Manatees are large, gentle, slow moving mammals. They are entirely aquatic, meaning they spend their full lives in the water. Manatees are found in the warm ocean waters off the southeastern United States, Caribbean Islands, eastern Mexico and Central America. They cannot survive for long periods of time in waters below 68° Fahrenheit. Manatees evolved from four-footed land mammals over 60 million years ago. Manatees are distantly related to elephants. They range in color from gray to brown, and the average adult is about 10 feet long and weighs between 1,500 and 2,200 pounds. Life expectancy is about 60 years. Newborns range in size from 4 to 4.5 feet, and weigh about 60 pounds. Manatee young are called calves. Calves are dependent on their mother for up to 2 years. Manatees live in shallow water habitats. They thrive well in fresh, salt and brackish waters. Brackish water is the mix of fresh and saltwater that occurs where freshwater bodies flow into the ocean. In Florida, they travel considerable distances during the winter to access warm water. Manatees are herbivores, that is to say, they eat only plants and vegetation. In the U.S. the manatee is listed as a federally endangered species. It is estimated that there are less than 3,000 remaining manatees in Florida today. Major threats to manatee survival are human activities such as boat-related injuries and deaths, habitat loss or damage, and in some countries, hunting. Question: The passage mentions that manatees are endangered, mainly due to human activities. What other detail from the passage might explain why manatees are so easily threatened by people?
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Read the excerpt from “The Pit and the Pendulum,” a short story by Edgar Allan Poe and answer the question that follows. In it, a prisoner condemned to death has been trapped in a lightless dungeon. When an eerie glow from an unknown source enables him to see his surroundings, he compares the impressions he gained in the dark with what he observes when the dungeon is lit. In its size I had been greatly mistaken. The whole circuit of its walls did not exceed twenty-five yards. For some minutes this fact occasioned me a world of vain trouble; vain indeed! for what could be of less importance, under the terrible circumstances which environed me, than the mere dimensions of my dungeon? But my soul took a wild interest in trifles, and I busied myself in endeavors to account for the error I had committed in my measurement. The truth at length flashed upon me. In my first attempt at exploration I had counted fifty-two paces, up to the period when I fell; . . . upon awaking, I must have returned upon my steps—thus supposing the circuit nearly double what it actually was. . . . I had been deceived, too, in respect to the shape of the enclosure. In feeling my way I had found many angles, and thus deduced an idea of great irregularity; so potent is the effect of total darkness . . . The angles were simply those of a few slight depressions, or niches, at odd intervals. The general shape of the prison was square. What I had taken for masonry seemed now to be iron, or some other metal, in huge plates . . . The entire surface of this metallic enclosure was [covered] in . . . hideous and repulsive devices . . . Which of the following words BEST describes the mood of the excerpt? A. humorous B. righteous C. sinister D. prosperous
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Read the excerpt below from a Florida government land-use study and answer the question that follows. In it, the authors describe how humans need to recognize themselves as part of the ecosystem in which they live. From a biological perspective, modern cities and suburbs resemble the noisy, crowded bird colonies scattered on offshore islands and rocky coastlands across the globe. In the animal kingdom, colonies are a fairly sustainable way of life, providing two basic conditions are met. First, colonies can persist, even thrive, if the demand for resources by the inhabitants does not exceed the supply readily available from surrounding areas. Second, colonies can be sustained if the waste they produce does not poison its inhabitants. Like bird colonies, cities and suburbs draw heavily on the resources of the surrounding environment. What was once a relatively small stream of resources flowing into early cities, however, has in this century become a deluge. To satisfy resource-hungry human colonies, land is often stripped bare, trampled, or overgrazed, soil is subjected to erosion, a farmland is transformed into desert. Cities and suburbs also produce sizable amounts of waste. Air pollution, hazardous waste, sewage sludge, garbage, and other wastes pour out of our cities. . . . The problem with human colonies is that they violate the conditions required for sustainability. Metropolitan areas are out of balance with the environment upon which they depend. . . . The ever persistent spread of cities will continue to devour valuable farmland, forests, and pasture. Gobbling up land and polluting the water and air upon which all life depends, our cities are on a collision course with the future. Which word BEST describes the overall tone of the excerpt? A. humorous B. educational C. warning D. despairing