Reading Comprehension, Synonyms and Antonyms
Directions (1 – 8): Read the following passages carefully and answer the questions that follow:
Passage - 1
Deciding whether a given population constitutes a species can be difficult in part because there is no single accepted definition of the term. Years ago, evolutionary biologist Ernst W. Mayr while propounding what is called the biological species concept, proposed that the definition be based on reproductive compatibility. Specifically, he considered a species to be a group of animals that can mate with one another to produce fertile offspring but cannot mate successfully with members of a different group.
Yet this idea can be too restrictive. First, mating between species (hybridization), as often occurs in the canine family, is quite common in nature. Second, in some instances, the differences between two populations might not prevent them from interbreeding, even though they are rather dissimilar in traits unrelated to reproduction; one might question whether such disparate group should be considered single species. A third problem with the biological species concept is that investigators cannot always determine whether two groups that live in different places are capable of interbreeding.
When the biological species concept is difficult to apply, some investigators use phenotype, an organism's observable characteristics, as a surrogate. Two groups that have evolved separately are likely to display measurable differences in many of their traits, such as the size of the skull or the width of the teeth. If the distribution of measurements from one group does not overlap those of the other group, the two groups might be considered distinct species. Another widely discussed idea designates a species based on the presence of some unique characteristic not found in another closely related organism - for example the upright posture of humans - or a distinguishing sequence of nucleotides (DNA building blocks), in a gene.
1. What is the purpose of the passage?
a) To assert that there is no one way to classify organisms as a species and explain a few methods.
b) To explain the work of biologist Ernst W Mayr and his contribution to taxonomy
c) To explain how hybridization makes it difficult to classify species.
d) To explain how one method of classifying species can be futile in many other efforts of study.
2. The synonym for the word, ‘propounding’ is:
d) None of the above
3. Which of the following is true when classifying by phenotypes according to the passage?
a) Phenotypes are difficult to study as they may overlap in similar organisms
b) Phenotypes are not distinct characteristics of an organism and are hardly studied.
c) If the distribution of phenotype measurements does not overlap, the organisms cannot be considered as similar species.
d) Phenotype measurements are used only as a secondary technique to affirm after biological species classification.
4. The antonym for the word, ‘compatibility’ is:
5. Which of the following statements is/are correct according to the passage?
I. A method in which a unique characteristic found in one organism but not in another related organism is not widely used.
II. Nucleotides (DNA building blocks) can be observed and hence phenotypes.
III. It cannot be always said that only two similar species mate each other.
a) Only I
b) Only III
c) Only II
d) I and III
6. What does the word ‘hybridization’ mean in the passage?
7. According to the passage, an organism's observable characteristics are named as:
d) None of the above
8. According to the passage, what would be the appropriate antonym for word ‘disparate’?
Answer With Explanation:
1. Answer: a)
Explanation: Option II is incorrect and can be directly understood from the passage. Options III and IV are not the main focuses of the passage.
2. Answer: b)
Explanation: The word ‘propounding’ means to put forward (an idea or theory) for consideration by others. Hence, ‘proposing’ is the appropriate synonym.
3. Answer: c)
Explanation: Option a) is irrelevant, Option b is contradictory and Option d cannot be deduced from the passage.
4. Answer: a)
Explanation: The word ‘compatibility’ means a state in which two things are able to exist or occur together without problems or conflict. Hence, ‘disagreement’ is the appropriate antonym.
5. Answer: b)
Explanation: The answer option is the refutal claim of Biologist Ernst W Mayr in the passage and hence is true.
6. Answer: c)
Explanation: In the passage, the word proliferation means the act of mixing different species or varieties of animals or plants and thus to produce hybrids which is also known as crossbreeding.
7. Answer: b)
Explanation: The third paragraph clearly states that some investigators use phenotype which is an organism's observable characteristics, as a surrogate.
8. Answer: d)
Explanation: The word ‘disparate’ in the passage mean the things so unlike that there is no basis for comparison. Hence, ‘similar’ is the appropriate antonym.