Read the passage given below.
I saw ‘Jaws’, the popular shark movie, the summer it came out, in 1975 and became paranoid about sharks. Though I kept swimming after Jaws, it was always with the vague fear that a shark’s teeth could tug on my leg at any moment. Never mind that there’d been only two shark bites since 1900 on the Connecticut coast, where I lived.
So, when I got this assignment for the National Geographic magazine, I decided to accept and do what I’d never wanted to do: swim with the sharks. I had to go to a place in the Bahamas known as Tiger Beach and dive with tiger sharks, the species responsible for more recorded attacks on humans than any shark except the great white. It was to be my first dive after getting certified—which meant it would be my first dive anywhere other than a swimming pool or a quarry—and without a diver’s cage. Most people who got wind of this plan thought I was either very brave or very stupid.
But I just wanted to puncture an illusion. The people who know sharks intimately tend to be the least afraid of them, and no one gets closer to sharks than divers. The divers who run operations at Tiger Beach speak lovingly of the tiger sharks the way people talk about their children or their pets. In their eyes, these sharks aren’t man-eaters any more than dogs are.
The business of puncturing illusions is never just black and white. My fellow divers had hundreds of dives under their belt and on the two-hour boat ride to the site in the morning of our first dive, they kept saying things like, “Seriously, I really can’t believe this is your first dive.” All this was okay with me until I reached the bottom and immediately had to fend off the first tiger shark, I had ever laid eyes on. However, when I watched the other divers feeding them fish and steering them gently, it became easy to see the sharks in a very benign light.
I think it would be unfair not to mention that though tiger sharks are apex predators. They act as a crucial balancing force in ocean ecosystems, constraining the numbers of animals like sea turtles and limit their behaviour by preventing them from overgrazing the sea grass beds. Furthermore, tiger sharks love warm water, they eat almost anything, have a huge litter and are the hardiest shark species. If the planet and its oceans continue to warm, some species will be winners and others will be losers, and tiger sharks are likely to be winners.
Based on your understanding of the passage, answer ANY EIGHT questions from the nine given below.
1. Cite a point in evidence, from the text, to suggest that the writer's post-Jaws fear was not justified.
2. State any one trait of the writer that is evident from lines 5-10 and provide a reason for your choice.
3. People thought the writer was ‘either brave or very stupid’. Why did some people think that he was ‘very stupid’?
4. Why does the writer say that people who know sharks intimately tend to be least afraid of them?
5. Rewrite the given sentence by replacing the underlined phrase with another one, from lines 10 – 20.
Some academicians think that reward, as a form of discipline, is a simple right or wrong issue.
6. What does the use of the phrase ‘benign light’ suggest in the context of the writer’s viewpoint about the tiger sharks?
7. Select a suitable phrase from lines 15-25 to complete the following sentence appropriately.
I agree the team will find this experience tough, but competing will be easier next time after they get this tournament __________________________.
8. Apex predators serve to keep prey numbers in check. How can we say that tiger sharks are apex predators?
9. Analyse why having a large litter is one of the features that empowers tiger sharks to emerge winners if global warming persists.