A. Pre-viewing
Before watching a video that talks about the shape of eggs, familiarize yourself with the following entries:

  1. Zoo La la –a show that examines the most incredible animal behaviour from all over the world
Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4
Picture 5
  2. Bristol City museum - a large museum and art gallery in Bristol, England
  3. Hummingbird – the smallest species of birds. (see picture 1)
  4. Ostrich – a large flightless bird native to Africa (see picture 2)
  5. Pelvis – the bones which join the leg bones and spine (= row of bones in the back) (see picture 3)
  6. Embryo – a human being or animal in an early stage of development, either in its mother’s womb or in an egg, or a plant that is developing in a seed (see picture 4)
  7. snugly – fitting closely
  8. tumbling - to fall quickly and without control
  9. Razorbill and Guillemot - species of seabird
  10. cleft - an opening or crack, especially in a rock or the ground.
  11. burrow - a hole in the ground dug by an animal such as a rabbit, especially to live in
  12. Tawny Owl is a stocky, medium-sized owl commonly found in woodlands across much of Eurasia (see picture 5)

B. Comprehension
Watch the video and answer the following questions/ complete the following sentences:

Click here to watch the video

Video ©BBC Earth Unplugged

1.Hello and welcome to Zoo La La, we’re here in the belly of Bristol City museum to ask the question: Why are eggs so, well, egg-shaped?
What does ‘belly’ mean in this context?
  the curved-shaped hall Incorrect
  the hollow inside Correct
  the front part Incorrect
  
2.“So there’s something with this eggy shape that makes it a winning formula, but what is it? There are a number of different theories.”
What does ‘a winning formula’ mean?
   To go outside for a short time Incorrect
   To go outside for a short time Incorrect
   To go outside for a short time Correct
  
3. What is first egg shape theory about?
  safety Incorrect
  strength Incorrect
  keeping warm Correct
  
4.Eggy shape allows the eggs to fit tightly together in the nest and minimize…
  the size of the nest. Incorrect
  the gap between the eggs. Correct
  the temperature of the eggs. Incorrect
  
5. What kind of birds lays eggs that look like mini-pyramid with a sharp point at the end?
  cleft-nesting birds Incorrect
  ground-nesting birds Correct
  extremely small birds Incorrect
  
6.What kind of birds lays eggs that are conical-shaped?
  cleft-nesting birds Correct
  ground-nesting birds Incorrect
  extremely small birds Incorrect
  
7. Birds, which nest in burrows or tree hollows, lay eggs that are…
  conical-shaped Incorrect
  spherical-shaped Correct
  pyramid-shaped Incorrect
  
8. What kind of birds lays elongated eggs?
  cleft-nesting birds Incorrect
  ground-nesting birds Incorrect
  extremely small birds Correct
  
9. Hummingbirds have a tiny pelvis.
  true Correct
  false Incorrect
  not given Incorrect
  
10. “They (the kind of birds) simply couldn’t lay a large round egg. Yet there has to be enough substance inside the egg to ensure the survival of the embryo, so they simply lay a long narrow egg.”

What does ‘substance’ most likely refer to in this context?

   cavity Incorrect
  nutrients Correct
  protection Incorrect
  
11. Select the word used in the video to complete the following sentence:
“A piece of paper is relatively easy to tear apart when there’s a ______already in it.’
  rip Correct
  reap Incorrect
  ripe Incorrect
  
12. If any forces placed on an egg, it’s evenly distributed across the whole surface.
  true Correct
  false Incorrect
  not given Incorrect

C. Synonyms
In the exercise below, three synonyms are provided for each bolded word in the following sentences taken from the talk. Watch the video again and observe how these words are used in a larger context. Select the synonym that best fits that context. Consult a dictionary when necessary.

1.This allows 3 to 4 eggs to fit snugly together in the nest, so that their mom can keep them warm more efficiently.
  comfortably Correct
  lovingly Incorrect
  softly Incorrect
  
2.Eggs are often laid in a precarious location, and one small knock can send them tumbling to the ground.
  ambiguous Incorrect
  indecisive Incorrect
  dangerous Correct
  
3. One small knock can send them tumbling to the ground. But that special egg shape means they tend to roll around the inside of the nest, rather than fall off the edge.
  flipping Incorrect
  jumping Incorrect
  falling Correct
  
4.Theory number three, might come of a little bit of surprise. It all about strength, egg has no sharp edges, which mean they can withstand more force that you might imagine.
  endure Correct
  oppose Incorrect
  compete Incorrect
  
5. Most structure break at the corners and edges, these points concentrated the force to one area and this can leads to disaster.
  accident Incorrect
  catastrophe Correct
  failure Incorrect
  
6.In fact the shape is so strong that this egg should remain intact if I squeeze it equally from every direction. That’s amazing, it actually won’t break.
  sound Incorrect
  perfect Incorrect
  undamaged Correct
  
7. The shape simply disperses the force evenly across the shell, and it gets better.
  scatters Correct
  deals Incorrect
  disappears Incorrect
  

D. Using Vocabulary
Complete the following sentences using the words in the box. Use the correct grammatical form of the words.


Task Five
You can expand your vocabulary by learning antonyms. Antonyms are words that have opposite meanings. Knowing antonyms can increase your comprehension of English and allow you to express yourself with greater clarity.

I. Match each word in the left column to its antonym on the right. Consult a dictionary when necessary.




II. Select the most appropriate answer to complete the following sentences.


Transcription

BBC Earth Unplugged - Zoo La La - Why are eggs shaped like eggs?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4nDoi7qxb8

Hello and welcome to Zoo La La, we’re here in the belly of Bristol City museum to ask the question. Why are eggs so, well, egg-shaped? At just over a centimeter, this hummingbird egg is one of the smallest in the world. But weighting in, at their modest, 1.5 kilograms, the ostrich egg is the largest.

So there’s something with this eggy shape that makes it a winning formula, but what is it? There are a number of different theories. Theory number one, it’s about keeping warm. That eggy shape allows them to fit tightly together in the nest, minimizing the egg gap in-between.

Several ground-nesting birds lay their eggs like mini-pyramid with a sharp point at the end. This allows 3 to 4 eggs to fit snuggly together in the nest, so that mom can keep them warm more efficiently.

So why else would a bird want to lay an egg-shaped egg? Theory number two, it’s all about safety. Eggs are often laid in a precarious location, and one small knock can send them tumbling to the ground. But that special egg shape means they tend to roll around the inside of the nest, rather than fall off the edge. Many cleft-nesting birds have taken this to the extreme. Razorbill and Guillemot lays extremely conical shape eggs, meaning they roll in a very tight circle, keeping them on the cleft, and not in the sea. In contrast, many birds who nest in burrows or cavities lay more spherical-shaped eggs. Like this Tony Owl egg, laid in the tree hollow, there’s little chance it’s going to roll into the path of danger, so not all eggs are egg-shaped. Extremely small birds like the hummingbirds lay elongated eggs. These small birds have such a tiny pelvis; they simply couldn’t lay a large round egg. Yet there has to be enough substance inside the egg to ensure the survival of the embryo, so they simply lay a long narrow egg.

Theory number three, might come of a little bit of surprise. It all about strength, egg has no sharp edges, which mean they can withstand more force that you might imagine. Most structure break at the corners and edges, these points concentrated the force to one area and this can leads to disaster. It’s the same reason of a piece of paper is relatively easy to tear apart when there’s a rip already in it. The force is concentrated around the tear, making it really easy to rip apart. On the other hand, if any forces placed on an egg, it’s evenly distributed across the whole surface. There is no one area for it to concentrate. In fact the shape is so strong that this egg should remain intact if I squeeze it equally from every direction. That’s amazing, it actually won’t break. If pressure is apply equally from all sides, even the world strongest man couldn’t break it.

The shape simply disperses the force evenly across the shell, and it gets better. Although this shape can withstand a lot of compression, it’s actually really weak in the opposite direction, so the chicks inside can break free.

So for whatever reason eggs are egg-shaped, we should be grateful because they fits so perfectly into our egg cups. If you have any weird animal questions, then type them into the comment box below. See you next time on Zoo-La-La!
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