The overall theme of both the reading and lecture is about extinction of a huge marine mammal known as Steller's sea cow. The passage explores three theories, supporting possible explanation for extinction of this creature. However, the speaker challenges these claims by suggesting that they are rather faulty.
To begin with, the passage asserts that it is possible native inhabitants have overhunted these mammals which resulted in a decline in their population density. On the other hand, the speaker opposes this assertion by demonstrating that these kind of species were enormous in size and weighted near 10 tons and the population of people in that area was not very large. Therefore, even if humans used this animal as a source of food, they did not need to hunt large numbers of them to obtain sufficient food supply.
As well as that, the passage states that because the plant which sea cows prey on responds negatively to some of ecological changes, ecosystem disturbances may have played a role in sea cow's extinction. The lecturer refutes this statement and claims that if a severe ecological change have had happened, its influence on other plants and creatures should have been observed in that environment. As a result, this factor can not be a proper theory and these animals are not likely to have faced any food shortage.
Lastly, the passage mentions that the arrival of European fur traders may have impacted sea cow population because they caught the last sea cow in 1768. He also adds the weapons they owned allowed them to kill massive animals easily. The speaker disputes this idea and suggests that when Europeans arrived sea cow population had already declined.
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Attribute Value Ideal
Final score: 22 in 30
Category: Good Excellent
No. of Grammatical Errors: 0 2
No. of Spelling Errors: 0 2
No. of Sentences: 12 12
No. of Words: 281 250
No. of Characters: 1384 1200
No. of Different Words: 170 150
Fourth Root of Number of Words: 4.094 4.2
Average Word Length: 4.925 4.6
Word Length SD: 2.514 2.4
No. of Words greater than 5 chars: 105 80
No. of Words greater than 6 chars: 78 60
No. of Words greater than 7 chars: 47 40
No. of Words greater than 8 chars: 28 20
Use of Passive Voice (%): 0 0
Avg. Sentence Length: 23.417 21.0
Sentence Length SD: 7.697 7.5
Use of Discourse Markers (%): 0.75 0.12
Sentence-Text Coherence: 0.341 0.35
Sentence-Para Coherence: 0.593 0.50
Sentence-Sentence Coherence: 0.065 0.07
Number of Paragraphs: 4 4