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Roadrunners



Roadrunners
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.78

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    half-unconscious, slams, survival, therefore, encounter, poisonous, incubate, killing, unique, equally, while, airborne, fully, among, whose, roadrunner
     content words:    United States


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Roadrunners   

1     When driving in the deserts of the United States and Mexico, we often encounter roadrunners running at high speed in front of our vehicles. With feathers of mixed black, brown, and white, roadrunners have a dash of blue and red behind each eye. They also have bushy head feathers, called head crests, that stand up when they are curious or excited. Roadrunners can grow up to two feet long, but their tails make up half of that length. Even though they can fly, their wings are too short to carry them for more than a few seconds. As a result, when they feel threatened, roadrunners have a better chance of survival by fleeing on foot than by flying. Indeed, with a pair of long, strong legs, roadrunners can run as fast as seventeen miles per hour!
 
2     These birds are well known for their ability to run fast. But roadrunners are equally famous for their skill in killing one of the world's most poisonous snakes the rattlesnake. When a roadrunner comes across a rattlesnake, it quickly snatches the snake in its bill and tosses its prey into the air. After the snake lands, the roadrunner takes a hold of the half-unconscious snake and slams it on the ground or against a rock repeatedly until it is dead. Roadrunners also feed on insects, lizards, rodents, scorpions, and small birds.

Paragraphs 3 to 4:
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Animal Themes
             Animal Themes


Birds
             Birds


Deserts
             Deserts



Animals
    Amphibians  
 
    Birds  
 
    Deserts  
 
    Fish  
 
    Freshwater  
 
    Grasslands  
 
    Insects  
 
 
    Invertebrates  
 
    Mammals  
 
    Oceans  
 
    Polar Regions  
 
    Rain Forest  
 
    Reptiles  
 


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