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Far from being fixed on Earth, scientists now know that [#permalink]
30 Jan 2011, 08:14
Far from being fixed on Earth, scientists now know that Australia has wandered over the face of the planet for billions of years, sometimes lying in the northern hemisphere, sometimes in the south. For 40 million years, after finally cutting the umbilicus with Antarctica, it slowly drifted northwards, in isolation, at about half the rate at which a human hair grows.
Now that the sheep has faltered, Australians ride more and more 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. In scientific disciplines from reproductive physiology and evolutionary biology to medicine, Australia‘s native species are hailed as a unique and priceless heritage. They are providing insights into the way the world, and humans themselves, work.
Australia‘s rainforests-those ―unimportant appendages�--are now widely acknowledged as being the most ancient of humanity‘s land- based ecosystems, which gave rise to most others. Botanical discoveries of worldwide importance are being made in them every year. Australian botanists have recently completed a catalogue of Australian plants, in which they list 18,000 species. Their taxonomic work over recent years has resulted in a 50 percent increase in the number of species in the groups examined. Yet they estimate that about 7,000 undiscovered plant species still exist in Australia. Many surely inhabit Australian rainforests and are members of ancient and bizarre families, like the southern pine (Podocarpus species) recently found growing in a steep valley in Arnhem Land, thousands of kilometres distant from its nearest relatives.
Research on newly discovered Australian dinosaur faunas is challenging previous conceptions of what dinosaurs were like. So important are these discoveries that an Australian dinosaur recently made it onto the cover of a major international magazine. It was discovered in one of only two deposits in the world which was laid down near the South Pole during the age of dinosaurs. The chicken-sized species survived three months of darkness each year in a refrigerated world.
Scientists are finally understanding that evolution in Australia, in contrast to evolution on some other continents, is not driven solely by nature ―red in tooth and claw.�- Here, a more gentle force-that of coadaptation-is important. This is because harsh conditions force individuals to cooperate to minimize the loss of nutrients, and to keep them cycling through the ecosystem as rapidly as possible.
1. Based on information in the passage, which of the following is NOT true?
A. Australia has moved from one hemisphere to the other over time. B. Most Australian plant species remain undiscovered. C. Important information is being gathered by studying Australian plants. D. Australian rainforests are different from other rainforests. E. Dinosaurs had once existed in what is now Australia
Last edited by nikhilsrl on 31 Jan 2011, 20:10, edited 1 time in total.
Q1: IMO D. this is the answer i arrived after process of elimination. I must say that this question is extremely trick or perhaps i cannot infer it properly. (a) Passage talks about the continent's movement. (b) 7000 or so plant species remained undiscovered. (c) "Many surely inhabit Australian rainforests and are members of ancient and bizarre families, like the southern pine (Podocarpus species) recently found growing in a steep valley in Arnhem Land, thousands of kilometres distant from its nearest relatives. " (e)an Australian dinosaur recently made it onto the cover of a major international magazine.
(e) Passage doesn't talk about the difference among/between the rainforests. Therefore i will go for E.
(A) - Australia has moved from one hemisphere to the other over time. - Australia is currenlt in southern hemisphere and the passage talks bout that Australia was in nothern hemisphere. Hence, it has moved
(B) - Most Australian plant species remain undiscovered. - The passage talks bout 18,000 species has been discovereb but scientists BELIEVE that 7,000 unidentified species still exists. Now, if what scientists believe is true, it still brings to the fact that more than 70% of speicies has been discovered. Hence,the above statement is incorrect and it has to be the right answer.
(C) - it is a correct statement.No doubt about that.
(D) - Australian rainforests are different from other rainforests. - If we see the second para, it quotes.." Australia‘s native species are hailed as a unique and priceless heritage."..it mentions unique and it implies that these rainforests are different from others. Minor indications are also available in the 3rd para
(E) - Again a non negotiable statement.
Hence, my answer is B
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But I am not sure why not A. The passage says that Australia moved northwards "after cutting the umbilical with Antarctica" but choice A mentions that Australia has moved across hemishperes. Now this cant be true, since Antarctica is in the south and Australia is still in the south. Even if we say this is from our knowledge and not from the passage, the passage does not explicitly say that it moved across hemispheres just that it moved north.