Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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. Who discovered Harry Whittington's analysis of fauna decades later?

2. How does Walcott group the Burgess arthropods among the arthropod phylum?

3. In Gould's perspective, what historical understanding does the Burgess shale offer humanity?

4. What kind of drama does Gould wish to recount that led to rejecting Walcott's interpretation?

5. What do the levels range from in the taxonomy of life?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Chapter 3: Reconstruction of the Burgess Shale: Toward a New View of Life about?

2. What sorts of new procedures did Whittington's team use?

3. What is the boundary between the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras famous?

4. What dominant paradigm about the Burgess fossils was Whittington pressured to conform to?

5. What did Leif Størmer decide to do in contrast to Walcott?

6. What did using these new methods allow Whittington's team to do?

7. What was the difference between Simon Conway Morris and Whittington in the way that they worked?

8. What evidence favors Opabinia's uniqueness?

9. Why do paleontologists find Opabinia unbelievable and fascinating?

10. Why could the acceptance of the new interpretation create within humans a psychological shock?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Act 2, Gould discusses Whittington's shocking discovery after dissecting Opabinia's carapace. First, explain what the discovery was. Second, explain the discovery's significance for scientific research as a whole, and for the Burgess Shale in particular.

Essay Topic 2

Gould examines how Whittington gave upon the Trilobitoidea class. In your own words, summarize why Whittington threw out the Trilobitoidea class. Support your summary with two examples taken from any of the chapters in the book.

Essay Topic 3

Gould argues that Canadaspis' classification as a crustacean is crucial. Summarize Gould's argument and then, using at least three examples from the book, argue for or against Gould's position.

(see the answer keys)

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