2020年4月6日 星期一

The Sloth: Nature’s Coolest Customer 讓人「樹懶」起敬的慢活動物∼

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2020/04/07 第456期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份直接訂閱

The Sloth: Nature’s Coolest Customer 讓人「樹懶」起敬的慢活動物∼
by Mark Darvill



  Many people who have viewed footage of sloths in the wild probably don’t think too highly of this animal, which is characterized by its slow movement and tendency to spend most of its time sleeping or hanging from trees. The sloth not only moves slowly but also takes up to a month to digest its food! However, the sloth may not be as lazy as we think. Here are some interesting facts that could change your perception of one of nature’s most relaxed-looking creatures.
  As mentioned, sloths spend a significant portion of their lives sleeping, but not all of their time is spent in this manner. In fact, wild sloths rarely rest for over 10 hours at a time, which is not much more than the average human sleeps in a night. However, sloths in captivity typically sleep for 15 to 20 hours per day.
  Sloths can be found in trees most of the time because they are vulnerable to predators. For protection, their fur contains algae that make it green and serve to “camouflage” the animal in the rainforest. Therefore, contrary to common belief, a sloth’s frequent refusal to come down from its tree is not due to laziness but rather because a tree is the safest place for it.
  One final fun fact about sloths is their incredible strength. Sloths are very strong swimmers; they actually can do the breaststroke with ease. Moreover, if a sloth dies while hanging from a tree, its grip on the branch is so powerful that it will often continue to hang there even in death!
  With all the enjoyable information, hopefully your impression of one of the world’s most slow-footed animals has changed a bit!
1. What is the main idea of the first paragraph?
(A) To emphasize how lazy sloths are.
(B) To discuss how long sloths take to eat their meals.
(C) To elaborate on the behavior and natural habitats of sloths.
(D) To introduce the idea that sloths may not be as lazy as people think.
2. What contrast between wild sloths and captive sloths is made in the passage?
(A) Wild sloths tend to sleep less than those kept in zoos.
(B) Compared with captive sloths, wild ones are smaller in size.
(C) Sloths in captivity eat more food than those that live in nature.
(D) To protect themselves, wild sloths move faster than captive ones.
3. Which of the following is an example of “camouflage” in the third paragraph?
(A) Birds building a nest in the tree.
(B) Humans playing dead when coming across a bear.
(C) Octopuses hiding through changing their skin color.
(D) Butterflies collecting nectar from colorful flowers.
4. What is mentioned in the passage to exemplify the sloth’s amazing strength?
(A) It uses its sharp claws to fend off predators.
(B) It keeps clinging to a branch even after it perishes.
(C) It is able to hang from a tree for 10 hours in a row.
(D) It swims far faster than any other animal in the rainforest.


sloth n. 樹懶(可數);懶散,怠惰(不可數)
a cool customer  總能保持冷靜/沉著的人
footage n. 影片(不可數)
predator n. 掠食者;掠食動物
breaststroke n. 蛙式
habitat n. 棲息地
contrast n. 對比,對照
nectar n. 花蜜
exemplify vt. 舉例說明

1. think highly / poorly of sb/sth  對某人/某物評價很高/很差
• Our boss thinks highly of Zack because he handles everything professionally.
• I could tell the board thought poorly of my proposal.

2. in this manner  以這種方式
in a(n)... manner  以一種……的方式/態度
• Hank often talks to his parents in a rude manner.

3. contrary to...  與……相對/相反(的是)
• Contrary to popular belief, that country is actually very safe to travel in.

4. come across...  偶然碰見/發現……
• Gina came across her high school teacher on her way to the supermarket.

5. fend off... / fend... off  擋開/避開……(的攻擊)
• That police officer fended off the attacks of nine men by himself.

6. in a row  連續地
• The exceptional golfer won three tournaments in a row.

1. characterize vt. 以……為特徵
 be characterized by...  具有……特徵
• The common cold is characterized by sneezing, coughing, and a runny nose.

2. tendency n. 傾向;趨勢
 have a tendency to V  有(做)……的傾向
• Jill has a tendency to look away when she is telling a lie.

3. digest vt. 消化;理解
• You’d better rest and digest the food you just ate before exercising.

4. perception n. 看法,觀點
• Please do not let my outburst affect your perception of me.
*outburst n.(情緒)爆發

5. captivity n. 囚禁,關押
 in captivity  被圈養;被監禁
• The zoologists observed the Bengal tigers in captivity.
*zoologist n. 動物學家

6. vulnerable a. 易受傷害的;脆弱的
 be vulnerable to...  易受……的傷害
• Children and the elderly are vulnerable to the flu.

7. camouflage vt.(用偽裝)遮掩,掩飾 & n. 保護色;偽裝,掩飾
• Its branch-like body perfectly camouflaged the stick insect on the tree.

8. refusal n. 拒絕
• Max persisted in his refusal to pay the extra interest on his credit card bill.

9. incredible a. 驚人的;難以置信的
• This new sports car moves at an incredible speed.

10. impression n. 印象
make a good / bad impression on...  給……留下好/壞印象
• Cathy dressed up in hopes of making a good impression on her boyfriend’s parents.

11. elaborate vi. 詳細說明
 elaborate on...  詳細說明……
• The lawyer was not willing to elaborate on the discussion he had with his client.

12. captive a. 被關在籠內的;受監禁的
• Barbara feels it’s wrong for animals to be held captive, so she never visits zoos.

13. cling vi. 緊抓;纏著
 三態為:cling, clung, clung。
 cling to...  緊抓住/纏著/堅持……
• The boy was scared and clung to his dad.

grip n. & vt. 緊緊抓住,握緊
• Miranda refused to loosen her grip on her husband’s arm when he was trying to leave.
a. grasp n. & vt. 抓緊,抓牢
• Howard grasped his daughter’s hand when they crossed the street.
b. grab n. & vt.(突然猛烈地)抓住/抓取
• Both Wendy and Rita made a grab for the same toy in the box.
c. clasp n. & vt. 緊握;抱緊
• Peter clasped the vase tightly, fearing that it might drop.
d. clutch n. & vt.(因害怕、疼痛等而突然)抓住/緊握
• Sean clutched his chest and appeared to be in great pain.
e. snatch n. 抓;搶奪 & vt.(尤指以武力)抓走;攫取,搶奪
• Ella felt someone behind her trying to snatch her bag.
f. seize vt.(突然猛烈地)抓住/攫取;(用武力)奪取/搶去
• I was surprised when Kelly suddenly seized my arm.

... their fur contains algae that make it green...
Octopuses hiding through changing their skin color.
在英文中,大多數的規則名詞只要在字尾加 -s 即可形成複數,但有些外來語會保留原來的複數形式,常見者如下(第二個為現代用法):
單數:-a  複數:-a → -ae
alga → algae 藻類
formula → formulae / formulas 公式
• Apply these formulas and you can solve the problem with ease.

單數:-us  複數:-us → -i
octopus → octopi / octopuses 章魚
cactus → cacti / cactuses 仙人掌
stimulus → stimuli 刺激物
• The cactus is one of the few plants that can flourish in the desert.

單數:-um  複數:-um → -a
bacterium → bacteria 細菌
curriculum → curricula / curriculums 課程
datum → data 資料
medium → media / mediums 媒介
• The data was collected by many researchers.
* data 今多作不可數名詞,可接單數或複數動詞;datum 則罕用。

單數:-on  複數:-on → -a
criterion → criteria 標準
phenomenon → phenomena 現象
• There are strict criteria for inclusion in the competition.

單數:-sis  複數:-sis → -ses
analysis → analyses 分析
diagnosis → diagnoses 診斷
oasis → oases 綠洲
• The farmer made an analysis of the soil to see if it was fertile.


1. 第一段的主旨是什麼?
(A) 強調樹懶有多麼懶惰。
(B) 討論樹懶吃一餐要花多長時間。
(C) 詳細說明樹懶的行為和其自然棲息地。
(D) 介紹樹懶可能不像人們想像一樣懶惰的概念。
2. 本文做出野生樹懶和圈養樹懶間的何種對比?
(A) 野生樹懶往往比動物園飼養的樹懶睡得少。
(B) 相較於圈養樹懶,野生樹懶的體型較小。
(C) 圈養的樹懶吃得比生活在大自然的樹懶多。
(D) 為了保護自己,野生樹懶的行動比圈養樹懶快。
3. 下列哪一項是第三段 “camouflage” 的例子?
(A) 鳥類在樹上築巢。
(B) 人類遇到熊時裝死。
(C) 章魚透過改變皮膚顏色藏身。
(D) 蝴蝶從色彩繽紛的花朵上採集花蜜。
4. 本文提及哪一點來作為例子說明樹懶的驚人力氣?
(A) 牠使用利爪來擊退掠食者。
(B) 牠即使死後仍繼續抓緊樹枝。
(C) 牠能夠連續吊在樹上十小時。
(D) 牠比熱帶雨林裡的其他動物游得都快。
答案:1. D 2. A 3. C 4. B





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