1. Many birds engage in anting, a behavior in which a bird approaches a colony of ants (small insects), picks up ants with its beak, and rubs the ants on its feathers. Since ants instinctively defend themselves by spraying formic acid, the bird ends up with formic acid on its feathers and skin. There are several theories about the possible benefit that birds get from anting.
Relief of Skin Irritation during Feather Change:
Anting behavior typically takes place during the summer. This fact leads some scientists to believe that the function of anting is to relieve skin irritation that birds feel, especially during summer months. In summer, birds lose old feathers and grow new ones. The formic acid, which the birds apply to their feathers and skin through anting, may act as a kind of skin lotion, helping to soothe the skin irritation caused by feather loss and replacement.
Protection against Parasites:
Another theory is that the formic acid helps the birds protect themselves from external parasites, such as mites and ticks, that can infest their feathers or skin. In antingso the theory goes a bird is essentially using the formic acid that it spreads over its feathers and skin as a chemical defense against parasites.
A third theory is that the release of formic acid makes it possible for the birds to feed on the ants. Formic acid tastes bitter; if the birds provoke ants into releasing the formic acid, the bitter taste is removed from the ants' bodies and the birds can feed on the ants without tasting the bitterness. So, according to this theory, anting is just a way for birds to make sure the ants taste good.
Directions: You have 20 minutes to plan and write your response. Your response will be judged on the basis of the quality of your writing and on how well your response presents the points in the lecture and their relationship to the reading passage. Typically, an effective response will be 150 to 225 words.
Question: Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they cast doubt on the specific points made in the reading passage.
The professor casts doubt on the reading passage’s idea that the three theories can account for the birds’ anting behavior. The professor asserts that these three theories are unconvincing.
First, the reading mentions that the anting behavior helps birds to relieve the skin irritation during feather change due to the fact that the two things both happen in summer. However, the lecturer declares that it is the high activity of ants in summer that results in the same time of birds’ anting coincidentally since the ants can be found more easily, which can dramatically weaken the validity of this theory.
Second, contrary to the reading’s belief that the formic acid prevents birds from external parasites, the professor points out that the birds which engage in anting have not been found less likely to encounter parasites as expected.
Finally, the reading believes that this behavior occurs when birds attempt to stimulate the ants to release the formic acid which tastes bitter, thus they can feed on the ants with a better taste. The lecturer, on the other hand, states that the birds rub the ants on their feather unintentionally and they may also rub other things which cannot be eaten, which means that these two things are irrelevant.
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Transition Words or Phrases used:
also, finally, first, however, incidentally, may, second, so, thus, on the other hand
Attributes: Values AverageValues Percentages(Values/AverageValues)% => Comments
Performance on Part of Speech:
To be verbs : 6.0 10.4613686534 57% => More to be verbs wanted.
Auxiliary verbs: 6.0 5.04856512141 119% => OK
Conjunction : 1.0 7.30242825607 14% => More conjunction wanted.
Relative clauses : 17.0 12.0772626932 141% => OK
Pronoun: 19.0 22.412803532 85% => OK
Preposition: 22.0 30.3222958057 73% => OK
Nominalization: 1.0 5.01324503311 20% => More nominalizations (nouns with a suffix like: tion ment ence ance) wanted.
Performance on vocabulary words:
No of characters: 1077.0 1373.03311258 78% => OK
No of words: 207.0 270.72406181 76% => More content wanted.
Chars per words: 5.20289855072 5.08290768461 102% => OK
Fourth root words length: 3.79308509922 4.04702891845 94% => OK
Word Length SD: 2.60547304977 2.5805825403 101% => OK
Unique words: 118.0 145.348785872 81% => More unique words wanted.
Unique words percentage: 0.570048309179 0.540411800872 105% => OK
syllable_count: 312.3 419.366225166 74% => OK
avg_syllables_per_word: 1.5 1.55342163355 97% => OK
A sentence (or a clause, phrase) starts by:
Pronoun: 0.0 3.25607064018 0% => OK
Article: 7.0 8.23620309051 85% => OK
Subordination: 0.0 1.25165562914 0% => More adverbial clause wanted.
Conjunction: 0.0 1.51434878587 0% => OK
Preposition: 1.0 2.5761589404 39% => More preposition wanted as sentence beginning.
Performance on sentences:
How many sentences: 7.0 13.0662251656 54% => Need more sentences. Double check the format of sentences, make sure there is a space between two sentences, or have enough periods. And also check the lengths of sentences, maybe they are too long.
Sentence length: 29.0 21.2450331126 137% => The Avg. Sentence Length is relatively long.
Sentence length SD: 58.3522029733 49.2860985944 118% => OK
Chars per sentence: 153.857142857 110.228320801 140% => OK
Words per sentence: 29.5714285714 21.698381199 136% => OK
Discourse Markers: 12.1428571429 7.06452816374 172% => OK
Paragraphs: 4.0 4.09492273731 98% => OK
Language errors: 0.0 4.19205298013 0% => OK
Sentences with positive sentiment : 4.0 4.33554083885 92% => OK
Sentences with negative sentiment : 2.0 4.45695364238 45% => More negative sentences wanted.
Sentences with neutral sentiment: 1.0 4.27373068433 23% => More facts, knowledge or examples wanted.
What are sentences with positive/Negative/neutral sentiment?
Coherence and Cohesion:
Essay topic to essay body coherence: 0.358104440208 0.272083759551 132% => OK
Sentence topic coherence: 0.169076823674 0.0996497079465 170% => OK
Sentence topic coherence SD: 0.0823045049905 0.0662205650399 124% => OK
Paragraph topic coherence: 0.220374566124 0.162205337803 136% => OK
Paragraph topic coherence SD: 0.0643202165779 0.0443174109184 145% => OK
automated_readability_index: 17.8 13.3589403974 133% => OK
flesch_reading_ease: 50.5 53.8541721854 94% => OK
smog_index: 8.8 5.55761589404 158% => OK
flesch_kincaid_grade: 13.4 11.0289183223 121% => OK
coleman_liau_index: 13.47 12.2367328918 110% => OK
dale_chall_readability_score: 8.81 8.42419426049 105% => OK
difficult_words: 49.0 63.6247240618 77% => More difficult words wanted.
linsear_write_formula: 14.5 10.7273730684 135% => OK
gunning_fog: 13.6 10.498013245 130% => OK
text_standard: 14.0 11.2008830022 125% => OK
What are above readability scores?
Rates: 75.0 out of 100
Scores by essay e-grader: 22.5 Out of 30
Note: the e-grader does NOT examine the meaning of words and ideas. VIP users will receive further evaluations by advanced module of e-grader and human graders.