Passage – 8
Far from being fixed on Eart h, scient ist s now know t hat Aust ralia has wandered over t he face of t he planet for billions of y ear s, som et im es lying in t he nort hern hem isphere, som et im es in t he sout h. For 40 m illion years, aft er finally cut t ing t he um bilicus wit h Ant arct ica, it slowly drift ed nort hwards, in isolat ion, at about half t he rat e at which a hum an hair grow s. Now t hat t he sheep has falt ered, Aust ralians ride m ore and m ore upon the marsupial‘s back. To a large extent, but more difficult to quantify, Australia‘s fauna and flora are being used as a unique resource. I n scient ific disciplines from reproduct ive physiology and evolutionary biology to medicine, Australia‘s native species are hailed as a unique and priceless herit age. They are providing insight s int o t he way t he world, and hum ans t hem selves, w ork . Australia‘s rainforests—those ―unimportant appendages‖—ar e now widely acknowledged as being the most ancient of humanity‘s land based ecosyst em s, which gave rise t o m ost ot hers. Bot anical discoveries of w orldwide im port ance ar e being m ade in t hem ev er y y ear. Aust ralian bot anist s have recent ly com plet ed a cat alogue of Aust ralian plant s, in which t hey list 18,000 species. Their t axonom ic wor k ov er recent year s has result ed in a 50 percent increase in t he num ber of species in t he groups exam ined. Yet t hey est im at e t hat about 7,000 undiscovered plant species st ill exist in Aust ralia. Many surely inhabit Aust ralian rainforest s and are m em bers of ancient and bizarre fam ilies, like t he sout hern pine ( Podocarpus species) recent ly found growing in a st eep valley in Arnhem Land, t housands of kilom et res dist ant from it s nearest relat ives. Resear ch on newly discovered Aust ralian dinosaur faunas is challenging previous concept ions of what dinosaurs w ere like. So im port ant are t hese discoveries t hat an Aust ralian dinosaur recent ly m ade it ont o t he cov er of a m aj or int ernat ional m agazine. I t was discovered in one of only t wo deposit s in t he world which was laid down near t he Sout h Pole during t he age of dinosaurs. The chicken - sized species survived t hr ee m ont hs of darkness each year in a refrigerat ed world. Scient ist s are finally underst anding t hat evolut ion in Aust ralia, in cont rast t o evolut ion on som e ot her cont inent s, is not driven solely by nature ―red in tooth and claw.‖ Here, a more gentle force—t hat of coadapt at ion —is im port ant . This is because harsh condit ions force individuals t o cooperat e t o m inim ize t he loss of nut rient s, and t o keep t hem cycling t hrough t he ecosyst em as rapidly as possible.










t o crit icise m odern scient ist s for not underst anding t he unique im port ance of Aust ralia C. E. I t w ould weaken t he argum ent t hat Aust r alian ecosyst em is unique 3. It would contradict the author‘s opinion only if this species of plant cannot be found anywhere else. What is t he m ain purpose of t he aut hor in writ ing t he passage? A. D. providing an insight int o t he way hum ans work 4. t o assert t hat Aust ralian rainforest s are t he oldest of t hem all E. E. which of t he following is NOT t r ue? A. B.23 1. Aust ralian rainforest s are different from ot her rainforest s.com . B. Dinosaurs had once exist ed in what is now Aust ralia 2. providing insight int o ancient ecosyst em s E. gaining inform at ion concerning ev olut ionary t rends. It would contradict the author‘s opinion. C. all of t he following are considered benefit s of st udying Aust ralian ecosyst em s EXCEPT: A. Aust ralian flora and fauna ar e not found anywhere else in t he world www. How would t his information affect the author‘s opinion of Australian rainforests? A. It would neither support nor contradict the author‘s opinion. According t o t he passage. D. furt hering t he underst anding of t he uses of hydr oelect ric power and solar energy. t o discuss som e unique ecological feat ures of Aust ralia D. Based on inform at ion in t he passage. B. Suppose t hat a previously unknown species of plant t hat is capable of producing m edicine is found in an Aust ralian rainforest . Most Aust ralian plant species rem ain undiscov ered. It would support the author‘s opinion. C. t o st at e t hat dinosaurs originat ed in what is now Aust ralia B. D. I m port ant inform at ion is being gat hered by st udying Aust ralian plant s. increasing knowledge of reproduct ive phy siology and m edicine.aristotleprep. Aust ralia has m ov ed from one hem isphere t o t he ot her over t im e. C.

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