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Most people think of lions as strictly African beasts, but only because they've been killed off almost everywhere else. Ten thousand years ago lions spanned vast sections of the globe, and so did people, who —as they multiplied and organized —pat pressure on competitors at the top of the food chain. Now lions hold only a small fraction of their former habitat, and Asiatic lions, a subspecies that split from African lions perhaps 100,000 years ago, hang on to an almost impossibly small slice of their former domain.

India is the proud steward of these 300 or so lions, which live primarily in a 560-square-mile (1,450-square-kilometer) sanctuary. It took me a year and a half to get a permit to explore the entire Gir Forest —and no time at all to see why these lions became symbols of royalty and greatness. A tiger will slink through the forest unseen, but a lion stands its ground, curious and unafraid —lionhearted. Though they told me in subtle ways when I got too close, Gir's lions allowed me unique glimpses into their lives during my three months in the forest. It's odd to think that they are threatened by extinction; Gir has as many lions as it can hold —too many, in fact. With territory in short supply, lions prowl the periphery of the forest and even leave it altogether, often clashing with people. That's one reason India is creating a second sanctuary. There are other pressing reasons: outbreaks of disease or natural disasters. In 1994 canine distemper killed more than a third of Africa's Serengeti lions —thousand animals —a fate that could easily befall Gir's cats. These lions, saved by a prince at the turn of the 20th century, are especially vulnerable to disease because they descend from as few as a dozen individuals. "If you do a DNA fingerprint, Asiatic lions actually look like identical twins," says Stephen O'Brien, a geneticist who has studied them. Yet the perils are hidden, and you wouldn't suspect them by watching these lords of the forest. The lions exude vitality, and no small measure of charm.

Though the gentle intimacy of play vanishes when it's time to eat, meals in Git are not necessarily frenzied affairs. For a mother and cub sharing a deer, or a young male relishing an antelope, there's no need to fight for a cut of the kill. Prey animals are generally smaller in Gir than they are in Africa, and hunting groups tend to be smaller as well. The lions themselves aren't as big as African lions, and they have shorter manes and a long fold of skin on their undersides that many lions in Africa don't have.

What impressed the author most when he went to watch the lions in the Gir Forest?

A.The lions were on the brink of extinction.

B.They were suffering from a fatal disease.

C.They allowed him to see their vitality and charm at close quarters.

D.Mother lion and her cub shared a deer.

  • 阅读理解: (1)It's 7 pm on a balmy Saturday night in June, and I have just ordered my first beer in I Cervejaria, a restaurant in Zambujeira do Mar, one of the prettiest villages on Portugal's in this sout

  • Walter Adamson is

    A.a mobile phone gambler.

    B.an Internet and mobile services consultant.

    C.an Internet gambling operator.

    D.a telecommunications analyst.

  • Nobody’s Watching Me

    I am a foot taller than Napoleon and twice the weight of Twiggy; on my only visit to a beautician, the woman said she found my face a challenge. Yet despite these social disadvantages I feel cheerful, happy, confident and secure.

    I work for a daily newspaper and so get to a lot of places I would otherwise never see. This year I went to Ascot to write about the people there. I saw something there that made me realize the stupidity of trying to conform, of trying to be better than anyone else. There was a small, plump woman, all dressed up—huge hat, dress with pink butterflies, long white gloves. She also had a shooting stick. But because she was so plump, when she sat on the stick it went deep into the ground and she couldn't pull it out. She tugged and tugged, tears of rage in her eyes. When the final tug brought it out, she crashed with it to the ground."

    I saw her walk away. Her day had been ruined. She had made a fool of herself in public--she had impressed nobody. In her own sad, red eyes she was a failure.

    I remember well when I was like that, in the days before I learned that nobody really cared what you do . . .

    I remember the pain of my first dance, something that is always meant to be a wonderful occasion for a girl... There was a fashion then for diamante (人造钻石) ear-rings, and I wore them so often practicing for the big night that I got two great sores on my ears and had to put sticking-plaster on them. Perhaps it was this that made nobody want to dance with me. Whatever it was, there I sat for four hours and 43 minutes. When I came home, I told my parents that I had a marvelous time and that my feet were sore from dancing. They were pleased at my success and they went to bed happily, but I went to my room and tore the bits of sticking-plaster off my ears and felt forlorn and disconsolate.

    ‘The beautician found the writer's face a challenge’, which means _________.

    A.she thought it was a challenge to have such a face repaired

    B.she thought it was a challenge to deal with such a face

    C.the writer's face challenged the beautician's

    D.it was a challenge to find the writer's face

  • Sixty-eight percent of America's wealth is generated by manufacturing. If the United States hopes to continue to maintain a position of prestige and remain competitive in the global economy, it must have a strong manufacturing sector.

    What has been done to maintain the competitive position of the United States as a major manufacturing nation? Unfortunately, it would appear too little has been done. While spending about $150 billion per year on research and development — more than the U.K., France and lapan combined — the United States has not paid sufficient attention to manufacturing and technology transfer. The National Science Foundation spends only 13 percent of its budget on engineering and only 1.2 percent on manufacturing. In Germany, 30 percent of the research funding goes to engineering and 15 percent to manufacturing. The U. S. Department of Commerce has only five government-run technology centers while Japan has 170 government-run technology centers bringing new manufacturing techniques to business.

    In terms of scientific research, the United States has done very well. About one third of the world's scientific papers are produced by the United States. The nearest competitors are the United Kingdom with 8.2 percent, Japan with 7.7 percent and the former Soviet Union with 7.6 percent. Almost 50 percent of all references cited in other scientific papers are American; the nearest competitors are all below 10 percent.

    Some of the problems of American industry can be illustrated by a few examples:

    The number of hours it takes to build an automobile in the United States has increased; in

    Japan it has decreased (by 60 percent between the years 1970 and 1981 alone).

    It now takes half as much time to assemble a Toyota as to assemble a General Motors automobile.

    It took nine years for the United States to go from research to production of Numerically Controlled (NC) machine tools; in Japan it took only two years.

    Typical Japanese machine tool accuracy and repeatability are better than that of equivalent U.S. machines.

    The use of robots in the United States lags behind other industrialized nations:

    Japan 550,000

    Europe 69,000

    Former Soviet Union 62,000

    United States 37,000

    The Japanese use five times more Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS) than the United States.

    What would the author probably suggest in the section that follows this passage?

    A.The U.S. should reduce the time needed to assemble an automobile.

    B.Achievement of world class manufacturing is essential to the U. S..

    C.The U.S. should take pride in her scientific research.

    D.Japan is the leader in technology transfer.