A Short History of Nearly Everything Test | Final Test - Easy

Bill Bryson
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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Scientists believe that our planet is currently in a period of what?
(a) Steadily increasing temperatures.
(b) Relative warmth within an ice age.
(c) Declining temperatures.
(d) Relative cold within a temperate age.

2. The early Cambrian period, or the Cambrian explosion, refers to a time how long ago?
(a) 7 million years.
(b) 39 million years.
(c) 998 million years.
(d) 540 million years.

3. In times past, Earth was:
(a) More hospitable.
(b) Less hospitable.
(c) Flatter.
(d) Smaller.

4. Before Charles Darwin wrote his famous book about natural selection, he spent eight years writing about what?
(a) Spiders.
(b) Grass types.
(c) Barnacles.
(d) Mountains.

5. Charles Darwin suggested that evolution was a process taking millions of years, which many met with skepticism because scientists:
(a) Believed Earth to be much younger.
(b) Thought life on Earth had existed no more than 3,000 years.
(c) Believed only birds evolved, not mammals or reptiles.
(d) Did not like Darwin.

6. What was the HMS Beagle, and how was it related to Charles Darwin?
(a) A microscope given to him by his wife.
(b) A hot-air balloon he used to survey the land.
(c) A ship he travelled on, collecting specimens.
(d) A laboratory created for him by the king.

7. The author mentions the case of bacteria surviving for two years in a sealed camera lens where?
(a) In an underground cave.
(b) Moon's surface.
(c) Under the sea.
(d) Atop Mount Everest.

8. Humans share 98.4 percent of their DNA with:
(a) Lemurs.
(b) Chimpanzees.
(c) Lions.
(d) Chinchillas.

9. At this time, how many plant and animal species are becoming extinct per week?
(a) 50 to 80.
(b) 100 to 200.
(c) 1 to 2.
(d) 600 to 1,000.

10. Bryson states that the first species to care for its weak and frail members was:
(a) Gigantopithecus.
(b) Homo habilis.
(c) Australopithecines.
(d) Homo erectus.

11. What is a biped?
(a) A creature that walks on two legs.
(b) A specific nerve found in the upper leg.
(c) A tendon connecting the leg to the pelvis.
(d) A large bone found in legs of mammals.

12. When entomologist Terry Erwin collected insect samples from 19 rain forest trees, how many different varieties of beetles did he find?
(a) 600.
(b) 150.
(c) 42.
(d) 1,200.

13. Who was the first person to describe a cell?
(a) Van Leeuwenhoek.
(b) Theodor Schwann.
(c) Matthias Jakob Schleiden.
(d) Robert Hooke.

14. The human body is composed of how many cells?
(a) 2,000 billion.
(b) 10,000 trillion.
(c) 800 thousand.
(d) 500 million.

15. Species appear to exist, on average, how long?
(a) 12 thousand years.
(b) 780 thousand years.
(c) 9 billion years.
(d) 4 million years.

Short Answer Questions

1. The internal workings of cells are:

2. Scientists assumed stromatolites were extinct until they were discovered where in 1961?

3. How quickly can bacteria create a new generation?

4. Approximately how many bacteria live on a square centimeter of human skin?

5. Approximately how many okapi live in the rain forests of Zaire?

(see the answer keys)

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