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When Evolution Runs Backwards Reading Answers: IELTS Reading Practice Test

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Updated on Jul 02, 2024, 11:57

In the IELTS Reading section, your reading comprehension skills are rigorously tested. Lasting for 60 minutes, this segment comprises three passages, each accompanied by a series of questions in various formats like multiple choice, matching headings, and True/False/Not Given. Success in this section hinges on your ability to grasp key information, discern main ideas, and infer meaning from context.


To ace the IELTS Reading section, adopt effective reading strategies such as skimming for main ideas and scanning for specific details. Regular practice with sample questions and exposure to different question types will sharpen your skills for test day.

 

Prepare for an enlightening exploration of "When Evolution Runs Backwards," an insightful look into the fascinating phenomenon of evolutionary reversals. Delve into the mechanisms, challenges, and implications of this process through engaging passages and accompanying questions, enriching your understanding of how evolution can occasionally move in reverse, leading to the re-emergence of ancestral traits and the impact this has on our knowledge of evolutionary biology.

 

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1. When Evolution Runs Backwards Passage

You should spend approximately 20 minutes answering Questions 1 - 14 based on the Reading Passage below. This approach can help manage time effectively during a reading comprehension activity or exam.

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2. When Evolution Runs Backwards Passage Questions & Answers

Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about When Evolution Runs Backwards

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1.

When Evolution Runs Backwards Reading Passage

General Information

  • Read Instructions: Understand each question before answering.
  • Manage Time: Spend about 20 minutes per passage.
  • Skim and Scan: Quickly get the main idea and find specific information.
  • Highlight Key Info: Underline essential words or phrases.
  • Answer All Questions: Attempt every question; no penalty for wrong answers.
  • Stay Focused: Avoid distractions and keep your attention on the task.
  • Check Spelling: Ensure correct spelling and grammar.
  • Transfer Answers Clearly: Write answers neatly on the answer sheet.
  • Don’t Dwell: Move on if stuck and return later.
  • Review: If time allows, review your answers.

 

 

 

 

When Evolution Runs Backwards

 

 

Paragraph A 

The classification of any species as an "evolutionary throwback" is contentious. For the greater part of a century, most scientists have been hesitant to use such terms, owing to an evolutionary principle that states, "Development cannot flow reverse." However, as more cases emerge and modern genetics comes into the picture, that premise is being revised. Not only are evolutionary throwbacks feasible, but they may also play a crucial part in the evolutionary process.

 

Paragraph B

An evolutionary holdover is referred to as an "atavism," which comes from the Latin status, which means forefather. Lombroso, a 19th-century Italian doctor who maintained that criminals were born, not produced, and could be detected by specific physical traits that hearken back to a primal, subhuman existence, is chiefly responsible for the word's negative connotations.

 

Paragraph C

While Lombroso was measuring criminals, Louis Dollo, a Belgian naturalist, was researching fossil records and arriving at the opposite conclusion. He advocated irreversible evolution in 1890, stating that "an organism is impossible to revert, even partly, to a prior stage already achieved in the ranks of its ancestors." Biologists in the early twentieth century reached a similar result, albeit they tempered it in terms of likelihood, arguing that there is no reason why evolution cannot run backward—it is simply highly rare. As a result, the concept of irreversibility in evolution became known as "Dollo's law."

 

Paragraph D

If Dollo's law is correct, atavisms should arise only rarely, if at all. Nonetheless, deviations have emerged virtually from the idea's inception. For example, a humpback whale with almost a meter-long leglike appendages, complete with a full set of limb bones, was found off Vancouver Island in Canada in 1919, for example. At the time, explorer Roy Chapman Andrews contended that the whale had to be a relic of a land-dwelling progenitor. 'I don't see any other reason. "

 

Paragraph E

Since then, so many additional examples have been uncovered that it no longer makes sense to claim that evolution is irreversible. And this raises the question of how features that vanished millions of years ago might suddenly reappear. In 1994, Rudolf Raff and his colleagues at Indiana University in the United States decided to use genetics to determine the probability of evolution regressing. In 1994, Rudolf Raff and his colleagues at Indiana University in the United States decided touse genetics to determine the probability of evolution regressing. They reasoned that, whereas some evolutionary changes entail the loss of genes and are thus irreversible, others may be the consequence of genes being turned off. They contended that if these dormant genes were somehow activated, long-lost features might resurface.

 

Paragraph F

Raff's team then calculated the chance of it happening. They conclude that silent genes accrue random mutations, eventually rendering them worthless. So, how long can a gene persist in a species if it is no longer used? The researchers predicted that quiet genes have a strong probability of surviving for up to 6 million years in at least a few individuals in a group and that some may survive for as long as 10 million years. In other words, throwbacks are feasible, but only in the recent evolutionary past.

 

Paragraph G

The scientists mentioned mole salamanders from Mexico and California as a possible examples. Except for the axolotl, which notably spends its whole life as a juvenile, they begin life as a juvenile 'tadpole' and subsequently transform into the adult form. The simplest reason is that the axolotl lineage lost the capacity to metamorphose while others preserved it. A careful investigation of the salamanders' family tree, on the other On the other hand, means that the other lineages arose from an ancestor who had lost the capacity to transform. In many other senses, the mole salamander transformation is an atavism.. The salamander example corresponds to Raff's 10 million-year time span.

 

Paragraph H

However, cases that exceed the time limit have lately been found, suggesting that silent genes may not represent the complete picture.In a study released last year, Gunter Wagner of Yale University reported some work on the evolutionary history of a group of South American lizards named Bachia. Many of them have tiny limbs; some resemble snakes rather than lizards, and a few have entirely lost their hind limb toes. Other species, on the other hand, have up to four toes on their rear legs. The most straightforward interpretation is that the toed lineages never lost their toes, but Wagner disagrees. According to his examination of the Bachia family tree, toes re-evolved from toeless ancestors, and digit loss and gain occurred on several occasions over tens of millions of years.

 

Paragraph I

So, what exactly is going on? One theory is that certain qualities are lost and then reemerge, comparable to how identical structures may emerge independently in unrelated species, such as shark and killer whale dorsal fins. Another fascinating theory is that the genetic information required to generate toes survived in lizards for tens or hundreds of millions of years and was reactivated. These atavistic characteristics were advantageous and propagated throughout the population, essentially reversing evolution.

 

Paragraph J

How might long-lost features be reactivated over longer periods if quiet genes decay within 6 to 1 million years? The womb may hold the solution. Early embryos of several species exhibit ancestral characteristics. For instance, embryonic snakes develop hind limb buds. These characteristics fade later in development as a result of developmental plans that state "remove the leg." If, for whatever reason, this does not occur, the ancestral trait may persist, resulting in an atavism.


 

2.

When Evolution Runs Backwards Passage Questions & Answers

Have you read the passage? Now, take the test and find When Evolution Runs Backwards Reading answers! 
 

 

 

Questions and answers (1-5)
  • Choose the correct letter, A, B, C, or D.
  • Write the correct letter in boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet.

 

1. When describing Louis Dollo's idea, the author states that

 

  1. Dollo's law was instantly coined to describe this phenomenon.
  2. the theory of evolutionary throwbacks was validated by this.
  3. Biologists began making changes to it in the early 1900s.
  4. It was the culmination of years of investigation.

 
2. We're reminded of the humpback whale that was caught off the coast of Vancouver Island due of

 

  1. because to its enormous size.
  2. the method in which it illustrates Dollo's rule.
  3. its impact on the local community.
  4. to explain why it is so distinct.

 
3. The term "silent genes" has been bandied about

 

  1. The number of species varies.
  2. Using the word offended Raff, thus he refused to use it.
  3. They have the potential to bring back old traits.
  4. They can live indefinitely.

 
 

4. The mole salamander is brought up by the author for the simple reason that

 

  1. Almost all amphibians develop in a similar manner.
  2. Raff's idea appears to be right.
  3. Several of its abilities have been lost and then re-gained.
  4. A lot of attention has been paid to its forebears over the years.

 

5. The following are Wagner's claims, according to him

 

  1. This lizard family has seen numerous members lose and acquire traits.
  2. The environment has played a role in the Bahia lizard's evolution, according to available data.
  3. According to his studies on lizards from South America, Raff is correct.
  4. Other South American lizard species will benefit from his results.



 When Evolution Runs Backwards Reading Answers with Explanations (1-5)

 

Question Type: Multiple Choice 

 

Multiple Choice questions in the IELTS reading test present you with a question followed by a set of options from which you must choose the correct answer. Typically, there are three or four options to choose from. You must carefully read the question and each option before selecting the correct answer.

 

How to best answer this question:

 

  • You must comprehend the passage to select the most accurate option.
  • Efficient skimming and scanning help locate relevant information quickly.
  • Some options may be designed to mislead you, so it's crucial to base your choice on evidence from the passage.
  • Multiple-choice questions can be time-consuming if you dwell on each option too long. Manage your time wisely to ensure you can attempt all questions.

 

1. C

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph C

Biologists in the early twentieth century reached a similar result, albeit they tempered it in terms of likelihood

 

Explanation

This line from the passage indicates that biologists began making changes to Dollo's law in the early 1900s, which is why the answer is C.


 

2. D

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph D

At the time, explorer Roy Chapman Andrews contended that the whale had to be a relic of a land-dwelling progenitor. 'I don't see any other reason.


Explanation

This reference shows that the humpback whale is mentioned to explain why it is so distinct, making D the correct answer.

 

 

3. C

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph E

They contended that if these dormant genes were somehow activated, long-lost features might resurface.


Explanation

The term "silent genes" is associated with the potential to bring back old traits, which is why C is the right answer.


 

4. B

 

Reference:


Paragraph G
The salamander example corresponds to Raff's 10 million-year time span.


Explanation

The mention of the mole salamander supports Raff's idea, hence B is the correct answer.


 

5. A

 

Reference:


Paragraph H

According to his examination of the Bachia family tree, toes re-evolved from toeless ancestors, and digit loss and gain occurred on several occasions over tens of millions of years.

 

Explanation

Wagner's claims suggest that the lizard family has seen numerous members lose and acquire traits, making A the correct answer.

 

Questions and Answers (6-10)
  • Complete each sentence with the correct ending, A-G, below.
  • Write the correct letter, A-G, in boxes 6-10 on your answer sheet.

 

6. For a long time, biologists disregarded
7. Different points of view on evolutionary throwbacks are shown by 
8. Some examples of evolutionary classics have led to
9. As an example, the shark and the killer whale are referred to
10. One reason why Wanger's research came to these conclusions is

 

 

  1. There is a question of how long-lost qualities may be rediscovered.
  2. The presence of a specific trait in various species.
  3. Behavioral and physical characteristics are compared.
  4. preservation of some genetic information.
  5. Evolutionary throwbacks have raised a lot of questions.
  6. Evolutionary reversibility is a conceivable possibility.
  7. Lombroso's convictions and Dollo's results.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Multitasking Debate Reading Answers with Explanations (6-10)

 

 

Type of question: Matching Endings

Matching Endings" is a type of question commonly found in reading comprehension assessments. In this type of question, you are provided with a set of incomplete sentences (usually statements or questions) and a list of possible endings or completions. Your task is to match each incomplete sentence with the correct ending from the options provided.

 

How to best answer the question

 

  • Start by reading the incomplete sentence and understanding its context within the passage. 
  • Pay attention to keywords or phrases that indicate what information is needed to complete the sentence.
  • Quickly scan the relevant parts of the passage to find the information that matches the incomplete sentence. 
  • Once you've found potential matches in the passage, eliminate any endings that don't fit logically or grammatically with the incomplete sentence.
  • Compare the remaining options with the incomplete sentence and select the ending that provides the most suitable completion.

 

6. F



Reference: Paragraph A
For the greater part of a century, most scientists have been hesitant to use such terms, owing to an evolutionary principle that states, "Development cannot flow reverse."


Explanation

This line indicates that scientists have long been reluctant to label species as "evolutionary throwbacks."

 

7. G


Reference: 

Paragraph B

Lombroso, a 19th-century Italian doctor... is chiefly responsible for the word's negative connotations.


Explanation

This line shows the differing viewpoints on evolutionary throwbacks, particularly between Lombroso and other scientists.


 

8. A


Reference: 

Paragraph E
Since then, so many additional examples have been uncovered that it no longer makes sense to claim that evolution is irreversible.


Explanation

This line mentions that numerous examples of evolutionary throwbacks have led scientists to question the irreversibility of evolution.


 

9. B


Reference: 

Paragraph I
One theory is that certain qualities are lost and then reemerge, comparable to how identical structures may emerge independently in unrelated species, such as shark and killer whale dorsal fins.


Explanation

This line uses the shark and killer whale to illustrate how similar structures can evolve independently in different species.

 

10. D

 


Reference: 

Paragraph H

In a study released last year, Gunter Wagner of Yale University reported some work on the evolutionary history of a group of South American lizards named Bachia.

 

Explanation

This line indicates that Wagner's research on Bachia lizards led to his conclusions about evolutionary reversibility.

 

Questions and Answers 11-14
Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writer in Reading Passage? In boxes 11-14 on your answer sheet, write:

  • YES if the statement agrees with the claims of the writer
  • NO if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer
  • NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

 

11. Wagner was the first to conduct studies on lizards from South America.
12. According to Wagner, the Bachia lizards that have toes are descended from toeless Bachias.
13. It is extremely unusual for long-lost characteristics to reappear in embryos.
14. The womb may have a role in the emergence of evolutionary relics.


 

When Evolution Runs Backwards Reading Answers with Explanations (11-14)


 

Question Type:  Yes/No/Not Given

 

In this task, you are presented with a statement, and your task is to determine if it agrees with the information in the passage (Yes), contradicts the information in the passage (No), or if there is insufficient information in the passage to decide (not given).


 

How to best answer the question:

  • Read the statement carefully to ensure you understand exactly what it is saying. 
  • Pay attention to details such as dates, numbers, and specific information.
  • Scan the passage to find the section where the relevant information is likely to be located. 
  • Focus on finding evidence that either supports or contradicts the statement.
  • Yes: If the statement agrees with the information in the passage.
  • No: If the statement contradicts the information in the passage.
  • Not Given: If there is no information in the passage that confirms or contradicts the statement.


 

9. No



Reference: 

Paragraph H
In some cases, Marois says, practice can eliminate interference effects. Volunteers exhibit significant improvement after only two weeks of practice, with just one hour per day of instruction.

 

Explanation

Marois says, "In some cases, practice can eliminate interference effects," indicating he does not disagree with the idea that training can reduce the multitasking bottleneck.


 

11. Not Given

 

Reference: 

Paragraph 

NA

 

Explanation
The passage does not provide any information about whether Wagner was the first to study South American lizards.
 

 

12. Yes


Reference: 

Paragraph H 

According to his examination of the Bachia family tree, toes re-evolved from toeless ancestors


Explanation

This line shows that Wagner concluded the Bachia lizards with toes descended from ancestors that had lost their toes.

 

13. No


Reference:

Paragraph  J 

Early embryos of several species exhibit ancestral characteristics.


Explanation

This line indicates that it is not extremely unusual for long-lost characteristics to reappear in embryos, as several species show ancestral traits in early development.


 

14. Yes



Reference: 

Paragraph J 

The womb may hold the solution.

 

Explanation

This line suggests that the womb may play a role in the reactivation of long-lost features, supporting the idea that the womb has a role in the emergence of evolutionary relics.

 

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FAQs

Q. Are there any specific resources recommended for improving reading skills for the IELTS?

Ans. Yes, to improve your reading skills for the IELTS, you can utilise a variety of resources. Online platforms that offer classic literature can help you get accustomed to different writing styles and vocabulary. Contemporary articles available on various websites can keep you updated with modern language usage and current events. Additionally, using e-reading apps allows you to access a wide range of reading materials anytime. To practice comprehension specifically, educational websites that offer exercises and quizzes can be very beneficial.


 

Q. How important is vocabulary in the IELTS Reading test?

Ans.   Vocabulary is crucial in the IELTS Reading test as it helps you understand the passage and answer questions accurately. Focus on learning academic and topic-specific vocabulary, and practice using context clues to deduce the meaning of unfamiliar.

Q. Can I write on the question paper during the test?

Ans. Yes, you are allowed to write on the question paper during the IELTS Reading test. This can be a helpful strategy for keeping track of key information, identifying important details, and organising your thoughts as you read the passages. You can underline relevant points, circle keywords, or make brief notes to aid in answering the questions later.