The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

David Quammen
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What does Quammen say about the overall pattern on this hypothetical rug?
(a) It is ruined.
(b) It is theoretical, now.
(c) It can still be reassembled.
(d) It only exists in nostalgia.

2. What belief of Darwin's has modern science disproved?
(a) That species can only react to their environmental conditions.
(b) That traits a parent acquires during its life are passed down to its young.
(c) That science would fill in all the missing links in the evolutionary chain.
(d) That evolve tends toward the perfection of each species.

3. How would you describe Quammen's style?
(a) Disjointed.
(b) Pedantic.
(c) Patient and thorough.
(d) Linear.

4. What was the special creation theory?
(a) The theory that the universe was created especially for man's comfort.
(b) The theory that man was specifically created out of the best traits of the other animals.
(c) The idea that God made each species for its environment.
(d) The theory that species developed only the most aesthetic traits.

5. What evidence did Wallace site to suggest problems with the special creation theory?
(a) That human beings could be found in every climate.
(b) That some ecological niches went unfilled.
(c) That when species were displaced, they sometimes thrived in the new territory.
(d) That species had adapted to every different environment on earth.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the literary term that describes Quammen's addressing the reader directly?

2. What is the first example Quammen cites of a species that has gone extinct?

3. What is Quammen really describing as he imagines the hacked up rug?

4. How does Quammen describe the efforts of other scientists?

5. How do scientists relate data from samples and isolates to larger areas?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the process by which scientists generate policies for managing ecosystems.

2. Who is Frank Preston, and what was his contribution to the discussion of island size and species count?

3. What does Quammen use the island of Tasmania as an example of?

4. What other Mauritius species does Quammen describe?

5. What practical assertion does Quammen say Frank Preston made based on his findings?

6. What findings of Michael Soule's does Quammen cite at the end of Chapter 4, "Rarity Unto Death"?

7. What are the different terms Quammen describes for how people have accounted for the degradation of ecosystems?

8. How did David Wallace make his start as a biologist, in Quammen's narrative?

9. What does Quammen say about the overall pattern of the Persian rug?

10. What example does Quammen draw from the island of Guam?

(see the answer keys)

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