Unit 12 : Animal World Excercise Solution
(The Medusa and the Snail)

Working with words

A. Find the words from the text which have the following meanings.

a. Persons who are related to you and who live after you, such as your child or grandchild are called descendants.

b. ‘Twirl’ means to turn or spin around and around quickly

c. Glycoproteins are proteins which contain oligosaccharide chains (glycans) attached to amino acid side-chains

d. Lectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins that are highly specific for sugar groups that are part of other molecules and so cause agglutination of particular cells.

e. Polyps are abnormal tissue growths that most often look like small, flat bumps or tiny mushroom like stalks found in the phylum Cnidaria and the medusa

f. Predation is a biological interaction where one organism, the predator, kills and eats another organism, its prey.

g. Anemone is a genus of flowering plants in the buttercup family.

h. A/An finicky person is extremely or excessively particular, exacting, or meticulous in taste or standards.

i. Nudibranch is a group of soft-bodied, marine gastropod molluscs which shed their shells after their larval stage.

j. A medusa is a free-swimming sexual form of a coelenterate such as a jellyfish, typically having an umbrella-shaped body with stinging tentacles around the edge.

B.Look up a dictionary and write the meanings of the following words then use them in your own sentences.

arthropod, gastropod, biomass, calcification, metamorphosis, sturgeon

  1. Arthropod : An invertebrate animal of the phylum Arthropoda, characterized by a chitinous exoskeleton and multiple jointed appendages

-My elder brother has a vast knowledge of Arthropods since the major subject of his doctorate is Arthropodlogy.

  1. Gastropod : The gastropods, commonly known as snails and slugs, belong to a large taxonomic class of invertebrates within the phylum Mollusca called Gastropoda

-The beach which we visited last week was full of the shells of gastropods and echinoderms.

  1. Biomass: plant or animal material used as fuel to produce electricity or heat

-This new technique can generate as much as twice the biomass electricity from plant and animal waste materials in comparison to traditional ones.

4.Calcification: the accumulation of calcium salts

-Evidence has shown that not only calcium but even potassium is also involved in bone calcification.

  1. Metamorphosis: striking change of form or structure in an individual after hatching or birth

-A dragon fly goes through a metamorphosis period just as a butterfly does.

  1. Sturgeon: common name for the 27 species of fish belonging to the family Acipenseridae

-A few sturgeons were taken into Lake Champlain.


Answer the following questions.

a What are the indicators of the fact that we are very self-conscious about ourselves these days? 

Ans.: These days there are popular magazines filled with advice or things to do with a self, instructive books, best sellers on self-realization, self-help, and self-development. Groups of self-respecting people pay large fees for three-day sessions together, learning of self- awareness. Self-enlightenment can be taught in college electives. These all are the indicator. of the fact that we are very self-conscious about ourselves these days.

b.How have we celebrated the fact that we have our individual identity? 

Ans.: We have celebrated the fact that we have our individual identity by giving it a real name as Myself.

c.Are we, human beings, really unique? Why/Why not? 

Ans.: In fact, we are not really unique as we think because uniqueness is so commonplace a property of living things that there is really nothing at all unique about it.

d.How do fish recognize each other? 

Ans.: Fish recognize each other by smell.

e.What is the function of individuality ? 

Ans: The major function of individuality is self-preservation. Animals and organisms possess the mechanism for maintaining individuality for its own sake, enabling one kind of creature defend and protect itself against all the rest.

f.What does the mix-up of two selves tell us about our identity?

Ans.: The mix-up of two selves tells us the symbiotic relationship that living organisms possess in this world. In the text, it is mentioned that there is such a mix-up about selfness that two creatures, each attracted by the molecular configuration of the other, incorporate the two selves to make a single organism. Thus, the mix-up of two selves tells us about our identity that we all organisms need co-operation and unity with other organisms for our self- existence and growth.

g.What does the author illustrate with the tale of the nudibranch and the medusa? 

Ans.: The tale of nudibranch and the medusa as presented in the story brilliantly depicts the symbiotic relationship between the medusa and the snail. Though the relationship between the medusa and the snail from outside seems to be hostile, however, they share such a close relationship that without this relationship, their existence is not possible. Thus, the author illustrates and highlights the value of co-existence, co-operation and unity with the tale of the nudibranch and the medusa.

h.Why is the author disturbed by the thought of the creatures like the nudibranch and medusa? 

Ans.: The author is disturbed by the thoughts of the creatures like the nudibranch and medusa because it gives him the odd feeling which he had not heard about and finds it bizarre and could not concentrate anymore.

i.What does the writer mean by “they remind me of the whole earth at once?” 

Ans.: The writer by the phrase “they remind me of the whole earth at once” means that it is very difficult to understand or it’s too vast to understand the particular thing the writer connects with. In fact, by this the writer means that he gets reminded of the whole earth at once, i.e. how complicated and interrelated is the symbiotic relationship between all living as well as non-living organisms of this world.

Critical thinking

a.How does the author make satire on the modern idea of self-based on individuality, independence and uniqueness? 

Ans.: The essay “The Medusa and the Snail’ is one of the masterpieces of English literature that world and how all organisms in the world are interrelated and interconnected with one explores the symbiotic relationship between all living and non-living organisms in the another. And, the author illustrates this complicated, interconnected and interrelated relationship with the help of the example of the co-existence of the two sea creatures: the medusa and the snail. When we look at these creatures at surface level, it seems that they possess a hostile relationship with one another, but when we have a deeper analysis, we come to know that these creatures possess such a complicated and interrelated relationship that without going into this hostility-seeming relationship, their survival and existence is not possible at all. And, making this reference, the author makes satire on the modern idea of self based on individuality, independence and uniqueness..

At present, people are highly influenced by modernization and individualistic family. In the name of independence, we are trying to move farther from the norms of society and we act as we can thrive on oneself. But the truth is that we cannot detach ourselves from society as we are connected with society by one means or another. In our society too, we are involved in such an interconnected and interrelated interdependence that no matter how much we try to get out of it, we cannot get ourselves out of it. For example, we have to depend on tailors for our clothes, cobblers for our shoes, doctors for medical assistance, masons to build our house, farmers for the food we survive on and so on. The person can find himself/herself individualistic and detach himself to some extent but he/she cannot live solely in isolation. Thus, the author makes a satire on the modern idea of self-based on individuality, independence and uniqueness expressed by today’s people.

b.Analyze the essay as a creative defense of the interdependence observed in the ecosystem.

Ans.: Interdependence is the condition or status of a group of people or things that all depend on each other. Interdependence is also the idea that everything in nature is connected to and depends on every other thing. The essay reflects that people live in a society and are interconnected with each other in the sense that we cannot live without each other in isolation. In the name of independence, we are trying to move farther from the values and norms of society and we act as we can thrive on oneself. But the truth is that we cannot detach ourselves completely from society. The essay brilliantly expresses this with the story of the medusa and the snail.

In the story, at first sight, it appears that there is a hostile relationship between medusa (jellyfish) and the snail (nudibranch). The immobile and parasitic part of medusa is found nearby the snail’s mouth. However, the medusa is able to reproduce offspring. The offspring of jellyfish grow and later turn into an adult. In the meantime, the snail too reproduces the larvae and when these larvae grow, they are entrapped and engulfed by the tentacles of jellyfish. And now it seems that the jellyfish had taken the revenge of its earlier humiliation but the story continues on. Later, these larvae of the snail remain in an undigested and insatiate state and later, they start eating the jellyfish until the jellyfish turns

into a round, successfully edited parasite, safely affixed the skin near the mouth. And, this continues as a cycle. Thus, as these two sea creatures are interdependent with one another, we all organisms in the world including human beings are interdependent with one another in the ecosystem as this essay creatively defences.


Write a comparative essay on “Independence vs. Interdependence” in about 250 words. 

Ans.: Independence is the freedom and ability to make your own decisions in life, without having to ask other people for permission, help, or money. Real independence is an understanding. One can live a life of his own choice only when he is economically and emotionally independent. There is a great role of independence in the life of human beings. The independence to a great degree comes from your belief in knowledge and your own capability. Therefore, the sense of independence promotes confidence and self-esteem as well as motivation and perseverance among human beings. It also adds self-reliance on human beings that they themselves can have true control over their life, not others. Likewise, independence is also very essential since it decreases the burden of one’s place on family, friends and society. In addition to this, the independence that a person endows enables him/her to make physically capable of caring for oneself and for others too. Not only this, the sense of independence leads a person to financial freedom and makes a person be mobile rather than confined within the community we live.

On the other hand, unlike independence, interdependence refers to the condition of a group of people or things that all depend on one another. Interdependence is also the idea that everything in nature is connected to and depends on every other thing. Evidence of such difference is found in everyday interactions. Those with interdependent approaches are more likely to be conscious of others and their relationships and to adjust their behaviour to accommodate others. In contrast, independent people are more focused on themselves and on influencing others. An interdependent society functioning correctly, i.e. not just a society where we feel dependent on each other, is one where we feel responsible for our world. Since the development of society and human civilization, human beings have been interdependent on one another in order to fulfil their basic as well as other additional needs. In our society too, different people perform different types of tasks which depicts that human relationship is in fact, the relationship of interdependence. For instance, we depend on tailors for our clothes, cobblers for our shoes, doctors for medical assistance, masons to build our house, teachers to gain knowledge and farmers for the food we survive on and so on. In the absence of any entity, we encounter a number of difficulties and even our existence comes into question. In fact, not only human beings but all living plants and animals and even the non-living things in our society are interconnected and interrelated, i.e. interdependent with one another.

And, in today’s society, there comes a great debate which should we follow after in our life – independence and interdependence. And, regarding this, one can argue that both are required in the life of human beings. Human beings should not depend on others for the things that they can easily perform themselves. They should also enjoy their rights and freedom, i.e. independence to the full extent in order to maintain their life qualitative, competitive and worthy. However, in the name of being independent, human beings should not forget the value of interdependence that we need to perform (and we automatically perform too in most cases too) in society.

B.Write a newspaper article highlighting the increasing individualism in the modern Nepali society. 


Increasing Individualism in Modern Nepali Society 

Individualism refers to a social concept that favours freedom of action for individuals over collective or state control. In simple words, individualism is all about taking care of yourself – it is the belief and practice that every person is unique and self-reliant. This view also shares the belief that other people and agencies should not watch out individual affairs of a person. When you support yourself financially and do not depend on anyone else for your needs, this is an example of individualism. Individualistic cultures stress that people should be able to solve problems or accomplish goals on their own without having to rely on assistance from others. This tendency to focus on personal identity and autonomy is a pervasive part of a culture that can have a profound influence on how a society functions.

Nepal since the very pat time has been the nation where the people prioritized collectiveness over individuality. Most of the people in the past found it better to live in a joint or extended family. A typical Nepalese family in the past comprised of grandparents, parents, children, cousins and so on. The people in the past practised the joint or extended family system since most of the Nepalese people were involved in agriculture and they had the feeling of ‘two hands are better than one’. Likewise, the culture, traditions, norms and values of Nepalese society also prioritized the collectivism of people in order to follow the traditions, celebrate the festivals and performing other rituals and ceremonies.

However, the present-day Nepalese society has been widely influenced by globalization, modernization and westernization, and these all prioritize individualism. Today many young Nepalese people are involved in other sectors too apart from agriculture. In addition to this, many Nepalese people have been to foreign countries in order to earn the money and this too has impacted Nepalese people to prioritize over individualism. Many people at present even seem to discard their parents or keeping their parents in old age homes, which is in fact, a bad practice. However, maintaining individualism in order to maintain quality of life, to keep oneself and the family happy and promote the status of the family is often termed as a positive aspect of individualism. However, it should not greatly impact the cultures, values, traditions, and norms we Nepalese people have been following for centuries.


A. Make passive sentences from the following information as in the example.

a. volleyball/every/country/play

Volleyball is played in every country.

b. spaghetti/boiling water/cook

Spaghetti is cooked in boiling water.

c. each lesson/an exercise/follow

Each lesson is followed by an exercise.

d. taxes/the price/include

Taxes are included in the price.

e. extensive information/the internet/find

Extensive information is found on the internet.

f. our order/the waiter/took

Our order was taken by the waiter.

g. the schedule/the participants/will distribute

The schedule will be distributed by the participants.

h. the police/footprint/found

Footprint was found by the police.

i. the children/the sandcastles/built

The sandcastles were built by the children.

j. the father/the window/not going to open

The window is not going to be opened by the father.

B. Rewrite the following sentences in the passive voice using the correct form of verbs in the brackets.

a. Call the ambulance! Two boys have been injured (injure) in a motorbike accident.

b. The clock has been used (use) since the 17th century.

c. I had to wait outside the classroom while the classroom was being cleaned (clean).

d. The problem is being discussed (discuss) by the subject specialists at the moment.

e. By the time I came back, the task has been finished (finish).

f. Women are said (say) to be happier than men.

g. Look! The house had been destroyed (destroy) by the fire.

h. The other three reports will be submitted (submit) by next month.

i. Many people have been resuced (rescue) from the floods by the security persons this year.

j. The state of Florida was hit (hit) by a hurricane that did serious damage.