BEST IELTS General Reading Test 445

BEST IELTS General Reading Test 445

IELTS General Reading Test


A. hundred corpses litter a beach in Tasmania(Australia), it’s the first pod of whales to strand this particular season. A group of researchers, Vets and other experts take skin samples, collect tissue and teeth samples, recording anything that could answer the crucial biggest question: why did these whales bleach?

There are tonnes of theories, some more convincing than others. For many years, the reason why whales wash up has been a mystery. But slowly and gradually, their corpses are unfolding their secrets.

IELTS General Reading Test

B. When 70 small dolphins were stranded on the British coast in the year 2007, locals immediately blamed the army. Fishermen had sensed unusual activity beneath the waves of the sea. In recent years, navy SONAR technology has been assumed culprit of causing certain whales to strand.

It’s well known that noise pollution from industry, shipping etc. can interfere with underwater communication – but can it really drive whales from ocean towards beach?

C. There are two evolving concepts about the effects of sonar. Firstly, the noise can be surprising to the animal, causing it to swim fast to the surface, resulting in compression sickness (known to human divers as ‘the bends’), which can restrict the supply of blood to the brain and ultimately kill it.

IELTS General Reading Test

Secondly, sound waves can also make bubbles with a similar effect like compression sickness. But these are still our theories, and based on our comprehension of land-based animals rather than deep-diving sea bodies. One researcher said, ‘whales have been stranding for a very long time -pre-sonar. So it can’t be just like that.’

D. When animals beach adjacent to each other at the same time, the humans have no role in it. Some whale species, are just too friendly for their own wellness. If one of a group strands and sounds the cry, others will try and come for its help, and hence become stuck themselves. In a social group of animals one animal’s navigational mistake becomes dangerous and fatally affects the whole group of animals.

IELTS General Reading Test

E. Data has disclosed that all mass stranding regions around Australia were gently sloping sandy beaches, some with inclines of less than 0.5 degrees. Shallow sandy beaches disrupt their echolocation system of the whales. On a gentle sandy beach the echo disappears, the whales believe there is no stoppage ahead of them. When the whale doesn’t hear any echo, it continues to swim at rapid speed until it strikes onto the beach.

F. Ralph James, a physicist, suggests that physics can be of help with the ‘when’ and ‘Where’. Rising bubbles can block some of the whales echoes, and the ocean is full of bubbles. Larger ones quickly rise to the surface and disappear, while the microbubbles – can last for days. It’s the smaller ones that can absorb the whales’ echolocation clicks.

IELTS General Reading Test

Harsh weather generates more bubbles than usual and during and after a storm whales may essentially be swimming blind. There seems to be some anecdotal evidence in support of James’ storm theory, Strandings in Tasmania often take place in quite wild weather. Rain droplets on the sea surface and large water waves pounding the coast both add bubbles to water near the shore.

G. Mass strandings have also been connected with sunspot cycles and some scientists believe that fluctuations in the Earth’s magnetic field may be part of the story. Others are more sceptical about the sunspot link.

IELTS General Reading Test

There is also proof that the strandings are linked to major climatic cycles, like strong westerly and southerly winds that bring cool, nutrient-rich water closer to the southern coast of Australia. This water contains plankton and fish, and the whales follow their food.

H. Some wonder why so many whales, once rescued from the beach, turn around and beach themselves again. One possible explanation can be the harm of first bleaching. Sperm whales, for instance, due to their large size and weight, can die rapidly before rescuers can help them.

While lying on the beach, they can topple over due to their weight unsupported by water and fall onto a flipper. This prevents blood flow to the flipper, which then becomes ineffective for its main purpose of steering. As a result, when the whale is back at sea, it can no longer control its direction and often comes back unintentionally to the beach to become stranded again.

IELTS General Reading Test

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IELTS General Reading Test

Choose the correct heading for each paragraph. Write i-xi on your answer sheet.

i.   ways that sound may cause damage

ii.  failure to detect coastal water depth

iii. the necessity to escape from predators

iv.  weather drives whales to food

v.   possible cause of dual bleaching

vi.  threats of helping a fellow whale

vii. collecting the proof for study

viii. principally Tasmanian problem

ix.  a conclusive study/theory

x.   a possible military intervention ?

xi.  air globules in the water

IELTS General Reading Test

29. Paragraph A –

30. Paragraph B –

31. Paragraph C –

32. Paragraph D –

33. Paragraph E –

34. Paragraph F –

35. Paragraph G –

36. Paragraph H –

IELTS General Reading Test

Choose the correct answer – A,B,C or D

37. Why might an abnormal noise harm a sea body like whale ?

A. it can push the animal away from others

B. it may cause a startled whale to swim up too fast

C. it can interfere with communication between animals

D. it can lead to whale and boat collision

38. Why do some researchers discount the threats of SONAR to whales ?

A. it has never caused any whale deaths

B. the animals aren’t surprised by such sounds

C. whales were bleaching even before SONAR invention

D. SONAR only affect terrestrial animals

IELTS General Reading Test

39. Why do whales fail to see problems near shallow, sandy beaches ?

A. rough waters have too much sand

B. the depth of water decreases too quickly for them to understand and detect

C. they focus more on their food

D. the sloping beach suppresses the communication between them

40. James theory is supported by ?

A. local weather cycles

B. magnetic field studies

C. whale injuries

D. sun observation

IELTS General Reading Test


BEST IELTS General Reading Test 445

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IELTS General Reading Test

29. VII

30. X

31. I

32. VI

33. II

34. XI

35. IV

36. V

37. B

38. C

39. D

40. A

IELTS General Reading Test

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