Be Careful with the Smaller Things

Introduction

How many people die each year from viruses?
We often think of sharks and crocodiles as scary and dangerous, but sometimes it's the small things we need to really worry about.
Have a look at some statistics below.

Cause of DeathNumber of Deaths Per Year (approximately)
Malaria from mosquito bites600,000
Bites from snakes90,000-100,000
Rabies from dogs20,000
Killed by lions100
1. Look at the example in the picture (in red), and using the statistics, make similar sentences. Work from the bottom of the picture to the top.
When you finish, click “Answer”.
  • Answer

1. Mosquitoes are the most dangerous animals.

2. Snakes aren’t as dangerous as mosquitoes.

3. Dogs are more dangerous than lions.

4. Lions are less dangerous than dogs.
comparativeanimals

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Reading

3. Read the text and answer the questions.

Be Careful with the Smaller Things

What makes the mosquito more dangerous than a lion? “Little fly”, which is the Spanish translation, doesn’t give us a very good idea of what this tiny creature can really do. The worst thing about mosquitoes is that they carry malaria, killing more than 600,000 people every year.

Of the roughly 3,000 known species of snake found worldwide, only 15% are considered dangerous to humans. There are no accurate statistics for annual human deaths by snakebite, but somewhere between 90,000 and 100,000 is the best guess.

Man’s best friend is also the likeliest mammal to kill him. If a dog’s bite can be bad, what its saliva contains could be much worse. Of the approximately 25,000 people killed by dogs each year, the majority die from rabies.

Big, scary and definitely dangerous, it’s better to watch lions from a safe distance than trying to get close. But attacks by lions on humans are not as common as you might think. Fewer than 100 people are killed by lions each year.

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5. Now find the following things in the text. When you finish, click “Answer”.
A) Find two words in the first paragraph that mean ‘small’. (One of them means ‘very small’.)
B) Find two words in the second paragraph that mean ‘not exactly’.
C) Find an adjective in the second paragraph that means ‘each / every year’.
D) Find an expression in the third paragraph that means ‘the most probable’.
E) Find the names of two diseases in the text.
F) Find three words in the text that mean ‘animal’ or ‘type of animal’
  • Answer

A) small: little, tiny

B) not exactly: roughly, approximately

C) each / every year: annual

D) the most probable: likeliest

E) two diseases: malaria, rabies

F) animal or type of animal: creature, species, mammal

Language Focus: Forming Comparatives

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