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Verbal Section : Reading Comprehension

Read the comprehension and answer the following questions:

Studies have been conducted from time immemorial on mammal's ability to adapt to climatic changes. Diversity is found to be one of the major conclusions derived from these studies.

The first study was conducted on how mammals in North America adapted to climatic change in "deep time". This particular time period spanned over 56 million years which began with the Eocene and lasted up to the terminal Pleistocene some12,000 years ago. The end of this period also signifies the extinction of mammoths, giant sloths and many of the other 'megafauna' in the world.

To understand the pattern of response of mammals to climatic changes, it is considered important to understand their response in the past. The necessity to establish a clear picture of these mammals adapted to varying climatic changes before humans came to complicate the situation.

To predict how the mammals responded to the changes becomes difficult as their inborn abilities to adapt to changes in the environment are not known. Mammals are known to change their size or diet as per the environmental changes and these changes are really very dramatic increasing the wonder of nature. One of the changes they have showed regularly is shifting to other places in cases of drastic changes in their environment and also their capacity to change their body temperature is considered very flexible and swift as compared to reptiles and other cold blooded animals.

This particular study was on the diversity of mammals and their families which occupied North America during this period of 'deep time'. The study was conducted in this part of the world as the fossil record of the mammals here is considered to be good enough. But, the fact remains that it is very difficult to differentiate the fossils of different species which are closely related and have similar characteristics. It is said that it can also be difficult to distinguish species from one genera to the other.

So, keeping these hurdles in mind, researchers have done the study at the family level and thirty five different families were analyzed which include Cricetidae (rats, mice, hamsters and voles), Bovidae (bison, sheep and antelopes), Ursidae (bears), Equidae (horses, donkeys), Leporidae (rabbits and hares) and Mammutidae (mammoths).

The period of the study was of dramatic climate changes and it started with very hot temperature (6 degrees more than today's temperature) and later cooled down to temperatures which are slightly more than today's temperatures. Then, it ended with cooling up and led to the Ice Ages.

The relative range and spread of the mammalian families during this period was found to be surprisingly consistent. It is to be noted that the period in consideration spanned about 56 million years.

The study basically revealed that the mammalian families were resilient to the drastic climatic changes and it was also found that more diverse the family was more their stability.

  1. What would be the suitable title for the above comprehension?

    1. Animal diversity
    2. Mammal Study
    3. Diversity of mammals
    4. Ancient mammals
    5. None of the above

    Answer - c

  2. How long was the 'deep time'?

    1. 10 million years
    2. 56 million years
    3. 75 million years
    4. 5 million years
    5. None of the above

    Answer - b

  3. What was the basis of the study?

    1. Bones
    2. Fossil record
    3. Skins
    4. Previous research material
    5. None of the above

    Answer - b

  4. Which animals come under the category 'Equidae'?

    1. Horses and donkeys
    2. Rats and mice
    3. Mammoths
    4. Rabbits
    5. None of the above

    Answer - a

  5. What is the characteristic of mammals related to adapting to climatic changes that came up as a result of the study?

    1. Intelligence
    2. Resilience
    3. Adaptability
    4. Repetition
    5. None of the above

    Answer - b

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