15. Reading Skills Comprehension: Whale

By | July 7, 2021


Read the following passage carefully.                                             

Whales are normally gentle. Jacques Cousteau in his book, ‘The Whale: Mighty Monarch of the Sea’, testified, to the whale’s self-control. In all his years of diving, he says, “not a single man has been hurt during our sometimes hazardous whale encounters. Indeed, whales show every sign of wishing to spare man from harm.” Many whales exhibit strong family ties. The young remain with their parents for up to 15 years or more. Like reindeer and other nomadic land mammals, such migrating species as humpbacks and grey whales live in herds, or pods, and travel seasonally between feeding and breeding grounds.

 In times of stress, whales look after one another. A group migrates at the speed of the slowest baby. When” member is wounded or sick, the other refuses to abandon it. They may cradle it between them or support it on the backs, so it can breathe. A whole loyal group could easily be killed off by whalers. Maternal instincts area highly developed. Because a calf is born underwater, the mother must get it to the surface before it drowns. Often another whale will help.

The mother nudges it gently until the baby is confident with its swimming usually after about 30 minutes. If the calf is stillborn, she may support it on her back until it literally rots away.

 Mother whales behave like human beings. They have been seen fondling their babies. Their flippers are used like hands to clasp, coax and discipline. Jacques Cousteau describes in his book an incident in which a mother swain after her calf and pushed it away from a ship. She then struck it several times with her flippers. “The blows had every appearance of being slaps and were obviously administered to teach the baby not to confuse a ship’s hull with a mother’s stomach.”


Question :

1. Read the following summary of the information given in the passage and fill in each of the spaces with one word only.

Whales normally behave gently. Jacques Cousteau (a) ………….  this fact about the whales in his book. The whales have strong family ties and remain in (b)………….. for a long period. They have a strong sense of togetherness. An injured one is not (c) …………..  are also by mother whale. Maternal (d)……….   highly developed in the whales. A newborn (e)………….   is helped by other whales to swim. In (f)……….. and (g)……….. their young ones the (h)………… of mother whales is like that of human beings. They use flippers like hands.

Answers :

(a) describes

(b) herds

(c) abandoned

(d) instincts

(e) calf

(f) fondling

(g) coaxing

(h) behaviour

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