Explore Courses

What Do Whales Feel Reading Answers IELTS Sample

Updated on 13 April, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Reading answers for IELTS Banner

IELTS is a tough nut to crack unless you have practiced day in and day out for it. IELTS Reading section is sometimes moderately challenging, but one can do excellently well if one has practiced enough. Take as many model tests as possible. Undertake the following reading test with IELTS reading sample What do Whales feel and ensure that you go through every answer and explanation properly!

What Do Whales Feel?

In-detail examination of how the cetaceans' sense of vision, smell, taste and touch function (this includes mammals such as porpoises, dolphins and whales!)

Human beings have certain senses that are generally lowered or missing in specific groups of cetacean mammals like whales. These senses don't function appropriately in the water. For instance, if we study the brain structure of toothed species, we can see that they lack the sense of smell. Alternatively, baleen species have similar brain structures, although there is no record of their senses' functionality. 

We speculate that the neural paths that carry the olfactory senses must have been entirely eradicated with blowholes' evolution and migration on the head's top. Similarly, cetaceans with taste buds have rudimentary or degenerated nerves that serve these senses.

Their touch receptors are also weak, but that view might not be well-supported. Several individuals who train small whales and dolphins often note their responsiveness to getting rubbed or touched. 

Both free-ranging and captive cetaceans make continual contact, which helps maintain order in the group. Touching and stroking are vital in these species' courtship and mating rituals. The flat top area is susceptible, and captive cetaceans are often found strongly objecting to getting touched there.

Different species have a diverse range of vision. Baleen species, especially grey whale calves held in captivity and liberated humpback and right whales, are filmed and studied in Hawaii and Argentina. The studies show that they can obviously track objects with their underwater vision and can moderately see well in both air and water. However, the eye positioning of Baleen species restricts their visual field, so they are likely not to have stereoscopic vision. 

Alternatively, the positioning of the eyes in porpoises and dolphins indicates that they have both downward and forward-facing stereoscopic vision. Freshwater dolphins who swim both on their sides and bottom-up while feeding has both upward and forward stereoscopic vision. 

Comparatively, the bottlenose dolphin has a very keen underwater vision. Considering how well it tracks and watches airborne flying fish under the water, they can see quite well even through the water-air interface, too. 

Download E-Books for IELTS Preparation

ielts sample essays

Although some preliminary experiments and evidence show that their sight in the air is deplorable, the captive dolphin's accuracy in leaping high and snatching small fishes out of the trainer's hands proves something contrary. 

This variation indeed has an explanation in relation to the habitat and surroundings in which these particular individual species live and grow. 

The mammals captured and trained by a specialized individual are inclined to grow specific skills and senses that free-ranging cetaceans may not. It is because they live, thrive and grow in the limited waters of safety and security. The free-ranging mammals have to fight tooth and nail for their survival. Hence their senses differ accordingly to serve their purpose. 

For example, the sense of vision is far more vital to species that inhabit clear waters than those who live in flooded plains and turbid rivers. Now, for instance, let’s take the Chinese beiji and South American boutu; they have extremely limited vision. Indian susus are even blind, and their eyes are reduced to little slits that only permit them to gauge the intensity of the light and the direction they are heading in.

It's also noted that their sense of smell and taste has deteriorated with time and their sense of vision seems quite uncertain. The cetacean's properly developed acoustic senses compensate for all these weaknesses. Most of these species are pretty vocal, although their production sound range highly varies. Many even scout for food using their echolocation. 

More giant baleen whales mainly use diminished frequencies and are generally restricted in their repertory. Some exceptions that stand out are the complex, haunting utterances produced by the humpback whales and the song-like chorus spewed by bowhead whales during the warm summers. 

Generally, the toothed species use the frequency scale to make more sounds than the baleen species. Although, sperm whales can produce a series of monotonous, high-energy clicking noises and nothing else. 

The more complex tones and sounds are easily spotted and communicated, albeit we know little to nothing about what role it plays in cetaceans' culture and social life. It is left on the wild speculation of us mortals, as opposed to having any solid scientific evidence. 

Download IELTS Preparation Guide For Free

Get to know about the latest updates on the IELTS Exam, Eligibility, Preparation Tips, Test procedure,  Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Registration Process, Important Exam Dates, and much more!! This guide is a one-stop solution for every IELTS Aspirant who aims to crack the exam with an impressive band score.

Questions 1-5

Do not use more than three words to answer the following questions about the passage above.

State your answers in boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet.

  1. Which of the senses is described here as being involved in mating?
  2. Which species swims bottom up while eating?
  3. What can bottlenose dolphins follow from under the water?
  4. Which type of habitat is related to good visual ability?
  5.  Which of the senses is the best developed in cetaceans?

Questions 6-12

Fill in the following table.

Do not write more than three words from the reading essay for each answer.

Jot down your answers in boxes 6-12 on your answer paper.








Evidence from brain structure


Not certain

Related brain structures are present


Some types


Nerves linked to their (6) are underdeveloped




The region around the blowhole is susceptible




Probably do not have stereoscopic vision

Dolphins, porpoises


Probably have stereoscopic vision (8)



Probably have stereoscopic vision forward and upward

Bottlenose, dolphin


Exceptional in (10) and good in the air-water interface

Boutu and beiji


Have limited vision

Indian susu


Probably only sense the direction and intensity of light


Most large baleen


Usually use (11) repertoire limited

(12) whales and humpback whales





Use more of the frequency spectrum; have a wider repertoire






Sense of touch

According to the ‘What do whales feel?’ IELTS reading answer sample, the answer is in lines 2-3 of the fifth paragraph, where the author states how the acts of touching, stroking and rubbing are considered significant in both courtship and mating rituals of the cetaceans.


Freshwater dolphins

As per the IELTS reading answer sample, ‘What do whales feel?' the answer is mentioned in lines 2-3 of the seventh paragraph. The author writes explicitly that freshwater dolphins swim both on their sides and upside down, even when feeding. Additionally, it's also mentioned that their eye position indicated that they have both upward and forward stereoscopic vision.


Airborne flying fish

The answer is mentioned in the ‘What do whales feel?’ IELTS reading answer sample lines 2-3 of the eighth paragraph. The author states that bottlenose dolphins can see reasonably well through the water-air interface, considering how wonderfully it follows and watches airborne flying fish while underwater.


Clear waters

You will find this answer in the first line of the twelfth paragraph of the IELTS reading answer sample, ‘What do whales feel?’ The author divulges that species living in clear waters have a better visual ability than those who inhabit flooded plains and turbid rivers.


The acoustic sense

The author of the IELTS reading answer sample, 'What do whales feel?' expresses this answer clearly in lines 2-3 of the thirteenth paragraph. It's mentioned that regardless of the weak senses, the cetaceans' are well compensated with their ability of acoustic sense.


Taste buds

This answer is stated in lines 2-3 of paragraph 3 of the IELTS reading answer sample, 'What do whales feel?' It denotes that taste buds of some aquatic cetaceans are underdeveloped.


Baleen whales

The answer is mentioned on line 4 of paragraph 6 of the IELTS reading answer sample, 'What do whales feel?' 


Forward and downward

You can find the answer on line 2 of paragraph 7 of the IELTS reading answer sample, 'What do whales feel?' It mentions how dolphins and porpoises have downward and forward-facing stereoscopic vision.


Freshwater dolphins

The answer is stated on line 2 of paragraph 7 of the IELTS reading answer sample, 'What do whales feel?' It's mentioned that freshwater dolphins swim both upside and on their sides, even when feeding.



This answer is provided on line 1 of paragraph 8 of the IELTS reading answer sample, 'What do whales feel?' where it's stated that bottlenose dolphins have a keen underwater vision.


Diminished frequencies

This answer is mentioned on line 1 of paragraph 14 of the IELTS reading answer sample, 'What do whales feel?' it says that large baleen whales use lower or diminished frequencies, and their repertoire is often limited.



This answer is mentioned on line 3 of paragraph 14 of the IELTS reading answer sample, 'What do whales feel?'

Important IELTS Exam Resources

IELTS Exam Overview

IELTS is required to be taken by international students and workers who wish to study or work in a country where English is the primary language of communication. Know the complete details.

IELTS Online Test

IELTS Exam Syllabus

With the right knowledge of the IELTS exam syllabus and pattern, cracking the popular English test won’t be difficult.

IELTS Syllabus

IELTS Exam Pattern

The IELTS exam pattern encompasses four major sections, i.e. listening, speaking, writing, and reading.

IELTS Exam Pattern

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Refer Your Friend & Earn upto ₹15000

Help your friend upgrade to a Global Career and earn rewards together.








The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.