Soal Latihan dan Jawaban Reading Comprehension 48
The first flying vertebrates were true reptiles in which one of the fingers of the
front limbs became very elongated, providing support for a flap of stretched skin
that served as a wing. These were the pterosaurs, literally the “winged lizards.” The
earliest pterosaurs arose near the end of the Triassic period of the Mesozoic Era, some
(5) 70 million years before the first known fossils of true birds occur, and they presumably
dominated the skies until they were eventually displaced by birds. Like the dinosaurs,
some the pterosaurs became gigantic; the largest fossil discovered is of an individual
that had a wingspan of 50 feet or more, larger than many airplanes. These flying
reptiles had large, tooth-filled jaws, but their bodies were small and probably without
(10) the necessary powerful muscles for sustained wing movement. They must have been
expert gliders, not skillful fliers, relying on wind power for their locomotion.
Birds, despite sharing common reptilian ancestors with pterosaurs, evolved quite
separately and have been much more successful in their dominance of the air. They
are an example of a common theme in evolution, the more or less parallel development
(15) of different types of body structure and function for the same reason-in this case,
for flight. Although the fossil record, as always, is not complete enough to determine
definitively the evolutionary lineage of the birds or in as much detail as one would
like, it is better in this case than for many other animal groups. That is because of the
unusual preservation in a limestone quarry in southern Germany of Archaeopteryx, a
(20) fossil that many have called the link between dinosaurs and birds. Indeed, had it not
been for the superb preservation of these fossils, they might well have been classified
as dinosaurs. They have the skull and teeth of a reptile as well as a bony tail, but in the
line-grained limestone in which these fossils occur there are delicate impressions of
feathers and fine details of bone structure that make it clear that Archaeopteryx was a
(25) bird. All birds living today, from the great condors of the Andes to the tiniest wrens,
race their origin back to the Mesozoic dinosaurs.
Reading Comprehension 48
The development of flight in reptiles and birds
Reasons for the extinction of early flying vertebrates
Characteristics of pterosaur wings
The discovery of fossil remains of Archaeopteryx
They consisted of an extension of skin.
They required fingers of equal length.
They evolved from strong limb muscles.
They connected the front and back limbs.
after the decline of pterosaurs
before the appearance of pterosaurs
before dinosaurs could be found on land.
in the early Triassic period
compare the energy needs of dinosaurs with those of modern machines
illustrate the size of wingspans in some pterosaurs
demonstrate the differences between mechanized flight and animal flight
establish the practical applications of the study of fossils
of their limited wingspan
climate conditions of the time provided insufficient wind power
they lacked muscles needed for extended flight
of their disproportionately large bodies
a similarity in body structure to pterosaurs
the dominance of birds and pterosaurs over land animals
a separate but parallel development process to that of pterosaurs
an evolution from pterosaurs
The shape of its skull
Details of its bone structure
It is proof that the climate and soils of Europe have changed over time.
It supports the theory that Archaeopteryx was a powerful dinosaur.
It is thought to demonstrate that birds evolved from dinosaurs.
It suggests that dinosaurs were dominant in areas rich in limestone.