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At long last, paleontologists have solved a century-old mystery, piecing together information discoveredby scientists from different times and places.The mystery began when, in 1911, German05paleontologist Ernst Stromer discovered the first evi-dence of dinosaurs having lived in Egypt. Stromer,who expected to encounter fossils of early mammals,instead found bones that dated back to the Creta-ceous period, some 97 to 112 million years prior.10His finding consisted of three large bones, whichhe preserved and transported back to Germany forexamination. After careful consideration, heannounced that he had discovered a new genus ofsauropod, or a large, four-legged herbivore with15a long neck. He called the genus Aegyptosaurus,which is Greek for Egyptian lizard. One of theseAegyptosaurs, he claimed, was the Spinosaurus.Tragically, the fossils that supported his claim weredestroyed during a raid on Munich by the Royal Air20Force during World War II. The scientific world wasleft with Stromer's notes and sketches, but no hardevidence that the Spinosaurus ever existed.It was not until 2008, when a cardboard box ofbones was delivered to paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim25by a nomad in Morocco's Sahara desert, that a clue tosolving the mystery was revealed. Intrigued, Ibrahimtook the bones to a university in Casablanca forfurther study. One specific bone struck him as in-teresting, as it contained a red line coursing through30it. The following year, Ibrahim and his colleagues atItaly's Milan Natural History Museum were look-ing at bones that resembled the ones delivered theyear before. An important clue was hidden in thecross-section they were examining, as it contained35the same red line Ibrahim had seen in Morocco.Against all odds, the Italians were studying bonesthat belonged to the very same skeleton as the bonesIbrahim received in the desert. Together, these bonesmake up the partial skeleton of the very first Spino-40saurus that humans have been able to discover sinceStromer's fossils were destroyed.Ibrahim and his colleagues published a studydescribing the features of the dinosaur, which pointto the Spinosaurus being the first known swimming45dinosaur. At 36 feet long, this particular Spinosaurushad long front legs and short back legs, each with apaddle-shaped foot and claws that suggest a carnivo-rous diet. These features made the dinosaur a deftswimmer and excellent hunter, able to prey on large50river fish.Scientists also discovered several aquatic adapta-tions that made the Spinosaurus unique comparedto dinosaurs that lived on land but ate fish. Similarto a crocodile, the Spinosaurus had a long snout,55with nostrils positioned so that the dinosaur couldbreathe while part of its head was submerged in wa-ter. Unlike predatory land dinosaurs, the Spinosaur-us had powerful front legs. The weight of these legswould have made walking upright like a Tyranno-60saurus Rex impossible, but in water, their strong legsgave the Spinosaurus the power it needed to swimquickly and hunt fiercely. Most notable, though, wasthe discovery of the Spinosaurus's massive sail. Madeup of dorsal spines, the sail was mostly meant for65display and did not serve a purpose of its own.Ibrahim and his fellow researchers used bothmodern digital modeling programs and Stromer'sbasic sketches to create and mount a life-size replicaof the Spinosaurus skeleton. The sketches gave them70a starting point, and by arranging and rearrangingthe excavated fossils they had in their possession,they were able to use technology to piece togetherhypothetical bone structures until the mystery ofthis semiaquatic dinosaur finally emerged from the75murky depths of the past.
1. Which of the following best summarizes the central idea of this passage?
2. According to the passage, the fossils Stromer found in the Egyptian desert were
3. Based on the information in the passage, the author would most likely agree that
4. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
5. As used in line 36, the phrase "against all odds" most nearly means
6. The author uses the phrases "deft swimmer" and "excellent hunter" in lines 48-49 to
7. The information presented in the passage strongly suggests that Ibrahim
8. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
9. As used in line 73, "hypothetical" most nearly means
10. Based on the information in the passage, which statement best describes the relationship between Stromer's and Ibrahim's work with fossils?
11. Which of the following is most similar to the methods used by Ibrahim to create a life-size replica of the Spinosaurus?
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