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

Bill Bryson
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Bryson states that the first species to care for its weak and frail members was:

2. What percentage of a person's genes are shared with all other humans?

3. What is the current estimate of the number of species that have lived on Earth since the beginning of life on our planet?

4. What are eukarya?

5. Mitochondria convert food and oxygen into ATP, which is what?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe what happened when the KT meteor crashed on Earth, killing off the dinosaurs.

2. Describe the layer of atmosphere called the troposphere.

3. What does the author lament about the study of wildlife throughout much of human history?

4. Describe the presence of bacteria in humans.

5. What are cyanobacteria? How did they affect the environment billions of years ago?

6. How are scientific discoveries challenging the understanding of human evolution?

7. What did scientists find in the Burgess Shale of British Columbia?

8. What is Carl Linnaeus known for?

9. What is the water distribution across the world's major oceans?

10. What are bipeds? What are some of the unique challenges they face because of their structure?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain what makes a fossil so rare. What conditions are required for a fossil to form? What do scientists say about the number of species represented by fossils? Describe the completeness or incompleteness of fossil records.

Essay Topic 2

Explain the theory that life on Earth was "seeded" from outer space. How was it "seeded"? Where did it come from? How does this theory compare to other theories about the origin of life on our planet?

Essay Topic 3

How has man influenced the extinction of plant and animal species? How does the author feel about this influence? What does his writing state or imply about what should be done differently?

(see the answer keys)

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