Cheetah's speed unlocked

READING PASSAGE

Questions 1-5

Choose the correct letter A, B, C or D.

1. What is the main idea of the passage?

A. There are some factors which affects a greyhound’s ability to run.
B. The experiments explain the reasons why cheetahs have the incredible sprinting ability.
C. A robotic cheetah is being developed.
D. Scientists are developing technologies to produce fast-running robots.
The first paragraph says “Back in the 1960s, the sprinting ability of the fastest land animal, the cheetah, was discovered - 103 km/h (64mph). Now, the reasons behind its incredible ability are finally understood.” and the whole Reading Passage supports this idea.

2. What was the greatest speed of the cheetah discovered in the 1960s?

A. 69 km/h
B. 29 km/h
C. 103 km/h
D. 43 km/h

The first paragraph says“Back in the 1960s, the sprinting ability of the fastest land animal, the cheetah, was discovered - 103 km/h (64mph).”

A is wrong because it is greyhounds' speed; the fifth paragraph says greyhounds have a maximum speed of 69 km/h (43mph).”

B is wrong because it is legged robots' speed; the last paragraph says “It has already reached a speed of 29 km/h (18mph) - a land speed record for legged robots."

D is not mentioned in the text.

3. The experiment using the similar measurements with greyhounds was conducted in order to

A. test the force plates.
B. measure the maximum speed of greyhounds.
C. check the load force when animals run.
D. contrast the running styles of greyhounds and cheetahs.

The fifth paragraph sayscontrasting the two running styles provides a good way to unpick exactly what it is about a cheetah that makes it faster.”

A, B are not mentioned in the text.

C is wrong because the third paragraph says "The force plates measured" the load force when animals run.

4. Which tools were NOT used to conduct the experiments with cheetahs mentioned in the passage?

A. Force plates
B. Bits of wool
C. Robots
D. Cameras

The last paragraph says “Wilson is using his research by working with US Company Boston Dynamics, which is developing a robotic cheetah. It has already reached a speed of 29 km/h (18 mph) - a land speed record if legged robots.” → "robots" are not used in the experiments.

A is wrong because the third paragraph says “This time, the cheetahs ran over ‘force plates' which was buried in a track...to measure the force of cheetahs’ body moving or standing on as they chased chicken legs tied to string.”

B is wrong because the second paragraph says Bits of wool between the big cat’s start and finish line acted as timing markers.”

D is wrong because the third paragraph says “...while high-speed cameras were able to determine how the joints of the bones moved.”

5. Wilson is the person who

A. carried out an experiment with a female cheetah.
B. is presently doing some research into running styles of wild cheetahs in Botswana.
C. has worked for US Company Boston Dynamics for many years.
D. founded ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in the UK.

The seventh paragraph says “He is currently measuring the sprinting or fast-running styles of wild cheetahs in Botswana to gain more insight.”

A is wrong because the second paragraph says "Craig Sharp, a British athletics coach visiting Kenya, recorded the speed of a female cheetah..."

C is wrong because the last paragraph says"Wilson is using his research by working with US Company Boston Dynamics..."

D is not mentioned in the text.

Questions 6-10

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the Reading Passage?
In blanks 6-10, type

TRUE if the statement agrees with the information

FALSE if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this

6.    The wild cheetah is the fastest land animal.

The first paragraph says “the true sprinting capability of the fastest land animal, the cheetah”

7.    Cheetahs’ backs and limbs enable them to resist more weight.

The sixth paragraph says “As well as the limbs, the cheetah’s back also plays a part.”

8.    Greyhounds are very healthy dogs, which can live up to 15 years.

There is no information on this in the Reading Passage.

9.    Zoo cheetahs are likely to run as rapidly as wild cheetahs.

The seventh paragraph says “The zoo cheetahs fell considerably short of the animal’s top speed.”

10.    A robotic cheetah is able to reach the same speed as a real one.

There is no information on this in the Reading Passage.

Vocabulary review

I. Scan the passage for the following words (on the left) and read the sentences containing them carefully.
Match these words with their definitions (on the right).

Words

Definitions

1. sprinting (n) a) impossible or very difficult to believe
2. incredible (adj) b) to run, drive, etc. after sb/sth in order to catch them
3. sophisticated (adj) c) clever and complicated in the way that it works or is presented
4. chase (v) d) all the people, things or animals that were born at about the same time
5. generation (n) e) fast running

1.   2.   3.   4.   5.  

Vocabulary review

II. Complete the following sentences using the suitable words in the box below.
Sometimes you have to change the form of the words to make them grammatically correct in the sentences.

sprinting - incredible - sophisticated - chase - generation

1. There is a big difference between the younger and the older   .

2. I have taken up    for a short time.

3. It is    that she could finish this work in only one week.

4. This company installed a new and    computer system to improve their work efficiency.

5. My dogs like to    rabbits.

READING PASSAGE

Below is the Reading Passage with more useful words and phrases highlighted in blue.

Big cat’s running style examined

In order to investigate the cheetah’s unique running gait, scientists encouraged the animal to top speed through the inducement of chicken legs on string

Back in the 1960s, the true sprinting capability of the fastest land animal, the cheetah, was discovered - 103 km/h (64mph). Now, the reasons behind its incredible ability are finally being understood.

In 1965, Craig Sharp, a British athletics coach visiting Kenya, recorded the speed of a female cheetah with a stopwatch as she chased a vehicle that was trailing meat. Bits of wool between the big cat’s start and finish line acted as timing markers.

Now, using rather more sophisticated technology, the physiological factors that enable such incredible turns of speed have been examined. This time, the cheetahs ran over force plates’ which was buried in a track in the cheetah enclosure at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in the UK to measure the force of cheetahs’ body moving or standing on as they chased chicken legs tied to string. The force plates measured the load or the total amount of forces in all four legs, while high-speed cameras were able to determine how the joints of the bones moved.

“When they run, cheetahs can increase the number of strides they take per second significantly,” says Alan Wilson at the Royal Veterinary College in London, who led the study. “They do this by bringing their legs forwards more quickly. Racing greyhounds don’t do it quite as quickly as cheetahs.

Back at the lab, greyhounds underwent similar measurements of their sprinting styles. Despite being similar in size and stature to their feline counterparts, greyhounds have a maximum speed of 69 km/h (43mph). So contrasting the two running styles provides a good way to unpick exactly what it is about a cheetah that makes it faster.

As well as the limbs, the cheetah’s back also plays a part. “It’s flexible, enabling them to put their hind feet further forwards as they run so they are somewhere underneath their chin,” says Wilson. “This means their feet are on the ground for longer, allowing them to support more weight.”

The zoo cheetahs fell considerably short of the animal’s top speed. “I think there was a motivational issue,” says Wilson. “These cheetahs have lived in zoos for several generations.” He is currently measuring the sprinting or fast-running styles of wild cheetahs in Botswana to gain more insight.

Wilson is using his research by working with US Company Boston Dynamics, which is developing a robotic cheetah. It has already reached a speed of 29 km/h (18mph) - a land speed record for legged robots.

 
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