Read the passage given below carefully and answer the questions that follow.
1. Overpowering prey is a challenge for creatures that do not have limbs. Some species like Russell's viper inject poison. Some others opt for an alternative non-chemical method – rat snakes, for instance, catch and push their prey against the ground, while pythons use their muscle power to crush their prey to death. But snakes can't be neatly divided into poisonous and non-poisonous categories.
2. Even species listed as non-poisonous aren't completely free of poison. The common Sand Boa, for instance, produces secretions particularly poisonous to birds. So the species doesn't take any chance – it crushes its prey) and injects poison as an extra step.
3. Do vipers need poison powerful enough to kill hundreds of rats with just one drop? After all, they eat only one or two at a time.
4. While hunting animals try their worst to kill most efficiently, their prey uses any trick to avoid becoming a meal, such as developing immunity to poison.) For instance, Californian ground squirrels are resistant to Northern Pacific rattlesnake poison.
5. Competition with prey is not the only thing driving snakes to evolve more and more deadly poison. Snakes also struggle to avoid becoming prey themselves.
6. Some snake killers have partial immunity to poison. Famously, mongooses are highly resistant to cobra poison, and with their speed and agility, kill snakes fearlessly. It would be the death of cobras as a species if they didn't evolve a more deadly poison to stop mongooses.
7. Poison has another important role. It's an extreme meat softener, specific enzymes break up the insides of the prey. Normally, a reptile depends on the sun's warm rays to aid digestion.
8. But I wonder if we cannot use venom in our favour. In remote parts of India, local hospitality often involves leather tough meat. I chew and chew until my jaws ache. If I spit it out or refuse, our hosts would be offended, I swallow like a python stuffing a deer down its throat and hope I don't choke. If only I had poison.
(b) How does Sand Boa kill its prey?
(c) There is a constant tussle between the hunting animal and its prey? Why?
(e) What difficulty does the writer face when he is entertained in the remote parts of India?
2.2 On the basis of your reading of the above passage fill in any two of the following blanks.
c. a python
d. breaks down
iii. Californian squirrels are ______________ rattlesnake poison.
a. afraid of
b. helpless against
c. resistant to
d. indifferent to
a. Liquid substances released from glands (para 2)
c. Particular (para 7)
(a) While Russell’s viper injects poison, the rat snakes catch and push their prey against the ground.
(b) The Sand Boa produces secretions particularly poisonous to birds. It does not take any chances and first crushes its prey and then injects poison as an extra step.
(c) While hunting animals try their worst to kill most efficiently, their prey uses any trick to avoid becoming a meal, such as developing immunity to poison. Competition with prey is not the only thing driving snakes to evolve more and more deadly poison. Snakes also struggle to avoid becoming prey themselves.
(d) Mongooses are highly resistant to cobra poison, and with their speed and agility, kill snakes fearlessly.
(e) When the writer is entertained in the remote parts of India, local hospitality often involves leather-tough meat. The writer chews it until his jaw aches. If he spits it out or refuses, their hosts would be offended and if he swallows, it would be like python stuffing a deer down its throat and hope that it doesn’t choke. Thus, he regrets not having a venom which he could use to soften the meat.
(i) Californian squirrels are prey rattlesnake poison.
(ii) Poison softens meat.
(iii) Californian squirrels are resistant to rattlesnake poison.