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2014年12月21日托福阅读机经

2015-04-02 10:44:19 | 编辑: 无 | 有541人参与 | 来自: 匿名

以下是环球托福小编为你整理的20141221日托福阅读机经,希望对各位考生有所帮助。

考试日期:2014年12月21日
Reading Passage 1
Title:Hawaii的动物迁徙
Question types:
文章内容回顾:这篇文章讲述了Hawaii的动物是怎么从别的地方迁徙过来的。鸟儿是飞过来的,同时会携带种子,粘在羽毛上或吃到肚子里,小而轻的种子可以通过风传播到岛上,也有通过洋流飘过来的。认为带到岛上的物种都活的很好,所以Hawaii上很多物种缺失的原因不是环境不好,是它很难到达。
难度分析:本文讲述了物种的迁徙。考生要重点抓住两个线索:第一是迁徙的原因,第二是方式和步骤,关键是过程中环环相扣的先后关系。
相关背景内容:Hawaii's diverse natural scenery, warm tropical climate, abundance of public beaches, oceanic surroundings, and active volcanoes make it a popular destination for tourists, (wind) surfers, biologists, and volcanologists alike. Due to its mid-Pacific location, Hawaii has many North American and Asian influences along with its own vibrant native culture. Hawaii has over a million permanent residents, along with many visitors and U.S. military personnel. Its capital is Honolulu on the island of Oʻahu.

The state encompasses nearly the entire volcanic Hawaiian Archipelago, which comprises hundreds of islands spread over 1,500 miles (2,400 km). At the southeastern end of the archipelago, the eight "main islands" are (from the northwest to southeast) Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui and the Island of Hawaiʻi. The last is the largest and is often called the "Big Island" to avoid confusing the island with the state or archipelago. The archipelago is physiographically and ethnologically part of the Polynesian subregion of Oceania.

Hawaii is the 8th-smallest, the 11th-least populous, but the 13th-most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states. Hawaii's ocean coastline is about 750 miles (1,210 km) long, which is fourth in the United States after those of Alaska, Florida and California.

Hawaii is the only U.S. state not located in the Americas and the only state with an Asian plurality. It and Arizona are the only two states that do not observe daylight saving time, and Hawaii and Alaska are the only two states that are not in the contiguous United States.
Flora and fauna
Because the islands are so far from other land habitats, life before human activity is said to have arrived by the “3 W’s”: wind (carried through the air), waves (brought by ocean currents), and wings (birds, insects, and whatever they brought with them). This isolation, and the wide range of environments (extreme altitude, tropical climate) produced a vast array of endemic flora and fauna (see Endemism in the Hawaiian Islands). Hawaii has more endangered species and has lost a higher percentage of its endemic species than any other U.S. state.[47] One endemic plant, Brighamia, now requires hand-pollination – its natural pollinator is presumed to be extinct.[48] The two species of Brighamia – B. rockii and B. insignis – are represented in the wild by perhaps 120 individual plants. In order to ensure that these plants set seed, biologists rappel down 3000-foot cliffs to brush pollen onto their stigmas.[49]

The relatively short time that the existing main islands of the archipelago have been above the surface of the ocean (less than 10 million years) is only a fraction of time span over which biological colonization and evolution have occurred in the archipelago.

The islands are well known for the environmental diversity that occurs on high mountains within a trade winds field. On a single island, the climate can differ around the coast from dry tropical (< 20 in or 500 mm annual rainfall) to wet tropical; and up the slopes from tropical rainforest (> 200 in or 5000 mm per year) through a temperate climate into alpine conditions of cold and dry climate. The rainy climate impacts soil development, which largely determines ground permeability, which affects the distribution of streams, wetlands, and wet places.

Protected areas
Silversword
Endemic Haleakalā Silversword near Haleakalā summit
Several areas in Hawaii are under the protection of the National Park Service.[50] Hawaii has two national parks: Haleakala National Park near Kula, on Maui, includes Haleakalā, the dormant volcano that formed east Maui; and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in the southeast region of the Island of Hawaiʻi, which includes the active volcano Kīlauea and its various rift zones.

There are three national historical parks: Kalaupapa National Historical Park in Kalaupapa, Molokaʻi, the site of a former Hansen’s disease colony; Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park in Kailua-Kona on the Island of Hawaiʻi; and Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, an ancient place of refuge. Other areas under the control of the National Park Service include Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail on the Big Island and the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor on Oʻahu.

The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument was proclaimed by President George W. Bush on June 15, 2006. The monument covers roughly 140,000 square miles (360,000 km2) of reefs, atolls and shallow and deep sea out to 50 miles (80 km) offshore in the Pacific Ocean, larger than all of America’s National Parks combined.[51]

Climate
See also: List of Hawaii tornadoes and Climate of Hawaii

Road to Hana through rainforest
Hawaii’s climate is typical for the tropics, although temperatures and humidity tend to be a bit less extreme due to near-constant trade winds from the east. Summer highs are usually in the upper 80s °F, (around 31 °C) during the day and mid 70s, (around 24 °C) at night. Winter day temperatures are usually in the low to mid 80s, (around 28 °C) and (at low elevation) seldom dipping below the mid 60s (18 °C) at night. Snow, not usually associated with the tropics, falls at 4,205 metres (13,796 ft) on Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the Big Island in some winter months. Snow rarely falls on Haleakala. Mount Waiʻaleʻale, on Kauaʻi, has the second-highest average annual rainfall on Earth, about 460 inches (11,684.0 mm). Most of Hawaii has only two seasons: the dry season from May to October, and the wet season from October to April.[52]

The warmest temperature recorded in the state is 100 °F (38 °C) (making it tied with Alaska as the lowest high temperature recorded in a U.S. state) in Pahala on April 27, 1931. Hawaii's all-time record low temperature is 12 °F (−11 °C) observed in May 1979 on the summit of Mauna Kea. Hawaii is the only state to have never recorded sub-zero Fahrenheit temperatures.

Local climates vary considerably on each island, grossly divisible into windward (Koʻolau) and leeward (Kona) areas based upon location relative to the higher mountains. Windward sides face cloud cover, so resorts concentrate on sunny leeward coasts.
Reading Passage 2
Title:Flightless
Question types:
文章内容回顾:这篇文章讲的是鸟儿变得不能飞的原因。没有捕食者尤其是地上的动物的威胁所以不用飞了。一种鸟开始进化的flightless是在恐龙灭绝不久后,地面威胁减少了。一种鸟吃素,吃素需要产生细菌帮助消化,但这会阻碍飞行,所以大部分鸟儿还是吃肉。鸟儿的flightless使得鸟儿可以生跟他们身体差不多大的蛋,这样可以给小鸟提供更多营养提高成活率。总之,鸟儿能不飞的时候尽量不飞,因为不飞可以带来很多好处,另外,如果不飞的鸟儿没进化出手,但进化出了类似于手的claw。
难度分析:鸟类学话题。除了重点把握文章中出现的分点原因,还要抓住每个原因下的例证分析。揣摩推理所有细节证据例证出现的目的。
相关背景内容:Flightless birds are birds that have evolved the inability to fly.[1] There are about 40 species in existence today,[2] the best known being the ratites (ostrich, emu, cassowary, rhea and kiwi) and the penguins.

The smallest flightless bird is the Inaccessible Island Rail (length 12.5 cm, weight 34.7 g). The largest (both heaviest and tallest) flightless bird, which is also the largest living bird, is the ostrich (2.7 m, 156 kg).

Flightless birds are the easiest to take care of in captivity because they do not have to be caged. Ostriches were once farmed for their decorative feathers. Today they are raised for meat and for their skins, which are used to make leather.

There were also other families of flightless birds, such as the now extinct Phorusrhacidae, that evolved to be powerful terrestrial predators.

Many domesticated birds, such as the domestic chicken, and domestic duck, have lost the ability to fly, though their wild ancestors, the red junglefowl and mallard, respectively, are perfectly capable of flight.

Flightlessness has evolved in many different birds independently. However, taking this to a greater extreme, the terror birds, Gastornithiformes and dromornithids (all extinct) all evolved the similar body shapes: flightlessness, long legs, long necks, big heads, yet none of them were closely related. They also share the trait of being giant, flightless birds with vestigial wings, long legs, and long necks with the ratites, although they are not related.[3][4]
Divergences and losses of flight within ratite lineage occurred after the K/T[clarification needed] boundary’s mass extinction wiped out all non-avian dinosaurs and large vertebrates 65 Ma [5] The immediate evacuation of niches following the mass extinction provided opportunities for Palaeognathes to distribute and occupy novel environments. New ecological influences selectively pressured different taxon to converge on flightless modes of existence by altering them morphologically and behaviorally. The successful acquisition and protection of a claimed territory selected for large size and cursoriality in Tertiary ancestors of ratites [6] Temperate rainforests dried out throughout the Miocene and transformed into semi arid deserts causing habitats to be widely spread across the growingly disparate landmasses. Cursoriality was an economic means of traveling long distances to acquire food that was usually low laying vegetation and more easily accessed by walking [6] Traces of these events are reflected in ratite distribution throughout semi-arid grasslands and deserts today [7]

Gigantism and flightlessness are almost exclusively correlated[clarification needed]. This is mostly observed in islands lacking predators and competition. However, ratites occupy environments that are mostly occupied by a diverse amount of mammals.[8] It is thought that they first originated through allopatric speciation caused by breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana.[9] However recent evidence suggests this hypothesis first proposed by Joel Cracraft in 1974 is incorrect.[10] Rather ratites arrived in their respective locations via a flighted ancestor and lost the ability to fly multiple times within the lineage.

Gigantism is not a requirement for flightlessness. The kiwi does not exhibit gigantism along with tinamous, even though they co-occur with the moa and rhea that both exhibit gigantism. This could be the result of ancestral flighted birds arrival or because of competitive exclusion.[11] The first flightless bird to arrive in each environment utilized the large flightless herbivore or omnivore niche, forcing the later arrivals to remain smaller. In environments where flightless birds are not present, it is possible that after the K/T Boundary there were no niches for them to fill. They were pushed out by other herbivorous mammals.[8]

New Zealand has more species of flightless birds (including the kiwis, several species of penguins, and the takahe) than any other country. One reason is that until the arrival of humans roughly a thousand years ago, there were no large land predators in New Zealand; the main predators of flightless birds were larger birds.[12]
Reading Passage 3
Title:欧洲人口的增长
Question types:
文章内容回顾:本文讲了欧洲人口增长的原因。米国带来的土豆可以在欧洲到处生长,食物变多了。农民填沼泽获得更多耕地。农业工具变先进了。死亡率下降出生率增加,这也跟手工业有关系。
难度分析:主要是以农业上的发展为线索,讲述了人口增长的种种因素,其中主要包含农产品、农业用地和工具等等,此外还包括一些轻工业上的因素。
相关背景内容:Figures for the population of Europe vary according to which definition of European boundaries is used. The population within the standard physical geographical boundaries was 731 million in 2005 according to the United Nations.[1] In 2010 the population was 711 million,[citation needed] using the definition that Europe's boundaries are on the continental divides of the Caucasus and Ural mountains and the Bosporous, including the populated parts of countries of Russia, and a portion of Turkey. Population growth is comparatively slow, and median age comparatively high in relation to the world's other continents.[citation needed]

Since the Renaissance, Europe has had a dominating influence in culture, economics and social movements in the world. European demography is important not only historically, but also in understanding current international relations and population issues.

Some current and past issues in European demography have included religious emigration, ethnic relations, economic immigration, a declining birth rate and an ageing population. In some countries, such as Poland, access to abortion is currently limited and it is entirely illegal in the Mediterranean nation of Malta. In the past, such restrictions and also restrictions on artificial birth control were commonplace throughout Europe.
In 2007 the population of Europe was estimated to be 731 million according to the United Nations,[1] which was slightly more than 11% of world population. The precise figure depends on the exact definition of the geographic extent of Europe. The population of the EU was 499 million as of 2008. Non-EU countries situated in Europe in their entirety[2] account for another 94 million. Five transcontinental countries[3] have a total of 240 million people, of which about half reside in Europe proper.

While the population of the continent has grown, it hasn't come close to the pace of Asia or Africa. As it stands now, around 12% of the world's people live on this continent, but if demographic trends keep their pace, Europe's share may fall to around 7% in 2050. Declining birth rates (particularly in Germany) and a high life expectancy in most European states means that the aging and declining population will be a problem for many European economies, political and social institutions. Countries on the edges of Europe except for Southern Europe have generally stronger growth than Central European counterparts. Albania (Although in Southern Europe) and Ireland have strong growth, hitting over 1% annually.[4]

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