New SAT Reading Practice Test 37: Dual Passages—Atlantic Ocean Wildlife

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Paired Passages—Atlantic Ocean Wildlife

Passage 1

A baby loggerhead sea turtle hatches in its nest
buried deep in the sand. Soon, it emerges onto the
beach with its siblings. The palm-sized creatures
venture across the sand and into the waves of
05the Atlantic Ocean. The tiny turtles must vanish
quickly to avoid the many predators looming on
the dunes or near the water. Seagulls, raccoons, and
other animals are eager to make a meal out of the
brand-new hatchlings.
10Until now, scientists have been unable to track
where baby sea turtles go once they reach the water.
Small satellite transmitters have allowed older
loggerheads to be tracked and studied from afar,
giving researchers a window into their migration
15patterns, their social behaviors, and other patterns
that can be difficult to track in the ocean. But the
travels of a newly hatched sea turtle have remained
a mystery.
Scientists on the island of Boa Vista, off the coast
20of West Africa, have successfully tagged eleven
hatchlings with nanoacoustic tags. This has allowed
scientists to follow the baby turtles for their first
eight hours in the ocean. The tags, which send a
ping that the researchers can then plot, are glued
25to the shells of the baby loggerheads. The glue was
specifically designed to dissolve completely within
a few days. The tags are small enough to avoid
interfering with the turtles' swimming.
The hatchlings surprised scientists with their
30speed. Once the turtles found the ocean currents
that would transport them, they could travel at
a speed of nearly 200 feet per minute. In the first
eight hours of their journeys, some traveled more
than nine miles. Tagged turtles released in various
35locations all eventually made their way to the
Sargasso Sea in the Northern Atlantic Ocean. Here,
they become part of the floating ecosystem, eating
bite-sized prey and using the sargassum seaweed
as rafts. They can sometimes spend up to a decade
40here before returning to the shores where they
hatched. The use of nanoacoustic tags should help
protect this endangered species by giving scientists
more information about these turtles and when
they are most vulnerable.

Passage 2

45A great number of species make their home in
the vast waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Although the
entire ocean makes up an ecosystem, many smaller
habitats are found within, including an open-water
habitat off the coast of the Northern Atlantic Ocean
50known as the Sargasso Sea. Sargassum is an algae
that floats in masses that can continue for miles.
The waters of the Gulf Stream push the water in
a northward motion into this area. This constant
motion and varying temperatures support the
55accumulation of the brown-colored seaweed.
The Sargasso Sea is so immense that one method
of information collection has not been enough
for scientists to obtain an accurate picture of what
takes place within this ecosystem. Researchers have
60needed to employ several methods of sampling.
Methods such as dragging mesh nets over the
surface of the water and videotaping beneath
areas of sargassum have served scientists well.
Information collected has shown that the Gulf
65Stream pushes brown algae from open water into
the Sargasso Sea area, creating a diverse floating
habitat in an area that would otherwise not support
that wildlife.
In the most recent study of the sargassum
70community off the shores of North Carolina,
eighty-one fish species were documented as using
the area as a microhabitat. This is an increase from
previous studies. The types of fish found here are
both commercially and environmentally important.
75Also found here are juvenile loggerhead sea turtles.
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council
is working to regulate the harvesting of sargassum.
The Council hopes to have the area classified as
an Essential Fish Habitat, which would afford it
80certain protections.
Further research needs to be done before
scientists understand how to best protect the
Sargasso Sea as well as understand how it goes about
supporting so many important types of wildlife.

1. The central idea of Passage 1 is that

  • A. the island of Boa Vista, off the coast of Africa, has become a key research center for monitoring baby loggerhead sea turtles.
  • B. the number of baby loggerhead sea turtles decreases every year, which concerns scientists around the world.
  • C. scientists are using new technology to track the movements of newborn loggerhead sea turtles, and the results have surprised them.
  • D. scientists are interested in how long loggerhead sea turtles remain in the Sargasso Sea before returning to where they hatched.

2. In the context of Passage 2, it can be inferred from the phrase "needs to be done" (line 81) that the author thinks

  • A. new methods for researching the ecosystem are required before funding continues.
  • B. the Sargasso Sea is becoming a problem for shipping lanes and requires removal.
  • C. the scientific community has ignored this complex and delicate ecosystem.
  • D. the Sargasso ecosystem is worthy of our attention and requires intense study.

3. Passage 1 most strongly suggests that which of the following is true of the scientists' usage of nanoacoustic tags?

  • A. The size of the tags is appropriate for baby turtles and will thus offer the most accurate readings.
  • B. The low cost of the tags is greatly preferable to the expensive satellite technology previously used.
  • C. The tags protect baby loggerhead turtles from the predators they are likely to meet in the first eight hours of their journey.
  • D. Scientists prefer gluing the tags because they believe it is more humane than clipping older satellite tags to flippers.

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

  • A. Lines 21-23 ("This has … ocean")
  • B. Lines 23-25 ("The tags, which … loggerheads")
  • C. Lines 27-28 ("The tags are … swimming")
  • D. Lines 34-36 ("Tagged turtles … Ocean")

5. Passage 2 most strongly suggests that which of the following is true of the importance of the Sargasso Sea research?

  • A. The research is important in order to ensure that the Gulf Stream does not push the algae too far north.
  • B. Data about the Sargasso ecosystem is valuable to conservationists and the fishing industry alike.
  • C. The research is important for convincing politicians that fish species are disappearing from the ecosystem.
  • D. Through these studies, scientists are able to eliminate predators from the North Carolina microhabitat.

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

  • A. Lines 52-53 ("The waters of … area")
  • B. Lines 53-55 ("This constant … seaweed")
  • C. Lines 69-72 ("In the most … microhabitat")
  • D. Lines 73-74 ("The types of fish … important")

7. What is the main difference between the purpose of Passage 1 and the purpose of Passage 2?

  • A. The purpose of Passage 2 is to convince politicians to lend aid, while Passage 1 speaks to a general audience.
  • B. Passage 1 aims to convince readers that these studies are futile, while Passage 2 has a more optimistic viewpoint of the research.
  • C. Passage 2 discusses current research trends for an entire ecosystem, while Passage 1 focuses on a single species.
  • D. The purpose of Passage 2 is to show that scientists cannot agree on a single research method, while they are able to do so in Passage 1.

8. As used in line 44 of Passage 1, "vulnerable" most nearly means

  • A. defenseless.
  • B. inexperienced.
  • C. naive.
  • D. open.

9. As used in line 78 of Passage 2, "classified" most nearly means

  • A. arranged.
  • B. cataloged.
  • C. categorized.
  • D. pigeonholed.

10. The author uses such words as "great," "vast," and "immense" in Passage 2 in order to emphasize that

  • A. the work researchers conduct is highly respected by a growing scientific community.
  • B. the microhabitats are large despite their name and require extensive periods for study.
  • C. the amount of funding required for Sargasso Sea research is commensurate with the large area that must be covered.
  • D. the level of complexity for researchers is heightened by the large area that must be covered.

11. Which generalization is supported by both passages?

  • A. The most dangerous period of time for young loggerhead turtles is the first eight hours of life.
  • B. The technology used to research the ecosystem and its inhabitants continues to evolve.
  • C. Recent studies show that the number of fish and turtle species in the Sargasso Sea is increasing.
  • D. The ability of scientists to properly collect data on the Sargasso Sea depends on vital government grants.