this either by extracting oxygen directly from water, or getting enough of it to stay underwater for long periods of time. For fish, the adaptation of gills allow them to essentially breathe underwater via these specialized organs on either side of their heads. The gills, made up of very thin, folded layers of body tissue, allow oxygen to be absorbed into the fishes’ bloodstream as water passes through them. These organs have developed specifically to maximize surface area. This is due to the fact that oxygen content in air is higher than water, so the fishes’ gills must make the most of the oxygen they can take in underwater.

Section C

Marine mammals, like whales, dolphins, and seals, on the other hand, have special adaptations which allow them spend most of their lives underwater, yet still breathe air from the surface. They minimize time spent at the surface of the water by using oxygen much more efficiently than land mammals. In addition to this, compared to land animals, their muscles are able to tolerate much higher levels of lactic acids, and their lungs tolerate higher levels of carbon dioxide. In a single breath, their high blood oxygen volume enables them to exchange 90% of their breath. Lastly, marine animals stay submerged underwater for vast amounts of time by being able to handle deep underwater pressures.

Section D

Unlike the land, saltwater allows for a natural buoyancy. This has given enormous bodied animals, like the blue whale or giant squid, the opportunity to reach their huge sizes. Marine animals are not limited by the gravitational forces exerted on land animals, as they do not require strong skeletons to support their mass. In addition to their relatively unrestricted sizes, the shapes marine animals’ bodies reduce water resistance by being “hydrodynamic.” Much like a fuel efficient car is shaped to reduce air resistance, or drag, in order to increase its speed, the marine animal’s body plan aids them to swim more swiftly through the water.

Section E

Along with keeping oxygenated and moving easily through the water, marine animals display a variety of other adaptations to their specific environment. For example, marine mammals such as seals may have layers of fat called blubber to insulate them in the cold temperatures of chilly Arctic water, while the blood of some fish may contain a kind of “antifreeze” which prevents their blood from freezing, similar to a car. Other animals, such as dolphins, have developed to the ability to use echolocation, which is essentially seeing by using sound waves, in order to find their way through pitch black waters of the deep ocean.

Section F

But marine animals aren’t the only ones who have evolved to suit their surroundings, as marine plants also display many physical, as well as functional, adaptations to underwater life. To allow the plants to flex and move about underwater, their stems and leaves have adapted to be flexible, thick and rubbery. This not only grants the ability to bend, but also protects them from being dried out or damaged by sunlight and currents of water. On top of that, these plants often have waxy leaves which actually wick water away from them to avoid dissolving. Some plants, such as Sargasso seaweed, also known as “sea grapes,” have developed air sacs which provide buoyancy and are able to float through water.

Section G

But, the differences between marine plants don’t end there, as marine plants roots’ also function specifically for their watery environments. The roots of marine plants keep them anchored to the seafloor through structures called “keepfasts.” Meanwhile, the roots of land plants exist mostly to draw water up to their leaves, and not to hold them steady. Rather than absorb nutrients through the seafloor, instead, marine plants do this directly from the water around them. Internally, land and sea plants also differ greatly, as most land plants use a system of veins to move nutrients and water throughout themselves, most underwater plants do not. In the ocean, plants still use photosynthesis, producing nutrients through light, but are essentially more like algae in that they lack the complex cellular tissues of plants found on land.

Reading Passage Vocabulary
Marine Animals and Plants

Section A

As animals and plants have adapted to suit the environments of earth’s specific biomes, most have evolved in ways which allow them to take advantage of their surroundings in order to get what they need. These adaptations themselves may cause some species to be more successful than others depending on the habitat in question. Coastal regions are one such habitat, and are likely home to the greatest number of unique species of organisms on earth. Coastal, or marine regions, as they’re sometimes called, exist between the high tide areas and the oceanic continental shelf. In coastal regions around the world, the animals and plants who have evolved to live in them display a wide array of interesting specialized adaptations.

Section B

As they spend their entire lives underwater, marine animals’ bodies must adapt in order to provide their blood with oxygen. They can do this either by extracting oxygen directly from water, or getting enough of it to stay underwater for long periods of time. For fish, the adaptation of gills allow them to essentially breathe underwater via these specialized organs on either side of their heads. The gills, made up of very thin, folded layers of body tissue, allow oxygen to be absorbed into the fishes’ bloodstream as water passes through them. These organs have developed specifically to maximize surface area. This is due to the fact that oxygen content in air is higher than water, so the fishes’ gills must make the most of the oxygen they can take in underwater.

Section C

Marine mammals, like whales, dolphins, and seals, on the other hand, have special adaptations which allow them spend most of their lives underwater, yet still breathe air from the surface. They minimize time spent at the surface of the water by using oxygen much more efficiently than land mammals. In addition to this, compared to land animals, their muscles are able to tolerate much higher levels of lactic acids, and their lungs tolerate higher levels of carbon dioxide. In a single breath, their high blood oxygen volume enables them to exchange 90% of their breath. Lastly, marine animals stay submerged underwater for vast amounts of time by being able to handle deep underwater pressures.

Section D

Unlike the land, saltwater allows for a natural buoyancy. This has given enormous bodied animals, like the blue whale or giant squid, the opportunity to reach their huge sizes. Marine animals are not limited by the gravitational forces exerted on land animals, as they do not require strong skeletons to support their mass. In addition to their relatively unrestricted sizes, the shapes marine animals’ bodies reduce water resistance by being “hydrodynamic.” Much like a fuel efficient car is shaped to reduce air resistance, or drag, in order to increase its speed, the marine animal’s body plan aids them to swim more swiftly through the water.

Section E

Along with keeping oxygenated and moving easily through the water, marine animals display a variety of other adaptations to their specific environment. For example, marine mammals such as seals may have layers of fat called blubber to insulate them in the cold temperatures of chilly Arctic water, while the blood of some fish may contain a kind of “antifreeze” which prevents their blood from freezing, similar to a car. Other animals, such as dolphins, have developed to the ability to use echolocation, which is essentially seeing by using sound waves, in order to find their way through pitch black waters of the deep ocean.

Section F

But marine animals aren’t the only ones who have evolved to suit their surroundings, as marine plants also display many physical, as well as functional, adaptations to underwater life. To allow the plants to flex and move about underwater, their stems and leaves have adapted to be flexible, thick and rubbery. This not only grants the ability to bend, but also protects them from being dried out or damaged by sunlight and currents of water. On top of that, these plants often have waxy leaves which actually wick water away from them to avoid dissolving. Some plants, such as Sargasso seaweed, also known as “sea grapes,” have developed air sacs which provide buoyancy and are able to float through water.

Section G

But, the differences between marine plants don’t end there, as marine plants roots’ also function specifically for their watery environments. The roots of marine plants keep them anchored to the seafloor through structures called “keepfasts.” Meanwhile, the roots of land plants exist mostly to draw water up to their leaves, and not to hold them steady. Rather than absorb nutrients through the seafloor, instead, marine plants do this directly from the water around them. Internally, land and sea plants also differ greatly, as most land plants use a system of veins to move nutrients and water throughout themselves, most underwater plants do not. In the ocean, plants still use photosynthesis, producing nutrients through light, but are essentially more like algae in that they lack the complex cellular tissues of plants found on land.

 
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