Answer Key: Cats v. Rats In New York

Lesson Plan: The Clever Rats In New York City!

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

  1. stroll  |strōl| verb [no object] walk in a leisurely way: I strolled around the city.
  2. Ecology |ēˈkäləjē| noun 1 the branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings.
  3. predation  |prəˈdāSH(ə)n| noun- 1 the preying of one animal on others: an effective defense against predation.
  4. scat  |skat| noun droppings, especially those of carnivorous mammals.
  5. Bulk  |bəlk| noun  the mass or magnitude of something large: the sheer bulk of the bags.
  6. recycle |rēˈsīk(ə)l| verb [with object] convert (waste) into reusable material: car hulks were recycled into new steel | (as adjective recycled) : goods made of recycled materials | (as noun recycling) : a call for the recycling of all paper.
  7. feral  |ˈferəlˈfirəl| adjective (especially of an animal) in a wild state, especially after escape from captivity or domestication: a feral cat.
  8. stalk  stôk| verb 1 [with object] pursue or approach stealthily: a cat stalking a bird.
  9. ineffective  |ˌinəˈfektiv| adjective –not producing any significant or desired effect: the legal sanctions against oil spills are virtually ineffective | a weak and ineffective president.
  10. reproductive |ˌrēprəˈdəktiv| adjective- relating to or effecting reproduction: the female reproductive system.

Source: New Oxford American Dictionary

Grammar Focus: Identifying Prepositions

In the report, published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, the authors first present some background. Cat predation of rats has been studied before: Researchers in New Zealand, for example, analyzed scat from 229 cats and learned that almost all of them ate rats. The felines even seemed to prefer rats to birds.


Reading Comprehension Fill-ins

New Zealand rats weigh an average of 150 grams, or about five ounces, whereas rats in the most recent experiment in New York were more than twice as large. Bulk, it turns out, is an obstacle for cats who might otherwise dine on city rats.