Word Pairs


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The words
Scientists [believe / belief] they know why birds' eggs are different shapes. Some eggs are [quiet / quite] round; some are kind of potato-shaped; and others are longer and pointy. Two thousand years [age / ago] , the Greek philosopher Aristotle said flatter eggs had female chicks [inside / insider] them and rounder eggs [contents / contained] male chicks. But he was wrong. A new study from Princeton University in the USA [suggestion / suggests] that the shape of the egg depends [in / on] how well and how fast the female bird flies. Professor Mary Stoddard said: "It has not gone unnoticed [that / what] birds have evolved to lay eggs with shapes that are quite diverse [in / on] form - everything from a spherical owl egg [of / to] a pointy sandpiper egg."

Professor Stoddard and her [colleagues / colleges] created a mathematical formula to map the shape [of / off] different eggs. They looked at [most / almost] 50,000 eggs from 1,400 different bird species. The researchers put the shape, length and [height / high] of the eggs into a computer database. They also looked at how oval the [eggs / egg] were. The researchers found that the birds that laid the most-oval-shaped eggs were the best [fillers / fliers] . Professor Stoddard said: "We were [shocked / shocking] to see that one of the best explanations for egg shape [vary / variation] was flight [ability / able] ." The researchers found that hummingbirds and sandpipers laid the most-oval-shaped eggs; owls laid the roundest eggs; and [see / sea] birds laid the pointiest eggs.

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