Essay topics: TPO-45 - Integrated Writing Task
Any student of paleontology will be struck by the fact that a great many animals of the past were considerably larger than they are today. This holds true for species ranging from dinosaurs to most mammals. Just why they were so large calls for some explanation. A rough consensus has been reached on the following points.
The first is that the large size of the animals must be due to the early earth’s greater supply of oxygen. It is held by some reputable biologists that an oxygen-rich environment stimulates growth within a species and produces an array of large animal varieties.
A second point is that the abundant plant life on the early earth must have provided all species with plenty of nutrients. As biologists now know, adequate nutrition is vital for animals to fully grow. It is believed that this size increase gets genetically transmitted over generations. Thus, so long as the food supply remains adequate, animal species will tend to get bigger over time.
Finally, some researchers believe that the early earth’s warm climate tended to stimulate growth. Since the animals did not expend much energy to stay warm, the extra energy could be channeled into generating cells needed for larger bodies. Taking this view, the high oxygen levels, abundant food and warm weather all converged to produce animals of considerably larger dimensions than is the norm today.
Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they challenge the specific theories presented in the reading passage.
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