The Zoologist

Michael talks about his mother and why they had lots of animals around the house.

Ana: Hey, Michael. I heard your mom is a zoologist. What is it exactly?

Mike: A zoologist. Well, that's true. She is a zoologist. So a zoologist is someone who studies animals.

Ana: Oh, interesting. So does she study all animals or does she focus on a specific animal?

Mike: Well, she's worked at universities studying animals for a long time. So she's worked on many different kinds of animals. But at the moment, she is studying South African tortoises.

Ana: Oh, interesting. Do you have any tortoises in your house?

Mike: Yeah. Actually, we have more than 40 tortoises in our garden.

Ana: More than 40. Wow.

Mike: Yes. People are always very surprised when they visit and they see all our tortoises.

Ana: So, do you know a lot about tortoises as well?

Mike: I don't know very much about them but I mean, my mom has always got them around at the house or she's often busy with some sort of tortoise's related activity. And so sometimes, as a high school kid, I got home and she would have a tortoise that – a pregnant tortoise, a female tortoise with eggs inside. And in order to monitor these eggs, she would have it in a bath of water with an ultrasound scanner and a screen up on the dining room table.

Ana: Wow. That is really interesting.

Mike: I had a very interesting childhood with all of these animals and things around the house.

Ana: Oh, that's great. Did you have any other pets?

Mike: Yes. We've always had a couple of dogs and I like cats. So I've got my pet cat at home.

Ana: Wow. That's really interesting.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson!



I heard your mom is a zoologist.

A zoologist is a scientist that studies and cares for animals. Notice the following:

  1. As a child I wanted to be a zoologist.
  2. Not all zoologists work in a zoo.

focus on


Does she focus on a specific animal?

When you focus on something, you attend to it more closely than other things. Notice the following:

  1. This term we will focus on Eurepean History.
  2. He needs to focus more on his work than partying.



Do you have any tortoises in your house?

A tortoise is a reptile similar to a turtle. Notice the following:

  1. A famous fable is the tortoise and the hare.
  2. We saw sea tortoises on our dive.



We need to monitor these eggs.

When you monitor something, you watch it carefully. Notice the following:

  1. My job is to monitor the students as they take tests.
  2. All babies are monitored closely by the nurses.

ultrasound scanner


She would monitor it with an ultrasound scanner

An ultrasound is an image created by sound waves. A scanner is a device that captures information. Notice the following:

  1. All pregnant woman get an ultrasound scan.
  2. An ultrasound scanner lets you see inside a person.
Answer these questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
zoologist • focus on
tortoise • monitor • scanner
  1. You should your studies.
  2. A looks like a turtle.
  3. We all watched the for data.
  4. We need a to read the bar code.
  5. She always wanted to be a .