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# A new species of fish has just been discovered living in

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A new species of fish has just been discovered living in [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2012, 02:29
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A new species of fish has just been discovered living in great numbers in the waters off Papua New Guinea. The fish exhibits some characteristics belonging to sharks, such as a cartilaginous skeleton. However, the fish also exhibits characteristics belonging to eels, such as a long, snake-like body. Because of the habitat where it was found and its obviously eel-like body, almost all scientists believe that the fish is an eel. But the cartilaginous skeleton puzzles them, since no known eel possesses one. So scientists are still unsure as to the fish's precise classification, but they agreed immediately that the most logical classification would be as either a shark or an eel.

The statements above, if true, most strongly support which of the following?

A.To be placed into a certain classification, a fish must possess all the characteristics of that classification.
B.Physical characteristics, such as skeletons, are scientists' primary means of classifying new species.
C.Some fish with cartilaginous skeletons are not sharks.
D.The waters off Papua New Guinea are generally hospitable to eels.
E.A fish cannot be both a shark and an eel.

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
D

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Last edited by daviesj on 06 Dec 2012, 23:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A new species of fish [#permalink]

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10 Dec 2012, 05:23
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daviesj wrote:
A new species of fish has just been discovered living in great numbers in the waters off Papua New Guinea. The fish exhibits some characteristics belonging to sharks, such as a cartilaginous skeleton. However, the fish also exhibits characteristics belonging to eels, such as a long, snake-like body. Because of the habitat where it was found and its obviously eel-like body, almost all scientists believe that the fish is an eel. But the cartilaginous skeleton puzzles them, since no known eel possesses one. So scientists are still unsure as to the fish's precise classification, but they agreed immediately that the most logical classification would be as either a shark or an eel.

The statements above, if true, most strongly support which of the following?

A.To be placed into a certain classification, a fish must possess all the characteristics of that classification.
B.Physical characteristics, such as skeletons, are scientists' primary means of classifying new species.
C.Some fish with cartilaginous skeletons are not sharks.
D.The waters off Papua New Guinea are generally hospitable to eels.
E.A fish cannot be both a shark and an eel.

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
D

Responding to a pm:

We need to look for an option which we can infer/conclude from the argument. The argument must provide data to support it. Since most of the options have come up for discussion, let's discuss each one of them.

A.To be placed into a certain classification, a fish must possess all the characteristics of that classification.

We cannot infer this from the argument. In fact, we can say that 'a fish needn't possess all the characteristics of that classification' with more authority. Note this line: "Because of the habitat where it was found and its obviously eel-like body, almost all scientists believe that the fish is an eel."
The scientists believe that the fish is an eel because of a couple of eel like characteristics. They are puzzled by one characteristic that this fish has which no eel has but other missing eel like characteristics doesn't seem to cause any problem at all. Hence we can certainly not conclude this statement.

B.Physical characteristics, such as skeletons, are scientists' primary means of classifying new species.

Again, we cannot infer this. We don't know the primary means of classifying new species. Scientists seem to be using physical characteristics e.g. eel like body, skeleton etc as well as habitat.

C.Some fish with cartilaginous skeletons are not sharks.

All we can say from the argument is that no eel has cartilaginous skeletons and some sharks have cartilaginous skeletons. We don't know whether some non-sharks have cartilaginous skeletons too. The new fish has not been classified yet. We don't know whether it is an eel or a shark or both. If it is classified as an eel, then we can say that some fish with cartilaginous skeletons are not sharks. If instead, it is classified as a shark, then we do not know whether there are some fish with cartilaginous skeletons that are not sharks. Hence, we cannot infer this.

D.The waters off Papua New Guinea are generally hospitable to eels.

We can infer this statement. The fish has been found in the waters off Papua New Guinea. The statement "Because of the habitat where it was found and its obviously eel-like body, almost all scientists believe that the fish is an eel." helps us infer that this habitat is suited to eels.

E.A fish cannot be both a shark and an eel.

The argument only says that the fish is either a shark or an eel. Recall that 'either or' construct implies 'at least one' in reasoning. Both are also possible. When we say 'I will get either a dog or a cat', it implies I will get at least one of the two and I could get both too.
In any case, the argument only talks about this particular fish. It says that this fish is either a shark or an eel. It is certainly possible that there is some fish which is considered both a shark and an eel. The argument doesn't say that such a fish does not exist. At the end of the debate, the scientists may put this fish also in both the classifications. We cannot conclude that a fish cannot be both from this argument.

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Get started with Veritas Prep GMAT On Demand for $199 Veritas Prep Reviews Intern Joined: 30 Aug 2012 Posts: 8 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 3 [3] , given: 12 Re: A new species of fish [#permalink] ### Show Tags 06 Dec 2012, 13:30 3 This post received KUDOS ANswer:D, i think this is why, wasn't my first choice either A.To be placed into a certain classification, a fish must possess all the characteristics of that classification.- wrong,no clear mention of how classification is done. B.Physical characteristics, such as skeletons, are scientists' primary means of classifying new species.- may be one of the criteria..thsi also is wrong C.Some fish with cartilaginous skeletons are not sharks.- there is a possibility there are others who qualify to be a shark.un clear- wrong D.The waters off Papua New Guinea are generally hospitable to eels.- the paragraph clearly states that"because of the habitat.......the fish is a eel"- correct E.A fish cannot be both a shark and an eel.- the possibility is not ruled out- this is only the most logiacl conclusin for this species.- not a direct conclusion. Therefore the best answer is D Current Student Status: Never ever give up on yourself.Period. Joined: 23 Aug 2012 Posts: 152 Location: India Concentration: Finance, Human Resources GMAT 1: 570 Q47 V21 GMAT 2: 690 Q50 V33 GPA: 3.5 WE: Information Technology (Investment Banking) Followers: 9 Kudos [?]: 242 [2] , given: 35 Re: A new species of fish [#permalink] ### Show Tags 06 Dec 2012, 23:04 2 This post received KUDOS Here's what Kaplan has to say about the OA: Conclusion: This is an inference question that asks us to draw a conclusion from the information provided. What must also be true given the stimulus? Evidence: Since we need to draw our own conclusion, we can use all facts provided in the argument as evidence. The first sentence states that the new fish was discovered off the waters of Papua New Guinea. In addition, the sentence 4 states that the new fish shares its habitat with the eel. In combination, these two sentences indicate that eels also live in the waters off Papua New Guinea. So this region must be hospitable to eels, as stated in (D). (A) doesn't follow from the information given. The last sentence implies that the new fish could be classified as a shark even though it does not have a cartilaginous skeleton Also, it is extreme in its use of the word all. With (B), the importance of physical characteristics relative to other characteristics is not discussed. With (C), if the new fish were to be classified as an eel, then we could conclude that at least one fish with a cartilaginous skeleton is not a shark. The stimulus, however, never says this. Furthermore, we aren't told anything about other fish classifications. And with (E), the last sentence states that the new fish will probably be classified as either a shark or an eel, but suggests nothing about an animal being both. Though this choice may seem true, we don't know for certain. _________________ Don't give up on yourself ever. Period. Beat it, no one wants to be defeated (My journey from 570 to 690) : beat-it-no-one-wants-to-be-defeated-journey-570-to-149968.html Current Student Status: Never ever give up on yourself.Period. Joined: 23 Aug 2012 Posts: 152 Location: India Concentration: Finance, Human Resources GMAT 1: 570 Q47 V21 GMAT 2: 690 Q50 V33 GPA: 3.5 WE: Information Technology (Investment Banking) Followers: 9 Kudos [?]: 242 [2] , given: 35 Re: A new species of fish [#permalink] ### Show Tags 07 Dec 2012, 04:59 2 This post received KUDOS Differentiating an inference from an assumption can be a difficult because the definition of each refers to what "Must be true". But the difference is simple: An inference is what follows from an conclusion, where as an assumption is what is taken for granted to make a conclusion. In other words, an assumption occurs "before" the argument, that is, while the argument is being made. An inference is made "after" the argument is completed. is it convincing enough? _________________ Don't give up on yourself ever. Period. Beat it, no one wants to be defeated (My journey from 570 to 690) : beat-it-no-one-wants-to-be-defeated-journey-570-to-149968.html Intern Joined: 15 Apr 2010 Posts: 48 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 24 [1] , given: 11 Re: A new species of fish [#permalink] ### Show Tags 06 Dec 2012, 23:54 1 This post received KUDOS Conclusion: Fish is EITHER shark OR eel. (A is either X or Y) I too confidently marked E as I think it's a necessary assumption. E says it cannot be both, so it strengthens to the fact that it can only be one of the two type. However OA is D, and as some explanation, D rules out the possibility that fish is shark, so it could be eel. I don't agree with this reasoning because the conclusion we need to support here is A is either X or Y. So if D says A leans toward X more, then it actually weakens the conclusion "A is either X or B" (since we don't know any other information, so possibility here is 50/50), as it leans afar from the possibility of the fact that A could be Y. Tough one, experts please help. What is the source of this question? Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor Joined: 16 Oct 2010 Posts: 6578 Location: Pune, India Followers: 1791 Kudos [?]: 10774 [1] , given: 211 Re: A new species of fish [#permalink] ### Show Tags 10 Dec 2012, 20:11 1 This post received KUDOS Expert's post Archit143 wrote: Hi Karishma Thanks for the post but i am bit confused about whether the question asks to strengthen or inferring....... The question is most strongly support. So do we need to look for a supporter or inference...... A basic doubt.. PLs help me A 'support' question can be an inference question or a strengthen question. You need to carefully observe the question to figure out what type of question it is. The statements above, if true, most strongly support which of the following? - Inference question - The statements given in the argument are supporting an option. The option must be the inference/conclusion. Which of the following, if true, supports the argument given above? - Strengthen question - We are looking for the option that supports the argument i.e. supports the conclusion. Here we already have the conclusion and we want to strengthen it. _________________ Karishma Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor My Blog Get started with Veritas Prep GMAT On Demand for$199

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Re: A new species of fish [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2012, 04:17
C is a good competitor. But I think overall the safe answer would be E.
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Re: A new species of fish [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2012, 04:45
I also confidently marked 'E' as the answer but it's not the correct answer...:/

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Re: A new species of fish [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2012, 05:12
Hi Macfauz

I too agree with E as correct answer. But do not you think A is a contender......I eliminated A as its just an assumption but we need to find the supporter.
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Re: A new species of fish [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2012, 10:21
Expert's post
MacFauz wrote:
C is a good competitor. But I think overall the safe answer would be E.

How could be E is the answer ??

it is the contrary: scientist agree the fish is both, E say that cannot be two things at the same time.

A - must - too strong

B talk about skeleton but here we do not know nothing; moreover the debate is just upon the skeleton

C The contrary: sharks have a cartilaginous skeleton
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Re: A new species of fish [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2012, 10:42
carcass wrote:
MacFauz wrote:
C is a good competitor. But I think overall the safe answer would be E.

How could be E is the answer ??

it is the contrary: scientist agree the fish is both, E say that cannot be two things at the same time.

A - must - too strong

B talk about skeleton but here we do not know nothing; moreover the debate is just upon the skeleton

C The contrary: sharks have a cartilaginous skeleton

I felt E sounded like an assumption and hence in a way strengthening the conclusion. The scientists say that the fish can be one or the other. So it means that the fish cannot be both... Quite a tough one...
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Re: A new species of fish [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2012, 10:58
OA is 'D'... but need convincing explaination to defer E and accept D.

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Re: A new species of fish [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2012, 11:39
Hi carcass

can you present your line of reasoning for picking D as the right answer.
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Re: A new species of fish [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2012, 15:19
Expert's post
nerd wrote:
ANswer:D, i think this is why, wasn't my first choice either

A.To be placed into a certain classification, a fish must possess all the characteristics of that classification.- wrong,no clear mention of how classification is done.
B.Physical characteristics, such as skeletons, are scientists' primary means of classifying new species.- may be one of the criteria..thsi also is wrong
C.Some fish with cartilaginous skeletons are not sharks.- there is a possibility there are others who qualify to be a shark.un clear- wrong
D.The waters off Papua New Guinea are generally hospitable to eels.- the paragraph clearly states that"because of the habitat.......the fish is a eel"- correct
E.A fish cannot be both a shark and an eel.- the possibility is not ruled out- this is only the most logiacl conclusin for this species.- not a direct conclusion.
Therefore the best answer is D

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Re: A new species of fish [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2012, 17:24
I got it right on D. Because D is clearly stated in the passage.
How about C? - some fishes with cartilaginous skeletons are not sharks: As in this case, the passage said the fish can be classified as either shark or eel. If it's classified as eel,then it can't be shark. So it makes sense that the ell with with cartilaginous skeletons are not sharks
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Re: A new species of fish [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2012, 18:56
Here is my understanding -

A.To be placed into a certain classification, a fish must possess all the characteristics of that classification.- "One of Assumptions of Argument"
B.Physical characteristics, such as skeletons, are scientists' primary means of classifying new species.- Again "One of Assumptions of Argument"
C.Some fish with cartilaginous skeletons are not sharks.- "we are not interested in NOT sharks"
D.The waters off Papua New Guinea are generally hospitable to eels.-Presence of generally makes it correct choice
E.A fish cannot be both a shark and an eel.-"One of Assumptions of Argument"
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Re: A new species of fish [#permalink]

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07 Dec 2012, 00:29
I have chosen 'E' but after explanation of Kaplan.
answer seems to be 'D' only.
How to distinguish between inference and assumption?
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Re: A new species of fish [#permalink]

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07 Dec 2012, 00:55
Aristocrat wrote:
I have chosen 'E' but after explanation of Kaplan.
answer seems to be 'D' only.
How to distinguish between inference and assumption?

To determine if the question is an inference look for the keywords "if true" somewhere in the question stem.
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Re: A new species of fish [#permalink]

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07 Dec 2012, 04:37
pikachu wrote:
Aristocrat wrote:
I have chosen 'E' but after explanation of Kaplan.
answer seems to be 'D' only.
How to distinguish between inference and assumption?

To determine if the question is an inference look for the keywords "if true" somewhere in the question stem.

these is to identify question stem
but how to differentiate between inference and assumption in argument?
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Re: A new species of fish   [#permalink] 07 Dec 2012, 04:37

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