This Academic IELTS Reading post focuses on solutions to IELTS Cambridge 15 Reading Test 2 Reading Passage 2 titled ‘Should we try to bring extinct species back to life?’. This is a targeted post for IELTS candidates who have big problems finding out and understanding Reading Answers in the AC module. This post can guide you the best to understand every Reading answer without much trouble. Finding out IELTS Reading answers is a steady process, and this post will assist you in this respect.
IELTS Cambridge 15 Test 2: AC Reading Module
Reading Passage 2: Questions 14-27
The headline of the passage: Should we try to bring extinct species back to life?
Questions 14-17: Identifying information
[This question asks you to find information from the passage and write the number of the paragraph (A, B, C or D … .. ) in the answer sheet. Now, if the question is given in the very first part of the question set, I’d request you not to answer them. It’s mainly because this question will not follow any sequence, and so it will surely kill your time. Rather, you should answer all the other questions first. And just like List of Headings, only read the first two lines or last two lines of the expected paragraph initially. If you find the answers, you need not read the middle part. If you don’t find answers yet, you can skim the middle part of the paragraph. Keywords will be a useful matter here.]
Question no. 14: a reference to how further disappearance of multiple species could be avoided
Keywords for the question: how, further disappearance, multiple species, could be avoided,
Look at the question again. It sounds like a solution to the problem of disappearing of multiple species. We should look at the last paragraph for the solution. Let’s read there.
In paragraph F, in lines 5-8, the author explains the thoughts of Beth Shapiro, “ .. . . explains Shapiro. She prefers to focus the debate on how this emerging technology could be used to fully understand why various species went extinct in the first place, and therefore how we could use it to make genetic modifications which could prevent mass extinctions in the future. … .”
Here, make genetic modifications which could prevent mass extinctions in the future = how further disappearance of multiple species could be avoided,
So, the answer is: F
Question no. 15: explanation of a way of reproducing an extinct animal using the DNA of only that species
Keywords for the question: way of reproducing, an extinct animal, using, DNA, only that species,
In paragraph A, the author talks about the passenger pigeon which have become extinct recently.
Then, the author states in lines 5-10, “ . .. . Geneticist Ben Novak is lead researcher on an ambitious project which now aims to bring the bird back to life through a process known as ‘de-extinction’. The basic premise involves using cloning technology to turn the DNA of extinct animals into a fertilised embryo, which is carried by the nearest relative still in existence – in this case, the abundant band-tailed pigeon – before being born as a living, breathing animal. .. .. .”
Here, we find a clear explanation of how Ben Novak is leading research to bring back the passenger pigeon to life again using cloning technology on a relative species, the band-tailed pigeon.
So, the answer is: A
Question no. 16: reference to a habitat which has suffered following the extinction of a species
Keywords for the question: habitat, suffered, following, extinction of a species,
The answer to this question can be found in lines 6-11 in paragraph D, “ . .. Since the disappearance of this key species, ecosystem in the eastern US have suffered, as the lack of disturbance caused by thousands of passenger pigeons wrecking trees and branches means there has been minimal need for regrowth. This has left forests stagnant and therefore unwelcoming to the plants and animals which evolved to help regenerate the forest after a disturbance. . .. .”
Here, this key species = passenger pigeons, stagnant = inactive,
So, the answer is: D
Question no. 17: mention of the exact point at which a particular species became extinct
Keywords for the question: the exact point, a particular species, became extinct,
Lines 3-5 of paragraph A say, “ . .. . Sadly, the passenger pigeon’s existence came to an end on 1 September 1914, when the last living specimen died at Cincinnati Zoo. . ..”
Here, 1 September 1914= the exact point, the last living specimen died = a particular species became extinct,
So, the answer is: A
Questions 18-22: Summary completion
[In this kind of question candidates are given a summary for one, two or three paragraphs with some fill in the blanks questions. Candidates need to find out the related paragraphs by correctly studying the keywords from the questions. Then, they should follow the steps of finding answers for fill in the gaps.]
Title of the summary: The woolly mammoth revival project
The title of the summary tells us that the answers to this question type can be found in Paragraph E.
Question no. 18: Professor George Church and his team are trying to identify the __________ which enabled mammoths to live in the tundra. The findings could help preserve the mammoth’s close relative, the endangered Asian elephant.
Keywords for the question: Professor George Church and his team, trying to identify, enabled mammoths, live in the tundra,
In paragraph E, take a look at lines 2-7, where the writer says, “ . . . George Church, professor at Harvard Medical School and leader of the Woolly Mammoth Revival Project, has been focusing on cold resistance, the main way in which the extinct woolly mammoth and its nearest living relative, the Asian elephant, differ. By pinpointing which genetic traits made it possible for mammoths to survive the icy climate of the tundra, the project’s goal is to return mammoths, or a mammoth-like species to the area. .. . .”
Here, pinpointing = identifying,
So, these lines indicate that by identifying the genetic traits of the mammoths which lived in the tundra, it might be possible to bring them or, a mammoth-like species back to the area.
So, the answer is: genetic traits
Question no. 19: According to Church, introducing Asian elephants to the tundra would involve certain physical adaptations to minimise _________ .
Keywords for the question: According to Church, introducing Asian elephants, the tundra, would involve, certain physical adaptations, minimise,
Questions no. 20 & 21: To survive in the tundra, the species would need to have the mammoth-like features of thicker hair, 20. ________ of a reduced size and more 21. ________.
Keywords for the question: to survive, tundra, the species, would need, mammoth-like features, thicker hair, of reduced size, more,
In paragraph E, lines 9-11 provide us the answers to these three questions. Let’s read the lines, “ . . . Necessary adaptations would include smaller ears, thicker hair, and extra insulating fat, all for the purpose of reducing heat loss in the tundra, and all the traits found in the now-extinct woolly mammoth. . ..”.
Here, Necessary adaptations = To survive in the tundra, the species would need to have the mammoth-like features,
reducing = minimise,
So, the answer to question 19 is: heat loss
Again, smaller = of a reduced size,
So, the answer to question 20 is: ears
And, extra = more,
So, the answer to question 21 is: (insulating) fat
Question no. 22: Repopulating the tundra with mammoths or Asian elephant/mammoth hybrids would also have an impact on the environment, which could help to reduce temperatures and decrease _________.
Keywords for the question: Repopulating the tundra, mammoths or Asian elephant/mammoth hybrids, impact, environment, could help, reduce temperatures, decrease,
The last few lines of paragraph E give us the answer to this question. The writer says here, “ . . . . This repopulation of the tundra and boreal forests of Eurasia and North America with large mammals could also be a useful factor in reducing carbon emissions – elephants punch holes through snow and knock down trees, which encourages grass growth. This grass growth would reduce temperatures, and mitigate emissions from melting permafrost.”
Here, This repopulation of the tundra = Repopulating the tundra, reducing/mitigate = decrease,
So, the answer is: (carbon) emissions
Questions 23-26: Matching statements with list of people:
[In this type of question, candidates need to relate statements that are given by or link to people in the passage. The rules for finding answers to this sort of question are simple. Just find the name of the person and read around it carefully. Then, give a quick look to check whether there is another statement or idea provided by the same person in the text. If there is, check the reference carefully and decide your answer. Remember, the questions may not follow any sequential order.]
Question no. 23: Reintroducing an extinct species to its original habitat could improve the health of a particular species living there.
Keywords for the question: Reintroducing an extinct species, its original habitat, could improve, health, particular species, living there,
The answer can be found in lines 4-11 of paragraph B. Here, we find comments made by Michael Archer, “ .. . . . explains Michael Archer, of the University of New South Wales. He points out that in the decades since the thylacine went extinct, there has been a spread in a ‘dangerously debilitating’ facial tumour syndrome which threatens the existence of the Tasmanian devils, the island’s other notorious resident. Thylacines would have prevented this spread because they would have killed significant numbers of Tasmanian devils. . . .. . The return of thylacines to Tasmania could help to ensure that devils are never again subjected to risks of this kind.”
Here, thylacine = Tasmanian Tiger (explained in the first line of paragraph B), The return of thylacines = reintroducing an extinct species, Tasmania = its original habitat, Thylacines would have prevented this spread = improve the health of Tasmanian devils (a particular species),
So, the answer is: B (Michael Archer)
Question no. 24: It is important to concentrate on the causes of an animal’s extinction.
Keywords for the question: important to concentrate, causes, an animal’s extinction,
The answer can be found in paragraph F. In this paragraph, the writer says in lines 5-8, “. . .. explains Shapiro. She prefers to focus the debate on how this emerging technology could be used to fully understand why various species went extinct in the first place. .. .. .”
Here, focus the debate on = concentrate on, why various species went extinct = the causes of an animal’s extinction,
So, the answer is: C (Beth Shapiro)
Question no. 25: A species brought back from extinction could have an important beneficial impact on the vegetation of its habitat.
Keywords for the question: a species, brought back from extinction, important beneficial impact, vegetation, its habitat,
Take a look at the last half of paragraph D. The author of the passage says here, “ . . .. Since the disappearance of this key species, ecosystems in the eastern US have suffered, as the lack of disturbance caused by thousands of passenger pigeons wrecking trees and branches means there has been minimal need for regrowth. This had left forests stagnant and therefore unwelcoming to the plants and animals which evolved to help regenerate the forest after a disturbance. According to Novak, a hybridized band-tailed pigeon, with the added nesting habits of a passenger pigeon, could, in theory, re-establish that forest disturbance, . . .. . .”
Here, hybridized band-tailed pigeon = A species brought back from extinction, plants = vegetation,
Here, in these lines, Ben Novak suggests that due to the disturbance created in the forests by the extinct species, plants usually used to grow better. Now, as many species have gone extinct, there is no need of regrowth of trees and branches, and so, the forests have become stagnant or inactive. If there is a chance of bringing back the passenger pigeon (through its hybrid version of band-tailed pigeon), that lost forest disturbance could return, which means that it will have an impact on the plants (vegetations) and animals.
So, the answer is: A (Ben Novak)
Question no. 26: Our current efforts at preserving biodiversity are insufficient.
Keywords for the question: current efforts, preserving biodiversity, insufficient,
First, take a look at the phrase ‘bringing extinct animals back’ in the first line of paragraph F, which is synonymous to ‘preserving biodiversity’.
The very last lines of the final paragraph (paragraph F) gives us the answer to this question. The author gives reference to the comments made by Beth Shapiro, “ . . . . ‘We know that what we are doing today is not enough, and we have to be willing to take some calculated and measured risks.’ ”
Here, we are doing today = our current efforts, not enough = insufficient,
So, the answer is: C (Beth Shapiro)
This short video lesson may help you as well: