Do Cows Point North? Multiple Choice Vocabulary Test
by David Derbyshire, Environment Editor
If you`re (0) A - in the countryside without a compass, don't panic. Just look for a herd of cows and see which way they are pointing.
After (1)________ the behaviour of thousands of cattle, scientists have found that they tend to face north after aligning themselves with the Earth's magnetic field.
The astonishing ability appears to be a (2)________ of the days when the wild ancestors of today's domesticated cattle used inbuilt compasses to find their way across the plains of Africa, Asia and Europe on long (3)________.
Although cows are famed for their ability to (4)________ rain hours advance, their talent for navigating has so far gone overlooked.
Dozens of species of animals use the Earth's magnetic field to navigate — including birds, turtles, termites and salmon. The ability is also (5)________ in some mammals including rats and bats. Animals are thought to use (6)________ magnets — made of crystals of magnetite — to find their way around. Homing pigeons, for instance, have a tiny blob of these crystals in their beaks. Dr Sabine Begall and colleagues from the University of Duisburg-Essen used Google Earth to find images of cattle in worldwide locations including Britain, Ireland, India and the U.S. They (7)________ directly observed almost 3,000 deer in the Czech Republic. Their researches suggested that cattle were behaving in the same way as their close relatives, the deer. (8)________ the direction of the wind and sunlight varied hugely in the different locations, the scientists were able to rule out weather and the position of the sun as an explanation. "We conclude that the magnetic field is the only common and most likely factor responsible (9)________ the observed alignment," the researchers wrote in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Gywn Jones, who (10)________ kept dairy cattle for 25 years in West Sussex, confirmed: "They know what weather to (11)________ in advance. Beef cattle will head up to higher altitudes if the weather is going to good. "My dairy cattle have their favourite fields where they go if it is going to be sunny.
"I let mine go in and out, and if it's (12)________ to be wet they head inside.
"In rough weather they like to have their backs to the wind. But I've not noticed a preference for facing north."
|0||lost||dropped off||was left||found yourself|
1.A; 2.C; 3.B; 4.A; 5.D; 6.B; 7.C; 8.A; 9.B; 10.B; 11.D; 12.C