CBSE Class IX Communicative English: Reading Comprehension Practice Test 1

Read the given passage and answer the questions that follow:

The vipers are a family of poisonous snakes. In fact some of the deadliest snakes known to us belong to this family. Vipers mainly live in wet places, rain forests and small caves inside mountains. Rattlesnake, water moccasin and copperhead are examples of some dangerous vipers. All of these snakes are found in the United States of America. The bushmaster and the fer-de-lance are found in South America and the puff-adder is found in Africa.

Vipers have triangular heads, short tails and thick bodies. They have fangs in their upper jaws to inject poison into the body of their victim. When snakes bite, the muscles around their poison sacs contract causing the poison to squirt out through their hollow fangs. The sacs are located behind their eyes. One bite will inject about half a teaspoon of poison into the victim’s body. Vipers mainly eat small mammals, amphibians, nestlings and lizards. Their venom contains more than a dozen toxic compounds. Many members of the viper family are small and their bite is not fatal. Some studies have shown that vipers can survive for up to one year without eating. And according to some folklore, the touch of the viper snake’s tongue has the power to heal a person.

Vipers tend to have a lot of babies. They are classified as ovoviviparous. That means the female snakes produce eggs but do not lay them. Instead they hatch the eggs inside their body and give birth to live young. At a time, the female may give birth to up to 10 baby snakes. Baby snakes are completely independent of their mother when they are born and they leave the area of their birth within days of hatching.

There are mainly two types of vipers – the pit vipers and the true vipers. The pit vipers leave in Asia and the Americas. They have a small hollow in the side of their head just below the eye. This small pit has a special nerve or a temperature sensing organism. This nerve helps the viper to find its warm-blooded prey. True vipers don’t have this nerve and hence they have to rely on their sense of smell to find their prey. Vipers do not normally attack unless there are disturbed or hungry. Still it makes sense to stay away from them.

Questions

Complete the following statements based on your reading of the above passage
1. Vipers are classified as ovoviviparous because ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

2. Pit vipers are so called because ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………
3. How do snakes inject venom into their victim’s body? ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Complete the following table

The vipers found in the following continents are:

North America South America Africa
 …………………   …………………   …………………
 …………………   …………………
  …………………

Find words or phrases from the passage which mean the same as the following.

1. Young birds – ……………………….

2. Deadly – …………………………….

3. Stories and knowledge passed down through oral communication – …………………………..

Answers

1. Vipers are classified as ovoviviparous because they hatch their eggs inside their body and give birth to live young.

2. Pit vipers are so called because they have a small hollow or pit in the side of their head just below the eyes.

3. When snakes bite, the muscles around their poison sacs contract. This contraction causes the venom to squirt through the hollow fangs.

Table completion

North America South America Africa
Rattlesnake  bushmaster  puff-adder
Water moccasin fer-de-lance
Copperhead

1. Young birds – nestlings
2. Deadly – fatal
3. Stories and knowledge passed down through oral communication – folklore

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Manjusha

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets. You may also want to check out my other blogs IELTS Practice and NCERT Guides

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