Making Inferences Practice Exercises (page 2)

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Updated on Sep 29, 2011

Practice 2: Ancient Animals 

Read the selection, and then answer the questions that follow

(1) Dinosaurs are everywhere. You see them in movies, books, museums, and TV documentaries. They show up as stuffed toys or on T-shirts. These prehistoric beasts may be extinct—no longer living—but they're definitely not forgotten!
(2) It's been a long time since dinosaurs roamed and ruled Earth. Scientists say the last ones died about 65 million years ago. We know the dinosaurs are gone, but no one knows exactly why. After all, no one was here to witness what happened! Most scientists believe dinosaurs died out after a gigantic meteorite hit Earth's surface and drastically changed the planet's climate. Birds and mammals that were protected by feathers and fur, were better able to adapt to the weather changes than cold-blooded dinosaurs.
(3) Other scientists say dinosaurs aren't extinct, they just look different! These experts believe the prehistoric beasts changed and developed into birds! Still other scientists say that Earth's warmer weather caused more male than female dinosaurs to develop. So, they say, dinosaurs died out because there were no more females to increase the population!
(4) How do scientists know what dinosaurs looked like? There were no cameras millions of years ago, so dinosaurs are the only ones who know . . . and they're not talking! Scientists get clues from dinosaur fossils, and infer the rest.
(5) Bones, footprints, and other remains are evidence of how big dinosaurs were and how they moved. To figure out how they looked with their skin on, scientists look at animals that live today. Because dinosaurs were lizard-like, scientists can infer that dinosaurs looked a lot like modern-day lizards. And since modern lizards are brown, gray, or green, then dinosaurs probably were, too! That's why dinosaur pictures and museum models have the same colors as today's lizard populations.
(6) Scientists are always discovering new things about dinosaurs. In recent years, fossils were found in Antarctica, proving that dinosaurs lived on every continent. Experts also figured out that Stegosaurus had only one spread-out row of plates down its back, not two individual rows. And fossils of the smallest and the largest dinosaurs have been found. What will scientists discover next?
5. From the first paragraph, you can infer that
a. you can see dinosaurs only in museums.
b. all dinosaurs were very tall.
c. the author doesn't like dinosaurs.
d. people of all ages are interested in dinosaurs.
6. Scientists found a rare blue lizard in Colombia, so you can infer that
a. the scientists were looking for missing people.
b. some dinosaurs might have been blue.
c. no dinosaurs had ever lived in Colombia.
d. the lizards built nests near the top of a volcano.
7. Since scientists are always discovering new things about dinosaurs, you can infer that
a. they still might not have found the smallest or biggest dinosaurs.
b. science is no longer interested in looking for fossils.
c. prehistoric people left written records with descriptions of dinosaurs.
d. when scientists make inferences, they are always right.
8. What can you infer from the fact that Stegosaurus has just one row of plates?
a. Stegosaurus wasn't as old as scientists thought.
b. Old pictures and museum models of Stegosaurus had to be changed.
c. Someone stole the other row of plates from a museum.
d. Stegosaurus means "roof lizard."
9. What can you infer about lizard eggs?
a. Cooler temperatures should produce more female lizards.
b. Hot weather should produce female lizards.
c. Cold temperatures will produce more male lizards.
d. Hot weather will produce more orange lizards.
10. What can you infer about scientists?
a. They never watch TV.
b. All scientists study about dinosaurs.
c. They don't always agree.
d. They never make mistakes.
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