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Unformatted text preview: (around 70 million years ago). There was another, even larger, mass extinction at the end of the Perm ian period (around 250 million years ago). The Permian event has attracted much less attention than other mass extinctions because mostly unfamiliar species perished at that time.
1. Paragraph 1 supports which of the following statements about mass extinctions? ○They take place over a period of 70 million years.
○They began during the Cretaceous period.
○They eliminate many animal species that exist at the time they occur.
○They occur every 250 million years.
Paragraph 2: The fossil record shows at least five mass extinctions in which many families of marine organisms died out. The rates of extinction happening today are as great as the rates during these mass extinctions. Many scientists have therefore concluded that a sixth great mass extinction is currently in progress. 2. According to paragraph 2, scientists base their belief that a mass extinction is going on at present on which of the following?
○The speed with which mass extinctions are happening today is similar to the speed of past extinctions.
○The number of species that have died out since the last extinction event is extremely large.
○Mass extinctions occur with regularity and it is time for another one.
○Fossil records of many marine species have disappeared.
Paragraph 3: What could cause such high rates of extinction? There are several hypotheses, including warming or cooling of Earth, changes in seasonal fluctuations or ocean currents, and changing positions of the continents. Biological hypotheses include ecological changes brought about by the evolution of cooperation between insects and flowering plants or of bottomfeeding predators in the oceans. Some of the proposed mechanisms required a very brief period during which all extinctions suddenly took place; other mechanisms would be more likely to have taken place more gradually, over an extended period, or at different times on different continents. Some hypotheses fad to account for simultaneous extinctions on land and in the seas. Each mass extinction may have had a different cause. Evidence points to hunting by humans and habitat destruction as the likely causes for the current mass extinction. 3. The word extended in the passage is closest in meaning to
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4. According to paragraph 3, each of the following has been proposed as a possible cause of mass extinctions EXCEPT
○fierce interspecies competition
○changes in Earth's tem perature
5. Paragraph 3 supports which of the following ideas about mass extinctions?
○Scientists know the exact causes of most mass extinctions.
○Mass extinctions are unlikely to happen again in the future.
○Insects, flowering plants, and bottomfeeding predators in the oceans tend to be the first organisms to dgappear during episodes of mass extinctions.
○Some mass extinctions occurred on land and in the seas at the same time.
paragraph 4: A...
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- Fall '13