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2016年职称英语考试《理工类》阅读理解训练(8)

2015-06-25 14:47   来源:外语教育网整理       我要纠错 | 打印 | 收藏 | | |

Why Humans Walk on Two Legs

A team of scientists that studied chimpanzees trained to use treadmills has gathered new evidence suggesting that our earliest apelike ancestors started walking on two legs because it required less energy than getting around on all fours.

"When our earliest ancestors started walking on two legs,they took the first steps toward becoming human," said lead researcher Michael Sockol of UC Davis1."Our findings help an,swer why." Sockol worked for two years to find an animal trainer willing to coax adult chimps to walk on two legs and to "knucklewalk" on all fours on the sort of treadmill found in most gyms.

The five chimps also wore face masks used to help the researchers measure oxygen consumption.While the chimps worked out,the scientists collected metabolic and other data that allowed them to calculate which method of locomotion used less energy and why.The team gathered the same information for four adult humans walking on a treadmill.

Tile researchers found that human walking used about 75 percent less energy and burned 75 percent fewer calories than quadrupedal and bipedal2 walking in chimpanzees. They also found that for some but not all of the chimps,walking on two legs was no more costly than knucklewalking.

"We were prepared to find that all of the chimps used more energy walking on two legs but that finding wouldn't have been as interesting," Sockol said."What we found was much more telling. For three chimps,bipedalism3 was more expensive,but for the other two chimps,this wasn’t the case.One spent about the same energy walking on two legs as on four.The other used less energy walking upright." These two chimps had different gaits and anatomy than their knucklewalking peers.

Taken together,the findings provide support for the hypothesis that anatomical differences affecting gait existed among our earliest apelike ancestors,and that these differences provided the genetic variation which natural selection could act on when changes in the environment gave bipeds an advantage over quadrupeds.

Fossil and molecular evidence suggests the earliest ancestors of the human family lived in forested areas in equatorial Africa in the late Miocene era some 8 to 10 million years ago,when changes in climate may have increased in distance between food patches.That would have forced our earliest ancestors to travel longer distances on the ground and favored those who could cover more ground using less energy.

"This isn't the complete answer," Soekol said."But it's a good piece of a puzzle humans have always wondered about;How and why did we become human? And why do we alone walk on two legs?"

1. What did Michael Sockol and his team find out in their study of chimpanzees?

A Tile evidence why chimpanzees can be trained to use treadmills.

B The evidence why our apelike ancestors came to walk on four legs.

C The evidence why our apelike ancestors came to walk on two legs.

D The evidence why chimpanzees can be trained to walk on two legs.

2. Which of the following best interprets the meaning of "While the chimps

worked out …… " (the first sentence of the third paragraph)?

A While the chimps worked in the lab ……

B While the chimps exercised in the gym ……

C While the chimps tried to figure out what they should do ……

D While the chimps tried to understand the instructions ……

3. What was the result of the finding,according to Paragraph 5?

A Three chimps used more energy walking on two legs.

B One chimp used less energy walking on two legs.

C One chimp used about the same energy walking on two legs as on four.

D All of the above.

4. What was true of the hypothesis of the research?

A Our apelike ancestors were anatomically different but had the same gaits.

B Bipeds with natural selection had an advantage over quadruped.

C Our apelike ancestors could adapt to different climate changes due to genetic variation.

D Bipeds had an advantage over quadrupeds due to changes in the environment.

5. What does fossil and molecular evidence tell us about our earliest ancestors?

A They experienced more climate changes than we do today.

B Due to changes in climate,they were forced to travel between food patches.

C They could cover more ground than their quadrupedal peers because they used less energy.

D They could travel longer distances on the ground than those who could use less energy.

参考答案:

1. C 2. B 3. D 4. B 5. C

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