Out of the Ice Age
A Sentence-Combining Exercise Adapted From "The Dream Animal" by Loren Eiseley
This exercise has been adapted from two paragraphs in "The Dream Animal," a chapter in Loren Eiseley's book The Immense Journey (1957). After discussing the remarkable development of the human brain in the first year of life (it triples in size), Eiseley develops an analogy between the brain's development and the evolution of the human species. In the passage that follows, he identifies some of the effects of the Ice Age--"a time of great extinctions."
Combine the sentences in each set below, and arrange your new sentences into a coherent paragraph. Sentences that can be turned into adjective clauses are in italics. After you have completed this exercise, compare your work with the edited passage on page two.
- The Ice Age was a time of great extinctions.
This was true particularly toward its close.
- Some of the huge beasts vanished totally.
The huge beasts vanished from the earth.
The intercontinental migrations of the huge beasts had laid down the first paths.*
Man had traveled along the first paths.*
[* Create two adjective clauses here, one beginning with whose and the other with along which.]
- Mammoths were the temperate zone elephants.
Mammoths dropped the last of their tusks.
Their tusks were heavy.
The tusks were dropped along the fringes of the ice.
The fringes were receding.
- The bisons faded back into the past.
The bisons were long-horned.
Man had nourished himself upon the herds of the bisons.
Man had nourished himself for many a century.
It had been a century of wanderings.*
[* Use the phrase upon whose to begin this adjective clause.]
- There are cultural remnants of the ape at the beginning of the first glaciation.
These remnants can scarcely be distinguished from chance bits of stone.
By the ending of the fourth ice, the ape has become an artist.
By the ending of the fourth ice, the ape has become a world rover.
By the ending of the fourth ice, the ape has become the penetrator of the five continents.
- There is nothing quite like this event in all the time.
It is the time that went before.
- There had been brute animal dominance on earth.
The end of this dominance had come at last.
After you have completed this exercise, compare your work with the edited passage on page two.