IELTS Academic Reading Practice 60

 
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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 27-40.

Questions 27-31

The reading passage has eight paragraphs labelled A-H.

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter A-H in boxes 27-31 on your answer sheet.

NB You may use any letter more than once.

27 Information regarding diverse objects growing on baobab trees
28 Status of some vulnerable and resilient species of the baobab tree
29 A description of physical characteristics of the baobab tree
30 A prediction of lower population numbers of some baobab tree species in Africa
31 A reason why baobab trees need animals such as giant tortoises to help disperse their seeds.
Questions 32-36

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the reading passage? In boxes 32-36 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE   if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE   if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN   if there is no information on this

32. The baobab tree can live for lengthy periods of time without water
33. The seeds of the tree can be used to make fuel
34. There are more baobab trees in Madagascar now than there were 50 years ago
35. The flowers that the baobab tree produces come into bloom during the spring
36. The hollow trunk of the tree provides an important habitat for tortoises
Questions 37-40

Complete the sentences below.  

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.
Write your answers in 37-40 on your answer sheet.

During their the body of the tree becomes hollow.

The flowers of the tree have a smell which has been described as .

Bees and ants act as which assist the tree in reproducing.

The dried pulp starts to look like a .


Answer Sheet
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
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


  • help Learn how to HIGHLIGHT & ADD NOTES
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    2. DRAG MOUSE OVER TEXT
    3. RIGHT CLICK SELECTED TEXT

The Baobab Tree

A The baobab tree is also sometimes known as the “tree of life,” is also the national tree in Madagascar. The Baobab Tree appears distinct from other kinds of trees; when looking at it, it seems that it has been planted upside down, as the branches have no leaves and look more like roots. That’s why the baobab tree may also be referred to as the “upside down” tree. Another peculiar nickname for the baobab tree is the “monkey bread” tree.

B Sometimes growing to heights as much as 100 feet, or trunks as wide as 36 feet in diameter, the baobab tree lives for hundreds, possibly thousands, of years. Over the trees’ lifespans, their trunks develop to become hollow and are then able to store as much as 26,000 gallons of water at a time, allowing them to survive long periods of drought. Baobab trees grow coconut-sized fruit, which is said to taste like sherbet when eaten. There is at least one known species of baobab tree whose leaves can be eaten like a vegetable, and some species’ seeds can be made into vegetable oil. Other useful products which can be made from baobab trees include fibers, dyes, and fuel.

C The white, luminous flowers of the baobab tree flowers bloom once the tree has reached about 20 years of age, usually at sunset in the middle of summer. With a strong musky smell, the large flowers also attract creatures such as fruit bats and insects. These pollinators help the trees to reproduce as they drift between the flowers. However, the flowers of the baobab tree don’t last long; they wilt and fall off the tree within hours of opening. The 6 – 8 inch long baobab tree fruits which come in hairy pods are also known as “monkey bread. They are rich in nutrition, and packed with vitamin C. The seeds found within the hairy pod are encased in a white pulp. After the pulp dries, it seems to resemble a powdery bread. Larger animals such as baboons, elephants, antelopes, and monkeys can be seen eating the seeds.

D Baobab trees are declining in numbers, such that their population has been of concern over the last decade. A recent study has also been cause of some alarm about the baobab tree’s future. The results of the study reveal two baobab tree species endemic to Africa are now at risk of losing most of their available habitat and becoming extinct within the coming years as a result of climate change and human activity. A total of nine species of baobab trees (Adansonia spp.) exist today. Eight are native to Africa, while one is native to Australia. Of these African species, two can also be found growing on the Arabian Peninsula, while six African species are found only on Madagascar. Of these nine, three of the Madagascan species (A. grandidieri, A. perrieri, and A. suarezensis) have been marked as “endangered” on the IUCN Red List.

E Presently, the A. perrieri species has the lowest population numbers of the three, with just 99 observed trees remaining. By 2080, estimations indicate that it will only have 30% of its current range left, posing an even greater threat to its continued survival. The A. suarezensis species’ population is considerably larger, with 15,000 trees observed, their distribution area is also much smaller at only 1,200 square kilometers. By the year 2050, it is estimated that only 17 square kilometers of this area will remain, almost certainly a death sentence for this species. On a more positive note, the largest and best known of all of Madagascar's six baobab species,  A. grandidieri, still has a population of one million trees with an expansive range which should allow their continued survival in the coming decades.

F The size of the baobab tree fruit and seeds is relatively large, therefore animals are the best ones to spread them around. Seeds which drop directly under their parent trees don’t stand much of a chance to survive as they compete for sunlight amongst the other mature trees nearby. Creatures, such as monkeys, who eat baobab fruit and seeds aid in dispersing the seeds as waste, carrying them to areas away from large trees, places where the seedlings are much more likely to grow to maturity.

G An interesting piece within this story is the role that giant tortoises play.  Two, now extinct, species of giant tortoises that were once native to Madagascar were the most likely to have been the main animals who dispersed baobab tree seeds. A recent study observed one species of giant tortoise (the Aldabra giant tortoise) which is alien to Madagascar in an experiment. The tortoise willingly ate the fruit from the baobab tree, and the seeds stay in the tortoise’s digestive tract as long as 23 days. In light of these findings, biologists today are attempting to bring Aldabra giant tortoises into the wild of Madagascar as an effort to help the baobab tree population.

H Climate change, habitat destruction from to human interference, and a lack of any living animals to act as seed dispersers are all factors which pose a risk the survival of some baobab tree species. However, by learning more about these threats, biologists can take steps towards stopping the trees from eventually going extinct. With more being understood about the environment, as well as growing appreciation for the need for biodiversity on our planet, we are closer to being able to make a difference for the better.

Reading Passage Vocabulary
The Baobab Tree

A The baobab tree is also sometimes known as the “tree of life,” is also the national tree in Madagascar. The Baobab Tree appears distinct from other kinds of trees; when looking at it, it seems that it has been planted upside down, as the branches have no leaves and look more like roots. That’s why the baobab tree may also be referred to as the “upside down” tree. Another peculiar nickname for the baobab tree is the “monkey bread” tree.

B Sometimes growing to heights as much as 100 feet, or trunks as wide as 36 feet in diameter, the baobab tree lives for hundreds, possibly thousands, of years. Over the trees’ lifespans, their trunks develop to become hollow and are then able to store as much as 26,000 gallons of water at a time, allowing them to survive long periods of drought. Baobab trees grow coconut-sized fruit, which is said to taste like sherbet when eaten. There is at least one known species of baobab tree whose leaves can be eaten like a vegetable, and some species’ seeds can be made into vegetable oil. Other useful products which can be made from baobab trees include fibers, dyes, and fuel.

C The white, luminous flowers of the baobab tree flowers bloom once the tree has reached about 20 years of age, usually at sunset in the middle of summer. With a strong musky smell, the large flowers also attract creatures such as fruit bats and insects. These pollinators help the trees to reproduce as they drift between the flowers. However, the flowers of the baobab tree don’t last long; they wilt and fall off the tree within hours of opening. The 6 – 8 inch long baobab tree fruits which come in hairy pods are also known as “monkey bread. They are rich in nutrition, and packed with vitamin C. The seeds found within the hairy pod are encased in a white pulp. After the pulp dries, it seems to resemble a powdery bread. Larger animals such as baboons, elephants, antelopes, and monkeys can be seen eating the seeds.

D Baobab trees are declining in numbers, such that their population has been of concern over the last decade. A recent study has also been cause of some alarm about the baobab tree’s future. The results of the study reveal two baobab tree species endemic to Africa are now at risk of losing most of their available habitat and becoming extinct within the coming years as a result of climate change and human activity. A total of nine species of baobab trees (Adansonia spp.) exist today. Eight are native to Africa, while one is native to Australia. Of these African species, two can also be found growing on the Arabian Peninsula, while six African species are found only on Madagascar. Of these nine, three of the Madagascan species (A. grandidieri, A. perrieri, and A. suarezensis) have been marked as “endangered” on the IUCN Red List.

E Presently, the A. perrieri species has the lowest population numbers of the three, with just 99 observed trees remaining. By 2080, estimations indicate that it will only have 30% of its current range left, posing an even greater threat to its continued survival. The A. suarezensis species’ population is considerably larger, with 15,000 trees observed, their distribution area is also much smaller at only 1,200 square kilometers. By the year 2050, it is estimated that only 17 square kilometers of this area will remain, almost certainly a death sentence for this species. On a more positive note, the largest and best known of all of Madagascar's six baobab species,  A. grandidieri, still has a population of one million trees with an expansive range which should allow their continued survival in the coming decades.

F The size of the baobab tree fruit and seeds is relatively large, therefore animals are the best ones to spread them around. Seeds which drop directly under their parent trees don’t stand much of a chance to survive as they compete for sunlight amongst the other mature trees nearby. Creatures, such as monkeys, who eat baobab fruit and seeds aid in dispersing the seeds as waste, carrying them to areas away from large trees, places where the seedlings are much more likely to grow to maturity.

G An interesting piece within this story is the role that giant tortoises play.  Two, now extinct, species of giant tortoises that were once native to Madagascar were the most likely to have been the main animals who dispersed baobab tree seeds. A recent study observed one species of giant tortoise (the Aldabra giant tortoise) which is alien to Madagascar in an experiment. The tortoise willingly ate the fruit from the baobab tree, and the seeds stay in the tortoise’s digestive tract as long as 23 days. In light of these findings, biologists today are attempting to bring Aldabra giant tortoises into the wild of Madagascar as an effort to help the baobab tree population.

H Climate change, habitat destruction from to human interference, and a lack of any living animals to act as seed dispersers are all factors which pose a risk the survival of some baobab tree species. However, by learning more about these threats, biologists can take steps towards stopping the trees from eventually going extinct. With more being understood about the environment, as well as growing appreciation for the need for biodiversity on our planet, we are closer to being able to make a difference for the better.

 
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