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Bioluminescence Reading Answers: IELTS Reading Practice Test

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Updated on Jul 02, 2024, 11:57

In this IELTS reading practice test, you will discover the world of bioluminescent organisms, exploring the mechanisms behind their ability to produce light and the ecological significance of this unique adaptation. 
 

From deep-sea dwellers to terrestrial organisms, we will uncover the mysteries surrounding their luminous capabilities. Prepare to embark on a fascinating journey through the diverse array of bioluminescent creatures, testing your comprehension skills and knowledge of the intricate relationships within the natural world.

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1. Bioluminescence Reading Passage

You should spend approximately 20 minutes answering Questions 1 - 13 based on the Reading Passage below.

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2. Bioluminescence Reading Questions & Answers

Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about Bioluminescence.

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1.

Bioluminescence Reading Passage

 

The general Instructions for IELTS Reading are as follows:

  • You should read the instructions for each question carefully and answer according to them.
  • The reading passages will increase in difficulty as you progress through the test.
  • You should manage your time carefully to ensure enough time to answer all the questions.
  • You cannot bring any electronic devices, including mobile phones, into the test room.
  • You are advised to read the passages and questions thoroughly before answering them.
  •  

     

     

     

    Bioluminescence Reading Passage


     

    Paragraph A 

    In the pitch-black waters of the ocean's aphotic zone – depths from 1,000m to the seafloor - Rood eyesight does not count for very much on its own. Caves, in addition, frequently present a similar problem: the complete absence of natural light at any time of the day. This has not stopped some organisms from turning these inhospitable environments into their homes, and in the process, many have created their own forms of light by developing one of the stunning visual marvels of the biological universe -bioluminescence.
     
     

    Paragraph B 

    Many people will encounter bioluminescence at some point in their life, typically in some form of glowworm, which is found on most continents. North and South America are home to the "firefly", a glowing beetle which is known as a glow-worm during its larvae stage. Flightless glowing beetles and worms are also found in Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Less common flies, centipedes, molluscs, and snails have bioluminescent qualities as well, as do some mushrooms. The most dramatic examples of bioluminescence. However, are found deep below the ocean's surface, where no sunlight can penetrate at all. Here, anglerfish, cookie-cutter sharks, flashlight fish, lantern fish, gulper eels, viperfish, and many other species have developed bioluminescence in unique and creative ways to facilitate their lives.
     
     

    Paragraph C 

    The natural uses of bioluminescence vary widely, and organisms have learnt to be very creative with its use. Fireflies employ bioluminescence primarily for reproductive means – their flashing patterns advertise a firefly's readiness to breed. Some fish use it as a handy spotlight to help them locate prey. Others use it as a lure; the anglerfish, for example, dangles a luminescent flare that draws in gullible, smaller fishes which get snapped up by the anglerfish in an automated reflex. Sometimes, bioluminescence is used to resist predators. Vampire squids eject a thick cloud of glowing liquid from the tip of its arms when threatened, which can be disorientating. Other species use a single, bright flash to temporarily blind their attacker, with an effect similar to that of an oncoming car which has not dipped its headlights.
     
     

    Paragraph D 

    Humans have captured and utilized bioluminescence by developing, over the last decade, a technology known as Bioluminescence Imaging (BLI). BLI involves the extraction of a DNA protein from a bioluminescent organism, and then the integration of this protein into a laboratory animal through trans-geneticism. Researchers have been able to use luminized pathogens and cancer cell lines to track the respective spread of infections and cancers. Through BLI, cancers and infections can be observed without intervening in a way that affects their independent development. In other words, while an ultra-sensitive camera and bioluminescent proteins add a visual element, they do not disrupt or mutate the natural processes. As a result, when testing drugs and treatments, researchers are permitted a single perspective of a therapy's progression.
     
     

    Paragraph E 

    Once scientists learn how to engineer bioluminescence and keep it stable in large quantities; a number of other human uses for it will become available. Glowing trees have been proposed as replacements for electric lighting along busy roads, for example, which would reduce our dependence on non-renewable energy sources. The same technology used in Christmas trees for the family home would also eliminate the fire danger from electrical fairy lights. It may also be possible for crops and plants to luminesce when they require watering, and for meat and dairy products to "tell us” when they have become contaminated by bacteria. In a similar way, Forensic investigators could detect bacterial species on corpses through bioluminescence. Finally, there is the element of pure novelty. Children's toys and stickers are often made with glow-in-the-dark qualities, and a biological form would allow rabbits, mice, fish, and other pets to glow as well.

    2.

    Bioluminescence Reading Questions & Answers

    Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about Bioluminescence.

    Questions and Answers 1-5
    • Reading Passage 1 has five sections: A-E.
    • Choose the correct heading for section A-E from the list of headings below.
    • Write the correct number i-ix, for questions 1-5 on your answer sheet.

     

    List of Headings
     

    i. Mushrooms that glow in the dark
    ii. Bright creatures on land and in the sea
    iii. Evolution’s solution
    iv. Cave-dwelling organisms
    v. Future opportunities in biological engineering
    vi. Nature’s gift to medicine
    vii. Bioluminescence in humans
    viii. Purposes of bioluminescence in the wild
    ix. Luminescent pets
     

    1. Section A
    2. Section B
    3. Section C
    4. Section D
    5. Section E

     

    Bioluminescence Reading Answers with Explanations (1-5)


     

    Type of question: Matching Heading

    These questions require you to match a paragraph with a heading that most accurately summarises it. The main intention behind this task is to check how well you can understand and recognise the subject of discussion in each paragraph.
     

    How to best answer the questions
     

    • Read through the passage and mentally note the ongoing discussion in each paragraph. 
    • Read the set of headings carefully, paying special attention to the keywords. 
    • You can try using the process of elimination for each question and eliminate headings that absolutely cannot match the given paragraph.
    • Review the headings and paragraphs and confirm your answers.

     

    1. iii

     

    Reference

     

    From paragraph A: “In the pitch-black waters of the ocean's aphotic zone – depths……..visual marvels of the biological universe -bioluminescence.”
     

    Explanation 

    Organisms can adapt to even the most inhospitable environments and turn them into their homes. In the process, many have developed their forms of light through bioluminescence, creating some of the most stunning visual marvels in the biological universe. Bioluminescence is just one example of our planet's incredible diversity of life.

     

    2. ii

     

    Reference

     

    From paragraph B: “Many people will encounter bioluminescence at some point…….developed bioluminescence in unique and creative ways to facilitate their lives.”
     

    Explanation

    Bioluminescence can be found in different forms around the world. Glowworms are a common example, while fireflies, mushrooms, and other species exhibit bioluminescent qualities. However, the most awe-inspiring examples of bioluminescence are found deep below the ocean's surface, where no sunlight can penetrate. 
     

    3. viii

     

    Reference

     

    From paragraph C: “The natural uses of bioluminescence vary widely, and organisms have learnt…….an effect similar to that of an oncoming car which has not dipped its headlights.”
     

    Explanation

    Organisms have found creative uses for bioluminescence, with natural applications that vary widely. For instance, fireflies use bioluminescence to attract mates, creating unique flashing patterns for reproductive purposes. 
     

    4. vi

     

    Reference

     

    From paragraph D: “Humans have captured and utilised bioluminescence……….drugs and treatments, researchers are permitted a single perspective of a therapy's progression.”
     

    Explanation

    Humans have harnessed the power of bioluminescence through a technology called bioluminescence imaging (BLI), which has been developed over the last decade. BLI involves extracting a DNA protein from infections and cancers, which can be observed by illuminating the protein with light. BLI has enabled researchers to study and monitor the progression of diseases in ways that were previously impossible. 
     

    5. v

     

    Reference

     

    From paragraph E: “Once scientists learn how to engineer bioluminescence and keep it stable in large quantities;..........and a biological form would allow rabbits, mice, fish, and other pets to glow as well.”
     

    Explanation

    As the paragraph explains, scientists have discovered how to engineer bioluminescence and maintain its stability in large quantities. This breakthrough has opened up countless possibilities for research and innovation in fields such as medicine, environmental monitoring, and biotechnology.

    Questions and Answers 6-9

     

    Locating information

    • Choose FOUR letters A-G.
    • Write the correct letters 6-9 on your answer sheet.
    • Which FOUR uses are listed for bioluminescence in nature?

     

    A. ways of attracting food
    B. tracing the spread of diseases
    C. mating signals
    D. growing trees for street lighting
    E. drug trials
    F. defensive tactics
    G. a torch to identify food

     

    Bioluminescence Reading Answers with Explanations (6-9)
     

    Type of question: Locating Information

     Locating Information is a common question type in the IELTS Academic Reading test. Candidates are asked to identify the specific details or facts of that passage during these questions.

     

    How to best answer the question
     

    • Determine the question and identify the keywords or phrases that indicate the information you need to find.
    • To locate the relevant section, simply scan the passage. To find the information effectively, focus on headings, subheadings or keywords.
    • You should know that the question's wording may differ from the text. Look for synonyms or paraphrased versions of the keywords.

     

    6. A

     

    Reference

     

    From paragraph C: “Others use it as a lure; the anglerfish, for example, dangles a luminescent flare that draws in gullible, smaller fishes which get snapped up by the anglerfish in an automated reflex.”
     

    Explanation

    As explained in the paragraph above, there are different ways of attracting food, like the anglerfish's incredible technique for catching prey, that is, by dangling a luminescent flare in front of its mouth, the anglerfish lures in unsuspecting smaller fish. It's a remarkable example of nature's adaptability and survival strategies. 


     

    7. C

     

    Reference

     

    From paragraph C: “Fireflies employ bioluminescence primarily for reproductive means – their flashing patterns advertise a firefly's readiness to breed. Some fish use it as a handy spotlight to help them locate prey.”
     

    Explanation

    As the breeding season approaches, the firefly lights up to signal its readiness to mate. It's a stunning display that can be seen for miles around. Interestingly, some fish have also taken notice of the firefly's luminosity and use it to their advantage. By following the light, they can locate prey more easily. The firefly's unique ability to attract mates and predators is remarkable.

     

    8. F

     

    Reference

     

    From paragraph C: “Vampire squids eject a thick cloud of glowing liquid from the tip of its arms when threatened, which can be disorientating. Other species use a single, bright flash to temporarily blind their attacker, with an effect similar to that of an oncoming car which has not dipped its headlights.”
     

    Explanation

    Some species emit a bright light when threatened, disorienting their attacker. Others use a single, bright flash, similar to a high-beam car headlight, to temporarily blind their attacker. These defence mechanisms are remarkable examples of nature's adaptability.


     

    9. G

     

    Reference

     

    From paragraph C: “Fireflies employ bioluminescence primarily for reproductive means – their flashing patterns advertise a firefly's readiness to breed. Some fish use it as a handy spotlight to help them locate prey.”
     

    Explanation

    Fireflies signal their readiness to mate by lighting up, creating a beautiful sight to behold. Interestingly, some fish have learned to use this luminosity to their advantage, as the firefly's light serves as a helpful spotlight to locate prey. 

    Questions and Answers 10-13
    Sentence Completion

    • Complete the sentences below.
    • Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.
    • Write your answers 10-13 on your answer sheet.

     

    10. The luminescent fluid that a vampire squid emits has a …………………… effect on its predator.
    11. In order to use bioluminescence in a trans-genetic environment, ……………………. must first be removed from a bioluminescent creature.
    12. One advantage of BLI is that it could allow researchers to see how a treatment is working without altering or disturbing …………………….
    13. In the future, …………………… may be able to use bioluminescence to identify evidence on dead bodies.

     

    Bioluminescence Reading Answers with Explanations (10-13)

     

    Type of question: Sentence Completion

     

    The task of sentence completion with information from the passage is part of the IELTS academic reading test.
     

    How to best answer
     

    • Read the specific requirements of each sentence completion task. The instructions may differ, so it is important to know if you need to use one word, several words, or a single number.
    • Take a quick look at this passage to get an overall understanding of the content, main ideas, and structure before you answer the questions. 
    • Consideration should be given to headings, subheadings, and any formatting that indicates where the information concerned is located.
    • In the unfinished sentence, choose keywords or key phrases. These words are probably linked to the missing information in that passage. Also, synonyms or paraphrased expressions that may replace the exact words in the sentence should be considered.

     

    10. Disorientating

     

    Reference

     

    From paragraph C: “Vampire squids eject a thick cloud of glowing liquid from the tip of its arms when threatened, which can be disorientating. Other species use a single, bright flash to temporarily blind their attacker, with an effect similar to that of an oncoming car which has not dipped its headlights.”
     

    Explanation

    For instance, vampire squids have a unique way of protecting themselves when threatened. They can eject a thick cloud of glowing liquid from the tips of their arms, which can be disorienting for their predators and help the vampire squid escape. Similarly, other species have developed clever ways to defend themselves, such as using a single, bright flash to blind their attackers temporarily.
     

    11. DNA protein

     

    Reference

     

    From paragraph D: “BLI involves the extraction of a DNA protein from a bioluminescent organism, and then the integration of this protein into a laboratory animal through trans-geneticism.”
     

    Explanation

    BLI is a technique that involves extracting a DNA protein from a bioluminescent organism and integrating it into a lab animal through trans-geneticism. This allows scientists to track the animal's movement and behaviour over time. BLI has been used in cancer research, neuroscience, and microbiology. 


     

    12. Natural Processes

     

    Reference

     

    From paragraph D: “In other words, while an ultra-sensitive camera and bioluminescent proteins add a visual element, they do not disrupt or mutate the natural processes. As a result, when testing drugs and treatments, researchers are permitted a single perspective of a therapy's progression.”
     

    Explanation

    Bioluminescent proteins and cameras can add a visual element to scientific research without disrupting natural processes. This allows researchers to test drugs and treatments without interfering with the subject's behaviour, useful in fields like neuroscience and cancer research. Noninvasive techniques like bioluminescence imaging provide valuable insights into the body's inner workings without causing harm.


     

    13. Forensic Investigators

     

    Reference

     

    From paragraph E: “ In a similar way, Forensic investigators could detect bacterial species on corpses through bioluminescence. Finally, there is the element of pure no velty.”
     

    Explanation

    Forensic investigators could use bioluminescent proteins to identify bacterial species on corpses. This approach would not disrupt natural processes and could provide valuable information about the time and circumstances of death. Non-invasive techniques like this could improve the accuracy of forensic investigations and preserve the integrity of the evidence.

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    FAQs

    Q. Can I exceed the word limit for the IELTS Reading test?

    A. No, it is important to pay attention to the word limit in the test instructions for IELTS Reading. As the test is designed to evaluate your ability to follow instructions accurately, you may be subject to a penalty if you exceed the word limit. You must always check the instructions for each task, and you should be able to supply a number of words that are not exceeded by this limit.

    Q. Should I read the passage or questions for my IELTS Reading test first?

    A. To understand what information needs to be found in a passage, it is recommended that you focus on the questions first of the IELTS Reading Test. This way, you can focus your reading and find the relevant details more effectively. However, some test-takers prefer a quick review of the passage before addressing these questions to gain an overall understanding. To determine which approach is best for you, experiment with both methods during your practice sessions.

    Q. What are the criteria for determining the IELTS Reading score?

    A. Reading is assessed on the IELTS task performance, evaluating the ability of candidates to meet the task requirements, coherence and cohesion, assessment of organisational skills, linguistic resource, assessment of vocabulary use, and grammatical range and accuracy, and assessing proficiency in a variety of grammatical structures. These criteria result in the overall band score between 0 and 9.

    Q. Are spelling mistakes penalised for the IELTS Reading test?

    A. Yes, in the IELTS Reading test, you may lose points due to your spelling errors. The accuracy of the spellings, which are part of the assessment criteria, is essential. In order to reduce the risk of losing points due to spelling errors, make sure that you double check your spelling while switching answers into an answer document. In order to achieve a higher score on the IELTS Reading test, it is essential that both content and language are correct.

    Q. Is grammar necessary for the IELTS Reading test?

    A. While the assessment of reading skills, including comprehension and ability to locate information is an important aspect of the IELTS Reading test, grammar still plays a key role. Effective communication of your understanding is facilitated by a clear and precise expression. It is important to pay attention to grammatical correctness when answering questions to ensure a comprehensive and well-structured response so that incorrect grammar does not affect the clarity of your answers.

    Q. What are some common misconceptions about the IELTS Reading test?

    A. Misconceptions about the IELTS Reading test include the belief that reading the entire passage is necessary for answering questions, using complex vocabulary guarantees a higher score, and there's only one correct way to answer questions. In reality, skimming and scanning can be more effective, clear communication is prioritized over complex vocabulary, and multiple approaches can lead to correct answers as long as they align with the instructions and passage content.

    Q. How can I stay calm and focused during the IELTS Reading test?

    A. To stay calm and focused during the IELTS Reading test, practice mindfulness meditation or deep breathing exercises. Get enough sleep, eat a healthy breakfast, read the instructions carefully, keep track of your time, use the process of elimination, and stay positive and confident.

    Q. What is the band score range for the IELTS Reading module?

    A. The IELTS Reading module is scored using a scale of 0 to 9. Each correctly answered question contributes to your score, and the end band score is determined based on the number of accurate answers. Band scores correspond to different levels of proficiency, ranging from band 1 non-expert user to band 9 expert user. Accuracy and comprehension of reading passages are taken into account in the score.

    Q. Can I skip the IELTS Reading Module for my IELTS exam?

    A. No, you're not allowed to skip the IELTS Reading module. Four main modules are part of the IELTS test: listening, reading, writing and speaking. The four modules are mandatory, and a failure to do so will leave you with no test at all. Complete all modules as required to be able to receive an overall assessment of your proficiency in the language.

    Q. Does the IELTS Reading module have more weightage?

    A. Each module, including reading, writing, listening and speaking, shall have the same weight in the IELTS examination. Your total band score will be influenced by the scores for each module. Therefore, there is no special module with a higher weight compared to other modules. In order to obtain a high total band score, it is essential that all sections are performed well. In order to maximise your chances of success in the IELTS examination, focus on comprehensive preparation for each module.

    Q. Does the IELTS Reading Module have a negative marking?

    A. No, there is no negative marking in the IELTS Reading module. You are not marked negative for incorrect answers, so it is advisable to attempt all questions, even if you are not sure of the answers to some questions. The final score is based on the number of correct answers, and there shall be no deduction for incorrect answers. Effective management of your time and trying to answer every question as accurately as possible in order to increase your chances of gaining a better score is important.