Speed Reading — Animal Ears - Level 2 — 200 wpm

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Have you ever thought what animal has the biggest ears? We all know it's the elephant. However, scientists have looked at what animal has the biggest ears for its body size. The elephant has big ears but it also has a big body. Zoologists from a natural history museum in New York have found out which animal has the biggest ears for its body size. It is the long-eared jerboa. Not many people know about this cute creature. It is a rodent and lives in the deserts of China and Mongolia. It is nocturnal, which means it is active at night and sleeps during the day.

A zoologist described the jerboa. She said its body measures about 10 centimetres. Its ears are 3.8 to 5cm long. They are 40 to 50 per cent as long as its body. Elephant's ears are just 17 per cent of its body length. The zoologist said: "The jerboa has the longest ears for the size of its body in the entire animal kingdom." She said jerboas usually live in very hot places. Their large ears help them to keep cool in the heat. Their ears are thin and have many tiny blood vessels. Blood releases heat from the body into the air. This helps the animal cool down.

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