Practising Reading Comprehension

Flying Monster
1. The skeletal remains of a huge winged reptile, extinct for some 60 million years, have been found in the United States in the state of Texas. Its wingspan of 15.5 meters is greater than that of a modern jet fighter plane. The fossil remains indicate that the Texas pterosaur (Flugsaurier), according to its discoverer Douglas Lawson, a graduate student at the University of California at Berkeley, "is without doubt the largest flying creature presently known."
2. The area in which the remains were found suggests that the pterosaur ate carrion and that it really could fly, instead of gliding from cliffs or mountains. "The soaring capacity of large pterosaurs was probably similar to that of vultures," says Lawson, "and the pterosaur had a neck long enough to probe into the carcass of a dinosaur."

Barnacle Glue
3. Barnacles (Meerespflanze, eine Art Schmarotzer, der sich an Schiffrumpfen oder HafenDocks festsetzt), those bothersome little marine animals that attach themselves to everything underwater from dock pilings to ship hulls, may be of great help to the medical world.
4. When the barnacle reaches its final larval form, a clear liquid cement, which enables it to attach itself to any inanimate object, is secreted from its antenna. After anchoring itself, the barnacle sheds its skin and forms a shell; as it grows to adulthood, more glue is produced to hold the barnacle firmly to its chosen home.
5. This glue is what interests scientists. Nothing seems to dissolve it — water, exposure to high temperatures, or attack by bacteria. A cement like this, scientists feel, would be ideal for dentistry and medicine. It could be used to glue fillings into teeth or as fillings themselves; and, because it is tough and flexible, it could be helpful in mending broken bones.
6. Dr. Paul Cheung of the Osborn Laboratories of Marine Sciences in Brooklyn, New York, is now in the process of trying to identify the compo­nents of barnacle glue so that it can be made in the laboratory. His studies may also aid the shipping industry to solve one of its major problems—how to prevent the costly buildup of barnacles on ship bottoms.

"Slippery" Water
7. Take some ordinary water, add long strings of molecules called polymers and it will flow faster and farther than regular water through a pipe or a fireman's hose.
8. Dr. Carl Gryte and graduate student Jay Chapman of Columbia University in New York have found that the polymers make water slip and slide over solid surfaces. One such polymer, polyethylene oxide, looks like a string of beads; each bead on the "necklace" is one small molecule. Re­search by the Rand Institute of New York City has shown that "slippery" water flows 70 percent faster than ordinary water and travels twice as far under the same pressure.
[9] Once it is known how these polymer "necklaces" work, scientists feel they may be of great help in saving energy. If polymers were attached to the insides of pipes, for example, less energy would be needed to pump water for irrigation (Bewässerung).


I. Identification: Identify or define the following.

pterosaur _____________________________________________________________________


polyethylene oxide_____________________________________________________________

II. Completion: Complete the following statements using information from "Science Briefs."

1. _____________________make water flow more easily over solid surfaces.

2.Barnacles secrete a clear liquid cement from their ___________________________ during the ______________________ stage of their growth.

3.The pterosaur, remains of which were found in the state of ____________________________, has been extinct for more than years.

4.Scientists feel that barnacle glue could be used in dentistry to __________________________ and in medicine to _________________________ .

5.Because it looks like a _________________________ , polyethylene oxide is called a polymer ______________________________ .

6.Dr. Paul Cheung's present job of research is trying to ___________________________ of barnacle glue.

7. _________________________ water flows 70 percent faster than ordinary water.

8.The wings of a pterosaur are __________________________ long.

9.Barnacles are ________________________________ animals that attach themselves to _____________________________ pilings and ship ________________________ .

10.By attaching polymers to the insides of pipes, less _____________________________ would be needed to pump water for ____________________________ .

III. True-False: Write + if the statement is true and 0 if it is false and then correct the false statements to make them true.

__________ 1. Dr. Paul Cheung has done important research with polymers.

___________2. Pterosaurs have been discovered near Berkeley, California.

___________3.Barnacles produce liquid cement in their larval form.

___________4.Polyethylene oxide is a polymer that can be used to make "slippery water."

___________5. Pterosaurs had wings longer than those of a modern jet fighter plane.

___________6. Barnacles create more glue as they grow to adulthood.

___________7. "Slippery water" can save energy if used in the insides of pipes.

___________8. Glue from barnacles can be combined with "slippery water" to produce a new kind of polymer.

___________9.Pterosaurs could fly in a manner like that of vultures.

__________10. Barnacles secrete liquid cement from their shells.

IV. Word Study

A. Find the equivalent of the following words or expressions in column B. Write the letter of the equivalent in the blank.

Column A Column B
____1. according to a. truly
____2. presently b. in orderto
____3. really c. doubtless
____4. probably d. securely
____5. similar (to) e. for instance
____6. firmly f. like
____7. so that g. says
____8. also h. perhaps
____9. for example i. too
____10. without doubt j. now

B. Match the verbs in column A with their synonyms in column B. Place the letter of your answer in the blank.

Column A Column B
____1. indicate a. examine
____2. form b. recognize
____3. seem c. make
____4. mend d. appear
____5. prevent e. show
____6. probe f. repair
____7. identify g. stop

C. Circle the word similar in meaning to the first word.

1. huge - tall, big, dark, lazy

2. modern - recent, shy, wet, convenient

3. final - first, long, last, full

4. clear - sharp, common, bright, orderly

5. inanimate - dead, visible, historical, flexible

6. tough - hard, strong, ordinary, ideal

7. major - extinct, marine, main, final

8. ordinary - daily, costly, plain, weak

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