full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Scott Gass: The survival of the sea turtle

Unscramble the Blue Letters

Sea turtles are miraculous. First, they've been around since the late Jurassic, roughly 150 million years ago. Cohorts of the dinosaurs, sea turtles have survived through the challenges of eons, existing still tadoy, where many others have ended their evaounrloity run. Second, throughout the centuries and up till today, every living auldt sea turtle has overcome the odds, existing as a consequence of chance, skill, and capability. The gauntlet each sea turtle faces in the course of its lifetime goes thus: First, deposited as a cculth of lahretey, ping-pong ball-sized eggs into a nesting pit dug by its mother high on the beach, of the 50 to 200 eggs laid, roughly 20 pnerect will never hatch. Roughly a month and a half after having been laid, the surviving eggs hcath, and the young turtles, each small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, squirm to the surface, emerging from the sand en masse, and making their desperate dash for the sea. Along the way, debris, ptlalifs, crabs, gulls, raccoons, and other tatehrs will claim roughly 50 percent of those who rose from the sand. For those that actually reach the surf, they trade one set of threats for another, as they first face the repelling force of the waves, and then find a whole new host of predators atnwiaig them: Various fish, dpilnohs, sahrks, and sea birds, as the young turtles come to the surface for air. For their first few days of life, should they count themselves amongst the living, the vulnerable turtles swim frantically forward. utitlemaly, they will often look to settle in a patch of flotsam, preferably a pctah of floating seaweed. Now for the next several months, they will seek to avoid those that would eat them, find that which they might eat themselves, and not fall to the pressures of challenging whtaeer or unfortunate currents. In this phase, roughly 50 percent of those who recah the surf will perish. Ultimately, with the passage of yeras, the survivors will increase in size, from that of a dinner plate at year one to that of a dinner table, in the case of one species at least, the leatherback, a deadce or so later. With size comes some measure of protection. The only truly worrisome predators now are some of the larger shrak species— bulls, tigers, and whites — and the oioacnscal killer whale. At approximately two decades of age, the srruvovis will be old enough themselves to breed, and continue the cycle which their very existence heralds. Of those that began as eggs on a distant beach, now less than 10 percent remain, at least, those were the odds porir to sninaicgfit hmaun interference. Over the past cerunty, and in particular in the last several decades, human endeavors, from beach dolevmpenet to plastic reusfe to pinahocg, long lines, nets, and even noxious chemicals, inlduincg oil, have upped the ante for sea tturles, causing their survival rate to drop to around one percent or less, from each nesting cycle. It is this added human psrusere which has pushed each of the eight sea turtle seipces into either a terhtneaed or endangered state. For while they have evolved to omrecove a host of obstacles, the most recent has aserin so quickly and at such slcae that the species find themselves oeehmelwvrd. So let's quickly recap this cycle of odds. Using a hypothetical nesting season, for females may nest multiple times in a single year, of 1,000 eggs, for sake of ease. 1000 eggs laid. 800 hatch. 400 make it to the water. 200 progress toward adulthood. 20 survive to breeding age — that is, without human interference. Two survive to breeding age with human interference. So a breeding adult sea turtle is the very endmmiobet of a long shot. It is the exception, not the rule. A jackpot. It is, in a very real sense, a miracle.

Open Cloze

Sea turtles are miraculous. First, they've been around since the late Jurassic, roughly 150 million years ago. Cohorts of the dinosaurs, sea turtles have survived through the challenges of eons, existing still _____, where many others have ended their ____________ run. Second, throughout the centuries and up till today, every living _____ sea turtle has overcome the odds, existing as a consequence of chance, skill, and capability. The gauntlet each sea turtle faces in the course of its lifetime goes thus: First, deposited as a ______ of ________, ping-pong ball-sized eggs into a nesting pit dug by its mother high on the beach, of the 50 to 200 eggs laid, roughly 20 _______ will never hatch. Roughly a month and a half after having been laid, the surviving eggs _____, and the young turtles, each small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, squirm to the surface, emerging from the sand en masse, and making their desperate dash for the sea. Along the way, debris, ________, crabs, gulls, raccoons, and other _______ will claim roughly 50 percent of those who rose from the sand. For those that actually reach the surf, they trade one set of threats for another, as they first face the repelling force of the waves, and then find a whole new host of predators ________ them: Various fish, ________, ______, and sea birds, as the young turtles come to the surface for air. For their first few days of life, should they count themselves amongst the living, the vulnerable turtles swim frantically forward. __________, they will often look to settle in a patch of flotsam, preferably a _____ of floating seaweed. Now for the next several months, they will seek to avoid those that would eat them, find that which they might eat themselves, and not fall to the pressures of challenging _______ or unfortunate currents. In this phase, roughly 50 percent of those who _____ the surf will perish. Ultimately, with the passage of _____, the survivors will increase in size, from that of a dinner plate at year one to that of a dinner table, in the case of one species at least, the leatherback, a ______ or so later. With size comes some measure of protection. The only truly worrisome predators now are some of the larger _____ species— bulls, tigers, and whites — and the __________ killer whale. At approximately two decades of age, the _________ will be old enough themselves to breed, and continue the cycle which their very existence heralds. Of those that began as eggs on a distant beach, now less than 10 percent remain, at least, those were the odds _____ to ___________ _____ interference. Over the past _______, and in particular in the last several decades, human endeavors, from beach ___________ to plastic ______ to ________, long lines, nets, and even noxious chemicals, _________ oil, have upped the ante for sea _______, causing their survival rate to drop to around one percent or less, from each nesting cycle. It is this added human ________ which has pushed each of the eight sea turtle _______ into either a __________ or endangered state. For while they have evolved to ________ a host of obstacles, the most recent has ______ so quickly and at such _____ that the species find themselves ___________. So let's quickly recap this cycle of odds. Using a hypothetical nesting season, for females may nest multiple times in a single year, of 1,000 eggs, for sake of ease. 1000 eggs laid. 800 hatch. 400 make it to the water. 200 progress toward adulthood. 20 survive to breeding age — that is, without human interference. Two survive to breeding age with human interference. So a breeding adult sea turtle is the very __________ of a long shot. It is the exception, not the rule. A jackpot. It is, in a very real sense, a miracle.

Solution

  1. arisen
  2. decade
  3. percent
  4. evolutionary
  5. awaiting
  6. threatened
  7. human
  8. reach
  9. scale
  10. including
  11. overcome
  12. shark
  13. poaching
  14. pressure
  15. today
  16. century
  17. species
  18. threats
  19. occasional
  20. prior
  21. survivors
  22. sharks
  23. overwhelmed
  24. years
  25. weather
  26. refuse
  27. leathery
  28. significant
  29. hatch
  30. pitfalls
  31. embodiment
  32. adult
  33. turtles
  34. ultimately
  35. dolphins
  36. patch
  37. clutch
  38. development

Original Text

Sea turtles are miraculous. First, they've been around since the late Jurassic, roughly 150 million years ago. Cohorts of the dinosaurs, sea turtles have survived through the challenges of eons, existing still today, where many others have ended their evolutionary run. Second, throughout the centuries and up till today, every living adult sea turtle has overcome the odds, existing as a consequence of chance, skill, and capability. The gauntlet each sea turtle faces in the course of its lifetime goes thus: First, deposited as a clutch of leathery, ping-pong ball-sized eggs into a nesting pit dug by its mother high on the beach, of the 50 to 200 eggs laid, roughly 20 percent will never hatch. Roughly a month and a half after having been laid, the surviving eggs hatch, and the young turtles, each small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, squirm to the surface, emerging from the sand en masse, and making their desperate dash for the sea. Along the way, debris, pitfalls, crabs, gulls, raccoons, and other threats will claim roughly 50 percent of those who rose from the sand. For those that actually reach the surf, they trade one set of threats for another, as they first face the repelling force of the waves, and then find a whole new host of predators awaiting them: Various fish, dolphins, sharks, and sea birds, as the young turtles come to the surface for air. For their first few days of life, should they count themselves amongst the living, the vulnerable turtles swim frantically forward. Ultimately, they will often look to settle in a patch of flotsam, preferably a patch of floating seaweed. Now for the next several months, they will seek to avoid those that would eat them, find that which they might eat themselves, and not fall to the pressures of challenging weather or unfortunate currents. In this phase, roughly 50 percent of those who reach the surf will perish. Ultimately, with the passage of years, the survivors will increase in size, from that of a dinner plate at year one to that of a dinner table, in the case of one species at least, the leatherback, a decade or so later. With size comes some measure of protection. The only truly worrisome predators now are some of the larger shark species— bulls, tigers, and whites — and the occasional killer whale. At approximately two decades of age, the survivors will be old enough themselves to breed, and continue the cycle which their very existence heralds. Of those that began as eggs on a distant beach, now less than 10 percent remain, at least, those were the odds prior to significant human interference. Over the past century, and in particular in the last several decades, human endeavors, from beach development to plastic refuse to poaching, long lines, nets, and even noxious chemicals, including oil, have upped the ante for sea turtles, causing their survival rate to drop to around one percent or less, from each nesting cycle. It is this added human pressure which has pushed each of the eight sea turtle species into either a threatened or endangered state. For while they have evolved to overcome a host of obstacles, the most recent has arisen so quickly and at such scale that the species find themselves overwhelmed. So let's quickly recap this cycle of odds. Using a hypothetical nesting season, for females may nest multiple times in a single year, of 1,000 eggs, for sake of ease. 1000 eggs laid. 800 hatch. 400 make it to the water. 200 progress toward adulthood. 20 survive to breeding age — that is, without human interference. Two survive to breeding age with human interference. So a breeding adult sea turtle is the very embodiment of a long shot. It is the exception, not the rule. A jackpot. It is, in a very real sense, a miracle.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
sea turtle 4
human interference 3
sea turtles 2
adult sea 2
breeding age 2

ngrams of length 3

collocation frequency
adult sea turtle 2

Important Words

  1. added
  2. adult
  3. adulthood
  4. age
  5. air
  6. ante
  7. approximately
  8. arisen
  9. avoid
  10. awaiting
  11. beach
  12. began
  13. birds
  14. breed
  15. breeding
  16. bulls
  17. capability
  18. case
  19. causing
  20. centuries
  21. century
  22. challenges
  23. challenging
  24. chance
  25. chemicals
  26. claim
  27. clutch
  28. cohorts
  29. consequence
  30. continue
  31. count
  32. crabs
  33. currents
  34. cycle
  35. dash
  36. days
  37. debris
  38. decade
  39. decades
  40. deposited
  41. desperate
  42. development
  43. dinner
  44. dinosaurs
  45. distant
  46. dolphins
  47. drop
  48. dug
  49. ease
  50. eat
  51. eggs
  52. embodiment
  53. emerging
  54. en
  55. endangered
  56. endeavors
  57. ended
  58. eons
  59. evolutionary
  60. evolved
  61. exception
  62. existence
  63. existing
  64. face
  65. faces
  66. fall
  67. females
  68. find
  69. fish
  70. fit
  71. floating
  72. flotsam
  73. force
  74. frantically
  75. gauntlet
  76. gulls
  77. hand
  78. hatch
  79. heralds
  80. high
  81. host
  82. human
  83. hypothetical
  84. including
  85. increase
  86. interference
  87. jackpot
  88. jurassic
  89. killer
  90. laid
  91. larger
  92. late
  93. leatherback
  94. leathery
  95. life
  96. lifetime
  97. lines
  98. living
  99. long
  100. making
  101. masse
  102. measure
  103. million
  104. miracle
  105. miraculous
  106. month
  107. months
  108. mother
  109. multiple
  110. nest
  111. nesting
  112. nets
  113. noxious
  114. obstacles
  115. occasional
  116. odds
  117. oil
  118. overcome
  119. overwhelmed
  120. palm
  121. passage
  122. patch
  123. percent
  124. perish
  125. phase
  126. pit
  127. pitfalls
  128. plastic
  129. plate
  130. poaching
  131. predators
  132. preferably
  133. pressure
  134. pressures
  135. prior
  136. progress
  137. protection
  138. pushed
  139. quickly
  140. raccoons
  141. rate
  142. reach
  143. real
  144. recap
  145. refuse
  146. remain
  147. repelling
  148. rose
  149. roughly
  150. rule
  151. run
  152. sake
  153. sand
  154. scale
  155. sea
  156. season
  157. seaweed
  158. seek
  159. sense
  160. set
  161. settle
  162. shark
  163. sharks
  164. shot
  165. significant
  166. single
  167. size
  168. skill
  169. small
  170. species
  171. squirm
  172. state
  173. surf
  174. surface
  175. survival
  176. survive
  177. survived
  178. surviving
  179. survivors
  180. swim
  181. table
  182. threatened
  183. threats
  184. tigers
  185. times
  186. today
  187. trade
  188. turtle
  189. turtles
  190. ultimately
  191. unfortunate
  192. upped
  193. vulnerable
  194. water
  195. waves
  196. weather
  197. whale
  198. whites
  199. worrisome
  200. year
  201. years
  202. young