- 2017年12月11日15:53 来源：小站整理
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The smooth operation of an ant colony depends on ten to twenty different signals, most of
which are pheromones (chemical signals triggering behavioral responses). It is estimated that red
fire ants employ at least twelve different chemical signals. The simplest of these is the carbon
dioxide from the respiration of an ant cluster, a chemical that acts as a pheromone to promote
aggregation. Workers move toward a source of carbon dioxide, resulting in solitary ants moving to
join a group. At the other extreme, the most complex of the fire ants' signals is probably colony
odor, by which the workers of a particular colony or nest identify another worker as local or
foreign. Each ant nest has its own odor as a result of its location, history, and local food supply.
The resident ants pick up this odor on their bodies, so that ants of the same species, but from
different nests, have different colony odors. This allows ants to identify intruders and maintain
Fire ants also make use of an alarm pheromone to alert workers to an emergency, and their
scouts lay down a trail pheromone as a guide during mass migrations. A fire ant queen emits a
chemical signal that identifies her to the colony's workers. They respond by scurrying to gather
around her. The decomposing corpse of a dead ant also generates a signal, to which workers
respond by eliminating the corpse from the nest.
Ants provide examples of both public (accessible to other species) and private messages. One
of their most important private messages concerns food, for a food source is worth keeping secret.
Each species marks its trails with signals that are meaningless to others, so that an ant crossing a
trail left by another ant species typically notices nothing. On the other hand, a secret signal to
mark a dead body is unnecessary. Many kinds of ants perceive a natural decomposition product of
dead insects as a signal to remove a corpse. If an outsider recognizes this message and moves the
body, no harm is done.
1. What aspect of ants does the passage mainly discuss?
(A) The relationship between the queen and the worker ants
(B) Ways in which ants use chemical signals
(C) Methods ants use to identify food sources
(D) The importance of respiration in the production of ant pheromones
2. The phrase "smooth operation" in line 1 is closest in meaning to
(A) daily activity
(B) effective functioning
(C) delicate balance
(D) permanent location
3.According to the passage , carbon dioxide serves which of the following functions for fire ants?
(A) It protects the queen.
(B) It attracts other ant species.
(C) It informs workers of possible danger.
(D) It encourages the ants to gather together.
4. The word "cluster" in line 4 is closest in meaning to
5.According to the passage , each nest has a distinct odor that allows its inhabitants to
(A) find the location of the nest in the dark
(B) distinguish worker ants from other ants
(C) distinguish foreign ants from resident ants
(D) signal other inhabitants when foreign ants attack
6. The word "alert" in line 13 is closest in meaning to
7. What is the role of pheromones in the mass migrations of ants?
(A) Pheromones are used to create a trail that directs the ants during migrations.
(B) Pheromones signal the ants that the nest has been invaded and must be abandoned.
(C) Pheromones control the speed at which ants move from one location to another.
(D) Pheromones enable scouts to identify suitable areas for establishing a new nest.
8. The word "scurrying" in line 16 is closest in meaning to
9. The word "others" in line 21 refers to
(A) private messages
10. Why does the author mention "dead insects" in line 23?
(A) To compare the social behaviors of ants with those of other insects
(B) To emphasize the dangers that all insects encounter
(C) To argue the superiority of ants over other insects
(D) To indicate a behavior that is common among various kinds of ants
11. Which of the following terms is defined in the passage ?
(A) pheromones (line 2)
(B) colony integrity (lines 12)
(C) mass migrations (line 14)
(D) private messages (lines 18-19)