This is a new TOEFL iBT Writing test for you to practice and prepare for TOEFL Test 2018. The test format and timing are set exactly like in real TOEFL iBT test.
You should write your own essay, then compare it with sample essay to check how well you’ve written. The video also provides rater’s comments on the essays, so you can check how your essay is scored.
Practicing on these TOEFL tests helps raise your score in the TOEFL Writing Section. This is also a great exercise to practice writing and listening English in general.
* READING PASSAGE
The dodo was a considerably large and plump bird, standing three feet tall with a grey body, a hooked beak, and a plume of white feathers on its rump. It once inhabited an island in the Indian Ocean, and in the late 17th century, it suddenly went extinct. There is little doubt that the disappearance of the dodo is a direct result of over hunting by humans.
One reason the dodo fell victim to over hunting was that, unlike most birds, it was flightless. Despite its large body, the dodo had small, weak wings, which could not propel it into the air. Therefore, it constituted easy prey for the human settlers, who would swiftly kill the bird as it walked through their camps. It was not long before the dodo’s population severely dwindled.
The dodo’s unusual friendliness also contributed to its extinction. Isolated from human contact for the entirety of its evolutionary existence, the dodo greeted the new visitors with a complete lack of fear. Rather than run or hide, the birds approached hunters with child-like curiosity and innocence, a habit that meant sudden death for much of the dodo population.
In addition, researchers have found evidence in caves of humans killing dodos in mass quantities. In one particular cave in Europe, researchers found the bones of many dodos. There are many such caves in Europe where dodos were taken from their island and killed.
* AUDIO SCRIPT OF LECTURE
Many of you have undoubtedly heard tales of the dodo—a fat, funny-looking bird that lived on an island off the east coast of Africa. It isn’t a coincidence that the dodo disappeared soon after humans arrived on their island. Yet it wasn’t over hunting, but rather other factors, that led to its extinction.
First of all humans didn’t even like eating dodo meat. It is true that the dodo’s flightlessness made it an easy catch for hunters and trappers. But its meat was tough and tasted pretty horrible. In their private journals, sailors gave detailed descriptions of the terrible-tasting dodos while praising other local species, such as the Red Rail- for their good taste. And so it is highly likely that the sailors abandoned dodo hunting and moved on to more desirable species. It just doesn’t make sense that hunters would keep pursuing a bad-tasting animal if better options were available.
Second of all, humans weren’t the dodo’s main hunter; other animals were. The dodo’s fearlessness is also often cited as evidence supporting the over hunting theory. But the truth of the matter is that the dodo’s lack of fear didn’t make it vulnerable to humans. Rather, its fearlessness made it vulnerable to the animals humans brought with them. Dogs and pigs, for example, went wild on the island, rampaging poorly hidden dodo nests and eating many of the dodos themselves. Without nests and offspring, the dodos had a great deal of trouble repopulating themselves, and their numbers quickly dropped,
Finally, there is little evidence of humans hunting large numbers of dodos. Although a few dodos did make it back to Europe on Portuguese ships, archaeologists have turned up scant evidence of human dodo hunts- It’s much more likely that the dodos died because humans introduced’ predators that had never before existed on the island and at the same time destroyed the forests where the birds made their homes.
So we can’t really blame human hunting for the extinction of the dodo. There were many contributing factors. Their loss of habitat was certainly a factor, as was the introduction of new predators into the areas where dodos lived. So. really, we can’t say that one thing caused the dodo to dis¬appear, and it certainly wasn’t over hunting.
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