2013-08-21 15:42 供稿单位: 新航道
Many prehistoric people subsisted as hunters and gatherers. Undoubtedly, game
animals, including some very large species, provided major components of human diets.
An important controversy centering on the question of human effects on prehistoric wildlife
Line concerns the sudden disappearance of so many species of large animals at or near the end
(5) of the Pleistocene epoch. Most paleontologists suspect that abrupt changes in climate led to the mass extinctions. Others, however, have concluded that prehistoric people drove
many of those species to extinction through overhunting. In their "Pleistocene overkill
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prehistoric peoples in North and South America and the time during which mammoths,
(10) giant ground sloths, the giant bison, and numerous other large mammals became extinct.
Perhaps the human species was driving others to extinction long before the dawn of history.
Hunter-gatherers may have contributed to Pleistocene extinctions in more indirect
ways. Besides overhunting, at least three other kinds of effects have been suggested:
direct competition, imbalances between competing species of game animals, and early
(15) agricultural practices. Direct competition may have brought about the demise of large
carnivores such as the saber-toothed cats. These animals simply may have been unable
to compete with the increasingly sophisticated hunting skills of Pleistocene people.
Human hunters could have caused imbalances among game animals, leading to the
extinctions of species less able to compete. When other predators such as the gray wolf
(20) prey upon large mammals, they generally take high proportions of each year s crop of
young. Some human hunters, in contrast, tend to take the various age-groups of large animals in proportion to their actual occurrence. If such hunters first competed with the larger predators and then replaced them. they may have allowed more young to survive each year, gradually increasing the populations of favored species As these populations expanded,
(25) they in turn may have competed with other game species for the same environmental niche, forcing the less hunted species into extinction. This theory, suggests that human hunters played an indirect role in Pleistocene extinctions by hunting one species more than another.
20. What does the passage mainly discuss?
(A) The effects of human activities on prehistoric wildlife
(B) The origins of the hunter-gatherer way of life
(C) The diets of large animals of the Pleistocene epoch
(D) The change in climate at the end of the Pleistocene epoch
21. The word "Undoubtedly" in line I is closest in meaning to
22. The word "components" in line 2 is closest in meaning to
23. Which of the following is mentioned as supporting the Pleistocene overkill hypothesis?
(A) Many of the animals that became extinct were quite large.
(B) Humans migrated into certain regions around the time that major
(C) There is evidence that new species were arriving in areas inhabited by humans.
(D) Humans began to keep and care for certain animals.
24. The word "Besides" in line 13 is closest in meaning to
(A) caused by
(C) in addition to
(D) in favor of
25. The author mentions saber-toothed cats in line 16 as an example of a carnivore that
(A) became extinct before the Pleistocene epoch
(B) was unusually large for its time
(C) was not able to compete with humans
(D) caused the extinction of several species
26. The word "they" in line 20 refers to
(A) human hunters
(B) game animals
(C) other predators
(D) large mammals
27. According to the passage, what is one difference between the hunting done by
some humans and the hunting done by gray wolves?
(A) Some humans hunt more frequently than gray wolves.
(B) Gray wolves hunt in larger groups than some humans.