本次考试依旧有重复前些年文章的情况, 其中动物种群和灭亡, 农业发展以及欧洲的城市发展等都在题目中有很多同等背景信息的文章, 同学们在备考中要务必重视和扎实题目的训练补充
the Emergence Of State
The Emergence of Civilization
Starting around 8000 B.C.E., the most extensive exploitation of agriculture occurred in river valleys, where there were both good soil and a dependable water supply regardless of the amount of rainfall. In the Near East, this happened in the Fertile Crescent, the region extending up the Nile Valley in Egypt, north through the Levant (Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria), and southeast into the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys of Mesopotamia. The richest soil was located in the deltas at the mouths of the rivers, but the deltas were swampy and subject to flooding. Before they could be farmed, they needed to be drained and irrigated, and flood-control systems had to be constructed. These activities required administrative organization and the ability to mobilize large pools of labor. In Mesopotamia, perhaps as a consequence of a period of drought, massive land-use projects were undertaken after 4000 B.C.E. to cultivate the rich delta soils of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The land was so productive that many more people could be fed, and a great population explosion resulted. Villages grew into cities of tens of thousands of persons.
These large cities needed some form of centralized administration. Archaeological evidence indicates that the organization initially was provided by religion, for the largest building in each city was a massive temple honoring one of the Mesopotamian gods. In Uruk, for example, a 60-foot- long temple known as the White House was built before 3000 B.C.E. There were no other large public buildings, suggesting that the priests who were in charge of the temples also were responsible for governing the city and organizing people to work in the fields and on irrigation projects building and maintaining systems of ditches and dams.
The great concentration of wealth and resources in the river valleys brought with it further technological advances, such as wheeled vehicles, multicolored pottery and the pottery wheel, and the weaving of wool garments. Advances in metal technology just before 2000 B.C.E. resulted in the creation of bronze, a durable alloy (or mixture) of about 90 percent copper and 10 percent tin that provided a sharp cutting edge for weapons.
By 3000 B.C.E., the economies and administrations of Mesopotamia and Egypt had become so complex that some form of record keeping was needed. As a result, writing was invented. Once a society became literate, it passed from the period known as prehistory into the historic period. In fact, the word history comes from a Greek word meaning narrative people could not provide a detailed permanent account of their past until they were able to write.
The totality of these developments resulted in the appearance, around 300 B.C.E., of a new form of culture called civilization. The first civilizations had several defining characteristics. They had economies based on agriculture. They had cities that functioned as administrative centers and usually had large populations. They had different social classes, such as free persons and slaves. They had specialization of labor, that is, different people serving, for example, as rulers, priests, craft workers, merchants, soldiers, and farmers. And they had metal technology and a system of writing. As of 3000 B.C.E., civilization in these terms existed in Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, and China.
This first phase of civilization is called the Bronze Age because of the importance of metal technology. The most characteristic Near Eastern Bronze Age civilizations, those of Mesopotamia and Egypt, were located in river valleys, were based on the extensive exploitation of agriculture, and supported large populations. Bronze was a valuable commodity in these civilizations; the copper and tin needed for its manufacture did not exist in river valleys and had to be imported. Bronze was therefore used mainly for luxury items, such as jewelry or weapons, not for everyday domestic items, which were made from pottery, animal products, wood, and stone. In particular, bronze was not used for farming tools. Thus, early civilizations based on large-scale agriculture, such as those of Mesopotamia and Egypt, were feasible only in soils that could be worked by wooden plows pulled by people or draft animals such as oxen. Other Bronze Age civilizations, however, such as those that arose in the Levant and eastern Mediterranean, took advantage of their location on communication routes to pursue economies based on trade.
Paragraph1: Starting around 8000 B.C.E., the most extensive exploitation of agriculture occurred in river valleys, where there were both good soil and a dependable water supply regardless of the amount of rainfall. In the Near East, this happened in the Fertile Crescent, the region extending up the Nile Valley in Egypt, north through the Levant (Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria), and southeast into the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys of Mesopotamia. The richest soil was located in the deltas at the mouths of the rivers, but the deltas were swampy and subject to flooding. Before they could be farmed, they needed to be drained and irrigated, and flood-control systems had to be constructed. These activities required administrative organization and the ability to mobilize large pools of labor. In Mesopotamia, perhaps as a consequence of a period of drought, massive land-use projects were undertaken after 4000 B.C.E. to cultivate the rich delta soils of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The land was so productive that many more people could be fed, and a great population explosion resulted. Villages grew into cities of tens of thousands of persons.
Social 和 solitary animals结构比较简单，说了大说数都是solitary的给出几点原因，但有的却是social的，又列出了几点原因。
题目55 How Herding Can Provide Safety
In open grasslands there is no place for a large animal to hide. Thus a watchful grazing animal will see the slight movement that betrays the presence of a predator long before it is close enough to launch an attack. It sounds as though the hunters (predators) stand no chance at all. Unfortunately for the grazers, life is not so simple, however. A grazing animal must lower its head and look at the ground to feed. Its attention may be occupied for only a few seconds before it raises its head and resumes its watch while chewing the food it took: but hunters are patient and skillful and are concentrating intensely. Those few seconds provide time enough to advance a few steps and then freeze, body flattened against the ground. It may take hours: but eventually these repeated small advances will put the hunter within range-close enough to outrun its prey-and the long time the hunt has taken will have been worthwhile, because the resulting feast will be highly nutritious.
Clearly the grazers are at a disadvantage, because while they eat they are vulnerable to attack. The hunters also have a weakness, however: and it is one that allows the grazers to survive. Hunters can attack only one prey animal at a time. This applies even to the predators that hunt as a team, such as lionesses, wolves, and hunting dogs. Their hunt involves running down or ambushing an individual. Teamwork allows them to hunt animals much bigger and stronger than themselves and to hunt more successfully, but it does not allow them to attack more than one individual at a time.
The grazers exploit this weakness by making it as difficult as they can for the predators to choose an individual as a target. They do not graze alone: scattered widely across the landscape, but together as a herd. The approaching hunter sees not a solitary animal, but a crowd of animals, all of them moving, so they are constantly crossing and recrossing each other`s paths. No sooner does the hunter choose an individual than another animal has crossed in front of it and the target has disappeared into the herd. From the hunter's point of view this is highly confusing behavior-as, indeed, it is meant to be.
There is another advantage to the grazers: A herd is much more alert than a solitary animal. An animal has to relax its guard while it is taking food; but in a herd there are at any time some animals with their heads down, biting, and others, with their heads up, watching. What is more, those with their heads up are looking in different directions so that together they are alert to any movement anywhere on the landscape around them. There is no way for a hunter to approach a herd unobserved. When a member of the herd spots trouble, it starts to move away. Other members of the herd move with it and the entire herd starts to move. If the trouble is serious and close, the herd will run. The individual raising the alarm is simply protecting itself but in doing so it is warning all of the others.
Herding is highly successful, provided members of the herd stay together in a tight bunch. The hunter moves with the herd: watching for an individual to wander away from the others. When that happens, it tries to move between that individual and the rest of the herd, preventing it from rejoining. Once it has done that the hunter has a good chance of making a kill. If the herd starts to run, a solitary hunter may abandon the chase: but a pack of wolves or hunting dogs will regard the running herd of animals as an opportunity and set off in pursuit. As the herd runs, one or two old or sick animals, or young animals that become separated from their mothers, may fall behind.
As soon as the hunter or hunters seize their prey, they lose interest in all other grazers since then they, too, must concentrate on eating, at which point the herd stops running, those who were left behind rejoin the group, and they all resume grazing.
题目33 Extinction Episodes of the Past
It was not until the Cambrian period, beginning about 600 million years ago, that a great proliferation of macroscopic species occurred on Earth and produced a fossil record that allows us to track the rise and fall of biodiversity. Since the Cambrian period, biodiversity has generally risen, but there have been some notable exceptions. Biodiversity collapsed dramatically during at least five periods because of mass extinctions around the globe. The five major mass extinctions receive most of the attention, but they are only one end of a spectrum of extinction events.Collectively, more species went extinct during smaller events that were less dramatic but more frequent. The best known of the five major extinction events, the one that saw the demise of the dinosaurs, is the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction.
Starting about 280 million years ago, reptiles were the dominant large animals in terrestrial environments. In popular language this was the era “when dinosaurs ruled Earth,” when a wide variety of reptile species occupying many ecological niches. However, no group or species can maintain its dominance indefinitely, and when, after over 200 million years, the age of dinosaurs came to a dramatic end about 65 million years ago, mammals began to flourish, evolving from relatively few types of small terrestrial animals into the myriad of diverse species, including bats and whales, that we know today. Paleontologists label this point in Earth’s history as the end of the Cretaceous period and the beginning of the Tertiary period, often abbreviated as the K-T boundary. This time was also marked by changes in many other types of organisms. Overall, about 38 percent of the families of marine animals were lost, with percentages much higher in some groups Ammonoid mollusks went from being very diverse and abundant to being extinct. An extremely abundant set of planktonic marine animals called foraminifera largely disappeared, although they rebounded later. Among plants, the K-T boundary saw a sharp but brief rise in the abundance of primitive vascular plants such as ferns, club mosses, horsetails, and conifers and other gymnosperms. The number of flowering plants (angiosperms) was reduced at this time, but they then began to increase dramatically.
What caused these changes? For many years scientists assumed that a cooling of the climate was responsible, with dinosaurs being particularly vulnerable because, like modern reptiles, they were ectothermic (dependent on environmental heat, or cold-blooded). It is now widely believed that at least some species of dinosaurs had a metabolic rate high enough for them to be endotherms (animals that maintain a relatively consistent body temperature by generating heat internally). Nevertheless, climatic explanations for the K-T extinction are not really challenged by the ideas that dinosaurs may have been endothermic, because even endotherms can be affected by a significant change in the climate.
Explanations for the K-T extinction were revolutionized in 1980 when a group of physical scientists led by Luis Alvarez proposed that 65 million years ago Earth was stuck by a 10-kilometer-wide meteorite traveling at 90,000 kilometers per hour. They believed that this impact generated a thick cloud of dust that enveloped Earth, shutting out much of the incoming solar radiation and reducing plant photosynthesis to very low levels. Short-term effects might have included huge tidal waves and extensive fires. In other words, a series of events arising from a single cataclysmic event caused the massive extinctions. Initially, the meteorite theory was based on a single line of evidence. At locations around the globe, geologists had found an unusually high concentration of iridium in the layer of sedimentary rocks that was formed about 65 million years ago. Iridium is an element that is usually uncommon near Earth’s surface, but it is abundant in some meteorites.Therefore, Alvarez and his colleagues concluded that it was likely that the iridium in sedimentary rocks deposited at the K-T boundary had originated in a giant meteorite or asteroid. Most scientist came to accept the meteorite theory after evidence came to light that a circular formation, 180 kilometers in diameter and centered on the north coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, was created by a meteorite impact about 65 million years ago.
Echolocating bats emit sounds in patterns—characteristic of each species—that contain both frequency-modulated (FM) and constant-frequency (CF) signals. The broadband FM signals and the narrowband CF signals travel out to a target, reflect from it, and return to the hunting bat. In this process of transmission and reflection, the sounds are changed, and the changes in the echoes enable the bat to perceive features of the target.
The FM signals report information about target characteristics that modify the timing and the fine frequency structure, or spectrum, of echoes—for example, the target’s size, shape, texture, surface structure, and direction in space. Because of their narrow bandwidth, CF signals portray only the target’s presence and, in the case of some bat species, its motion relative to the bat’s. Responding to changes in the CF echo’s frequency, bats of some species correct in flight for the direction and velocity of their moving prey.
题目11-Orientation and Navigation
To South Americans, robins are birds that fly north every spring. To North Americans, the robins simply vacation in the south each winter. Furthermore, they fly to very specific places in South America and will often come back to the same trees in North American yards the following spring. The question is not why they would leave the cold of winter so much as how they find their way around. The question perplexed people for years, until, in the 1950s, a German scientist named Gustave Kramer provided some answers and, in the process, raised new questions.
Kramer initiated important new kinds of research regarding how animals orient and navigate. Orientation is simply facing in the right direction; navigation involves finding ones way from point A to point B.
Early in his research, Kramer found that caged migratory birds became very restless at about the time they would normally have begun migration in the wild. Furthermore, he noticed that as they fluttered around in the cage, they often launched themselves in the direction of their normal migratory route. He then set up experiments with caged starlings and found that their orientation was, in fact, in the proper migratory direction except when the sky was overcast, at which times there was no clear direction to their restless movements. Kramer surmised, therefore, that they were orienting according to the position of the Sun. To test this idea, he blocked their view of the Sun and used mirrors to change its apparent position. He found that under these circumstances, the birds oriented with respect to the new "Sun." They seemed to be using the Sun as a compass to determine direction. At the time, this idea seemed preposterous. How could a bird navigate by the Sun when some of us lose our way with road maps? Obviously, more testing was in order.
So, in another set of experiments, Kramer put identical food boxes around the cage, with food in only one of the boxes. The boxes were stationary, and the one containing food was always at the same point of the compass. However, its position with respect to the surroundings could be changed by revolving either the inner cage containing the birds or the outer walls, which served as the background. As long as the birds could see the Sun, no matter how their surroundings were altered, they went directly to the correct food box. Whether the box appeared in front of the right wall or the left wall, they showed no signs of confusion. On overcast days, however, the birds were disoriented and had trouble locating their food box.
In experimenting with artificial suns, Kramer made another interesting discovery. If the artificial Sun remained stationary, the birds would shift their direction with respect to it at a rate of about 15 degrees per hour, the Sun's rate of movement across the sky. Apparently, the birds were assuming that the "Sun" they saw was moving at that rate. When the real Sun was visible, however, the birds maintained a constant direction as it moved across the sky. In other words, they were able to compensate for the Sun's movement. This meant that some sort of biological clock was operating-and a very precise clock at that.
What about birds that migrate at night? Perhaps they navigate by the night sky. To test the idea, caged night-migrating birds were placed on the floor of a planetarium during their migratory period. A planetarium is essentially a theater with a domelike ceiling onto which a night sky can be projected for any night of the year. When the planetarium sky matched the sky outside, the birds fluttered in the direction of their normal migration. But when the dome was rotated, the birds changed their direction to match the artificial sky. The results clearly indicated that the birds were orienting according to the
There is accumulating evidence indicating that birds navigate by using a wide variety of environmental cues. Other areas under investigation include magnetism, landmarks, coastlines, sonar, and even smells. The studies are complicated by the fact that the data are sometimes contradictory and the mechanisms apparently change from time to time. Furthermore, one sensory ability may back up another.
题目15-A Warm-Blooded Turtle
When it comes to physiology, the leatherback turtle is, in some ways, more like a reptilian whale than a turtle. It swims farther into the cold of the northern and southern oceans than any other sea turtle, and it deals with the chilly waters in a way unique among reptiles.
A warm-blooded turtle may seem to be a contradiction in terms. Nonetheless, an adult leatherback can maintain a body temperature of between 25 and 26°C 77–79°F in seawater that is only 8°C 46.4°F. Accomplishing this feat requires adaptations both to generate heat in the turtle's body and to keep it from escaping into the surrounding waters. Leatherbacks apparently do not generate internal heat the way we do, or the way birds do, as a by-product of cellular metabolism. A leatherback may be able to pick up some body heat by basking at the surface; its dark, almost black body color may help it to absorb solar radiation. However, most of its internal heat comes from the action of its muscles.
Leatherbacks keep their body heat in three different ways. The first, and simplest, is size. The bigger the animal is, the lower its surface-to-volume ratio; for every ounce of body mass, there is proportionately less surface through which heat can escape. An adult leatherback is twice the size of the biggest cheloniid sea turtles and will therefore take longer to cool off. Maintaining a high body temperature through sheer bulk is called gigantothermy. It works for elephants, for whales, and, perhaps, it worked for many of the larger dinosaurs. It apparently works, in a smaller way, for some other sea turtles. Large loggerhead and green turtles can maintain their body temperature at a degree or two above that of the surrounding water, and gigantothermy is probably the way they do it. Muscular activity helps, too, and an actively swimming green turtle may be 7°C 12.6°F warmer than the waters it swims through.
Gigantothermy, though, would not be enough to keep a leatherback warm in cold northern waters. It is not enough for whales, which supplement it with a thick layer of insulating blubber fat. Leatherbacks do not have blubber, but they do have a reptilian equivalent: thick, oil-saturated skin, with a layer of fibrous, fatty tissue just beneath it. Insulation protects the leatherback everywhere but on its head and flippers. Because the flippers are comparatively thin and blade like, they are the one part of the leatherback that is likely to become chilled. There is not much that the turtle can do about this without compromising the aerodynamic shape of the flipper. The problem is that as blood flows through the turtle's flippers, it risks losing enough heat to lower the animal's central body temperature when it returns. The solution is to allow the flippers to cool down without drawing heat away from the rest of the turtle's body. The leatherback accomplishes this by arranging the blood vessels in the base of its flipper into a countercurrent exchange system.
In a countercurrent exchange system, the blood vessels carrying cooled blood from the flippers run close enough to the blood vessels carrying warm blood from the body to pick up some heat from the warmer blood vessels;thus, the heat is transferred from the outgoing to the ingoing vessels before it reaches the flipper itself. This is the same arrangement found in an old-fashioned steam radiator, in which the coiled pipes pass heat back and forth as water courses through them. The leatherback is certainly not the only animal with such an arrangement; gulls have a countercurrent exchange in their legs. That is why a gull can stand on an ice floe without freezing.
All this applies, of course, only to an adult leatherback. Hatchlings are simply too small to conserve body heat, even with insulation and countercurrent exchange systems. We do not know how old, or how large, a leatherback has to be before it can switch from a cold-blooded to a warm-blooded mode of life. Leatherbacks reach their immense size in a much shorter time than it takes other sea turtles to grow. Perhaps their rush to adulthood is driven by a simple need to keep warm.
The Development of Agriculture
题目20 the Origin of Agriculture
How did it come about that farming developed independently in a number of world centers (the southeast Asian mainland, Southwest Asia, Central America, lowland and highland South America, and equatorial Africa) at more or less the same time? Agriculture developed slowly among populations that had an extensive knowledge of plants and animals. Changing from hunting and gathering to agriculture had no immediate advantages. To start with, it forced the population to abandon the nomad’s life and become sedentary, to develop methods of storage and, often, systems of irrigation. While hunter-gatherers always had the option of moving elsewhere when the resources were exhausted, this became more difficult with farming. Furthermore, as the archaeological record shows, the state of health of agriculturalists was worse than that of their contemporary hunter-gatherers.
Traditionally, it was believed that the transition to agriculture was the result of a worldwide population crisis. It was argued that once hunter-gathers had occupied the whole world, the population started to grow everywhere and food became scarce; agriculture would have been a solution to this problem. We know, however, that contemporary hunter-gatherer societies control their population in a variety of ways. The idea of a world population crisis is therefore unlikely, although population pressure might have arisen in some areas.
Climatic changes at the end of the glacial period 13, 000 years ago have been proposed to account for the emergence of farming. The temperature increased dramatically in a short period of time (years rather than centuries), allowing for a growth of the hunting-gathering population due to the abundance of resources. There were, however, fluctuations in the climatic conditions, with the consequences that wet conditions were followed by dry ones, so that the availability of plants and animals oscillated brusquely.
It would appear that the instability of the climatic conditions led populations that had originally been nomadic to settle down and develop a sedentary style of life, which led in turn to population growth and to the need to increase the amount of food available. Farming originated in these conditions. Later on, it became very difficult to change because of the significant expansion of these populations. It could be argued, however, that these conditions are not sufficient to explain the origins of agriculture. Earth had experienced previous periods of climatic change, and yet agriculture had not been developed.
It is archaeologist Steven Mithen ‘s thesis, brilliantly developed in his book The prehistory of the Mind (1996),that approximately 40,000 years ago the specializations of the mind: technical, natural history (geared to understanding the behavior and distribution of natural resources), social intelligence, and the linguistic capacity. Cognitive fluidity explains the appearance of art, religion, and sophisticated speech. Once humans possessed such a mind, they were able to find an imaginative solution to a situation of severe economic crisis such as the farming dilemma described earlier. Mithen proposes the existence of four mental elements to account for the emergence of farming (1) the ability to develop tools that could be used intensively to harvest and process plant resources;(2) the tendency to use plants and animals as the medium to acquire social prestige and power;(3) the tendency to develop “social relationships” with animals structurally similar to those developed with people –specifically, the ability to think of animals as people (anthropomorphism) and of people as animals (totemism); and (4) the tendency to manipulate plants and animals.
Europe in the High Middle Ages
Europe in the High Middle Ages
For 500 years after the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 A.D., a period known as the early Middle Ages, Europe endured an age of political instability, economic decline, and reduced population. But as the millennium approached, the situation began to improve. Toward the end of the tenth century, an increase in the amount of crop-producing land was accompanied by an increase in population, with the potential for that number to rise even higher. The increase in agricultural production came about as a result of a combination of factors, the most prominent of which were changing methods of field management and improvements in agricultural technology.
For much of the early Middle Ages, peasants continued the Roman practice of dividing their fields in two leaving one fallow, or uncultivated, for a year, and planting their crops in the other half. Fallow land restored its nutrients, but the practice meant that half the land produced nothing every year. In southern Europe with its drier climate this system of two-field crop rotation continued, but in northern Europe, peasants improved on this system by dividing their land into three parts. One they left fallow, another they planted in the spring, and the third they planted with winter crops. This three-field crop rotation, dependent on more rainfall than southern Europe received, meant that two-thirds instead of one-half of a peasant's land was under production in one year.
Related to the changes in crop rotation were improvements in plows and animal harnessing. More land under cultivation spurred experimentation in the construction of plows. Peasants attached wheels to their plows, which made it easier for oxen to pull them through the heavier, wetter soil of northern Europe, and made it possible for a plow to move more quickly down a row provided it had a speedy animal pulling it.
Oxen are slow and unintelligent compared to horses, but peasants could not use horses to pull plows until they devised a different kind of harnessing than the strap that circled an ox's neck. With a harness resting on its shoulders instead of its neck, a horse could be used to plow, and horses could walk more quickly and work longer hours than oxen. They also required less guidance, since they understood verbal signals to turn or to stop. Heavier, wheeled plows pulled by suitably harnessed horses meant that peasants could work more land in a day than ever before. Whether an increase in population across western Europe, but particularly in the north, stimulated innovations or whether such innovations contributed to a rise in population, the cumulative effect of these changes in agriculture was apparent in the tenth century. Conditions in Europe were ripe for an economic and cultural upswing.
Even before trade with the eastern Mediterranean increased starting in the twelfth century, trade and towns were on the rise. Travel was still dangerous, but merchants were willing to risk transporting goods over long distances. By the late thirteenth century, a few merchants from Italy had even reached China. Greater surpluses in crops meant people had more to sell at market. More people and goods led to regularly held markets in the most populated location in a region. It would be impossible to say whether trade gave rise to towns or vice versa. What is clear is that each fostered the other in conditions of greater social stability.
Travel on trade routes increased, and some towns sprang up to provide rest and refreshment to traders. The distance between towns often corresponded to the distance that traders could cover in a day. Merchants kept their eyes open for customers with money to spend. The residences of kings, nobles, and powerful officials became sites of markets for local and long-distance traders. In Champagne, in northeastern France, six large annual markets attracted merchants from all over Europe in the twelfth century. Their different currencies prompted the first development of banking techniques. With the use of coins now the norm, money changers daily posted changing exchange rates so that merchants would know the worth of their coins in relation to the worth of other merchants' coins. By 1300, trade had transformed life for the better throughout western Europe.