ashore [aJ6:r] adv.
If something goes ashore, it goes from water to the land.
-* After a long day of fishing, Glen pulled his boat ashore, so it wouldn’t float away.
contradict [kantradikt] V.
To contradict means to state the opposite of what someone else has.
—»Ken was always fighting with his little sister because she kept contradicting him.
counterpart [kauntarpdirt] n.
A counterpart is something that is very similar to something else in what it does.
—►Our manager will meet our rival company’s counterpart later today.
devoid [divoid] adj.
When something or someone is devoid of a thing, they are missing it.
—* The movie was devoid o f any violence, so it was a perfect movie for the family.
diverge [diva:rd3] v.
To diverge is to become different or to follow a different direction.
—►The road diverged into two paths that led to our houses.
elude [iiu:d] v.
To elude means to avoid being caught by something.
—►The rabbit eluded the wolf by hiding in a bush.
embryo [embridu] n.
An embryo is a human or animal that is still growing inside its mother.
—►Some doctors say that what a mother eats has a big effect on her embryo.
fend [fend] V.
To fend off something means to push it away and avoid it.
—* Dave spent all night fending off bugs instead of sleeping.
fictitious [fiktifas] adj.
When something is fictitious, it is made up and not real.
—* The author said that the characters in her book were completely fictitious.
gazette [gazet] n.
A gazette is a newspaper.
—»Alice wants to write for a gazette when she’s older.
homogeneous [houmad3i:nias] adj.
If something is homogeneous, it is made up of things which are all the same.
—►All of the houses on Victor’s block were boring and homogenous.
Obstruct [abstrAkt] v.
To obstruct something means to get in its way.
—* The car broke down on the road and obstructed traffic for hours.
plunge [plAnd3] v.
To plunge means to move down into something very quickly.
—►The water in the pool was very cold, but the boy plunged in anyway.
prolong [proul5:r|] v.
To prolong means to make something last for a longer time.
-* Sandy walked slowly across the beach, trying to prolong her lunch break.
publicize [pAblasaizJ v.
To publicize is to make something get a lot of attention.
—►The company publicized the job positions in the newspaper.
sparse [spa:rs] adj.
If something is sparse, there is not very much of it in a big area.
—►Rob spent Saturday in his garden, clearing out the sparse weeds.
surplus [sexplAs] n.
A surplus is an extra amount of something.
-* The store sold their surplus items on sale.
theorize [ei:araiz] v.
To theorize means to develop ideas about something.
—►They enjoyed theorizing about how things worked.
verify [verafai] v.
To verify means to find out if something is true.
-» Julian called the movie theater to verify that the movie started at nine.
Vigorous [vigaras] adj.
If something or someone is vigorous, they use a lot of energy.
-+ Henry uses vigorous exercise to keep himself in shape.

Amazing Komodo Dragons
Once, a British gazette had an unusual story. Scientists at a zoo made a discovery about
komodo dragons. Komodo dragons are giant lizards that grow up to two and a half meters
long. A female lizard at the zoo had babies. However, it had never been around a male
lizard in its entire life. After the scientists publicized their discovery, many people thought it
was fictitious.
But it was true. It was discovered that female komodo dragons can have babies without
the help of their male counterparts. This contradicts what scientists know about how most
animals have babies.
In most cases, there are many things that can obstruct this type of reproduction. For
example, adult males and females carry different genes needed to make an embryo. If the
genes are homogeneous, the babies are weaker and have genetic problems. Over time, the
weakened species dies out completely. This makes it necessary for the male to be involved.
However, scientists verified that when Komodo babies are born, their genes aren’t the exact
same genes as their mother. Also, they are devoid of any genetic problems.
Scientists theorize that Komodo dragons developed the ability because it helps the
species fend off extinction. If a volcano erupts, lava can kill all of the komodo dragons on
an island. However, as long as one female eludes death, she can prolong the survival of
the species. Luckily, Komodo dragons are vigorous swimmers. So the surviving female
can plunge into the ocean and swim to another island. When she comes ashore, she can
reproduce by herself. Over time, the genes within the population diverge. Then, the sparse
population increases. Once again there is a surplus of lizards on one island. Scientists think
that this may be how the lizards took over all of the islands in that area.