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From time to time history and myth come peculiarly close to one anothe

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From time to time history and myth come peculiarly close to one anothe  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jan 2018, 12:02
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From time to time history and myth come peculiarly close to one another, casting a new light on old, and often largely dismissed tales. In various Eastern cultures the notion of the winged serpent and the dragon have come down from the ages, only to be cast aside by modern society as fantastic, mythological creations of someone‘s overactive ancient imagination. Now, it seems, this supernatural beast might have some historical antecedents.

Archaeopteryx lithographica lived during the latter part of the Jurassic period, approximately 150 million years ago, just south of what today is central Germany. This ancient creature combined a reptilian body and tail with bird-like wings and feathers. This strange amalgamation of traits seems like something out of ancient mysticism of the Far East.

This beast has provided a wealth of information about the evolution of flight in birds. However, fossil and skeletal studies indicate that it was not capable of flight. None of the Archaeopteryx fossils discovered to date, including the most mature specimens, exhibit an ossified or bony sternum, the wide bone that extends from the chest to the pelvic area in most modern birds. The main purposes of this structure are to protect internal organs during flight and to act as a sturdy anchoring point for the enormous pectoral muscles necessary for flight. There is no indication that Archaeopteryx ever developed strong pectoral muscles, and perhaps this is one reason why it never developed a sternum. Instead, it retained reptilian gastral ribs, thin braces in the abdominal region, which were not attached to the skeleton and which served only to support and protect internal organs. Researchers believe that flight would have been highly unlikely in an animal with such skeletal characteristics.

Furthermore, the bones in the manus of Archaeopteryx do not seem to have been fused. In modern birds, these bones are fused in order to support the wing. In addition, the ulna of modern birds is marked with small knobs where feathers are anchored firmly to the bone by ligaments. The ulna in Archaeopteryx, however, is smooth, indicating that its feathers were not firmly anchored into the skeleton.

Finally, the skeletal characteristics of Archaeopteryx seem to indicate that this animal was most adapted to terrestrial movement. Its hind legs and pelvis closely resemble those of bipedal theropods and dinosaurs, suggesting that, like these other bipeds, it was adept at running along the ground. In contrast to the posture of modern birds, whose bodies are suspended at the pelvis like a seesaw with the thighbones horizontal, it stood up on its hind legs with its long reptilian tail serving to balance it as well as enhance its ability to coordinate abrupt changes of direction while running. In modern birds all that remains of the tail is a shrunken, fused structure called a pygostyle. Although the foot of Archaeopteryx was bird-like, with fused metatarsals, it was also adapted to running. By way of its peculiar mix of features, it seems to represent a kind of transitionary phase, illustrating an evolutionary leap from reptile to bird and providing insight into the development of flight.

1. Suppose that scientists have recently found the skeleton of a bird capable of flight embedded in pre-Jurassic period rock. What effect would this discovery most likely have on their thinking about Archaeopteryx lithographica?

A. It would support the view that Archaeopteryx lithographica represented a transitionary species between reptiles and birds.
B. It would undermine the view that Archaeopteryx lithographica represented a transitionary species between reptiles and birds.
C. It would neither support nor undermine the view that Archaeopteryx lithographica represented a transitionary species between reptiles and birds.
D. It would support the view that Archaeopteryx lithographica failed to develop the pectoral muscles necessary for flight.
E. It would prove beyond doubt that Archaeopteryx lithographica was actually a bird

2. Based on information in the passage, which of the following statements is NOT true?

A. Archaeopteryx lithographica’s skeleton is similar to the skeleton of a modern bird.
B. Archaeopteryx lithographica’s tail played a larger role in its daily life than the tail of a modern bird plays in its daily life.
C. Scientists have studied Archaeopteryx lithographica in order to learn about the development of flight.
D. Archaeopteryx lithographica shared some characteristics in common with dinosaurs.
E. Archaeopteryx lithographica lived in what is now Germany

3. Researchers believe that Archaeopteryx differs from modern birds for all of the following reasons EXCEPT:

A. a lack of feathers.
B. pectoral muscle development.
C. ossification of the sternum.
D. knobs found on the ulna.
E. Fused bones in the manus

4. The passage is primarily concerned with

A. analysing the factors that led to the extinction of dinosaurs
B. describing the similarities between Archaeopteryx lithographica and modern birds
C. explaining how birds are able to fly
D. discussing how Archaeopteryx lithographica could be an evolutionary link between reptiles and birds
E. state that bones in the manus of Archaeopteryx lithographica were different from those of modern birds


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New post 01 Oct 2018, 18:06
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Re: From time to time history and myth come peculiarly close to one anothe  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Oct 2018, 04:58
Question 1 - The question stem mentions the pre Jurassic period and the passage states that "Archaeopteryx lithographica lived during the latter part of the Jurassic period". Why then is the OA B?
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Re: From time to time history and myth come peculiarly close to one anothe  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Oct 2018, 05:48
2
P3: By way of its peculiar mix of features, it seems to represent a kind of transitionary phase, illustrating an evolutionary leap from reptile to bird and providing insight into the development of flight.

Q1:
Because the author says that the discovery of Archaeopteryx serves as transition phase, therefore the existence of bird in pre-Jurassic period nullified the linked between reptilian and bird, that is Archaeopteryx is unrelated to birds at all.
Thus, answer B.
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Re: From time to time history and myth come peculiarly close to one anothe  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Oct 2018, 21:23
1
1. Suppose that scientists have recently found the skeleton of a bird capable of flight embedded in pre-Jurassic period rock. What effect would this discovery most likely have on their thinking about Archaeopteryx lithographica?

A. It would support the view that Archaeopteryx lithographica represented a transitionary species between reptiles and birds.
B. It would undermine the view that Archaeopteryx lithographica represented a transitionary species between reptiles and birds.
C. It would neither support nor undermine the view that Archaeopteryx lithographica represented a transitionary species between reptiles and birds.
D. It would support the view that Archaeopteryx lithographica failed to develop the pectoral muscles necessary for flight.
E. It would prove beyond doubt that Archaeopteryx lithographica was actually a bird

IMO B.Last 2 sentences of the passage gives the answer.

2. Based on information in the passage, which of the following statements is NOT true?

A. Archaeopteryx lithographica’s skeleton is similar to the skeleton of a modern bird.
B. Archaeopteryx lithographica’s tail played a larger role in its daily life than the tail of a modern bird plays in its daily life.
C. Scientists have studied Archaeopteryx lithographica in order to learn about the development of flight.
D. Archaeopteryx lithographica shared some characteristics in common with dinosaurs.
E. Archaeopteryx lithographica lived in what is now Germany

IMO A.Nowhere it's mentioned in the passage.

3. Researchers believe that Archaeopteryx differs from modern birds for all of the following reasons EXCEPT:

A. a lack of feathers.
B. pectoral muscle development.
C. ossification of the sternum.
D. knobs found on the ulna.
E. Fused bones in the manus

IMO A.Line 3, Para 2-This ancient creature combined a reptilian body and tail with bird-like wings and feathers- Says they both had feathers.

4. The passage is primarily concerned with

A. analysing the factors that led to the extinction of dinosaurs
B. describing the similarities between Archaeopteryx lithographica and modern birds
C. explaining how birds are able to fly
D. discussing how Archaeopteryx lithographica could be an evolutionary link between reptiles and birds
E. state that bones in the manus of Archaeopteryx lithographica were different from those of modern birds

IMO D.Described history of AL.Discussed differences between birds and ALs.Discussed transitionary features in AL.
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Re: From time to time history and myth come peculiarly close to one anothe  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2018, 04:17
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Topic and Scope

- The author describes the skeletal structure of Archaeopteryx lithographica and how it illustrates the evolutionary leap from reptile to bird.

Mapping the Passage


¶1 discusses the coincidental connection between Eastern mythical beasts and real animals.
¶2 gives an overview of Archaeopteryx, emphasizing its reptilian and bird-like features.
¶s 3 and 4 discuss skeletal features in Archaeopteryx that suggest it probably lacked the ability to fly
¶5 discusses skeletal features in Archaeopteryx that seem adapted for movement on the ground and argues that Archaeopteryx is probably a transitional species between reptiles and birds.
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Re: From time to time history and myth come peculiarly close to one anothe  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2018, 04:18
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Answers and Explanations OE


1)

Where is the Jurassic period mentioned? Go back to the second paragraph. Archaeopteryx lived during the latter part of the Jurassic period. If the fossil of a bird living before this were discovered, what would that do to the theory that Archaeopteryx was a transitional species between reptiles and birds? It would weaken it, as birds would have already existed. (B) repeats this line of reasoning.
(A): Opposite. If Archaeopteryx lived after birds, it could not represent a bridge between reptiles and birds.
(B): The correct answer
(C): Opposite. The order of Archaeopteryx and birds in the fossil record is crucial to the author‘s argument.
(D): Out of Scope. The theory about the development of pectoral muscles wouldn‘t be affected by the new evidence.
(E): There‘s no connection between this fossil and Archaeopteryx lithographica so we can‘t make any such inference
Strategy Point: Always pay attention to dates and time periods when mentioned in questions, particularly in natural science passages.

2)

Quickly consider the main points of the passage and the structure of your map before checking the answer choices. A good map will immediately lead to (A) as untrue: much of the passage deals with the differences between the skeletons of Archaeopteryx and modern birds, so (A) can‘t possibly be true.
(A): The correct answer(B): Opposite. This is mentioned in ¶5.
(C): Opposite. This is one of the main points of the passage.
(D): Opposite. This is mentioned in ¶5.
(E): Opposite. This is mentioned in ¶2

3)

Review your map to get a grasp of where to find the details in this question. Be aware of the main similarities and differences between Archaeopteryx and birds when tackling the choices. (A) immediately jumps out: since Archaeopteryx did have feathers, it certainly doesn‘t differ from birds by lacking them.
(A): The correct answer
(B): Opposite. This is mentioned in ¶3.
(C): Opposite. This is also mentioned in ¶3.
(D): Opposite. This is mentioned in ¶4.
(E): Opposite. This is mentioned in ¶4.

4)

Although most of the passage is concerned with pointing out the differences between Archaeopteryx and modern birds, the main concern of the author is slightly broader in nature which becomes clear at the end of the passage in lines 46-49. Option D summarises this best.
(A): Out of scope. The passage doesn‘t mention anything about why dinosaurs became extinct
(B): Opposite. The passage is more concerned with pointing out the differences between the two
(C): Out of scope. This might have been mentioned by the author in passing but is definitely not the primary concern of the passage.
(D): The correct answer
(E): Faulty use of detail. Even though this is mentioned in the passage this is not the primary concern of the passage.
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Re: From time to time history and myth come peculiarly close to one anothe  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2018, 20:52
Just a quick thought on this...
q1) How would the statement undermine? Can't an older species exist along with the newly evolved species. Archaeopteryx could be well alive after birds evolved. (Is it because we HAVE TO consider Archaeopteryx never existed in pre-Jurassic period)
What would have been the answer if it said "birds skeleton in Jurassic period rock"?
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Re: From time to time history and myth come peculiarly close to one anothe  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2018, 20:53
Just a quick thought on this...
q1) How would the statement undermine? Can't an older species exist along with the newly evolved species. Archaeopteryx could be well alive after birds evolved. (Is it because we HAVE TO consider Archaeopteryx never existed in pre-Jurassic period)
What would have been the answer if it said "birds skeleton in Jurassic period rock"?
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Re: From time to time history and myth come peculiarly close to one anothe  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Nov 2018, 12:15
All seem fine except Q2, the passages clearly states the creature lived "south of what is today known as Germany" not IN Germany then why is it that E is true?
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Re: From time to time history and myth come peculiarly close to one anothe  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Nov 2018, 11:02
GmatWizard what should be the ideal time to solve this RC passage?
I managed to get all the answers(with proper notes)correct but did so in 15min.
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Re: From time to time history and myth come peculiarly close to one anothe &nbs [#permalink] 29 Nov 2018, 11:02
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