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Cool koalas 萌酷的考拉萌酷的考拉

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自澳大利亚发生毁灭性的森林大火以来,当地考拉的数量已有所下降。这对这些可爱、毛茸茸的有袋类动物的未来有什么影响?科学家们希望通过不断地探索可以进一步了解此物种,从而保护它们的栖息地。本文介绍一些关于萌酷考拉的惊奇事实。

词汇:wildlife 野生动物

When you think of a cute, furry wild animal, you often picture a koala. These adorable-looking creatures appear docile and friendly, so it’s no wonder people are concerned about the future of the species after the devastating bushfires that destroyed parts of Australia earlier this year. Luckily, many survived, which gives us a chance to continue to learn more about these marsupials.

Australia’s native and unique wildlife such as kangaroos, platypus and koalas, are under constant threat from human activity and natural disasters. It’s thought at least a billion animals lost their lives as a result of this year’s bushfires. Recently, drones and thermal imaging technology have been used to track their movements to help them keep safe. Protecting these unique species is important because, as The Australian Koala Foundation estimates, there are now possibly as few as 43,000 koalas in the wild.

So, what is so special about koalas and what makes them so ‘cool’? Maybe we envy their ability to sleep for up to 22 hours day! Or could it be their laid-back appearance due to the fact that they are herbivores and mainly feed on juicy eucalyptus leaves, which take a lot of time and energy to digest.

What is amazing is that because they often live in a dry and hot environment, they drink very little water. So, how do they survive? Well, scientists have discovered that these wild mammals lick running water off the smooth surface of a tree trunk when it is raining. This phenomenon is called “stemflow”. Valentina Mella, the lead author of the research and an ethnologist from the University of Sydney, told the BBC: “I think the main message is that behavioural observations in the wild are very important to establish what is normal and what is unusual, and to truly understand what animals need. If we watch them carefully, they will tell us.”

So, despite the word ‘koala’ meaning ‘no drink’ or ‘no water’ in the Aboriginal language, it seems that even these sleepy creatures do need a drink sometimes. And if we’re to encourage them to flourish, we need to conserve their habitat.

词汇表

creature 动物
species 物种
bushfire 林火
marsupials 有袋(目)动物
kangaroo 袋鼠
platypus 鸭嘴兽
track 追踪
laid-back 悠闲的,懒散的
herbivore 食草动物
eucalyptus leaf 桉树叶
digest 消化
environment 环境
mammal 哺乳动物
trunk 树干
phenomenon 现象
ethnologist 民族学者,人种学家
Aboriginal 澳大利亚土著的
flourish 茁壮成长
conserve 保护
habitat 栖息地

测验与练习

1.  阅读课文并回答问题。

1. What is it that has recently destroyed much of the koala’s habitat in Australia?

2. True or false: Animals such as koalas can only be found in Australia.

3. Why does eating eucalyptus leaves make koalas laid-back and sleepy?

4. According to new research, how do koalas drink water?

5. Why should we protect the habitat koalas live in?

2.  选择意思恰当的单词或词组来完成下列句子。

1. When I was on an expedition in the Amazon rainforest, I was lucky enough to spot a rare _______ of bird.

creature                          habitat                           species                      herbivore

2. While crossing the desert, the team had to _______ water before they reached the next village.

flourish                           conserve                         track                        digest

3. The good quality soil in the garden means my plants are _______.

flourished                       flourishing                       flourish                      flourishes

4. Although I love eating freshly baked bread, I find it hard to _______.

digest                            conserve                         track                          phenomenon  

5. My boyfriend is so _______ – he doesn’t care the boiler is broken and we have no hot water!

back-laid                        laid-backs                       lay-back                     laid-back

答案

1.  阅读课文并回答问题。  

1. What is it that has recently destroyed much of koala’s habitat in Australia?
It’s thought at least a billion animals lost their lives as a result of these devastating bushfires.

2. True or false: Animals such as koalas can only be found in Australia.
True. Koalas are marsupials – types of animals that are unique to Australia.

3. Why does eating eucalyptus leaves make koalas laid-back and sleepy?
Feeding on juicy eucalyptus leaves takes a lot of time and energy for koalas to digest.

4. According to new research, how do koalas drink water?
Koalas lick running water off the smooth surface of a tree trunk when it is raining.

5. Why should we protect the habitat koalas live in?
We should conserve – or protect – their habitat to help them survive and flourish.

2. 选择意思恰当的单词或词组来完成下列句子。

1. When I was on an expedition in the Amazon rainforest, I was lucky enough to spot a rare species of bird.

2. While crossing the desert, the team had to conserve water before they reached the next village.

3. The good quality soil in the garden means my plants are flourishing.

4. Although I love eating freshly baked bread, I find it hard to digest.

5. My boyfriend is so laid-back – he doesn’t care the boiler is broken and we have no hot water!

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