TOEFL iTP | Reading | The Coelacanth Fish

We’re back! It’s been SOOO LONG since I’ve done one of these, but it has reemerged from the dead! So many of my Mexicans and Indonesians have checked out my blog over the past 2 years, and the numbers continue to climb. So, I wanted to come back and do more!

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Unlike these fish, which are actually extinct, the coelacanth is a type of fish that was believed to be extinct. However, an unexpected twentieth-century rediscovery of living coelacanths has brought about a reassessment of the status of this prehistoric sea creature that was believed to have long since disappeared from the Earth.

            From fossil remains of the coelacanth, paleontologists have determined that the coelacanth was in existence around 350 million years ago, during the Paleozoic Era, more than 100 million years before the first dinosaurs arrived on Earth. The most recent fossilized coelacanths date from around 70 million years ago, near the end of the Mesozoic Era and near the end of the age of dinosaurs. Because no fossilized remnants of coelacanths from the last 70 million years have been found, the coelacanth was believed to have died out around the same time as the dinosaurs.

            The prehistoric coelacanth studied by paleontologists had distinctive characteristics that differentiated it from other fish. It was named for its hollow spine and was known to have been a powerful carnivore because of its sharp teeth many and a special joint in the skull that allowed the ferocious teeth to move in coordination with the lower jaw. It also had a pair of fins with unusual bony and muscular development that allowed the coelacanth to dart around the ocean floor. These fins also enable the coelacanth to search out prey trying to hide on the ocean bottom.

            In 1938, a living specimen of the coelacanth was discovered in the catch of a fishing boat off the coast of South Africa, and since then, numerous other examples of the coelacanth have been found in the waters of the Indian Ocean. This modern version of the coelacanth is not exactly the same as its prehistoric cousin. Today’s coelacanth is larger than its prehistoric relative, measuring up to six feet in length and weighing up to 150 pounds. However, the modern version of the coelacanth still possesses the characteristic hollow spine and distinctive fins with their unusual bony and muscular structure.

  1. The passage is about a fish
  1. That is extinct
  2. That once was extinct
  3. That is becoming extinct
  4. That, surprisingly, is not extinct

  1. 1. It can be inferred from the passage that the first dinosaurs most likely appeared on Earth around
  1. 150 million years ago.
  2. 250 million years ago.
  3. 350 million years ago.
  4. 450 million years ago.

  1. Coelacanths were believed to have died out after existing for
  1. 70 million years
  2. 140 million years
  3. 280 million years
  4. 350 million years
  • It can be inferred from the passage that the word coelacanth comes from the Greek for
  1. Extinct fish
  2. Hollow spine
  3. Sharp teeth
  4. Bony fingers
  • What is stated in the passage about the prehistoric coelacanth?
  1. It was a rather feeble fish
  2. It lived on plants
  3. It had a few teeth
  4. It moved its teeth in an unusual way
  • The pronoun “it” refers to
  1. Coelacanth
  2. Joint
  3. Coordination
  4. Jaw
  • According to the passage, why are scientists sure that the prehistoric coelacanth was a flesh-eater?
  1. Because of its hollow spine
  2. Because of the size of the skull
  3. Because of the shape and movement of the teeth
  4. Because of its unusual bony and muscular development
  • How many modern coelacanths have been found?
  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. Only a few
  4. Quite a few
  • What is NOT true about the prehistoric coelacanth, according to the passage?

  • It was smaller than the modern coelacanth
  • It measured as much as six feet in length.
  • It weighed less than 150 pounds.
  • It had a hollow spine and distinctive fins.
  1. Which paragraph describes the earlier version of the coelacanth?
  1. The first paragraph
  2. The second paragraph
  3. The third paragraph
  4. The fourth paragraph

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