Reading Comprehension 5

1. READ TEXT QUICKLY AND SIGN DIFFICULT WORDS

The development of the horse has been recorded from the beginning through all of its evolutionary stages to the modern form. It is, in fact, one of the most complete and well-documented chapters of paleontological history. Fossil finds provide us not only with detailed information about the horse itself but also with valuable insights into the migration  of herds, and even evidence for speculation about the climatic conditions that could have instigated such migratory behavior.

Geologists believe that the first horses appeared on Earth about sixty million years ago as compared with two million years ago for the appearance of human beings. There is evidence of early horses on both the American and European continents, but it has been documented that, almost twelve million years ago at the beginning of the Pliocene Age, a horse about midway through its evolutionary development crossed a land bridge where the Bering Strait is now located, from Alaska into the glasslands of Asia, and traveled all the way to Europe. This early horse was a hipparion, about the size of a modern-day pony with three toes and specialized cheek teeth for grazing. In Europe, the hipparion encountered another less advanced horse called the anchitheres, which had previously invaded Europe by the same route, probably during the Miocene Period. Less developed and smaller than the hipparion, the anchittheres was eventually completely replaced by it.

By the end of the Pleistocene Age both the anchitheres and the hipparion had become extinct in North America, where they had originated, as fossil evidence clearly indicates. In Europe, they evolve into the larger and stronger animal that is very similar to the horse as we know it today. For many years, the horse was probably hunted for food by early tribes of human beings. Then the qualities of the horse that would have made it a good servant were noted – mainly its strength and speed. It was time for the horse to be tamed, used as a draft animal at the dawning of agriculture, and than ridden as the need for transportation increased. It was the descendant of this domesticated horse that was brought back to the Americas by European colonists.

2. NEW VOCABULARY WITH THEIR MEANING

  • Evolutionary : pertaining to evolution or development
  • Paleontological : the science of the forms of life existing in former geologic periods,asrepresented by their fossils.
  • Insights : an instance of apprehending the true nature of a thing, especiallythroughintuitive understanding
  • Herds : a number of animals kept, feeding, or traveling together; drove; flock
  • Instigated : to cause by incitement; foment
  • Grazing : to feed on growing grass and pasturage, as do cattle, sheep, etc.
  • Extinct : no longer in existence; that has ended or died out
  • Originated : to take its origin or rise; begin; start; arise
  • Tribes : any aggregate of people united by ties of descent from a commonancestor,community of customs and traditions, adherence to thesame leaders, etc.
  • Dawning : beginning; start
  • Colonists : a member of a colonizing expedition

3. THE IDEAS OF EACH PARAGRAPH

  • Paragraph one : The development of the horse has been recorded from the beginning through all of its evolutionary stages to the modern form. It is, in fact, one of the most complete and well-documented chapters of paleontological history.
  • Paragraph two : Geologists believe that the first horses appeared on Earth about sixty million years ago as compared with two million years ago for the appearance of human beings. It has been documented that, almost twelve million years ago at the beginning of the Pliocene Age, a horse about midway through its evolutionary development crossed a land bridge where the Bering Strait is now located, from Alaska into the glasslands of Asia, and traveled all the way to Europe. This early horse was a hipparion. In Europe, the hipparion encountered another less advanced horse called the anchitheres. Less developed and smaller than the hipparion, the anchittheres was eventually completely replaced by it.
  • Paragraph three : By the end of the Pleistocene Age both the anchitheres and the hipparion had become extinct in North America, where they had originated, as fossil evidence clearly indicates. In Europe, they evolve into the larger and stronger animal that is very similar to the horse as we know it today.

4. ANSWER FROM THE QUESTIONS GIVEN

1. What is this passage mainly about?

  • A. The evolution of the horse
  • B. The migration of horses
  • C. The modern-day pony
  • D. The replacement of the anchitheres by the hipparion

2. According to the author, fossils are considered valuable for all of the following reasons EXCEPT ?

  • A. They suggest how the climate may have been
  • B. They provide information about migration
  • C. They document the evolution of the horse
  • D. They maintain a record of life prior to the Miocene Age

3. The word instigated in paragraph 1 could best be replaced by ?

  • A. Explained
  • B. Caused
  • C. Improved
  • D. Influenced

4. What does the author mean by the statement Geologists believe that the first horses appeared on Earth about sixty million years ago as compared with two million years ago for the appearance of human beings?

  • A. Horses appeared long before human beings according to the theories of geologists.
  • B. Both horses and human beings appeared several million years ago, if we believe geologists.
  • C. The geological records for the appearance of horses and human beings are not very accurate.
  • D. Horses and human beings cannot be compared by geologists because they appeared too long ago.

5. Which of the following conclusions may be made on the basis of information in the passage?

  • A. The hipparions migrated to Europe to feed in developing grasslands.
  • B. There are no fossil remains of either the anchitheres  or the hipparion.
  • C. There were horses in North America when the first European colonists arrived.
  • D. Very little is known about the evolution of the horse.

6. According to this passage, the hipparions were

  • A. Five-toed animals
  • B. Not as highly developed as the anchitheres
  • C. Larger than the anchitheres
  • D. About the size of a small dog

7. The word it in paragraph 2 refers to

  • A. Anchitheres
  • B. Hippariond
  • C. Miocene Period
  • D. Route

8. The word extinct in paragraph 3 is closest in meaning to ?

  • A. Familiar
  • B. Widespread
  • C. Nonexistent
  • D. Tame

9. It can be concluded from this passage that the ?

  • A. Miocene Period was prior to the Pleistocene
  • B. Pleistocene Period was prior to the Miocene
  • C. Pleistocene Period was prior to the Pliocene
  • D. Pliocene Period was prior to Miocene

5. SUMMARY OF THE PASSAGE

The development of the horse has been recorded from the beginning through all of its evolutionary stages to the modern form. It is, in fact, one of the most complete and well-documented chapters of paleontological history. It has been documented that, almost twelve million years ago at the beginning of the Pliocene Age, a horse about midway through its evolutionary development crossed a land bridge where the Bering Strait is now located, from Alaska into the glasslands of Asia, and traveled all the way to Europe. This early horse was a hipparion. In Europe, the hipparion encountered another less advanced horse called the anchitheres. Less developed and smaller than the hipparion, the anchittheres was eventually completely replaced by it. By the end of the Pleistocene Age both the anchitheres and the hipparion had become extinct in North America, where they had originated, as fossil evidence clearly indicates. In Europe, they evolve into the larger and stronger animal that is very similar to the horse as we know it today.

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