full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Kate Slabosky: The three different ways mammals give birth

Unscramble the Blue Letters

What do these amlnais have in common? More than you might think. Along with over 5,000 other spieces, they're mammals, or members of calss mammalia. All mammals are vertebrates, meaning they have backbones. But mammals are distinguished from other vertebrates by a nemubr of shared features. That idcunles warm blood, body hair or fur, the ability to breathe using lungs, and nourishing their ynuog with milk. But despite these similarities, these crreeatus also have many biological differences, and one of the most remarkable is how they give birth. Let's sartt with the most familiar, pclaaentl mammals. This group includes humans, cats, dogs, giraffes, and even the blue whale, the biggest animal on Earth. Its placenta, a soild disk of blood-rich tissue, athetcas to the wall of the uterus to support the developing embryo. The placenta is what keeps the calf alive during pregnancy. Directly connected to the mother's blood supply, it funnels nutrients and oxygen straight into the calf's body via the umbilical cord, and also exptros its wstae. Placental mammals can spend far longer inside the womb than other mammals. Baby blue whales, for ianctnse, spend almost a full year inside their mother. The placenta keeps the calf alvie right up until its birth, when the umbilical cord breaks and the newborn's own respiratory, circulatory, and waste disposal syesmts take over. Measuring about 23 feet, a newborn calf is already able to swim. It will spend the next six months drinking 225 liters of its mothers thick, fatty milk per day. Meanwhile, in aiartlusa, you can find a second type of mammal - marsupials. Marsupial babies are so tiny and delicate when they're born that they must continue developing in the mother's pucoh. Take the qloul, one of the world's slesmalt marsupials, which weighs only 18 milligrams at birth, the equivalent of about 30 saugr grains. The kangaroo, another marsupial, gives birth to a single jelly bean-sized baby at a time. The baby clraws down the middle of the mother's three vaginas, then must climb up to the pouch, where she spends the next 6-11 months suckling. Even after the baby kangaroo lvaees this warm haven, she'll return to suckle milk. Sometimes, she's just one of three babeis her mother is caring for. A female kangaroo can often simultaneously support one inside her uterus and another in her pouch. In unfavorable conditions, female kngaooars can pause their pgniacrenes. When that happens, she's able to produce two different kinds of milk, one for her newborn, and one for her older joey. The word mammalia means of the breast, which is a bit of a misnomer because while kangaroos do produce milk from nieplps in their pouches, they don't actually have breasts. Nor do monotremes, the third and arguably seantsgrt example of mammalian btirh. There were once hundreds of monotreme species, but there are only five left: four species of echidnas and the duck-billed platypus. The name monotreme menas one hole referring to the single orifice they use for reproduction, eicrxoetn, and egg-laying. Like birds, reptiles, fish, dinosaurs, and others, these species lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young. Their eggs are soft-shelled, and when their babies hacth, they suckle milk from pores on their mother's body until they're large enough to feed themselves. Despite laying eggs and other adaptations that we associate more with non-mammals, like the duck-bill platypus's weebbd feet, bill, and the vnmuoeos spur males have on their feet, they are, in fact, mammals. That's because they share the dnfienig characteristics of mammalia and are evolutionarily linked to the rest of the class. Whether placental, mraapisul, or monotreme, each of these creatures and its unique birthing methods, however bizarre, have sduceeced for many millennia in bringing new life and diversity into the mammal kdoingm.

Open Cloze

What do these _______ have in common? More than you might think. Along with over 5,000 other _______, they're mammals, or members of _____ mammalia. All mammals are vertebrates, meaning they have backbones. But mammals are distinguished from other vertebrates by a ______ of shared features. That ________ warm blood, body hair or fur, the ability to breathe using lungs, and nourishing their _____ with milk. But despite these similarities, these _________ also have many biological differences, and one of the most remarkable is how they give birth. Let's _____ with the most familiar, _________ mammals. This group includes humans, cats, dogs, giraffes, and even the blue whale, the biggest animal on Earth. Its placenta, a _____ disk of blood-rich tissue, ________ to the wall of the uterus to support the developing embryo. The placenta is what keeps the calf alive during pregnancy. Directly connected to the mother's blood supply, it funnels nutrients and oxygen straight into the calf's body via the umbilical cord, and also _______ its _____. Placental mammals can spend far longer inside the womb than other mammals. Baby blue whales, for ________, spend almost a full year inside their mother. The placenta keeps the calf _____ right up until its birth, when the umbilical cord breaks and the newborn's own respiratory, circulatory, and waste disposal _______ take over. Measuring about 23 feet, a newborn calf is already able to swim. It will spend the next six months drinking 225 liters of its mothers thick, fatty milk per day. Meanwhile, in _________, you can find a second type of mammal - marsupials. Marsupial babies are so tiny and delicate when they're born that they must continue developing in the mother's _____. Take the _____, one of the world's ________ marsupials, which weighs only 18 milligrams at birth, the equivalent of about 30 _____ grains. The kangaroo, another marsupial, gives birth to a single jelly bean-sized baby at a time. The baby ______ down the middle of the mother's three vaginas, then must climb up to the pouch, where she spends the next 6-11 months suckling. Even after the baby kangaroo ______ this warm haven, she'll return to suckle milk. Sometimes, she's just one of three ______ her mother is caring for. A female kangaroo can often simultaneously support one inside her uterus and another in her pouch. In unfavorable conditions, female _________ can pause their ___________. When that happens, she's able to produce two different kinds of milk, one for her newborn, and one for her older joey. The word mammalia means of the breast, which is a bit of a misnomer because while kangaroos do produce milk from _______ in their pouches, they don't actually have breasts. Nor do monotremes, the third and arguably _________ example of mammalian _____. There were once hundreds of monotreme species, but there are only five left: four species of echidnas and the duck-billed platypus. The name monotreme _____ one hole referring to the single orifice they use for reproduction, _________, and egg-laying. Like birds, reptiles, fish, dinosaurs, and others, these species lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young. Their eggs are soft-shelled, and when their babies _____, they suckle milk from pores on their mother's body until they're large enough to feed themselves. Despite laying eggs and other adaptations that we associate more with non-mammals, like the duck-bill platypus's ______ feet, bill, and the ________ spur males have on their feet, they are, in fact, mammals. That's because they share the ________ characteristics of mammalia and are evolutionarily linked to the rest of the class. Whether placental, _________, or monotreme, each of these creatures and its unique birthing methods, however bizarre, have _________ for many millennia in bringing new life and diversity into the mammal _______.

Solution

  1. leaves
  2. young
  3. start
  4. placental
  5. nipples
  6. succeeded
  7. babies
  8. excretion
  9. kangaroos
  10. kingdom
  11. waste
  12. pouch
  13. instance
  14. quoll
  15. smallest
  16. birth
  17. strangest
  18. marsupial
  19. hatch
  20. pregnancies
  21. sugar
  22. defining
  23. venomous
  24. species
  25. class
  26. means
  27. systems
  28. webbed
  29. includes
  30. alive
  31. exports
  32. crawls
  33. solid
  34. attaches
  35. animals
  36. number
  37. australia
  38. creatures

Original Text

What do these animals have in common? More than you might think. Along with over 5,000 other species, they're mammals, or members of class mammalia. All mammals are vertebrates, meaning they have backbones. But mammals are distinguished from other vertebrates by a number of shared features. That includes warm blood, body hair or fur, the ability to breathe using lungs, and nourishing their young with milk. But despite these similarities, these creatures also have many biological differences, and one of the most remarkable is how they give birth. Let's start with the most familiar, placental mammals. This group includes humans, cats, dogs, giraffes, and even the blue whale, the biggest animal on Earth. Its placenta, a solid disk of blood-rich tissue, attaches to the wall of the uterus to support the developing embryo. The placenta is what keeps the calf alive during pregnancy. Directly connected to the mother's blood supply, it funnels nutrients and oxygen straight into the calf's body via the umbilical cord, and also exports its waste. Placental mammals can spend far longer inside the womb than other mammals. Baby blue whales, for instance, spend almost a full year inside their mother. The placenta keeps the calf alive right up until its birth, when the umbilical cord breaks and the newborn's own respiratory, circulatory, and waste disposal systems take over. Measuring about 23 feet, a newborn calf is already able to swim. It will spend the next six months drinking 225 liters of its mothers thick, fatty milk per day. Meanwhile, in Australia, you can find a second type of mammal - marsupials. Marsupial babies are so tiny and delicate when they're born that they must continue developing in the mother's pouch. Take the quoll, one of the world's smallest marsupials, which weighs only 18 milligrams at birth, the equivalent of about 30 sugar grains. The kangaroo, another marsupial, gives birth to a single jelly bean-sized baby at a time. The baby crawls down the middle of the mother's three vaginas, then must climb up to the pouch, where she spends the next 6-11 months suckling. Even after the baby kangaroo leaves this warm haven, she'll return to suckle milk. Sometimes, she's just one of three babies her mother is caring for. A female kangaroo can often simultaneously support one inside her uterus and another in her pouch. In unfavorable conditions, female kangaroos can pause their pregnancies. When that happens, she's able to produce two different kinds of milk, one for her newborn, and one for her older joey. The word mammalia means of the breast, which is a bit of a misnomer because while kangaroos do produce milk from nipples in their pouches, they don't actually have breasts. Nor do monotremes, the third and arguably strangest example of mammalian birth. There were once hundreds of monotreme species, but there are only five left: four species of echidnas and the duck-billed platypus. The name monotreme means one hole referring to the single orifice they use for reproduction, excretion, and egg-laying. Like birds, reptiles, fish, dinosaurs, and others, these species lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young. Their eggs are soft-shelled, and when their babies hatch, they suckle milk from pores on their mother's body until they're large enough to feed themselves. Despite laying eggs and other adaptations that we associate more with non-mammals, like the duck-bill platypus's webbed feet, bill, and the venomous spur males have on their feet, they are, in fact, mammals. That's because they share the defining characteristics of mammalia and are evolutionarily linked to the rest of the class. Whether placental, marsupial, or monotreme, each of these creatures and its unique birthing methods, however bizarre, have succeeded for many millennia in bringing new life and diversity into the mammal kingdom.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
placental mammals 2
calf alive 2
suckle milk 2

Important Words

  1. ability
  2. adaptations
  3. alive
  4. animal
  5. animals
  6. arguably
  7. associate
  8. attaches
  9. australia
  10. babies
  11. baby
  12. backbones
  13. biggest
  14. bill
  15. biological
  16. birds
  17. birth
  18. birthing
  19. bit
  20. bizarre
  21. blood
  22. blue
  23. body
  24. born
  25. breaks
  26. breast
  27. breasts
  28. breathe
  29. bringing
  30. calf
  31. caring
  32. cats
  33. characteristics
  34. circulatory
  35. class
  36. climb
  37. common
  38. conditions
  39. connected
  40. continue
  41. cord
  42. crawls
  43. creatures
  44. day
  45. defining
  46. delicate
  47. developing
  48. differences
  49. dinosaurs
  50. disk
  51. disposal
  52. distinguished
  53. diversity
  54. dogs
  55. drinking
  56. earth
  57. echidnas
  58. eggs
  59. embryo
  60. equivalent
  61. evolutionarily
  62. excretion
  63. exports
  64. fact
  65. familiar
  66. fatty
  67. features
  68. feed
  69. feet
  70. female
  71. find
  72. fish
  73. full
  74. funnels
  75. fur
  76. giraffes
  77. give
  78. giving
  79. grains
  80. group
  81. hair
  82. hatch
  83. haven
  84. hole
  85. humans
  86. hundreds
  87. includes
  88. instance
  89. jelly
  90. joey
  91. kangaroo
  92. kangaroos
  93. kinds
  94. kingdom
  95. large
  96. lay
  97. laying
  98. leaves
  99. life
  100. linked
  101. liters
  102. live
  103. longer
  104. lungs
  105. males
  106. mammal
  107. mammalia
  108. mammalian
  109. mammals
  110. marsupial
  111. marsupials
  112. meaning
  113. means
  114. measuring
  115. members
  116. methods
  117. middle
  118. milk
  119. millennia
  120. milligrams
  121. misnomer
  122. monotreme
  123. monotremes
  124. months
  125. mother
  126. mothers
  127. newborn
  128. nipples
  129. nourishing
  130. number
  131. nutrients
  132. older
  133. orifice
  134. oxygen
  135. pause
  136. placenta
  137. placental
  138. platypus
  139. pores
  140. pouch
  141. pouches
  142. pregnancies
  143. pregnancy
  144. produce
  145. quoll
  146. referring
  147. remarkable
  148. reproduction
  149. reptiles
  150. respiratory
  151. rest
  152. return
  153. share
  154. shared
  155. similarities
  156. simultaneously
  157. single
  158. smallest
  159. solid
  160. species
  161. spend
  162. spends
  163. spur
  164. start
  165. straight
  166. strangest
  167. succeeded
  168. suckle
  169. suckling
  170. sugar
  171. supply
  172. support
  173. swim
  174. systems
  175. thick
  176. time
  177. tiny
  178. tissue
  179. type
  180. umbilical
  181. unfavorable
  182. unique
  183. uterus
  184. vaginas
  185. venomous
  186. vertebrates
  187. wall
  188. warm
  189. waste
  190. webbed
  191. weighs
  192. whale
  193. whales
  194. womb
  195. word
  196. year
  197. young