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This is an IELTS writing task 1 sample answer essay on the topic of the evolution of the horse and its hoof.

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IELTS Essay Task 1: Horse Diagram

The diagram delineates the development of prehistoric and modern horses with special emphasis on the formation of the feet. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that as horses became larger in size, their feet elongated and broadened until they fused to become a distinctive hoof.

The prehistoric horse from 40 million years ago was termed an Eohippus and is distinguishable by its smaller body and paw containing 4 thin phalanges. The next stage of evolution (30 million years ago) resulted in the Mesohippis, which had a larger body more similar to today’s horse and three distinct digits, the middle one being bulkier and slightly longer.

By 15 million years ago, the Merychippus had emerged, recognizable by a still larger body and the increased size of the middle digit. This leads directly to the modern day horse which is the largest in size, has a full mane, and the separate digits had by this time merged into a single hoof capable of supporting a larger frame.

Analysis

1. The diagram delineates the development of prehistoric and modern horses with special emphasis on the formation of the feet. 2. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that as horses became larger in size, their feet elongated and broadened until they fused to become a distinctive hoof.

  1. Paraphrase what the map or floorplan shows.
  2. Write a clear overview summarising the major trends and differences.

1. The prehistoric horse from 40 million years ago was termed an Eohippus and is distinguishable by its smaller body and paw containing 4 thin phalanges. 2. The next stage of evolution (30 million years ago) resulted in the Mesohippis, which had a larger body more similar to today’s horse and three distinct digits, the middle one being bulkier and slightly longer.

  1. Begin writing about the changes.
  2. Compare as much as possible.

1. By 15 million years ago, the Merychippus had emerged, recognizable by a still larger body and the increased size of the middle digit. 2. This leads directly to the modern day horse which is the largest in size, has a full mane, and the separate digits had by this time merged into a single hoof capable of supporting a larger frame.

  1. Write about the rest of the changes for the last two evolutionary stages of the modern horse.
  2. Make sure you have detailed all the changes.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Take some notes on a piece of paper to aid your memory:

The diagram delineates the development of prehistoric and modern horses with special emphasis on the formation of the feet. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that as horses became larger in size, their feet elongated and broadened until they fused to become a distinctive hoof.

The prehistoric horse from 40 million years ago was termed an Eohippus and is distinguishable by its smaller body and paw containing 4 thin phalanges. The next stage of evolution (30 million years ago) resulted in the Mesohippis, which had a larger body more similar to today’s horse and three distinct digits, the middle one being bulkier and slightly longer.

By 15 million years ago, the Merychippus had emerged, recognizable by a still larger body and the increased size of the middle digit. This leads directly to the modern day horse which is the largest in size, has a full mane, and the separate digits had by this time merged into a single hoof capable of supporting a larger frame.

Answers

delineates describes

prehistoric before recorded history

special emphasis extra focus

formation of the feet putting together of the hooves

looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that overall

elongated lengthened

broadened made wider

fused come together

distinctive hoof unique foot

termed called

distinguishable distinctive

paw foot

phalanges fingers

evolution changes over time

resulted in caused

more similar to close to

three distinct digits clearly different digits

bulkier larger

slightly a little more

emerged coming out

recognizable distinctive

still larger body much bigger frame

leads directly flows into

full mane hair on its neck

merged comes together

capable of can do

larger frame bigger body

Pronunciation

dɪˈlɪnɪeɪts 
ˌpriːhɪsˈtɒrɪk 
ˈspɛʃəl ˈɛmfəsɪs 
fɔːˈmeɪʃən ɒv ðə fiːt
ˈlʊkɪŋ frɒm ən ˈəʊvərɔːl pəˈspɛktɪvɪt ɪz ˈrɛdɪli əˈpærənt ðæt 
ˈiːlɒŋgeɪtɪd 
ˈbrɔːdnd 
fjuːzd 
dɪsˈtɪŋktɪv huːf
tɜːmd 
dɪsˈtɪŋgwɪʃəbl 
pɔː 
fæˈlænʤɪz
ˌiːvəˈluːʃən 
rɪˈzʌltɪd ɪn 
mɔː ˈsɪmɪlə tuː 
θriː dɪsˈtɪŋkt ˈdɪʤɪts
ˈbʌlkɪə 
ˈslaɪtli 
ɪˈmɜːʤd
ˈrɛkəgnaɪzəbl 
stɪl ˈlɑːʤə ˈbɒdi 
liːdz dɪˈrɛktli 
fʊl meɪn
mɜːʤd 
ˈkeɪpəbl ɒv 
ˈlɑːʤə freɪm

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

The diagram d_____________s the development of p____________c and modern horses with s_______________s on the f_________________t. L_________________________________t as horses became larger in size, their feet e_____________d and b____________d until they f________d to become a d_______________f.

The prehistoric horse from 40 million years ago was t________d an Eohippus and is d___________________e by its smaller body and p___w containing 4 thin p______________s. The next stage of e___________n (30 million years ago) r_____________n the Mesohippis, which had a larger body m_______________o today’s horse and t__________________s, the middle one being b___________r and s___________y longer.

By 15 million years ago, the Merychippus had e________d, r______________e by a s___________________y and the increased size of the middle digit. This l_______________y to the modern day horse which is the largest in size, has a f_____________e, and the separate digits had by this time m_______d into a single hoof c______________f supporting a l_______________e.

Listening Practice

Listen to the related topic below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/horse/the-evolution-of-horses

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following related questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Wildlife

  1. Have you ever seen a wild animal?
  2. What is your favourite wild animal?
  3. How do you feel when you see animals at the zoo?
  4. What is the importance of animals to children?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related map below and then check with my sample answer:

IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample Answer Essay: Ceramic Pots Process (Real Past IELTS Exam/Test)

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