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Passage 1

Origin of Species & Continent Formation


THE FACT THAT there was once a Pangean supercontinent, a Panthalassa Ocean, and a Tethys Ocean, has profound implications for the evolution of multicellular life on Earth. These considerations were unknown to the scientists of the 19th century — making their scientific deductions even more remarkable. Quite independently of each other, Charles Darwin and his young contemporary Alfred Russel Wallace reached the conclusion that life had evolved by natural selection. Wallace later wrote in My Life of his own inspiration:



Why do some species die and some live? The answer was clearly that on the whole the best fitted lived. From the effects of disease the most healthy escaped; from enemies the strongest, the swiftest or the most cunning from famine the best hunters ... then it suddenly flashed on me that this self-acting process would improve the race, because in every generation the inferior would inevitably be killed off and the superior would remain, that is , the fittest would survive.



Both Darwin's and Wallace's ideas about natural selection had been influenced by the essays of Thomas Malthus in his Principles of Population. Their conclusions, however, had been the direct result of their personal observation of animals and plants in widely separated geographic locations: Darwin from his experiences during the voyage of the Beagle, and particularly during the ship's visit to the Galapagos Islands in the East Pacific in 1835: Wallace during his years of travel in the Amazon Basin and in the Indonesia-Australian Archipelago in the 1850s.



Darwin had been documenting his ideas on natural selection for many years when he received a paper on this selfsame subject from Wallace, who asked for Darwin's opinion and help in getting it published. In July 1858, Charles Lyell and J. D Hooker, close friends of Darwin, pressed Darwin to present his conclusions so that he would not lose priority to and unknown naturalist. Presiding over the hastily called but now historic meeting of the Linnean Society in London, Lyell and Hooker explained to the distinguished members how "these two gentlemen" (who were absent: Wallace was abroad and Darwin chose not to attend), had "independently and unknown to one another, comceived the same very ingenious theory.”



Both Darwin and Wallace had realized that the anomalous distribution of species in particular regions had profound evolutionary significance. Subsequently, Darwin spent the rest of his days in almost total seclusion thinking and writing mainly about the origin of species. In constrast, Wallace applied himself to the science of biogeography, the study of the pattern and distribution of species, and its significance, resulting in the publication of a massive two-volume work the Geographical Distribution of Animals in 1876.



Wallace was a gentle and modest man, but also persistent and quietly courageous. He spent years working in the most arduous possible climates and terrains, particularly in the Malay archipelago, he made patient and detailed zoological observations and collected huge number of speciments for museums and collectors-which is how he made a living. One result of his work was the conclusion that there is a distinct faunal boundary, called "Wallace's line, "between an Asian realm of animals in Java, Borneo and the Philipiones and an Australian realm in New Guinea and Australia. In essence this boundary posed a difficult question: How on Earth did plants and animals with a clear affinity to the Northern Hemisphere meet with their Southern Hemispheric counterparts along such a distinct Malaysian demarcation zone? Wallace was uncertain about demarcation on one particular island- Celebes, a curiously shaped place that is midway between the two groups. Initially he assigned its flora-fauna to the Australian side of the line, but later he transferred it to the Asian side. Today we know the reason for his dilemma. 200MYA East and West Celebes were islands with their own natural history lying on opposite sides of the Tethys Ocean. They did not collide until about 15 MYA. The answer to the main question is that Wallace's Line categorizes Laurasia-derived flora-fauna (the Asian) and Gondwana-derived flora-fauna (the Australian), fauna that had evolved on opposing shares of the Tethys. The closure of the Tethys Ocean today is manifested by the ongoing collision of Australia/New Guinea with Indochina/Indonesia and the continuing closure of the Mediterranean Sea—a remnant of the Western Tethys Ocean.



IN HIS ORIGIN OF CONTINENTS AND OCEANS, Wegener quoted at length from Wallace’s Geographical Distribution of Animals. According to Wegener's reading, Wallace had identified three clear divisions of Australian animals, which supported his own theory of continental displacement. Wallace had shown that animals long established in southwestern Australia had an affinity with animals in South Africa, Madagascar, India, and Ceylon, but did not have an affinity with those in Asia. Wallace also showed that Australian marsupials and monotremes are clearly related to those in South America, the Moluccas, and various Pacific islands, and that none are found in neighboring Indonesia. From this and related data, Wegener concluded that the then broadly accepted "landbridge" theory could not account for this distribution of animals and that only his theory of continental drift could explain it.



The theory that Wegener dismissed in preference to his own proposed that plants and animals had once migrated across now-submerged intercontinental landbridges. In 1885, one of Europe's leading geologists, Eduard Suess, theorized that as the rigid Earth cools, its upper crust shrinks and wrinkles like the withering skin of an aging apple. He suggested that the planet's seas and oceans now fill the wrinkles between once-contiguous plateaus.



Today, we know that we live on a dynamic Earth with shifting, colliding and separating tectonic plates, not a "withering skin", and the main debate in the field of biogeography has shifted. The discussion now concerns "dispersalism" versus "vicarianism": unrestricted radiation of species on the one hand and the development of barriers to migration on the other. Dispersion is a short-term phenomenon—the daily or seasonal migration of species and their radiation to the limits of their natural environment on an extensive and continuous landmass. Vicarian evolution, however, depends upon the separation and isolation of a variety of species within the confines of natural barriers in the form of islands, lakes, or shallow seas—topographical features that take a long time to develop.

Questions 1-5

Use the information in the passage to match the people (listed A-E) with opinions or deeds below. Write the appropriate letters A-E in boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet.

A Suess

B Wallace

C Darwin and Wallace

D Wegener

E Lyell and Hooker


1 urged Darwin to publish his scientific findings

2 Depicted physical feature of earth's crust.

3 believed in continental drift theory while rejecting another one

4 Published works about wildlife distribution in different region.

5 Evolution of species is based on selection by nature.



Questions 6-8

The reading Passage has nine paragraphs A-l.

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter A-l, in boxes 6-8 on your answer sheet.

6 Best adaptable animal survived on the planet.

7 Boundary called Wallace's line found between Asia and Australia.

8 Animal relevance exists between Australia and Africa.



Questions 9-13


Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage, using no more than two words from the Reading Passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 9-13 on your answer sheet.


Wegener found that continental drift instead of “land bridge” theory could explain strange species' distribution phenomenon. In his theory, vegetation and wildlife 9___ intercontinentally. However, Eduard Suess compared the wrinkle of crust to 10___ of an old apple. Now it is well known that we are living on the planet where there are 11___ in constant mobile states instead of what Suess described Hot spot in biogeography are switched to concerns between two terms: “12___” and “13___”


Answer Key

1 E     2 A     3 D

4 B     5 C     6 B

7 F     8 G     9 migrated

10 withering skin   11 (tectonic) plates  12 dispersalism

13 vicarisanism

The Sound of Dolphin


Each and every dolphin has a different sound just like you and me, a sound that other dolphins recognize as a particular individual. Even a new baby dolphin, (calf), can detect it's mother's whistle within the pod soon after birth. Utilizing their blowholes, air sacks and valves, dolphins can emit a very wide variety of sounds. In fact, the frequency levels range 10 times beyond what humans can hear.



This system is called "Echolocation", or "Sonar", just like what a submarine uses to navigate while underwater. Yet the dolphins sonar is much more advanced than human technology and can pin point exact information about if s surroundings ranging from size, distance and even the nature of the object.



Millions of years ago, toothed whales developed echolocation, a sensory faculty that enabled them to survive in often murky and dark aquatic environments. It is a process in which an organism probes its environment by emitting sounds and listening to echoes as the sounds bounce off objects in the environment. With sound traveling better in water than electromagnetic, thermal, chemical, or light signals, it was advantageous for dolphins to evolve echolocation, a capability in which acoustic energy is used, in a sense, to see underwater. Synonymous with the term "sonar" (sound navigation and ranging) and used interchangeably, dolphin echolocation is considered to be the most advanced sonar capability, unrivaled by any sonar system on Earth, man-made or natural.



Dolphins identify themselves with a signature whistles. However, scientists have found no evidence of a dolphin language. For example, a mother dolphin may whistle to her calf almost continually for several days after giving birth. This acoustic imprinting helps the calf learn to identify its mother. Besides whistles, dolphins produce clicks and sounds that resemble moans, trills, grunts and squeaks. They make these sounds at any time and at considerable depths. Sounds vary in volume, wavelength, frequency and pattern. Dolphins produce sounds ranging from 0.25 to 150kHz. The lower frequency vocalizations (0.25 to 50 kHz) are likely used in social communication. Higher frequency clicks (40 to 150 kHz) are primarily used in echolocation. Dolphins rely heavily on sound production and reception to navigate, communicate, and hunt in dark or murky waters. Under these conditions, sight is of little use. Dolphins can produce clicks and whistles at the same time.



As with all toothed whales, a dolphin's larynx does not possess vocal cords, but researchers have theorized that at least some sound production originates from the larynx. Early studies suggested that "whistles" were generated in the larynx while "clicks" were produced in the nasal sac region. Technological advances in bio-acoustic research enable scientists to better explore the nasal region. Studies suggest that a tissue complex in the nasal region is most likely the site of all sound production. Movements of air in the trachea and nasal sacs probably produce sounds.



The process of echolocation begins when dolphins emit very short sonar pulses called clicks, which are typically less than 50-70 millionth of a second long. The clicks are emitted from the melon of the dolphin in a narrow beam. A special fat in the melon called lipid helps to focus the clicks into a beam. The echoes that are reflected off the object are then received by the lower jaws. They enter through certain parts of the lower jaw and are directed to ear bones by lipid fat channels. The characteristics of the echoes are then transmitted direct to the brain.



The short echolocation clicks used by dolphins can encode a considerable amount of information on an ensonified object - much more information than is possible from signals of longer duration that are emitted by manned sonar. Underwater sounds can penetrate objects, producing echoes from the portion of the object as well as from other surfaces within the object. This provides dolphins with a way to gain more information than if only a simple reflection occurred at the front of the object.



Dolphins are extremely mobile creatures and can therefore direct their sonar signals on an object from many different orientations, with slightly different bits of information being returned at each orientation; and since the echolocation clicks are so brief and numerous, the multiple reflections from internal surfaces return to the animal as distinct entities and are used by the dolphin to distinguish between different types of objects. Since they possess extremely good auditory-spatial memory, it seems that they are able to "remember" all the important information received from the echoes taken from different positions and orientations as they navigate and scan their environment. Dolphins' extremely high mobility and good auditory spatial memory are capabilities that enhance their use of echolocation. With much of the dolphin's large brain (which is slightly larger than the human brain) devoted to acoustic signal processing, we can better understand the evolutionary importance of this extraordinary sensory faculty. Yet no one feature in the process of echolocation is more important than the other. Dolphin sonar must be considered as a complete system, well adapted to the dolphin's overall objective finding prey, avoiding predators, and avoiding dangerous environments.



This ideal evolutionary adaptation has contributed to the success of cetacean hunting and feeding and their survival as a species overall. As a result, dolphins are especially good in finding and identifying prey in shallow and noisy coastal waters containing rocks and other objects. By using their sonar ability, dolphins are able to detect and recognize prey that have burrowed up to 1 1⁄2 feet into sandy ocean or river bottoms - a talent that has stirred the imagination (and envy) of designers of manmade sonar.


Researchers, documenting the behavior of Atlantic dolphins foraging for buried prey along the banks of Grand Bahama Island, have found that these dolphins, while swimming close to the bottom searching for prey, typically move their heads in a scanning motion, either swinging their snout back and forth or moving their heads in a circular motion as they emit sonar sounds. They have been observed digging as deep as 18 inches into the sand to secure a prey. Such a capability is unparalleled in the annals of human sonar development.


Questions 1-5

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?

In boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE   if the statement is true

FALSE   if the statement is false

NOT GIVEN  if the information is not given in the passage

1 Every single dolphin is labeled by a specific sound.

2 The system a dolphin uses as the detector could give a whole picture of the observed objects.

3 Echolocation is a specific system evolving only for animals living in a dim environment.

4 The sounds are made only in the area related to the nose.

5 When producing various forms of sounds, dolphins have the asynchronism as one characteristic.


Questions 6-8

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.

Write your answers in boxes 6-8 on your answer sheet.

6 What feature do the sounds deep in the water emitted by dolphins possess?

A diverging

B tri-dimensional

C piercing

D striking

7 Which makes the difference between the dolphins and man when it comes to the treating of vocal messages?

A an acute sense of smell

B a bigger brain

C a flexible positioning system

D a unique organ

8 Which is the undefeatable characteristic the sonar system owned by dolphins compared with the one humans have?

A making more accurate analysis

B hiding the hunted animals

C having the wider range in frequencies

D comprising more components



Questions 9-13


Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage, using no more than three words from the Reading Passage for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 9-13 on your answer sheet.




Whether 9................... exists or not has not been confirmed yet 10.................... is the bond between the baby dolphin and its mother. What's more, 11.................. which are like different sounds made by human are also used by dolphins .The sounds are made at certain level of depth within a specific scope from a higher frequency aimed at communicating to a lower one to echolocate. Sounds are vital to dolphins living in deep waters while 12................... is not that imperative. Similar to all toothed whales, vocal cords do not exist in 13.................... but it produces some sound. The tissue in the nasal area is perhaps to do with the sound production.


Answer Key


4 FALSE    5 FALSE    6 C

7 B     8 B     9 a dolphin language

10 Whistle    11 clicks and sounds  12 sight

13 a dolphin's larynx

Passage 2

Water Filter


An ingenious invention is set to bring clean water to the third world, and while the science may be cutting edge, the materials are extremely down to earth. A handful of clay (n.粘土), yesterday's coffee grounds and some cow manure are the ingredients that could bring clean, safe drinking water to much of the third world.



The simple new technology, developed by ANU materials scientist Mr. Tony Flynn, allows water filters to be made from commonly available materials and fired on the ground using cow manure as the source of heat, without the need for a kiln. The filters have been tested and shown to remove common pathogens (disease-producing organisms) including E-coli (n.大肠杆菌). Unlike other water filtering devices, the filters are simple and inexpensive to make. "They are very simple to explain and demonstrate and can be made by anyone, anywhere," says Mr. Flynn. 'They don't require any western technology. AH you need is terracotta clay, a compliant cow and a match."



The production of the filters is extremely simple. Take a handful of dry, crushed clay, mix it with a handful of organic material, such as used tea leaves, coffee grounds or rice hulls (n.稻壳), add enough water to make a stiff biscuit-like mixture and form a cylindrical pot that has one end closed, then dry it in the sun. According to Mr. Flynn, used coffee grounds have given the best results to date. Next, surround the pots with straw; put them in a mound of cow manure, light the straw and then top up the burning manure as required. In less than 60 minutes the filters are finished. The walls of the finished pot should be about as thick as an adult's index. The properties of cow manure are vital as the fuel can reach a temperature of 700 degrees in half an hour and will be up to 950 degrees after another 20 to 30 minutes. The manure makes a good fuel because it is very high in organic material that burns readily and quickly; the manure has to be dry and is best used exactly as found in the field, there is no need to break it up or process it any further.



"A potter's kiln (n.) is an expensive item and can could take up to four or five hours to get up to 800 degrees. It needs expensive or scarce fuel, such as gas or wood to heat it and experience to run it. With no technology, no insulation (n.绝缘、隔热) and nothing other than a pile of cow manure and a match, none of these restrictions apply," Mr. Flynn says.



It is also helpful that, like terracotta clay and organic material, cow dung is freely available across the developing world. "A cow is a natural fuel factory. My understanding is that cow dung as a fuel would be pretty much the same wherever you would find it." Just as using manure as a fuel for domestic uses is not a new idea, the porosity of clay is something that potters have known about for years, and something that as a former ceramics lecturer in the ANU School of Art, Mr. Flynn is well aware of. The difference is that rather than viewing the porous nature of the material as a problem — after all not many people want a pot that won't hold water — his filters capitalize on this property.



Other commercial ceramic filters do exist, but, even if available, with prices starting at US$5 each, they are often outside the budgets of most people in the developing world. The filtration process is simple, but effective. The basic principle is that there are passages through the filter that are wide enough for water droplets to pass through, but too narrow for pathogens. Tests with the deadly E-coli bacterium have seen the filters remove 96.4 to 99.8 per cent of the pathogen — well within safe levels. Using only one filter it takes two hours to filter a litre of water. The use of organic material, which burns away leaving cavities after firing, helps produce the potential problems of finer clays that may not let water through and also means that cracks are soon halted. And like clay and cow dung, it is universally available.



The invention was born out of a World Vision project involving the Manatuto community in East Timor The charity wanted to help set up a small industry manufacturing water filters, but initial research found the local clay to be too fine — a problem solved by the addition of organic material. While the problems of producing a working ceramic filter in East Timor were overcome, the solution was kiln-based and particular to that community's materials and couldn't be applied elsewhere. Manure firing, with no requirement for a kiln, has made this zero technology approach available anywhere it is needed. With all the components being widely available, Mr. Flynn says there is no reason the technology couldn't be applied throughout the developing world, and with no plans to patent his idea, there will be no legal obstacles to it being adopted in any community that needs it. "Everyone has a right to clean water, these filters have the potential to enable anyone in the world to drink water safely," says Mr. Flynn.


Questions 14-19

Complete the flow chart, using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the Reading Passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 14-19 on your answer sheet.

Guide to Making Water Filters

Step one:  combination of 14.................... and organic material, with sufficient

15.................. to create a thick mixture

Sun dried

Step two: pack 16.................... around the cylinders

place them in 17....................... which is as burning fuel

for firing (maximum temperature: 18........................)

filter being baked in under 19.........................



Questions 20-23

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 2?

In boxes 20-23 on your answer sheet, write

20 It takes half an hour for the manure to reach 950 degrees.

21 Clay was initially found to be unsuitable for pot making.

22 Coffee grounds are twice as effective as other materials.

23 E-coli is the most difficult bacteria to combat.



Questions 24-26

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.

Write your answers in boxes 24-26 on your answer sheet.

24 When making the pot, the thickness of the wall

A is large enough to let the pathogens to pass.

B varied according to the temperature of the fuel.

C should be the same as an adult's forefinger.

D is not mentioned by Mr. Flynn.

25 what is true about the charity, it

A failed in searching the appropriate materials.

B successfully manufacture a kiln based ceramic filter to be sold worldwide

C found that the local clay arc good enough.

D intended to help build a local filter production factory.

26 Mr. Flynn's design is purposely not being patented

A because he hopes it can be freely used around the world.

B because he doesn't think the technology is perfect enough.

C because there are some legal obstacles.

D because the design has already been applied thoroughly.

Answer Key

14 clay     15 water    16 straw

17 cow manure   18 950 degrees   19 60 minutes

20 FALSE    21 TRUE    22 NOT GIVEN

23 NOT GIVEN   24 C     25 D

26 A

What happiness is?


Economists accept that if people describe themselves as happy, then they are happy. However, psychologists differentiate between levels of happiness. The most immediate type involves a feeling; pleasure or joy. But sometimes happiness is a judgment that life is satisfying, and does not imply an emotional state. Esteemed psychologist Martin Seligman has spearheaded an effort to study the science of happiness. The bad news is that we're not wired to be happy. The good news is that we can do something about it. Since its origins in a Leipzig laboratory 130 years ago, psychology has had little to say about goodness and contentment. Mostly psychologists have concerned themselves with weakness and misery. There are libraries full of theories about why we get sad, worried, and angry. It hasn't been respectable science to study what happens when lives go well. Positive experiences, such as joy, kindness, altruism and heroism, have mainly been ignored. For every 100 psychology papers dealing with anxiety or depression, only one concerns a positive trait.



A few pioneers in experimental psychology bucked the trend. Professor Alice Isen of Cornell University and colleagues have demonstrated how positive emotions make people think faster and more creatively. Showing how easy it is to give people an intellectual boost, Isen divided doctors making a tricky diagnosis into three groups: one received candy, one read humanistic statements about medicine, one was a control group. The doctors who had candy displayed the most creative thinking and worked more efficiently. Inspired by Isen and others, Seligman got stuck in. He raised millions of dollars of research money and funded 50 research groups involving 150 scientists across the world. Four positive psychology centres opened, decorated in cheerful colours and furnished with sofas and baby-sitters. There were get-togethers on Mexican beaches where psychologists would snorkel and eat fajitas, then form "pods" to discuss subjects such as wonder and awe. A thousand therapists were coached in the new science.



But critics are demanding answers to big questions. What is the point of defining levels of happiness and classifying the virtues? Aren't these concepts vague and impossible to pin down? Can you justify spending funds to research positive states when there are problems such as famine, flood and epidemic depression to be solved? Seligman knows his work can be belittled alongside trite notions such as "the power of positive thinking". His plan to stop the new science floating "on the waves of self- improvement fashions" is to make sure it is anchored to positive philosophy above, and to positive biology below.



And this takes us back to our evolutionary past. Homo sapiens evolved during the Pleistocene era (1.8 m to 10,000 years ago), a time of hardship and turmoil. It was the Ice Age, and our ancestors endured long freezes as glaciers formed, then ferocious floods as the ice masses melted. We shared the planet with terrifying creatures such as mammoths, elephant-sized ground sloths and sabre-toothed cats. But by the end of the Pleistocene, all these animals were extinct. Humans, on the other hand, had evolved large brains and used their intelligence to make fire and sophisticated tools, to develop talk and social rituals. Survival in a time of adversity forged our brains into a persistent mould. Professor Seligman says: "Because our brain evolved during a time of ice, flood and famine, we have a catastrophic brain. The way the brain works is looking for what's wrong. The problem is, that worked in the Pleistocene era. It favoured you, but it doesn't work in the modern world."



Although most people rate themselves as happy, there is a wealth of evidence to show that negative thinking is deeply ingrained in the human psyche. Experiments show that we remember failures more vividly than successes. We dwell on what went badly, not what went well. Of the six universal emotions, four anger, fear, disgust and sadness are negative and only one, joy, is positive. (The sixth, surprise, is psychologist Daniel Nettle, author of Happiness, and one of the Royal Institution lecturers, the negative emotions each tell us "something bad has happened" and suggest a different course of action.



What is it about the structure of the brain that underlies our bias towards negative thinking? And is there a biology of joy? At Iowa University, neuroscientists studied what happens when people are shown pleasant and unpleasant pictures. When subjects see landscapes or dolphins playing, part of the frontal lobe of the brain becomes active. But when they are shown unpleasant images a bird covered in oil, or a dead soldier with part of his face missing the response comes from more primitive parts of the brain. The ability to feel negative emotions derives from an ancient danger-recognition system formed early in the brain's evolution. The pre-frontal cortex, which registers happiness, is the part used for higher thinking, an area that evolved later in human history.



Our difficulty, according to Daniel Nettle, is that the brain systems for liking and wanting are separate. Wanting involves two ancient regions the amygdala (扁导体) and the nucleus accumbens (大脑区) that communicate using the chemical dopamine (多巴酚) to form the brain's reward system. They are involved in anticipating the pleasure of eating and in addiction to drugs. A rat will press a bar repeatedly, ignoring sexually available partners, to receive electrical stimulation of the "wanting" parts of the brain. But having received brain stimulation, the rat eats more but shows no sign of enjoying the food it craved. In humans, a drug like nicotine produces much craving but little pleasure.



In essence, what the biology lesson tells us is that negative emotions are fundamental to the human condition, and it's no wonder they are di

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