Polar bears could become extinct faster than predicted. That is because there is a shortage of food in their habitat and scientists have now found out that polar bears need more energy than previously thought.
As a result of global warming, Arctic ice is melting quickly, so that polar bears have to travel further in search of food. In a study that has spanned the last three years, scientists found out that polar bears have to travel one and a half times more than in the past. As a result, they lose weight.
Experiments conducted with modern technology show how polar bears move and behave. High-tech GPScollars were put on 9 female polar bears. Their movements and energy consumption have been tracked over a period of 12 days. Results show that a few of them lost up to 10%of their weight.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, polar bears spend half of their time hunting for something to eat. They rely mostly on young seals as the main source of food, but the seal population is getting scarce because of the melting ice.
A polar bear needs about 12000 kilocalories a day to stay healthy and even more to put on the body fat it needs to survive the winter months.
Over the past ten years, the number of polar bears has declined by 40%. Ice on their habitat, Arctic Sea ice is decreasing at a rate of 14% per decade. It is currently at its lowest level in 40 years.
according to = as reported by …
behave = act in certain situations
body fat = here: the fat an animal needs to protect itself from the cold weather
collar = band of leather or plastic that is around an animal’s neck
conduct = carry out
currently = at the moment
decade = ten years
decline = to go down
decrease = become lower
energy consumption = the amount of energy you need and use up
extinct = to die out and not exist anymore
global warming = increase in the atmosphere’s temperature caused by more carbon dioxide and other gases
further = a longer distance
GPS = system that shows where your position is on earth through a system of radio signals
habitat = natural home of a plant or animal
lose weight = become thinner
melt = when ice turns into water
predict = to say that something will happen before it does
previously = at an earlier time
rely = here: eat
scarce = not very much left
scientist = person who is trained in science and works in a lab
seal = large sea animal that eats fish and lives near coasts
shortage = not enough
source = where something comes from
span = period of time between two events
study = piece of work that is done to find out more about a subect
survive = stay alive
track = monitor, watch closely
World Wildlife Fund = organisation that wants to protect the environment and save animals and plants
Two monkeys have been cloned in a Chinese laboratory. They were created with the identicaltechnique used to clone Dolly, the sheep back in 1996. Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua were born a few weeks ago at a Chinese lab. Researchers say they are growing normally.
Over two decades ago, Dolly, became the first successfully cloned mammal. Since then cows, pigs, dogs and other mammals have been cloned. The cloning of primates was thought to be more difficult than the creation of other mammals in a lab. The Chinese team has brought the scientific community one step closer to the cloning of humans.
The technique used in the test involves transferring the nucleus of a cell into an egg which has had its nucleus removed. The experiment was remarkable because it used fetal cells instead of adult cells. It took the Chinese scientists many attempts and 127 eggs to clone just two monkeys.
According to scientists, the cloning of monkeys will help to research human diseases, including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. It is also important in drug research.
China has invested heavily in research in the past years. The successful test came at a time when American and European scientists have backed away from using monkeys and apes for ethical reasons.
according to = as said by …
Alzheimer’s disease = disease that affects the brain, especially of older people; it makes it difficult for you to move, talk or remember things
attempt = try
back away = stop doing something
cancer = serious illness in which cells can grow in an uncontrolled way
clone = an animal or plant produced by scientists from one cell of another animal or plant so that they are exactly the same
creation = making something
decade = ten years
disease = illness
drug research = creating new forms of medicine
ethical = something that is morally good or bad
fetal = belonging to an unborn baby or animal
human = a person
identical = the same
including = also
invest = put money into …
laboratory = room or building in which scientific experiments take place
mammal = type of animal that drinks milk from its mother’s body when it is young; humans, dogs and cows are mammals
nucleus = the central part of an atom
primate = member of a group of mammals that includes humans and monkeys
remove = take away
remarkable = unusual, surprising
researcher = person who studies something in order to find out more about it
scientific community = all the people who do research work in labs
China has put a ban on all ivory trade in the country. The ban came into effect on January 1 of this year. 67 official ivory processing factories and shops were closed last year and a remaining 100 were shut down on December 31. A similar ban in the U.S. went into effect in June 2016.
The Chinese decision to stop the ivory trading business has been welcomed by the World Wildlife Fund and other organisations as a major effort in protecting the world’s elephant population. It is estimated that over 30,000 African elephants are killed every year.
Chinese citizens regard ivory as a status symbol. People buy jewellery, chopsticks and other objects made of ivory, leading to the development of one of the world’s largest ivory markets. When trading ivory was officially banned worldwide in 1990, China continued to sell it through shops and factories. The legal trade also brought illegal ivory into the country.
However, there is a majorconcern that the new law does not apply to HongKong, an important ivory trading hub. Authorities in the former British colony are working on a ban of their own, expected to take effect soon. On the other side, customers will probably go to Laos, Vietnam or other Asian countries, where trading laws are not so strict.
In the past year, ivory prices started to go down as more and more Chinese shops were closing. The ban will have a big impact on African countries, especially Kenya and Tanzania, wheremost of the elephant poaching is taking place.
apply = take effect
authorities = government organisations that have the power to make decisions
ban = to forbid something; not allow
citizen = a person who lives in a country and has rights there
concern = feeling of worry about something important
development = growth
effort = try
especially = above all
estimate = to calculate how big something is by the information that you have
former = in the past
however = but
into effect = start to work
illegal = not allowed; against the law
ivory = hard, smooth yellowish-white material from the long teeth of elephants
jewellery = small things that you wear for decoration, like necklaces or rings
legal = allowed by the government
major = important
official = allowed by the government
poaching = to shoot or catch animals illegally
processing = here: when you make an elephant’s tusk into jewellery and other objects
protect = here to keep animals safe
remaining = those that were left
similar = almost the same
status symbol = something that you have that you think shows high social rank or position
strict= here: law that must be obeyed
trading hub = here: a place where ivory is bought and sold
welcome = to be glad that something has happened
worldwide = around the world
World Wildlife Fund = organisation that tries to save and protect endangered animals
A Swedish publicationreleasedrecently says that having a dog could not only make your life more worthwhile but actually save it. Apart from being great companions, especially for single individuals, dog ownership may lengthen your life. The survey studied Swedish individuals between 40 and 80 over a 12-year period.
The study found out that owning a dog reduces the risk of cardiovasculardiseases by almost a third. The risk of suffering a heart attack is 11% lower compared to singles without a dog. People who owned hunting dogs, like terriers and retrievers, benefited the most.
Dog owners are more active because they exercise with their dogs. Extensivephysical activityreduces the risk of heart diseases, strengthens the immune system and makes life less stressful. It also results in lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Dogs are increasingly used as a therapy after a severeillness. An American study shows that patients who have undergonesurgeryrecovered more quickly if they had contact with dogs.
On the other side dogs have a calming effect on people and are important company for those living alone. Loneliness and lack of social interaction is one of the biggest problems of older people. Petting a dog, for example, has proven to be helpful to those suffering from depression. In addition, dogs are especially helpful in helping and guidingdisabled and blind people.
apart from = besides; in addition to
benefit = to have advantages
blood pressure = the force with which blood travels through your body
calming = relaxed and quiet
cardiovascular disease = illness connected with the heart and blood moving through your body
cholesterol = chemical substance in your blood; too much of it may cause heart disease
company = when you are with someone else and not alone
compare =to look at two things and show how much the same or different they are
companion = friend
depression = the feeling of sadness that makes you think there is no hope for the future
disabled = someone who cannot use parts of their body properly
especially = above all
exercise = physical activity that makes you stronger and keeps you healthy
extensive = a lot ; much
guide = lead to a place
heart attack = when your heart suddenly stops beating
heart disease = illness related to your heart
illness = disease
immune system = system by which your body protects itself against diseases
in addition = also
increasingly = more and more
lack = not enough of …
lengthen = make longer
loneliness = being alone
ownership = having or possessing something
patient = someone who receives medical treatment in a hospital or at a doctor’s
pet = to touch or move your hand softly over an animal
publication = when you make something known to the public
recently = a short time ago
recover = to get better after you have been ill for some time
reduce = lower
release = to publish
severe = bad
social interaction = when two or more people do things together
strengthen = to make stronger
survey = a set of questions you ask a larger number of people about a certain topic
therapy = treatment or an illness after a long period of time
worthwhile = if something is important or useful; you can profit from something
Scientists have found out that the behaviour of marine mammals, especially dolphins and whales, is connected to their brain size . In a recentstudy, researchers have found out that mammals with larger brains behave in a more complex way.
Researchers have collected information on about 90 different types of dolphins and whales. They found out that social behaviour among these two species is more complex than previously thought.
Whales, for example, change calling songs regularly and pass certain information on to their younger ones and other groups. They use various languages which are similar to human dialects. Sperm whales, with a brain six times the size of a human one, organise other whales to babysit for them while they go hunting for food.
Other whale species, like blue or humpback whales, have smaller brains. They live in a more solitary way and don’t have long-term relationships.
Dolphins have a way of contacting other individuals , even if they are not present. Scientists regard this as a form of gossip. As well as having rich and varied diets, they play and hunt together.
Scientists think that bigger brains have evolved in order handle the complex way that mammals socialise.
behaviour = the things that a person or animal does
brain = the organ inside your head that controls how you think , feel and move
complex = here: with many different parts; difficult to understand
especially = above all
evolve = develop
gossip = information that is passed on to others about how they behave
handle = deal with
mammal = type of animal that drinks milk from its mother’s body when it is young
marine = in the sea or ocean
previously = before now; some time ago
recent = a short time ago
regard = think, consider
regularly = often
researcher = a person who studies something closely in order to find out more about it
scientist = a person who is trained in science and works in a lab
similar = like
size = how big something is
social behaviour = here: the way they behave in groups
socialise = here: to spend time together with others or in groups
solitary = spending a lot of time alone; not in a group
species = group of animals or plants that are similar and can have babies together
study = a piece of work done to find out more about certain things
varied diet = here: they eat all kinds of different food
Thousands of penguin babies have starved to death in the eastern Antarctic recently . Observers found thousands of unhatched eggs and lifeless baby penguins on the coast. According to scientists , only two baby penguinssurvived during the 2017 breeding season. Adélie penguins live in colonies that consist of thousands of animals. It is the second time that a whole colony has been wiped out after no babies survived in 2015.
The World Wildlife Fund says that krill fishing in the area has led to the starving of penguin babies. Officials state that fishing in the area may permanentlyendanger the whole penguin population in the Antarctic.
Another reason for the declining number of Adélie penguins is possibly climate change. In regions where ice gets thicker, adult penguins must travel further away from the shore in order to find food. When they get back they find many of their babies already dead.
The WWF and other organisations now demand that the eastern Antarctic coastline be declared a Marine Protected Area in order to help endangered penguins. Commercial fishing should be banned around these areas .
Adélie penguins live along the Antarctic coast and usually breed from October to February. They lay eggs in nests made up of stones.
according to = as said by …
adult = grownup
ban = forbid
breed = two or more animals get together in order to have babies
commercial fishing = fishing in order to make money
consist of = made up of
declare = to officially say that something exists
declining = going down
demand = want to have
endanger = to put a person or an animal in danger
krill = small shellfish
lifeless = dead
Marine Protected Area = area in the ocean where fishing and mining is banned and where animals and plants are protected
permanently = exist for a long time in the future
observer = a person who watches something closely
official = person who is in a high position in an organisation
shore = coast; where land meets the sea
starve = to die because you do not have enough to eat
survive = to live on after a dangerous situation
unhatched = if a baby animal does not come out of an egg
wipe out = destroy completely, so that nothing is left
World Wildlife Fund = organisation that protects endangered animals and plants
Researchers have found out that the size of an animal is important when it comes to extinction. Scientists have determined that the biggest and the smallest animals are more at risk of dying out than medium-sized animals.
Heavy animals are mostly endangered by hunting and poaching while the smallest creatures may die out because their living area is being polluted. Among the most endangered animals are elephants, lions and rhinos. Public awareness is large and campaigns to save such animals have been around for a long time. It is the smallest species that get the leastattention. Especially fish and frogs are in danger of dying out.
The species that are most at risk have a weight of over 1 kilogram. They are in danger of being killed because we need food, skin and other items.
According to the study, animals that are becoming extinct affect large ecosystems, like forests, deserts and oceans.
according to = as said by …
affect = to change a situation or a place
attention = to listen, look at or think carefully about something
campaign = actions that lead to solving a special problem
determine = to find out the facts about something
ecosystem =all the animals and plants that live in a certain area and how they live together
extinction = when a plant or animal stops existing
least = less than anything else
poaching = to catch or shoot wild animals illegally
pollute = to make something dirty and unusable
public awareness = most people know that a problem exists
researcher = person who studies a subject in order to find out something new about it.
scientist = a person who is trained in science
skin = the outer part of a person or an animal’s body
size = how big something is
species = group of animals that are similar and can have babies with each other