TOEFL IBT Listening Practice Test 26 Solution & Transcripts

N Listen to a talk on art. The professor is discussing the Altamlra Cave.

P: Today we’re going to talk about a cave that almost didn’t get discovered. A few years before 1879, heavy rains caused a landslide In the Santlllana del Mar. Well, that was a good landslide because It exposed the mouth of a cave which was subsequently discovered by someone dabbling in anthropology and his 8-year-old daughter. So the two of them went in, and the little girl cried out, “Look Dad, they’re cows.” Of course, she said it In Spanish. The Santlllana del Mar Is located In Spain, and the cave, called the Altamira Cave, was full of prehistoric paintings. We will focus on the cave and its paintings,

The Altamira Cave is a fairly long cave—about 270 meters long-and it has these twisting passages and chambers, On first examination, archaeologists concluded that the cave must have been formed through a phenomenon known as Karst. Uh … briefly Karst Is when the bedrock, which Is made of limestone or dolomite, dissolves and the result is a very distinctive three-dimensional landscape. Well, this happened to the bedrock at Mt. Vispleres, and that is why you have the Altamira Cave. So the archaeologists Initially found artifacts belonging to the Solutrean and Magdalenlan cultures. It was also evident that between these two occupations— the Solutrean and the Magdalenlan—wild animals had lived In the cave. Then about 13,000 years ago, a rockfall sealed the cave’s entrance until the landslide occurred and the entrance was uncovered.

Now the paintings themselves … the animals In the paintings were mostly large wild animals … bison. The ones in Europe are similar to the North American bison but Just a little smaller … There were horses, deer, aurochs … which Is a type of European cattle that is now extinct … There was also ornamentation … outlines of human hands and some abstract patterns. The cave dwellers of the time used red and yellow ochre. Also hematite—this Is ferric oxide In crystalline form and Is colored red. Uh … manganese oxide, which has a purple or brown color. And charcoal. The cave dwellers used the charcoal, ochre and hematite to create the Images. They diluted the dyes to, uh, vary the Intensity of the color. Sometimes, the outline of the animal was cut Into the rock first. This created an Impression of chiaroscuro, Italian for llghtdark, which Is simply a contrast of light and dark. The paintings also had a three-dimensional appearance to them. This was possible because of the natural contours of the cave walls. There’s one painting—a large group of animals, a herd of bison, a couple of horses, a large hind and wild boar—this painting was particularly impressive.

Now, we come to the question: Are the Altamira Cave paintings authentic? When the Altamira Cave was first discovered, some academics first said the paintings were a hoaxl The archaeologists Sautuola and Juan Vllanova y Piera excavated the cave and concluded that the paintings were Paleolithic. But French specialists did not agree and even went so far as to ridicule the findings of the two Spanish gentlemen. They said that the artistry was supreme and the paintings were well-conserved. They even accused Sautuola of forging the paintings, the poor soul. Well, new evidence showed that the Altamira paintings had been preserved these thousands of years by the entombing of the cave. Unfortunately, by the time the scientific society retracted their denunciations, Sautuola had been dead 14 years. So he regained his honor In death. What remains In contention is the age of the paintings. It’s possible that, um, new material may have entered the caves or samples from earlier periods may have been scattered as naturally occurs In any time period. But the reindeer In the paintings Indicate that the art Is from the last Ice Age.

Now „. who did the paintings? I mentioned two cultures a little earlier. So which culture was it? Well, there are a couple of theories. One Is that the paintings were done by the Magdalenlan culture, which existed In the Upper Paleolithic In Western Europe. The Paleolithic period Is the first period of the Stone Age. I guess you know that stone tools were Introduced and used during the Stone Age and that hunting was the principal means to obtain food. There are other caves In Spain that contain Paleolithic art, but the ones in the Altamira are considered the most complex and intricate. Now the second and more modem theory is that the paintings were done by the Cro-Magnon shaman. It was the practice of the shaman to enter the darkness of a cave and then paint what they envisioned after going into a trance state … Um, why did anthropologists entertain this theory? Well, the shaman, being what they are, believe that they can draw power out of the cave, which Is why they go as deep as possible into the cave—and that could be the reason why some of the paintings were found In the smaller niches of the caves and In the more remote areas of the cave. But these are just theories … and we need to keep In mind that you can never be 100 percent certain that any of these theories are correct because these paintings are prehistoric.


N Listen to a talk on biology. The professor Is discussing animal defensive behavior.

P: Are we settled? I’d like to start. OK. People who work with animals are In a position to observe them and, subsequently, to come to understand their behavior. One aspect of behavior common to all animals Is defensive behavior. It Is a behavior that Is Instinctual. So today we’ll, uh, look at the reasons why animals defend themselves and then discuss the more common ways that they do so.

Animals have primary Instincts … and since instincts are. in a sense, goals that must be met… animals can become … nervous when these goals are not met. Uh … if we look at this list of Instinctual goals that animals have, we might think, these are very human goais, and they are, aren’t they? Self-preservation, acquisition of food, maintenance of territory, mamage and family relations, protection … These are things which, If humans are unable to satisfy, well… So it’s easy to understand animals when they react as they do In a situation In which they feel threatened.

Now … some of you might think that defensive behavior Is violent or aggressive. Well, animal species react hi different ways to a threat or a perceived threat. Some animals do become hostile and even go on the offense—even the ones we don’t expect to become hostile, The lovable chimpanzee, the ones you see on television dressed in diapers, clapping their hands and doing tricks, well, in one recent attack, two chimpanzees that escaped from their cage proceeded to attack a couple who had brought a cake for them. The man’s face was completely chewed off and one foot was bitten off. Birds are capable of very violent defensive behavior. I’m not talking about eagles-I’m talking about smaller birds that will come at you with their claws and beaks.

Well, let’s go Into other, more common defensive behaviors. Uh … animals are known to withdraw or take flight when threatened. This Is very human, Isn’t it? You have a fight with your brother or mother and you go to your room and lock the door. Well, animals run or fly to a safe place. Um … some animals freeze … or become extremely passive. Have you seen dogs lie on their backs with their legs up In the air? That doesn’t always mean they’re on the defensive, but, but they do act that way at times when an aggressive dog is In the area. Many Insects, rodents, birds and other animals will simply freeze until the danger passes. The logic behind this Is … perhaps If the predator doesn’t see movement, It’s likely to go away.

Another Interesting tactic is bluffing. The animal pretends to attack or it acts In a very aggressive way, you know, like an angry gorilla who has no Intention of attacking but growls and pounds his chest to frighten away the perceived threat. The display continues until one gives up and withdraws … So essentially, it’s a war of ne-ves.

If there’s an attack on a herd, the animals will scatter and run In different directions. This is meant to cause confusion on the part of the attacker who at times becomes befuddled enough to allow his prey to escape. Some animals rety on camouflage, blending In perfectly with their background so as to appear non-existent to their enemy. You know why the chameleon Is called the chameleon, And some animals use odor to ward off attackers. Has anyone here ever smelled a skunk? There’s no odor unless the skunk releases It from Its anal scent glands.

Now one interesting tactic which I haven’t had the fortune to see Is mimicry. Of course, camouflage Is a form of mimicry, but there are two other types— one Involves appearing like a dangerous or not very tasty animal, and the other is pretending to be Injured or dead. In the first, Insects sometimes mimic stinging Insects. Some moths which have the appropriate coloring can make themselves look like hornets or bees. The king snake has certain markings that enable It to act like a poisonous coral snake. The, the other method—pretending to be injured or dead—well, this Is so ingenious. The animal sort of positions Its body to look as though it’s really dead. The Virginia possum rolls on its back and lies there with Its mouth open and its eyes all glassy. Deserves an Oscar, If you ask me. And some birds drag themselves along the ground to distract an enemy from attacking smaller birds and then fly off when they’re sure the younger birds are safe. A dormouse will hiss like a snake to scare off an attacker. The most Ingenious animal, though, Is the fiddler crab of Australia, ft helps neighbor crabs that are under attack. Maybe Ingenious is the wrong word. How about human?