You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13 which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.

Health in the Wild

Many animals seem able to treat their illnesses themselves. Humans may have a thing or two to learn from them.


For the past decade Dr Engel, a lecturer in environmental sciences at Britain’s Open University, has been collating examples of self-medicating behaviour in wild animals. She recently published a book on the subject. In a talk at the Edinburgh Science Festival earlier this month, she explained that the idea that animals can treat themselves has been regarded with some scepticism by her colleagues in the past. But a growing number of animal behaviourists now think that wild animals can and do deal with their own medical needs.


One example of self-medication was discovered in 1987. Michael Huffman and Mohamedi Seifu, working in the Mahale Mountains National Park in Tanzania, noticed that local chimpanzees suffering from intestinal worms would dose themselves with the pith of a plant called Veronia. This plant produces poisonous chemicals called terpenes. Its pith contains a strong enough concentration to kill gut parasites, but not so strong as to kill chimps (nor people, for that matter; locals use the pith for the same purpose). Given that the plant is known locally as “goat-killer”, however, it seems that not all animals are as smart as chimps and humans. Some consume it indiscriminately and succumb.


Since the Veronia-eating chimps were discovered, more evidence has emerged suggesting that animals often eat things for medical rather than nutritional reasons. Many species, for example, consume dirt a behaviour known as geophagy. Historically, the preferred explanation was that soil supplies minerals such as salt. But geophagy occurs in areas where the earth is not a useful source of minerals, and also in places where minerals can be more easily obtained from certain plants that are known to be rich in them. Clearly, the animals must be getting something else out of eating earth.


The current belief is that soil—and particularly the clay in it—helps to detoxify the defensive poisons that some plants produce in an attempt to prevent themselves from being eaten. Evidence for the detoxifying nature of clay came in 1999, from an experiment carried out on macaws by James Gilardi and his colleagues at the University of California, Davis. Macaws eat seeds containing alkaloids, a group of chemicals that has some notoriously toxic members, such as strychnine. In the wild, the birds are frequently seen perched on eroding riverbanks eating clay. Dr Gilardi fed one group of macaws a mixture of harmless alkaloid and clay, and a second group just the alkaloid. Several hours later, the macaws that had eaten the clay had 60% less alkaloid in their bloodstreams than those that had not, suggesting that the hypothesis is correct.


Other observations also support the idea that clay is detoxifying. Towards the tropics, the amount of toxic compounds in plants increases-and so does the amount of earth eaten by herbivores. Elephants lick clay from mud holes all year round, except in September when they are bingeing on fruit which, because it has evolved to be eaten, is not toxic. And the addition of clay to the diets of domestic cattle increases the amount of nutrients that they can absorb from their food by 10-20%.


A third instance of animal self-medication is the use of mechanical scours to get rid of gut parasites, in 1972 Richard Wrangham, a researcher at the Gombe Stream Reserve in Tanzania, noticed that chimpanzees were eating the leaves of a tree called Aspilia. The chimps chose the leaves carefully by testing them in their mouths. Having chosen a leaf, a chimp would fold it into a fan and swallow it. Some of the chimps were noticed wrinkling their noses as they swallowed these leaves, suggesting the experience was unpleasant. Later, undigested leaves were found on the forest floor.


Dr Wrangham rightly guessed that the leaves had a medicinal purpose—this was, indeed, one of the earliest interpretations of a behaviour pattern as self-medication. However, he guessed wrong about what the mechanism was. His (and everybody else’s) assumption was that Aspilia contained a drug, and this sparked more than two decades of phytochemical research to try to find out what chemical the chimps were after.  But by the 1990s, chimps across Africa had been seen swallowing the leaves of 19 different species that seemed to have few suitable chemicals in common. The drug hypothesis was looking more and more dubious.


It was Dr Huffman who got to the bottom of the problem.  He did so by watching what came out of the chimps, rather than concentrating on what went in. He found that the egested leaves were full of intestinal worms. The factor common to all 19 species of leaves swallowed by the chimps was that they were covered with microscopic hooks. These caught the worms and dragged them from their lodgings.


Following that observation, Dr Engel is now particularly excited about how knowledge of the way that animals look after themselves could be used to improve the health of livestock. People might also be able to learn a thing or two, and may, indeed, already have done so. Geophagy, for example, is a common behaviour in many parts of the world. The medical stalls in African markets frequently sell tablets made of different sorts of clays, appropriate to different medical conditions.


Africans brought to the Americas as slaves continued this tradition, which gave their owners one more excuse to affect to despise them. Yet, as Dr Engel points out, Rwandan mountain gorillas eat a type of clay rather similar to kaolinite – the main ingredient of many patent medicines sold over the counter in the West for digestive complaints. Dirt can sometimes be good for you, and to be “as sick as a parrot” may, after all, be a state to be desired.



Questions 1-4

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?

In boxes 1-4 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE               if the statement is true

FALSE              if the statement is false

NOT GIVEN    if the information is not given in the passage

1   It is for 10 years that Dr Engel has been working on animal self-medication.

2   In order to find plants for medication, animals usually need to walk a long distance.

3   Birds such as Macaw, are seen eating clay because it is a part of their natural diet.

4   According to Dr Engel, it is exciting that research into animal self-medication can be helpful in the invention of new painkillers.

Questions 5-9

Complete the notes below using NO MORE THAN ONE WORD from the passage.

Write your answers in boxes 5-9 on your answer sheet. 







Michael Huffman and Mohamedi Seifu


5……………… of Veronia

Contained chemicals named 6……………… which can kill parasites


James Gilardi and his colleagues


Seeds (contain 7………………) and clay

Clay can 8……………… the poisonous contents in food


Richard Wrangham


Leaves with tiny 9……………… on surface

Such leaves can catch and expel worms from intestines


Questions 10-13

Complete the summary below using words from the box.

Write your answers, A-H, in boxes 10-13 on your answer sheet.

Though often doubted, the self-medicating behaviour of animals has been supported by an increasing amount of evidence. One piece of evidence particularly deals with 10………………….., a soil-consuming behaviour commonly found across animals species, because the earth, often clay, can neutralize the 11………………….. content of their diet.  Such behaviour can also be found among humans in Africa, where people purchase 12………………….. at market stalls as a kind of medication to their illnesses. Another example of this is found in chimps eating leaves of often 13………………….. taste but with no apparent medicinal value until its unique structure came into light.

A  mineral           B  plants          C  unpleasant    D  toxic

E  clay tablets     F  nutritional   G  geophagy      H  harmless


You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-26 which are based on Reading Passage 2 below. 




“YOUR BATTERY IS NOW FULLY CHARGED,” ANNOUNCED THE LAPTOP COMPUTER to its owner, Donald A. Norman, with enthusiasm – perhaps even a hint of pride? – in its synthetic voice. To be sure, distractions and multitasking are hardly new to the human condition. “A complicated life, continually interrupted by competing requests for attention, is as old as procreation,” laughs Ted Selker of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab. But increasingly, it is not just our kids pulling us three ways at once; it is also a relentless barrage of e-mail, alerts, alarms, calls, instant messages and automated notifications, none of them coordinated and all of them oblivious to whether we are busy – or even present. “It’s ridiculous that my own computer can’t figure out whether I’m in front of it, but a public toilet can,” exclaims Roel Vertegaal of Queen’s University in Ontario.


Humanity has connected itself through roughly three billion networked telephones, computers, traffic lights – even refrigerator and picture frames – because these things make life more convenient and keep us available to those we care about. So although we could simply turn off the phones, close the e-mail program, and shut the office door when it is time for a meeting or a stretch of concentrated work, we usually don’t. We just endure the consequences.


Numerous studies have shown that when people are unexpectedly interrupted, they not only work less efficiently but also make more mistakes. “It seems to add cumulatively to a feeling of frustration,” Picard reports, and that stress response makes it hard to regain focus. It isn’t merely a matter of productivity and the pace of life. For pilots, drivers, soldiers and doctors, errors of inattention can be downright dangerous. “If we could just give our computers and phones some understanding of the limits of human attention and memory, it would make them seem a lot more thoughtful and courteous,” says Eric Horvitz of Microsoft Research. Horvitz, Vertegaal, Selker and Picard are among a small but growing number of researchers trying to teach computers, phones, cars and other gadgets to behave less like egocentric oafs and more like considerate colleagues.


“Attentive” computing systems have begun appearing in newer Volvos and IBM has introduced Websphere communications software with a basic busyness sense. Microsoft has been running extensive in-house tests of a much more sophisticated system since 2003. Within a few years, companies may be able to offer every office worker a software version of the personal receptionist that only corner-suite executives enjoy today. But if such an offer should land in your inbox, be sure to read the print before you sign. An attentive system, by definition, is one that is always watching. That considerate computer may come to know more about your work habits than you do.


Most people aren’t as busy as they think they are, which is why we can usually tolerate interruptions from our inconsiderate electronic paraphernalia. James Fogarty and Scott E. Hudson of Carnegie Mellon University recently teamed up with Jennifer Lai of IBM Research to study 10 managers, researchers and interns at work. They videotaped the subjects and periodically had them rate their “interruptibility.” The amount of time the workers spent in leave-me-alone mode varied from person to person and day to day, ranging from 10 to 51 percent. On average, the subjects wanted to work without interruption about one third of the time. In studies of Microsoft employees, Horvitz has similarly found that they typically spend more than 65 percent of their day in a state of low attention.


Today’s phones and computers, which naively assume that the user is never too busy to take a call, read an email, or click “OK” on an alert box, thus are probably correct about two thirds of time. To be useful, then, considerate systems will have to be more than 65 percent accurate in sensing when their users are near their cognitive limits.


Bestcom/Enhanced Telephony, a Microsoft prototype based on Horvitz’s work, digs a little deeper into each user’s computer to find clues about what they are up to. Microsoft launched an internal beta test of the system in mid-2003. By last October, Horvitz says, about 3,800 people were using the system to field their incoming phone calls.


Horvitz himself is one of those testers, and while we talk in his office in Redmond, Wash., Bestcom silently handles one call after another. First it checks whether the caller is listed in his address book, the company directory, or its log of people he has called recently. Triangulating these sources, it tries to deduce their relationship. Family members, supervisors and people he called earlier today ring through. Others see a message on their computer that he is in a meeting and won’t be available until 3 P.M. The system scans Horvitz’s and the caller’s calendar and offers to reschedule the call at a time that is open for both. Some callers choose that option; others leave voice mail. E-mail messages get a similar screening. When Horvitz is out of the office, Bestcom automatically offers to forward selected callers to his cellphone – unless his calendar and other evidence suggest that he is in a meeting.


Most large companies already use computerized phone systems and standard calendar and contact management software, so tapping into those “sensors” should be straightforward. Not all employees will like the idea of having a microphone on all the time in their office, however, nor will everyone want to expose their datebook to some program they do not ultimately control. Moreover, some managers might be tempted to equate a “state of low attention” with “goofing off” and punish those who seem insufficiently busy.



Questions 14-19

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 2?

In boxes 14-19 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE               if the statement is true

FALSE              if the statement is false

NOT GIVEN    if the information is not given in the passage

14   According to Ted Selker, human productivity has been disturbed by office competitors frequently.

15   If people are interrupted by calls or E-mails, they usually put up with it instead of taking uncooperative action.

16   Microsoft is now investigating a software which is compatible with ordinary office units.

17   People usually have misperception about whether they are busy or not.

18   Researches conducted showed concentration-time span in office takes up only average a bit over than 65%.

19   Advanced phone and computer system will install a shortcut key for people receive information immediately.

Questions 20-26

Answer the questions in the diagram below.

Choose ONLY ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.



You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27-40 which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.

Amateur Naturalists


Tim Sparks slides a small leather-bound notebook out of an envelope. The book’s yellowing pages contain bee-keeping notes made between 1941 and 1969 by the late Walter Coates of Kilworth, Leicestershire. He adds it to his growing pile of local journals, birdwatchers’ lists and gardening diaries. “We’re uncovering about one major new record each month,” he says, “I still get surprised.” Around two centuries before Coates, Robert Marsham, a landowner from Norfolk in the East of England, began recording the life cycles of plants and animals on his estate – when the first wood anemones flowered, the dates on which the oaks burst into leaf and the rooks began nesting. Successive Marshams continued compiling these notes for 211 years.


Today, such records are being put to uses that their authors could not pos­sibly have expected. These data sets, and others like them, are proving in­valuable to ecologists interested in the timing of biological events, or phen­ology. By combining the records with climate data, researchers can reveal how, for example, changes in temperature affect the arrival of spring, al­lowing ecologists to make improved predictions about the impact of climate change. A small band of researchers is combing through hundreds of years of records taken by thousands of amateur naturalists. And more systematic projects have also started up, producing an overwhelming response. “The amount of interest is almost frightening,” says Sparks, a climate researcher at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Monks Wood, Cambridgeshire.


Sparks first became aware of the army of “closet phenologists”, as he de­scribes them, when a retiring colleague gave him the Marsham records. He now spends much of his time following leads from one historical data set to another. As news of his quest spreads, people tip him off to other historical records, and more amateur phenologists come out of their closets. The Brit­ish devotion to recording and collecting makes his job easier – one man from Kent sent him 30 years’ worth of kitchen calendars, on which he had noted the date that his neighbour’s magnolia tree flowered.


Other researchers have unearthed data from equally odd sources. Rafe Sagarin, an ecologist at Stanford University in California, recently studied records of a betting contest in which participants attempt to guess the exact time at which a specially erected wooden tripod will fall through the surface of a thawing river. The competition has taken place annually on the Tenana River in Alaska since 1917, and analysis of the results showed that the thaw now arrives five days earlier than it did when the contest began.


Overall, such records have helped to show that, compared with 20 years ago, a raft of natural events now occur earlier across much of the northern hemi­sphere, from the opening of leaves to the return of birds from migration and the emergence of butterflies from hibernation. The data can also hint at how nature will change in the future. Together with models of climate change, amateurs’ records could help guide conservation. Terry Root, an ecologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, has collected birdwatchers’ counts of wildfowl taken between 1955 and 1996 on seasonal ponds in the Ameri­can Midwest and combined them with climate data and models of future warming. Her analysis shows that the increased droughts that the models predict could halve the breeding populations at the ponds. “The number of waterfowl in North America will most probably drop significantly with global warming,” she says.


But not all professionals are happy to use amateur data. “A lot of scientists won’t touch them, they say they’re too full of problems,” says Root. Because different observers can have different ideas of what constitutes, for example, an open snowdrop. “The biggest concern with ad hoc observations is how carefully and systematically they were taken,” says Mark Schwartz of the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, who studies the interactions between plants and climate. “We need to know pretty precisely what a person’s been observing – if they just say ‘I noted when the leaves came out’, it might not be that useful.” Measuring the onset of autumn can be particularly problem­atic because deciding when leaves change colour is a more subjective pro­cess than noting when they appear.


Overall, most phenologists are positive about the contribution that ama­teurs can make. “They get at the raw power of science: careful observation of the natural world,” says Sagarin. But the professionals also acknowledge the need for careful quality control. Root, for example, tries to gauge the quality of an amateur archive by interviewing its collector. “You always have to worry – things as trivial as vacations can affect the measurement. I disregard a lot of records because they’re not rigorous enough,” she says. Others suggest that the right statistics can iron out some of the problems with amateur data. Together with colleagues at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, environmental scientist Arnold van Vliet is developing statistical techniques to account for the uncertainty in amateur phenological data. With the en­thusiasm of amateur phenologists evident from past records, professional researchers are now trying to create standardised recording schemes for fu­ture efforts. They hope that well-designed studies will generate a volume of observations large enough to drown out the idiosyncrasies of individual recorders. The data are cheap to collect and can provide breadth in space, time and range of species. “It’s very difficult to collect data on a large geo­graphical scale without enlisting an army of observers,” says Root.


Phenology also helps to drive home messages about climate change. “Because the public understands these records, they accept them,” says Sparks. It can also illustrate potentially unpleasant consequences, he adds, such as the finding that more rat infestations are reported to local councils in warmer years. And getting people involved is great for public relations. “People are thrilled to think that the data they’ve been collecting as a hobby can be used for something scientific – it empowers them,” says Root.


Questions 27-33

Reading Passage has eight paragraphs A-H.

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter A-H in boxes 27-33 on your answer sheet.

27   Definition of Phenology introduced

28   Sparks first noticed amateur records

29   Surprise function of casual data in science

30   it seems like mission impossible without enormous amateur data collection

31   Example of using amateur records for a scientific prediction

32   Records from an amateur contributed to climate change

33   Collection of old records compiled by a family of amateur naturalists

Questions 34-36

Complete the sentences below with NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage.

Write your answers in boxes 34-36 on your answer sheet.

34   In Waiter Coates’s records, there are plenty of information of ……………………..

35   Robert Marsham is well-known for noting animals and plants’ ……………………..

36   The number of waterfowl in North America decreases because of increased …………………….. according to some phenologists.  

Questions 37-40

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

Write your answers in boxes 37-40 on your answer sheet.

37   Why do a lot of scientists questioned the amateurs data?

A   Data collection is not professional

B   Amateur observers are careless.

C   Amateur data is not reliable sometimes.

D   They have one-sided work experience

38   Example of leaves Mark Schwartz used to explain that?

A   Amateur records are not reliable at all.

B   Amateur records are not well organized.

C   Some details are very difficult to notice.

D   Valuable information is accurate one.

39   What suggestion of scientists for the usage of amateur data?

A   Use modified and better approaches.

B   Only Observation data is valuable.

C   Use original materials instead of changed ones.

D   Method of data collection is the most important.

40   What’s the implication of phenology for ordinary people?

A   It enriches the knowledge of the public.

B   It improves ordinary people’s relations with scientists.

C   It encourages people to collect more animal information.

D   It arouses public awareness about climate change.

Passage 1





5. pith

6. terpenes

7. alkaloids

8. detoxify

9. hooks

10. G

11. D

12. E

13. C

Passage 2


15. TRUE

16. TRUE

17. TRUE



20. clues

21. relationship

22. message

23. reschedule

24. voice mail

25. cellphone

26. meeting

Passage 3

27. B

28. C

29. H

30. G

31. E

32. D

33. A

34. Beekeeping (notes)

35. Life cycles(s)

36. droughts

37. C

38. D

39. A

40. D

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