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# The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the

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The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 17 Dec 2018, 21:57
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Part of New RC Series- Please check this link for more questions

The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the pterosaurs, have intrigued paleontologists for more than two centuries. How such large creatures, which weighed in some cases as much as a piloted hang-glider and had wingspans from 8 to 12 meters, solved the problems of powered flight, and exactly what these creatures were—reptiles or birds—are among the questions scientists have puzzled over.

Perhaps the least controversial assertion about the pterosaurs is that they were reptiles. Their skulls, pelvises, and hind feet are reptilian. The anatomy of their wings suggests that they did not evolve into the class of birds. In pterosaurs a greatly elongated fourth finger of each forelimb supported a wing-like membrane. The other fingers were short and reptilian, with sharp claws. In birds the second finger is the principal strut of the wing, which consists primarily of feathers. If the pterosaurs walked on all fours, the three short fingers may have been employed for grasping. When a pterosaur walked or remained stationary, the fourth finger, and with it the wing, could only turn upward in an extended inverted V-shape along each side of the animal’s body.

The pterosaurs resembled both birds and bats in their overall structure and proportions. This is not surprising because the design of any flying vertebrate is subject to aerodynamic constraints. Both the pterosaurs and the birds have hollow bones, a feature that represents a savings in weight. In the birds, however, these bones are reinforced more massively by internal struts.

Although scales typically cover reptiles, the pterosaurs probably had hairy coats. T. H. Huxley reasoned that flying vertebrates must have been warm-blooded because flying implies a high rate of metabolism, which in turn implies a high internal temperature. Huxley speculated that a coat of hair would insulate against loss of body heat and might streamline the body to reduce drag in flight. The recent discovery of a pterosaur specimen covered in long, dense, and relatively thick hairlike fossil material was the first clear evidence that his reasoning was correct.

Efforts to explain how the pterosaurs became airborne have led to suggestions that they launched themselves by jumping from cliffs, by dropping from trees, or even by rising into light winds from the crests of waves. Each hypothesis has its difficulties. The first wrongly assumes that the pterosaurs’ hind feet resembled a bat’s and could serve as hooks by which the animal could hang in preparation for flight. The second hypothesis seems unlikely because large pterosaurs could not have landed in trees without damaging their wings. The third calls for high waves to channel updrafts. The wind that made such waves however, might have been too strong for the pterosaurs to control their flight once airborne.

1. It can be inferred from the passage that scientists now generally agree that the

(A) enormous wingspan of the pterosaurs enabled them to fly great distances

(B) structure of the skeleton of the pterosaurs suggests a close evolutionary relationship to bats

(C) fossil remains of the pterosaurs reveal how they solved the problem of powered flight

(D) pterosaurs were reptiles

(E) pterosaurs walked on all fours

2. The author views the idea that the pterosaurs became airborne by rising into light winds created by waves as

(A) revolutionary
(B) unlikely
(C) unassailable
(D) probable
(E) outdated

3. According to the passage, the skeleton of a pterosaur can be distinguished from that of a bird by the

(A) size of its wingspan
(B) presence of hollow spaces in its bones
(C) anatomic origin of its wing strut
(D) presence of hooklike projections on its hind feet
(E) location of the shoulder joint joining the wing to its body

4. The ideas attributed to T. H. Huxley in the passage suggest that he would most likely agree with which of the following statements?

(A) An animal’s brain size has little bearing on its ability to master complex behaviors.

(B) An animal’s appearance is often influenced by environmental requirements and physical capabilities.

(C) Animals within a given family group are unlikely to change their appearance dramatically over a period of time.

(D) The origin of flight in vertebrates was an accidental development rather than the outcome of specialization or adaptation.

(E) The pterosaurs should be classified as birds, not reptiles.

5. It can be inferred from the passage that which of the following is characteristic of the pterosaurs?

(A) They were unable to fold their wings when not in use.

(B) They hung upside down from branches as bats do before flight.

(C) They flew in order to capture prey.

(D) They were an early stage in the evolution of the birds.

(E) They lived primarily in a forest-like habitat.

6. Which of the following best describes the organization of the last paragraph of the passage?

(A) New evidence is introduced to support a traditional point of view.

(B) Three explanations for a phenomenon are presented, and each is disputed by means of specific information.

(C) Three hypotheses are outlined, and evidence supporting each is given.

(D) Recent discoveries are described, and their implications for future study are projected.

(E) A summary of the material in the preceding paragraphs is presented, and conclusions are drawn.

7. It can be inferred from the passage that some scientists believe that pterosaurs

(A) lived near large bodies of water

(B) had sharp teeth for tearing food

(C) were attacked and eaten by larger reptiles

(D) had longer tails than many birds

(E) consumed twice their weight daily to maintain their body temperature

JOURNAL ARTICLE
Pterosaurs
Wann Langston Jr.
Scientific American
Vol. 244, No. 2 (February 1981), pp. 122-137
https://www.jstor.org/stable/24964287
Page Count: 16

Attachment:
Pterosaurs.pdf [1.34 MiB]

Originally posted by RaviChandra on 29 Oct 2009, 07:56.
Last edited by hazelnut on 17 Dec 2018, 21:57, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 06 Mar 2014, 20:38
3
5
The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the pterosaurs, have intrigued paleontologists for more than two centuries. How such large creatures, which weighed in some cases as much as a piloted hang-glider and had wingspans from 8 to 12 meters, solved the problems of powered flight, and exactly what these creatures were—reptiles or birds—are among the questions scientists have puzzled over.
Perhaps the least controversial assertion about the pterosaurs is that they were reptiles. Their skulls, pelvises, and hind feet are reptilian. The anatomy of their wings suggests that they did not evolve into the class of birds. In pterosaurs a greatly elongated fourth finger of each forelimb supported a wing-like membrane. The other fingers were short and reptilian, with sharp claws. In birds the second finger is the principal strut of the wing, which consists primarily of feathers. If the pterosaurs walked on all fours, the three short fingers may have been employed for grasping. When a pterosaur walked or remained stationary, the fourth finger, and with it the wing, could only turn upward in an extended inverted V-shape along each side of the animal’s body.
The pterosaurs resembled both birds and bats in their overall structure and proportions. This is not surprising because the design of any flying vertebrate is subject to aerodynamic constraints. Both the pterosaurs and the birds have hollow bones, a feature that represents a savings in weight. In the birds, however, these bones are reinforced more massively by internal struts.
Although scales typically cover reptiles, the pterosaurs probably had hairy coats. T. H. Huxley reasoned that flying vertebrates must have been warm-blooded because flying implies a high rate of metabolism, which in turn implies a high internal temperature. Huxley speculated that a coat of hair would insulate against loss of body heat and might streamline the body to reduce drag in flight. The recent discovery of a pterosaur specimen covered in long, dense, and relatively thick hairlike fossil material was the first clear evidence that his reasoning was correct.
Efforts to explain how the pterosaurs became airborne have led to suggestions that they launched themselves by jumping from cliffs, by dropping from trees, or even by rising into light winds from the crests of waves. Each hypothesis has its difficulties. The first wrongly assumes that the pterosaurs’ hind feet resembled a bat’s and could serve as hooks by which the animal could hang in preparation for flight. The second hypothesis seems unlikely because large pterosaurs could not have landed in trees without damaging their wings. The third calls for high waves to channel updrafts. The wind that made such waves however, might have been too strong for the pterosaurs to control their flight once airborne.
1. It can be inferred from the passage that scientists now generally agree that the
(A) enormous wingspan of the pterosaurs enabled them to fly great distances
(B) structure of the skeleton of the pterosaurs suggests a close evolutionary relationship to bats
(C) fossil remains of the pterosaurs reveal how they solved the problem of powered flight
(D) pterosaurs were reptiles
(E) pterosaurs walked on all fours

Spoiler: :: OA
D

2. The author views the idea that the pterosaurs became airborne by rising into light winds created by waves as
(A) revolutionary
(B) unlikely
(C) unassailable
(D) probable
(E) outdated

Spoiler: :: OA
B

3. According to the passage, the skeleton of a pterosaur can be distinguished from that of a bird by the
(A) size of its wingspan
(B) presence of hollow spaces in its bones
(C) anatomic origin of its wing strut
(D) presence of hooklike projections on its hind feet
(E) location of the shoulder joint joining the wing to its body

Spoiler: :: OA
C

4. The ideas attributed to T. H. Huxley in the passage suggest that he would most likely agree with which of the following statements?
(A) An animal’s brain size has little bearing on its ability to master complex behaviors.
(B) An animal’s appearance is often influenced by environmental requirements and physical capabilities.
(C) Animals within a given family group are unlikely to change their appearance dramatically over a period of time.
(D) The origin of flight in vertebrates was an accidental development rather than the outcome of specialization or adaptation.
(E) The pterosaurs should be classified as birds, not reptiles.

Spoiler: :: OA
B

5. It can be inferred from the passage that which of the following is characteristic of the pterosaurs?
(A) They were unable to fold their wings when not in use.
(B) They hung upside down from branches as bats do before flight.
(C) They flew in order to capture prey.
(D) They were an early stage in the evolution of the birds.
(E) They lived primarily in a forest-like habitat.

Spoiler: :: OA
A

6. Which of the following best describes the organization of the last paragraph of the passage?
(A) New evidence is introduced to support a traditional point of view.
(B) Three explanations for a phenomenon are presented, and each is disputed by means of specific information.
(C) Three hypotheses are outlined, and evidence supporting each is given.
(D) Recent discoveries are described, and their implications for future study are projected.
(E) A summary of the material in the preceding paragraphs is presented, and conclusions are drawn.

Spoiler: :: OA
B

7. It can be inferred from the passage that some scientists believe that pterosaurs
(A) lived near large bodies of water
(B) had sharp teeth for tearing food
(C) were attacked and eaten by larger reptiles
(D) had longer tails than many birds
(E) consumed twice their weight daily to maintain their body temperature.

Spoiler: :: OA
A

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Originally posted by Marcab on 05 Jan 2013, 22:40.
Last edited by MacFauz on 06 Mar 2014, 20:38, edited 1 time in total.
Formatting
##### General Discussion
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Re: The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the  [#permalink]

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30 Oct 2009, 03:42
12 mins...

D
B
C
B
A
B
A

PLEASE POST THE OA MY FRIEND
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Re: The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the  [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2009, 09:27
OA :
DBCBABA
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Re: The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the  [#permalink]

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15 Nov 2009, 05:36
1
could you explain the answer for 7 question ?
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Re: The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the  [#permalink]

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15 Nov 2009, 06:26
Can sombody explain why 7th is A. I cound not find its ref. anywhere in paragraph.
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Re: The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the  [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2009, 04:06
3
jshah wrote:
Can sombody explain why 7th is A. I cound not find its ref. anywhere in paragraph.

We can assume that the pterosaurs lived near large bodies of water, because one of the hypothesis for how the pterosaurs flew was that they somehow took advantage of "high waves to channel updrafts". Why would the scientists think that if they didn't think pterosaurs lived by water?

Hope it helps.
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Re: The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the  [#permalink]

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21 Nov 2009, 23:58
D
B
C
B
A
B
E

Please explain #7. Why A and not E ?

No mention of water in the passage, so should we assume it because they are considered reptiles ?
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Re: The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the  [#permalink]

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22 Dec 2009, 13:16
h2polo wrote:
jshah wrote:
Can sombody explain why 7th is A. I cound not find its ref. anywhere in paragraph.

We can assume that the pterosaurs lived near large bodies of water, because one of the hypothesis for how the pterosaurs flew was that they somehow took advantage of "high waves to channel updrafts". Why would the scientists think that if they didn't think pterosaurs lived by water?

Hope it helps.

But that doesn’t make all that much sense. How do we know that the passage is talking about water waves? When I read it I figured they were talking about waves in the wind like birds fly on.

Also, I see how number 1 is not any answer beside D but how is it that D is right on the money? What in the passage suggests that scientists generally agree that this creature was a reptile?
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Re: The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the  [#permalink]

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22 Dec 2009, 13:35
urchin wrote:
D
B
C
B
A
B
E

Please explain #7. Why A and not E ?

No mention of water in the passage, so should we assume it because they are considered reptiles ?

Well, I got BBCBABD but that first B was just me not paying attention. I can help on the last part for it not being E though. Because inferred means “must be true” on both the GMAT and LSAT, E is wrong. Nothing in the passage says that they must eat 2x their weight daily to maintain their body temp. Their hair is linked to their warmbloodedness not their diet. I don't even remember their diet being mentioned in the passage. I hope that helps. I still have no idea why it’s A though. They gave a dumb question in number 7 IMO.
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Re: The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the  [#permalink]

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23 Dec 2009, 23:36
Can someone explain 3rd Ques? I actually taught passage says that characteristic mentioned in answer C for bird and not for "vertebrate".
"In birds the second finger is the principal strut of the wing, which consists primarily of feathers. "
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Re: The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the  [#permalink]

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02 Feb 2011, 14:34
The fossil remain of the first flying vertebrates, the pterosaurs, have intrigued paleontologists for more than two centuries. How such large creatures, which weighed in some cases as much as a piloted hangglider and had wingspans from 8 to 12 meters, solved the problems of powered flight, and exactly what these creatures were-reptiles or birds- are among the questions scientist have puzzled over.

Perhaps the least controversial assertion about the pterosaurs is that they were reptiles. Their skulls, pelvises, and hind feet are reptilian. The anatomy of their wings suggests that they did not evolve into the class of birds. In pterosaurs a greatly elongated fourth finger of each forelimb supported a wing like membrane. The other fingers were short and reptilian, with sharp claws, In birds the second finger is the principle strut of the wing, which consists primarily of features. If the pterosaur walked or remained stationary, the fourth finger, and with it the wing, could only turn upward in an extended inverted V-shape along side of the animal’s body.

The pterosaurs resembled both birds and bats in their overall structure and proportions. This is not surprising because the design of any flying vertebrate is subject to aerodynamic constraints. Both the pterosaurs and the birds have hollow bones, a feature that represents a saving in weight. In the birds, however, these bones are reinforced more massively by internal struts.

Although scales typically cover reptiles, the pterosaurs probably had hairy coats. T.H. Huxley reasoned that flying vertebrates must have been warm – blooded because flying implies a high internal temperature. Huxley speculated that a coat of hair would insulate against loss of body heat and might streamline the body to reduce drag in flight. The recent discovery of a pterosaur specimen covered in long, dense, and relatively thick hairlike fossil material was the first clear evidenced that his reasoning was correct.

Efforts to explain how the pterosaurs became air-borne have led to suggestions that they launched themselves by jumping from cliffs, by dropping from trees, or even by rising into light winds from the crests of waves. Each hypothesis has its difficulties. The first wrongly assumes that the pterosaur’s hind feet resembled a bat’s and could served as hooks by which the animal could bang in preparation for flight. The second hypothesis seems unlikely because large pterosaurs could not have landed in trees without damaging their wings. The birds calls for high waves to channels updrafts. The wind that made such waves however, might have been too strong for the pterosaurs to control their flight once airborne.

It can be inferred from the passage that scientists now generally agree that the

A) enormous wingspan of the pterosaurs enable them to fly great distances
B) structure of the skeleton of the pterosaurs suggests a close evolutionary relationship to bats.
C)fossil remains of the pterosaurs reveal how they solved the problem of powered flight.
D) pterosaurs were reptiles
E) pterosaurs walked on all fours

According to the passage, the skeleton of the pterosaurs can be distinguished from that of a bird by the

A) size of its wingspan
B) presence of hollow spaces in its bones
C) anatomic origin of its wing strut
D) presence of hook-like projections on its hind feet
E) location of the shoulder joint joining the wing to its body

It can be inferred from the passage that some scientists believe that pterosaurs

A) lived near large bodies of water
B) had sharp teeth for tearing food
C) were atacked and eaten by other large reptiles
D) had longer tails than many birds
E) consumed twice their weight daily to maintain their body temperature
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Re: The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the  [#permalink]

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03 Feb 2011, 10:36
1

It can be inferred from the passage that scientists now generally agree that the

Ans: D) pterosaurs were reptiles

Supporting Statement:
"Perhaps the least controversial assertion about the pterosaurs is that they were reptiles"

According to the passage, the skeleton of the pterosaurs can be distinguished from that of a bird by the

Ans: C
Supporting Statement:
"In pterosaurs a greatly elongated fourth finger of each forelimb supported a wing like membrane. The other fingers were short and reptilian, with sharp claws, In birds the second finger is the principle strut of the wing, which consists primarily of features."

It can be inferred from the passage that some scientists believe that pterosaurs
Ans: A) lived near large bodies of water
Supporting Statement:
"or even by rising into light winds from the crests of waves"

Waves would occur in only large bodies of water, right?
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Re: The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the  [#permalink]

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13 Feb 2011, 14:36
1
Entwistle wrote:

It can be inferred from the passage that scientists now generally agree that the

Ans: D) pterosaurs were reptiles

Supporting Statement:
"Perhaps the least controversial assertion about the pterosaurs is that they were reptiles"

According to the passage, the skeleton of the pterosaurs can be distinguished from that of a bird by the

Ans: C
Supporting Statement:
"In pterosaurs a greatly elongated fourth finger of each forelimb supported a wing like membrane. The other fingers were short and reptilian, with sharp claws, In birds the second finger is the principle strut of the wing, which consists primarily of features."

It can be inferred from the passage that some scientists believe that pterosaurs
Ans: A) lived near large bodies of water
Supporting Statement:
"or even by rising into light winds from the crests of waves"

Waves would occur in only large bodies of water, right?

It's awesome how you caught that one (in red, I mean)!

And yes that's right...
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Re: The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the  [#permalink]

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14 Feb 2011, 22:48
DCA
Last one : A
"The birds calls for high waves to channels updrafts".
In short - the author agrees that dino were evolved from reptiles. They resembled bird and bats. But he disagrees about both the hyps how they took off .... Thats the whole point.
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Re: The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the  [#permalink]

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20 Feb 2011, 11:08
DCA as well, in total took me 6.50 min
Initially I read only first and last sentences of the paragraph, but had to revisit it again and again several times.
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Re: The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the  [#permalink]

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20 Apr 2011, 22:31
i got these wrong ... took me 3 mins to get them wrong. so need to work on this :D also i was without paper and pen.
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Re: The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the  [#permalink]

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04 Jan 2012, 00:46
D,C,A in 7:59 mins.
Q 1 D,
Quote:
Perhaps the least controversial assertion about the pterosaurs is that they were reptiles.

Q 2 C,
Quote:
The anatomy of their wings suggests that they did not evolve into the class of birds. In pterosaurs a greatly elongated fourth finger of each forelimb supported a wing like membrane.In birds the second finger is the principle strut of the wing

Q 3 A,Some scientists suggested that pterosaurs needed waves to launch themselves in air rest all are out of scope as not mentioned anywhere in passage.
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Re: The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the  [#permalink]

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06 Jan 2013, 02:15
IMO:
DBBBABE

Pls share the OAs.
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Re: The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the  [#permalink]

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22 Jan 2013, 08:18
Here are the OAs
DBCBABA.
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Re: The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the &nbs [#permalink] 22 Jan 2013, 08:18

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