New SAT Reading Practice Test 12: New Lizard Species - Parthenogenesis

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Question 11 questions

Time 14 minutes

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The following is an excerpt from "A Strange Tale of a New Species of Lizard" by Carl Zimmer in The New York Times. Originally published December 14, 2014.

1. The author mentions "sterile mules" (line 21) primarily in order to

  • A. delineate one of the only instances of an occurrence.
  • B. contradict the opinion presented in the passage.
  • C. provide evidence that supports scientists' beliefs.
  • D. reiterate that the lizard is an unusual creature.

2. As used in line 24, "striking" most nearly means

  • A. beautiful.
  • B. conspicuous.
  • C. aggressive.
  • D. remarkable.

3. The passage suggests that the relationship between Dr. Neaves and Dr. Baumann is best characterized as which of the following?

  • A. A scientific effort to understand parthenogenesis
  • B. A competitive rivalry to breed Aspidoscelis exsanguis first
  • C. A joint labor to disprove the theories of Stowers
  • D. A friendship based on a shared interest in whiptail lizards

4. The third paragraph (lines 12-17) most strongly suggests that evolution

  • A. can happen only over thousands of generations.
  • B. depends on the separation of individuals of one species.
  • C. customarily takes many years to occur.
  • D. isolates populations so they can't interbreed.

5. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?

  • A. Lines 12-13 ("The evolution…affair")
  • B. Lines 13-15 ("Typically…themselves")
  • C. Lines 15-17 ("Over…interbreed")
  • D. Lines 21-23 ("In recent…species")

6. As used in line 53, "high time" most nearly means

  • A. a festival.
  • B. an hour late.
  • C. an opportune moment.
  • D. a lofty ideal.

7. According to the passage, parthenogenesis in whiptail lizards is characterized by each of the following EXCEPT

  • A. female individuals that can duplicate chromosomes without males.
  • B. stem cells from the male Aspidoscelis inornata.
  • C. clones that are different from the parental species.
  • D. offspring with two sets of chromosomes.

8. The passage suggests that whiptail lizards

  • A. have two identical sets of chromosomes.
  • B. were first discovered in the 1960s.
  • C. require a male and a female to breed.
  • D. create only female clones.

9. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?

  • A. Lines 32-33 ("The eggs…parthenogenesis")
  • B. Lines 44-45 ("The female…species")
  • C. Lines 61-62 ("In…chromosomes")
  • D. Lines 66-68 ("When…chromosomes")

10. Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the author's argument in lines 8-11?

  • A. Scientists don't always consider animal breeds created in labs to be new species.
  • B. Evolution is a complex process that can't be manipulated by humans.
  • C. The two animals used in the process are not considered different species by some scientists.
  • D. Researchers have proven that all lizards have the ability to clone themselves, but they only clone in captivity.

11. As used in line 43, the sentence "Somehow, this triggers a switch to parthenogenesis," suggests that

  • A. scientists are still looking for the switch that causes cloning.
  • B. hybridization is a complex, but manageable process.
  • C. scientists are unclear as to how female whiptails can clone themselves.
  • D. no one knows why female whiptails choose cloning over mating.