Since there is such an abundance of food in the sea, it is understandable that some the efficient, highly adaptable, warm – blooded mammals that evolved on land should have returned to the sea. Those that did have flourished Within about 50 million years – no time at all, geologically speaking – one of the four kinds of mammals that has returned to a marine environment has developed into the largest of all animal forms, the whale. A second kind, the seal, has produced what is probably the greatest population of large carnivorous mammals on Earth. This suggests that these “top dogs” of the ocean are prospering and multiplying. However, such has not been the case, at least not for the last 150 years. Trouble has closed in or these mammals in the form of equally warm-blooded and even more efficient and adaptable predators, humans. At sea, as on land, humans have now positioned themselves on to -of the whole great pyramid of life, and they have caused serious problems for the mammals of the sea.
There is a simple reason for this. Marine mammals have the misfortune to be swimming aggregates of commodities that humans want: fur, oil, and meat. Even so, they might not be so vulnerable to human depredation if they did not, like humans, reproduce so slowly. Every year humans take more than 50 million tons of fish from the oceans without critically depleting the population of any species. But the slow-breeding mammals of the sea have been all but wiped out by humans seeking to satisfy their wants and whims.
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1. Which of the following statements about marine mammals best expresses the main idea of the passage
(A) They have their origins on land.
(B) They have evolved successfully but are now threatened by humans.
(C) They compete with one another for the ocean’s food supply.
(D) They have many of the biological traits of humans.
2. What advantage did some land mammals gain by returning to the sea?
(A) Fewer predators exist in the sea.
(B) More space is available in the sea.
(C) There is a greater supply of food in the sea.
(D) The climate is more hospitable in the sea.
3. It can be inferred from the passage that during the last 150 years humans have
(A) constructed submarines
(B) learned how to swim
(C) threatened the existence of some marine mammals
(D) begun to harvest certain plants from the ocean as food
4. In line 14 the word “they” refers to
(A) marine mammals
(D) fur. oil. and meat
5. Which of the following statements is supported by the passage?
(A) The whale’s ancestors were driven into the sea by humans.
(B) The food supply of seals is being depleted by humans
(C) The whale evolved from a species of land – dwelling mammal.
(D) Whales are a more efficient and adapt-able species than humans.
6. It can be inferred from the passage that marine mammals are like humans in which of the following ways”.
(A) They survive despite changes in their metabolic rates.
(B) They reproduce slowly.
(C) They are prospering and multiplying.
(D) They are depleting the vegetation of the seas.