leap-scholar-logo
hamburger-menu

Ants Could Teach Ants Reading Answers: IELTS Reading Practice Test

updated at

Updated on Jul 15, 2024, 10:36

The IELTS Reading Section presents three passages progressively challenging in nature, each followed by questions. These passages are sourced from diverse media like newspapers, magazines, and academic journals. Your task involves reading these texts and answering questions based on their content.

 

To better prepare for the IELTS Reading section, you can take an IELTS practice test, which provides a realistic experience of the types of texts and questions you will face in the actual exam.

 

The passage "Ants Could Teach Ants" explores the fascinating world of ant communication and social behaviour. It delves into how ants communicate through chemical signals and body language, highlighting their complex societal structures and the lessons humans can learn from these tiny creatures.


 

On this page

Arrow right
Slider image

1. Ants Could Teach Ants Reading Passage

You should spend approximately 20 minutes answering Questions 1 - 13 based on the Reading Passage below. This approach can help manage time effectively during a reading comprehension activity or exam. 

Slider image

2. Ants Could Teach Ants Reading Question & Answers

Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about Ants Could Teach Ants Reading Question & Answers

More for you

Boost your IELTS Reading score

Book Free Reading class arrow right

See how to score 8+ in Speaking. 

 

Get proven strategies to ace your IELTS Speaking test.

Learn More arrow right
3/3
1.

Ants Could Teach Ants Reading Passage

General Information

  • Read Instructions: Understand each question before answering.
  • Manage Time: Spend about 20 minutes per passage.
  • Skim and Scan: Quickly get the main idea and find specific information.
  • Highlight Key Info: Underline essential words or phrases.
  • Answer All Questions: Attempt every question; no penalty for wrong answers.
  • Stay Focused: Avoid distractions and keep your attention on the task.
  • Check Spelling: Ensure correct spelling and grammar.
  • Transfer Answers Clearly: Write answers neatly on the answer sheet.
  • Don’t Dwell: Move on if stuck and return later.
  • Review: If time allows, review your answers.

 

 

 

 

Ants Could Teach Ants Reading Passage

 

 

Paragraph 1

 

The ants are tiny and usually rest between rocks on the south coast of England. At the University of Bristol, these ants are transformed into research subjects in which they race along a tabletop foraging for food, thereafter commanding others after returning. To memorise landmarks, they presumably adhere to the sequence of their leader, darting this way along the route. Once the attendants got their bearings, further they proceeded to the next step, in which they tapped the antenna of their leader, prompting the lesson to move forward. Primarily, the ants were only looking for food; however, the researchers suggest that the careful way the captains led followers- thereby turning them into leaders in their own right -the very first example of a non-human animal exhibiting teaching behaviour marked the Temnothorax albipennis ant.

 

Paragraph 2

 

"Tandem running is the suitable example of teaching to our knowledge, which is the first in a non-human animal, involves bidirectional review in between teacher and student”, as said by Nigel Franks, professor of animal behaviour and ecology, whose article on the ant educators was published last week in the journal Nature. When the paper was published, Professor Marc Hauser, a psychologist, biologist, and one of the scientists who came up with the definition of teaching said it was elusive whether the ants had learned a new skill or merely acquired new information.

 

Paragraph 3

 

Later, Franks conducted additional research and discovered that the leaders are also competing. Ants could find food more quickly if they were guided by leaders. However, the assistance comes at a cost to the leader who would have reached the meal four times faster if he hadn't been hampered by a follower. As a result, the hypothesis  that the leaders deliberately slowed down in order to pass the skills on to the followers seems to be plausible.The pupils who worked with him on the video project advocated his ideas. 

 

Paragraph 4

 

However, opposing views still arose. Hauser discovered that mere communication of information is commonplace in the animal world. For example, you can consider a situation where a member uses an alarm to warn their fellow members about the presence of a predator. This method is costly, and at the same time, it may attract the predator itself. But it allows others to flee to safety. “Would you call this teaching?” wrote Hauser. “The caller incurs a cost. The naive animals gain a benefit and new knowledge that better enables them to learn about the predator’s location than if the caller had not called. This happens throughout the animal kingdom, but we don’t call it teaching, even though it is clearly a transfer of information.”

 

Paragraph 5

 

Tim Caro, a zoologist, presented two cases of animal communication. He found that cheetah mothers that take their cubs along on hunts gradually allow their cubs to do more of the hunting -going, for example, from killing a gazelle and allowing young cubs to eat to merely tripping the gazelle and letting the cubs finish it off. At one level, such behaviour might be called teaching -except the mother was not really teaching the cubs to hunt but merely facilitating various stages of learning. In another instance, birds watching other birds using sticks to locate food, such as insects and so on, are observed doing the same thing themselves while finding food later.

 

Paragraph 6

 

Psychologists may study animal behaviour in sections, according to Hauser, which would help them comprehend the evolutionary roots of human behaviour. The challenge in determining whether other animals truly teach one another, he continued, is that human teaching entails a “theory of mind” in which teachers are aware that students lack knowledge. He questioned whether Frank's leader ants were aware that the follower ants were ignorant. Could they simply have been that when the followers tapped them on the legs or abdomen, they just followed an instinctive rule to proceed? And did leaders who led the followers to food only to discover that it had been removed by the experimenter arouse the wrath of followers? That, Hauser said, would suggest that the followers were actually aware that the leader was more knowledgeable and not merely following an instinctive routine itself.

 

Paragraph 7

 

The controversy raged on and for a good reason. If the existence of teaching in ants is confirmed, it suggests that teaching can arise in species with small brains. Rather than the constraints of brain capacity, it is likely that the value of information in social animals determines when teaching will evolve.

 

Paragraph 8

 

At McMaster University in Canada, a psychologist who studied animal behaviour and social learning, Bennett Galef Jr, maintained that ants were unlikely to have a “theory of mind”- meaning that the leaders and followers may have been following instinctive routines which were not based on an understanding of what was happening in another ant’s brain. He cautioned that scientists may be barking up the wrong tree when they investigate examples of human-like behaviour in other animals rather than the humanlike thought that underpins such behaviour.

 

 

Paragraph 9

 

According to him, ant behaviour isn't always a reliable indicator of how people got to think the way they do because animals can behave similarly to humans even if they don't have the same cognitive framework.

To improve your vocabulary for the IELTS Reading section, read here.

 

2.

Ants Could Teach Ants Reading Question & Answers

Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about Ants Could Teach Ants

Questions and Answers 1-5
  • Look at the following statements (Questions 1-5) and the list of people in the box below.
  • Match each statement with the correct person, A, B, C or D.
  • Write the correct letter, A, B, C or D, in boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet.

 

You may use any letter more than once.

 

  1. It's a stretch to claim that ants can teach other ants in the same way that humans can.
  2. Ant communication isn't totally instructive.
  3. Ant leadership makes finding food faster.
  4. Objects could be used by animals to locate food.
  5. Ants engage in two-way, interactive instruction.

 List of People


A. Nigel Franks
B. Marc Hauser
C. Tim Caro
D. Bennett Galef Jr.


 

Ants Could Teach Ants Reading Answers with Explanations (1-5)

 

Type of question: Matching Features

 

In this task, you are required to match a list of opinions or deeds with the correct individuals from a provided list. This type of question tests your ability to identify relationships and connections between people and their contributions or viewpoints, as mentioned in the text.

 

How to answer: 

 

  • Carefully read the instructions to know what criteria or basis you're using for matching.
  • Identify the key features or attributes of each item on the list.
  • Use the elimination process to narrow down the options for the remaining matches.
  • Review all matches to ensure they are coherent and aligned with the given criteria.
  • Look for patterns or relationships between items to improve the efficiency of making correct matches.
  • Finalise your answers

 

1. D

 

Reference: From paragraph 8: “At McMaster University in Canada, a psychologist who studied animal behaviour and social learning, Bennett Galef Jr, maintained that ants were unlikely to have a “theory of mind”- meaning that the leaders and followers may have been following instinctive routines which were not based on an understanding of what was happening in another ant’s brain.”


 

Explanation : Bennett Galef Jr's assertion suggests that ants likely do not possess the cognitive capacity for teaching akin to humans. Their behaviours are more likely instinctual rather than consciously instructive, making the comparison to human teaching methods tenuous.

 

2. B

 

Reference: From paragraph 4:  "When the paper was published, professor Marc Hauser, a psychologist and biologist and also one of the scientists who came up with the definition of teaching, said it was elusive whether the ants had learned a new skill or merely acquired new information."


 

Explanation :Marc Hauser argues that communication in animals, such as warning calls, primarily serves to transfer information rather than actively teach. This distinction highlights that while informative, such behaviours do not necessarily imply intentional teaching.

 

3. A

 

Reference: From paragraph 3: “Later, Franks conducted additional research and discovered that the leaders are also competing. Ants could find food more quickly if they were guided by leaders.”

 

Explanation :Nigel Franks' research reveals that ant leaders compete among themselves while guiding others to food sources. This competitive aspect demonstrates that ant leadership facilitates faster food acquisition, suggesting a form of instructional behaviour.

 

4. C

 

Reference: From paragraph 5: “Tim Caro, a zoologist, presented two cases of animal communication. He found that cheetah mothers that take their cubs along on hunts gradually allow their cubs to do more of the hunting -going, for example, from killing a gazelle and allowing young cubs to eat to merely tripping the gazelle and letting the cubs finish it off.”


 

Explanation :Tim Caro's examples illustrate instances where animals facilitate learning through observation and incremental involvement, such as cheetah mothers teaching their cub's hunting skills. This approach supports the idea of teaching as a gradual facilitation of learning stages.

 

5. C

 

Reference: From paragraph 5: “Tim Caro, a zoologist, presented two cases of animal communication. He found that cheetah mothers that take their cubs along on hunts gradually allow their cubs to do more of the hunting -going, for example, from killing a gazelle and allowing young cubs to eat to merely tripping the gazelle and letting the cubs finish it off.”

 

Explanation : Tim Caro's examples demonstrate how animals, like birds using sticks to find food, can indirectly teach through observational learning. This type of learning involves copying behaviours observed in others, suggesting a form of teaching by enabling skill acquisition through imitation.


Refer to tips and tricks for the IELTS Reading section to achieve a high band score.

 

Questions and Answers 6-9
  • A-H are the letters to choose from.
  • Fill in boxes 6–9 on your answer sheet with your responses.

 

6. Which of the following is not an animal's behaviour?

 

  1. Touch each other with an antenna.
  2. Alert others when there is danger
  3. Escape from predators
  4. Use tools like twigs


7. The research on competition between leaders was done by 

 

  1. Franks
  2. Marc Hauser
  3. Tim Caro
  4. Bennett Galef JR

 

8. Which professor found that ants were unlikely to have a “theory of mind”?

 

  1. Tim Caro
  2. Franks
  3. Bennett Galef Jr
  4. Marc Hauser

 

9. How many times speedily would the leader have arrived at the meal if they hadn't been hampered by the follower?

  1. Eight times
  2. Two times
  3. Three times
  4. Four times

 

Ants Could Teach Ants Reading Answers with Explanations (6-9)

 

Type of question: Multiple choice questions

In this question type, you are asked to answer the question followed by several options, typically lettered A, B, C, or D. The task is to select the correct answer from the given choices based on the information provided in the reading passage.

 

How to best answer: 

 

  • Read the question carefully and understand what it asks.
  • Pay attention to the keywords in the question.
  • Skim the passage quickly to locate relevant information.
  • Eliminate the clearly incorrect options.
  • Select the answer that best fits the information in the passage.

 

6. C


 

Reference: From paragraph 5: “Tim Caro, a zoologist, presented two cases of animal communication. He found that cheetah mothers that take their cubs along on hunts gradually allow —----------birds watching other birds using a stick to locate food such as insects and so on, are observed to do the same thing themselves while finding food later.”


Explanation : The correct answer, "Escape from predators" (Option C), is not mentioned in the passage. Paragraph 5 discusses animal behaviour related to teaching and learning, but it does not mention animals escaping from predators. Therefore, this option is the correct choice.

 

7. A


 

Reference: From paragraph 3: “Later, Franks conducted additional research and discovered that the leaders are also competing. Ants could find food more quickly if they were guided by leaders.”

 

Explanation : The correct answer, "Franks" (Option A), is supported by information in Paragraph 3, where it is stated that Franks conducted research on leaders competing among ants. This research focused on how ants could find food faster if guided by leaders, indicating Franks' involvement in the study of leadership dynamics among ants.

 

8. C

 

Reference: From paragraph 8: “At McMaster University in Canada, a psychologist who studied animal behaviour and social learning, Bennett Galef Jr, maintained that ants were unlikely to have a “theory of mind”- meaning that the leaders and followers may have been following instinctive routines which were not based on an understanding of what was happening in another ant’s brain.”


 

Explanation :The correct answer, "Bennett Galef Jr" (Option C), is affirmed in Paragraph 8, where Galef Jr. expresses scepticism about ants having a "theory of mind." He suggests that ants' behaviours may be driven by instinctive routines rather than a cognitive understanding of other ants' mental states.

 

9. D

 

Reference: From paragraph 3: “Later, Franks conducted additional research and discovered that the leaders are also competing. Ants could find food more quickly if they were guided by leaders. However, the assistance comes at a cost to the leader, who would have reached the meal four times faster if he hadn't been hampered by a follower. As a result, the hypothesis  that the leaders deliberately slowed down in order to pass the skills on to the followers seems to be plausible.”

 

Explanation

The correct answer, "Four times" (Option D), is directly referenced in Paragraph 3, where it is mentioned that the leader would have reached the meal about four times faster if not slowed down by the follower. This indicates the significant delay caused by the follower's presence during the food retrieval process.


 

Read more about 350+ Vocabulary words for IELTS: Difficult & New English Words List For 2024

 

Questions and Answers 10-13
Do some claims made by the author in Reading Passage match the following statements?
Fill in the blanks on your response sheet in boxes 10-13 with the following information:

  • YES if the statement supports the writer's claims.
  • NO If the statement contradicts the author's claims,
  • NOT GIVEN If it is impossible to say what the author has to say about this, it will be

 

10. The teaching behaviour of ants is similar to that of humans.
11. Cheetahs share their hunting spoils with their offspring.
12. Ants' tandem running involves only one-way communication.
13. Frank's theory got many supporters immediately after publicity.


 

Ants Could Teach Ants Reading Answers with Explanations (10-13)

 

Type of question: Yes/No/Not Given(True/False/Not Given)

 

In this question type, you are required to determine whether the statements provided agree with, contradict, or are not mentioned in the reading passage. 

 

How to best answer: 
 

  • Understand what information is being presented and what is being asked.
  • Find relevant information in the reading passage that relates to the statement.
  • Determine if the statement agrees with, contradicts, or is not mentioned in the passage.
  • If the information is not explicitly provided in the passage, select 'Not Given' rather than making assumptions.
  • Base your answers solely on the information presented in the passage, avoiding personal opinions or outside knowledge.

 

10. Not given

 

Reference: From paragraph: N.A.

 

Explanation :The passage does not discuss whether the teaching behaviour of ants is similar to that of humans, so it is not possible to confirm or deny this statement based on the information given.

 

11. Yes

 

Reference: From paragraph 5: “Tim Caro, a zoologist, presented two cases of animal communication. He found that cheetah mothers that take their cubs along on hunts gradually allow their cubs to do more of the hunting -going, for example, from killing a gazelle and allowing young cubs to eat to merely tripping the gazelle and letting the cubs finish it off.”


 

Explanation: The passage confirms that cheetah mothers share their hunting spoils with their offspring, gradually allowing them to participate more actively in hunting activities. This behaviour is akin to sharing and facilitating learning stages among cheetah cubs, supporting the statement with explicit examples from the text.

 

12. No

 

Reference: From paragraph 2: “Tandem running is the suitable example of teaching to our knowledge, which is the first in a non-human animal, involves bidirectional review in between teacher and student”, as said by Nigel Franks, professor of animal behaviour and ecology, whose article on the ant educators was published last week in the journal Nature.”


 

Explanation: According to Nigel Franks in the passage, tandem running among ants involves bidirectional feedback between the leader and follower. This contradicts the statement that it involves only one-way communication, as described by Franks' research on ant behaviour.

 

13. Not given

 

Reference: From paragraph: N.A.

 

Explanation : The passage does not provide information about whether Frank's theory received many supporters immediately after publicity, so it is not possible to confirm or deny this statement based on the information given.

 

Also Read:

 

Next Up

IELTS Reading Practice Test

Read Now Read now

IELTS Speaking Practice Test

Read Now Read now

IELTS Practice Test

Read Now Read now

IELTS Listening Practice Test

Read Now Read now

IELTS Writing Practice Test

Read Now Read now

IELTS Important Information

IELTS Accepting Countries

IELTS Accepting Universities

Read More about IELTS Practice Test

Top Reading Samples with Answers

IELTS Test Centre and Dates in India

FAQs

Q. How many questions are there in the IELTS Reading test?

Ans. There are a total of 40 questions in the IELTS Reading test, spread across the three passages. Typically, each passage contains around 13 or 14 questions. These questions vary in type and complexity, testing your ability to understand the main ideas, locate specific information, and interpret details from the passages.

Q. How much time do I have to complete the IELTS Reading test?

Ans. You have 60 minutes (1 hour) to complete the IELTS Reading test. This includes reading the passages and answering all 40 questions. It's important to manage your time efficiently during the test to ensure you can carefully read each passage and provide accurate answers to all questions.


 

Q. Can I use a pen or pencil for the IELTS Reading test?

Ans. Yes, you are allowed to use a pen or pencil to make notes or underline relevant information during the IELTS Reading test. This can help you organise your thoughts, highlight key points, and quickly refer back to specific details when answering questions based on the passages.