Explore Courses

Exploring the History of the Tortoise: IELTS Reading Passage with Questions & Answers

Updated on 11 November, 2023

Kanika Pruthi

Kanika Pruthi

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

History of the Tortoise Reading Passage:

The history of the tortoise is as complex and varied as the many species that have existed throughout the ages. These shelled reptiles have fascinated humans for centuries, not only for their longevity but also for their resilience and adaptation to various environments. In this IELTS reading passage, we will traverse through time to understand the evolution, cultural significance, and the present-day challenges faced by tortoises.

Tortoises, part of the Testudinidae family, have roamed the earth for millions of years. They have been symbols of wisdom and tenacity in numerous cultures and have featured prominently in myths and folklore. The tortoise's shell, which is an evolutionary adaptation for protection, has also been a subject of scientific intrigue and study.

In modern times, the plight of the tortoise has become a rallying point for conservationists. Many species of tortoises are endangered due to habitat destruction, poaching, and the illegal pet trade. Efforts to protect and preserve these ancient creatures are increasing, with a focus on habitat restoration and strict regulation of trade practices.


Q1. The tortoise belongs to which family?

A) Reptilia

B) Testudinidae

C) Mammalia

D) Amphibia

Q2. Fill in the blank: Tortoises have been on the earth for ___________ years.

Q3. True or False: The tortoise's shell is primarily used for buoyancy in water.

Q4. What has been the primary cause for the endangerment of tortoises?

A) Climate change

B) Habitat destruction and illegal trade

C) Overpopulation of predators

D) None of the above

Q5. Fill in the blank: In many cultures, tortoises are a symbol of ___________ and ___________.

Q6. True or False: Tortoises are known for their fast-moving nature.

Q7. What has featured prominently in myths and folklore regarding tortoises?

A) Their ability to fly

B) Their shell

C) Their color-changing abilities

D) Their singing

Q8. Which of the following is not a focus of current conservation efforts for tortoises?

A) Habitat restoration

B) Regulation of trade practices

C) Captive breeding programs

D) Promotion of poaching

Q9. True or False: All species of tortoises are currently endangered.

Q10. Fill in the blank: Efforts to protect tortoises include strict ___________ of trade practices.



A1. B) Testudinidae

Explanation: The tortoise is part of the Testudinidae family, which is distinct from other reptilian families.

A2. millions

Explanation: Fossil records show that tortoises have been in existence for millions of years.

A3. False

Explanation: The tortoise's shell is for protection, not buoyancy, as tortoises are primarily land-dwelling.

A4. B) Habitat destruction and illegal trade

Explanation: These are the primary factors contributing to the endangerment of various tortoise species.

A5. wisdom, tenacity

Explanation: Across cultures, tortoises are often seen as symbols of wisdom due to their long lives and tenacity because of their slow yet purposeful movement.

A6. False

Explanation: Tortoises are famously slow-moving, not fast.

A7. B) Their shell

Explanation: The shell of a tortoise is distinctive and has been a point of interest and symbolism in various myths.

A8. D) Promotion of poaching

Explanation: Conservation efforts are aimed at stopping poaching, not promoting it.

A9. False

Explanation: While many species are endangered, not all tortoise species are classified as such.

A10. regulation

Explanation: Regulating trade practices is essential to prevent illegal trade of tortoises.

For IELTS learners, this passage not only provides a glimpse into the intriguing world of the tortoise but also serves as a resource to hone reading skills. The questions crafted from the passage challenge the reader to extract specific information and infer meaning from the text, which are critical skills for the IELTS reading section. Understanding the answers, with explanations provided, helps in grasping the nuances of comprehension questions that one might encounter in the exam. Engaging with such content is an excellent way for learners to prepare for IELTS, as it combines the development of test-taking strategies with the expansion of general knowledge.

Kanika Pruthi

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

Kanika has 5+ years of experience as a writer and content developer. She has written for a wide range of industry verticals, including hospitality, restaurants, non-profits, finance, IT, HR, technology, payroll, and education. She has worked as a creator for a few leading companies and has also helped brands grow through her creative writing.

See More