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LSAT Sample Questions

Reading Comprehension

  1. For a period of more than two centuries paleontologists have been intrigued by the fossilized remains of pterosaurs, the first flying vertebartes. The issues, which puzzle them, are how these heavy creatures, having a wingspan of about 8-12 meters managed the various problems associated with powered flight and whether these creatures were reptiles or birds.

    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 winglike 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 pterosaurs walked or remained stationary, the fourth finger, and with it the wing, could only urn upward in an extended inverted V- shape along each side of the animal's body.

    In resemblance they were extremely similar to both birds and bats, with regard to their overall body structure and proportion. This is hardly surprising as 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. There is a difference, which is that the bones of the birds are more massively reinforced 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 hair like fossil material was the first clear evidence that his reasoning was correct.

    Some paleontologists are of the opinion that the pterosaurs jumped from s dropped from trees or perhaps rose into the light winds from the crests of waves in order to become airborne. Each theory has its associated difficulties. The first makes a wrong assumption 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 aces to channel updrafts. The pterosaurs would have been unable to control their flight once airborne as the wind from which such waves arose would have been too strong.

    1. As seen in the above passage scientists generally agree that:
      1. the pterosaurs could fly over large distances because of their large wingspan.
      2. a close evolutionary relationship can be seen between the pterosaurs and bats, when the structure of their skeletons is studied.
      3. the study of the fossilized remains of the pterosaurs reveals how they solved the problem associated with powered flight
      4. the pterosaurs were reptiles
      5. Pterosaurs walked on all fours.

      Ans : D

    2. The view that, the pterosaurs rose into light winds from the crest of the waves to become airborne, is viewed by the author as
      1. revolutionary
      2. unlikely
      3. unassailable
      4. probable
      5. outdated.

      Ans : B

    3. As inferred from the passage, the skeleton of a pterosaur is distinguishable from that of a bird by the
      1. length of its wingspan
      2. hollow spaces in its bones
      3. anatomic origin of its wing strut
      4. evidence of the hooklike projections on its hind feet
      5. location of the shoulder joint joining the wing to its body.

      Ans : C

    4. From the viewpoint of T.H.Huxley, as given in the passage, which of the following statements is he most likely to agree with?
      1. An animal can master complex behaviors irrespective of the size of it's brain.
      2. Environmental capabilities and physical capabilities often influence the appearance of an animal.
      3. Usually animals in a particular family group do not change their appearance dramatically over a period of time
      4. The origin of flight in vertebrates was an accidental development rather than the outcome of specialization or adaption
      5. The pterosaurs should be classified as birds, not reptiles.

      Ans : B

    5. According to the passage which of the following is a characteristic of the pterosaurs?
      1. The pterosaurs were not able to fold their wings when not in use
      2. Like the bats, they hung upside down from branches
      3. They flew in order to capture prey
      4. They can be said to be an earlier stage in the evolution of the birds
      5. They lived principally in a forest like habitat.

      Ans : A

    6. The organization of the last paragraph of the passage can best be described as:
      1. New data is introduced in order to support a traditional point of view
      2. Three explanations are put forth and each of them is disputed by means of specific information
      3. An outline of three hypotheses are given and evidence supporting each of them is given
      4. Description of three recent discoveries is presented, and their implications for future study are projected
      5. The material in the earlier paragraphs is summarized and certain conclusions are from it.

      Ans : B

    7. According to the passage, some scientists believe that pterosaurs
      1. Lived near large bodies of water
      2. Had sharp teeth for tearing food
      3. Were attacked and eaten by larger reptiles
      4. Had longer tails than many birds
      5. Consumed twice their weight daily to maintain their body temperature.

      Ans : A

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LSAT Sample Reading Comprehension Passage Number : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19
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