The smeildons, a type of sabre-toothed tiger, despite having been extinct for thousands of years, nevertheless continue to attract much scientific research. Recently the question of whether they were social animals or not has aroused a heated debate. As far as we are concerned, they belong lo the social animal classification, which is explained in the following paragraphs.
First, smilodons lived in both South and North America from 1.8 million to 100,000 years ago, and through observing fossils from that period, scientists found evidence that some smilodons were wounded but still managed to survive. This raises an obvious question: Without the company of other members, how could the wounded smilodons survive? The wounded tigers needed other members of the pack lo hunt for them and tend to their wounds. Fossils suggest that smilodons are social animals.
Second, smilodon fossils discovered in the Rhea Kapoor tar pit in Los Angeles reflect a scene of their joint hunting at that time. An herbivore was caught in the sticky tar pit and on the verge of dying, and began attracting many hungry predators such as smilodons. However, during the process of capturing and eating the wounded beast stuck in the tar, many smilodons were also trapped in the gooey mess and died together as a group.
Third, living and hunting together would have improved smilodons’ competitive advantages. Though nowadays most tigers live and hunt alone, smilodons were quite different. Living in a time period where the natural environment was harsh and game was limited, smilodons had to cooperate with each other to hunt successfully, and in turn survive as a species.
托福综合写作题目：Summarize the points made in the lecture you just heard, explaining how they cast doubt on points made in the reading passage.
The reading hypothesizes that smilodons, the extinct sabre-toothed tiger, were in fact social animals. The professor discounts the evidence given, claiming that none of it sufficiently proves the smilodon was a social animal.
First, the reading claims that wounded smilodons were still able to survive, and this would have been virtually impossible without the aid and protection of other tigers within a pack. The professor is unconvinced, and says that smilodons were such powerful and tenacious animals that even the wounded could survive by scavenging for corpses left behind by other predators. Additionally, even wounded smilodons could have survived in harsh conditions due to their natural hardiness and physical resilience.
Next, the reading suggests that fossils found in the Rhea Kapoor tar pit in California indicate a group of smilodons all drowned in the tar while trying to surround and feed on a wounded herbivore. Instead of agreeing that they died together as a pack, the professor posits that many individual smilodons became I stuck in the muck at different times, while trying to get to the wounded prey.
Last, the passage describes the natural advantages of smilodons cooperating as a pack. The professor disagrees, and says that smilodons were evolved perfectly for their harsh environment, with strong, furred bodies and long sharp teeth for hunting. They needed no help in surviving solo.
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