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That some dinosaurs could fly has long been established. Tha

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That some dinosaurs could fly has long been established. Tha [#permalink] New post 13 Mar 2019, 11:08
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That some dinosaurs could fly has long been established. That these very same species may have been able to walk— using their wings no less— has been far more controversial. However, the latest computer simulations suggest that the pteranodon, a pterosaur with a wingspan of up to twenty-five feet, while no rapid runner, was able to walk by retracting its wrists so as to walk on its palms. Why the pteranodon did so remains unanswered.

One theory is that walking allowed it to forage for food on the ground. While this idea is enticing, proponents of this theory have yet to propose a reasonable answer as to what led to such a dramatic change in both physiology and locomotion. Another explanation is that flying was the evolutionary advantage conferred upon these creatures: in times of scarcity, a flying creature has access to a far greater abundance of fauna than does one limited to terrestrial movement.
In the sentence that begins, “Another explanation is that flying was the evolutionary advantage,” the author implies that

A. most flying dinosaurs underwent similar transformations
B. only a theory that accounts for the scarcity of resources can account for the physiological adaptations of the pteranodon
C. dinosaurs only underwent evolutionary change if doing so provided an obvious advantage
D. the pteranodon had originally only been able to walk before evolving the ability to fly
E. the pteranodon would be able to access sufficient food while in flight

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
D


Which of the following can be substantiated based on information found in the passage?

Select all that apply.

A. Scientists consider evidence based on computer simulations sufficient for backing up a theory.
B. The Pteranodon had other adaptations, besides the ability to retract its wrists, that allowed it to walk.
C. Even if a theory is compelling, that theory should not be immune to analysis.

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
A,C


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Re: That some dinosaurs could fly has long been established. Tha [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2019, 08:47
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1. Some dinosaurs could both fly and walk. However, did they originally fly and then learn to walk, or did they originally walk and then learn to fly? By saying that flying was an evolutionary advantage conferred upon them, the author is implying that the latter is true: first, the dinosaurs walked, and then they learned to fly.

2. The author states that computer simulations showed that the pteranodon was able to walk. This fact is then assumed to be true for the rest of the passage, which attempts to explain why they walked. Hence, the computer simulation was enough evidence to conclude that the pteranodon did indeed walk. Statement I is true.

The passage tries to explain why the pteranodon walked, but it does not explain how it walked, other than to say that it retracted its wrists. We aren't give any other adaptations, so II is not right.

The theory that pteranodons learned to walk in order to forage for food on the ground was "enticing," or compelling. However, even though it is compelling, it still needs further analysis in order to explain what caused the pteranodon to make such a drastic change. So even compelling theories are not immune to analysis. III is correct.
Re: That some dinosaurs could fly has long been established. Tha   [#permalink] 21 Mar 2019, 08:47
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