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Read the passage carefully. Then choose the correct answer.
 
In the past, the giant octopus was associated with tales of horror. Stories were told of how the giant octopus would attack boats and men. These animals would rise out of the sea and terrorize passing ships, even causing them to sink. Yet in reality, octopuses are the exact opposite. They are very shy creatures and also quite smart.

In 1866, the famous writer Victor Hugo wrote a novel called 'Le Travailleurs de la Mer'. In this story, he wrote of a showdown between a man and an octopus. He described the octopus as a horrible, vicious creature, truly something to be feared. In the story, the man won the battle with the octopus after much struggle. The novel gave the octopus a level of 'popularity' in Paris at that time. Newspapers called it the 'devil fish'. It was after Victor Hugo's novel that people hated and feared the octopus.

The octopus is actually a predator in the sea, but not one that hunts for people. The octopus feeds on a variety of sea creatures, such as crabs. It gently drops down onto the seabed, trapping crabs. It hunts by shooting out a poison into the water to stun the crab and then it uses its beak to crack the shell of the crab and eat the meat. Between its many tentacles are pieces of skin, called a web, and this is used by the octopus to carry as many as a dozen crabs back to its den. Apart from crabs, octopuses also eat other types of shellfish like abalone. Under some circumstances, like when it is in captivity and under a lot of stress, the octopus even eats its own tentacles. When other predators like whales or sea lions hunt the octopus, it sometimes escapes by breaking off its tentacles, leaving them in the mouths of its hunter while it makes its escape.

Octopuses are actually shy creatures that seem to prefer being left alone. Due to the popularity of scuba diving, scientists have been able to prove that octopuses are far from being fierce monsters that everyone thought they were. In fact, for some divers, meeting an octopus has become a special moment in their dive underwater, something they look forward to.

A relative of the squid, the octopus defends itself in the same way. Both quirt out black ink to evade predators. It is believed that the octopus squirts ink to create a smokescreen before its escape. It is also believed that the ink that is squirted out floats lightly and takes the shape of an octopus, thus perplexing the predator and allowing time for the octopus to make its escape.

     
  1. How did the octopus become a hated animal ?
       
    (A) Newspapers advertised it as the 'devil fish'.
    (B) It was a terrible and vicious creature by nature.
    (C) It was described as a horrible and evil creature in a novel.
    (D) Sailors painted tales of horror of how it would attack ships.
       
  2. When the octopus stuns an animals, it suggests that ______.
       
    (A) the octopus is able to corner the animal
    (B) the animal becomes too startled to escape
    (C) the octopus is intelligent enough to play tricks on its prey
    (D) the animal becomes too confused a starts moving in all directions
       
  3. Contrary to popular belief, the octopus ______.
       
    (A) feeds on crabs only
    (B) does not shoot poison
    (C) is not fierce or aggressive in nature
    (D) is smart enough to never get caught by men
       
  4. An octopus escapes from its predators by ______.
       
    (A) shooting poison
    (B) giving off smoke
    (C) shooting black ink
    (D) breaking all its tentacles
       
  5. The use of 'perplexing' (paragraph 5) suggests that the predator is ______.
       
    (A) nervous
    (B) confused
    (C) surprised
    (D) complicated
       
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  Answers : 1C   2B   3C   4C   5B
 
 
 
 

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