Biologists have posited one reason why the giant tortoise, : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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Biologists have posited one reason why the giant tortoise,

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Biologists have posited one reason why the giant tortoise, [#permalink]

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17 Jun 2012, 16:56
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Biologists have posited one reason why the giant tortoise, thought to be the animal with the longest life span in the world, enjoys such longevity. They argue that large, well-protected animals such as the tortoise can devote more biological resources to longevity, while animals that are more vulnerable devote their resources to procreating quickly and at an early age.

Which of the following most strengthens the biologists' argument?

(A) Tortoises that procreate quickly and at an early age tend to live longer than tortoises that devote their resources to protecting themselves.

(B) Animals that procreate early, such as fruit flies, have shorter lifespans.

(C) The oldest tortoises on record live about twice as long as the oldest humans in history.

(D) Tortoises lay between one and thirty eggs at a time, while other animals may lay hundreds.

(E) Tortoises who face less pressure from predators tend to have longer lifespans.

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: longest life span in the world [#permalink]

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17 Jun 2012, 17:55
I like to do CR in POE style as it's quickest:

- A does not strengthen. Eliminate.
- B is decent. Keep for now.
- C is out of context. Eliminate.
- D is out of context. Eliminate.
- E is decent. Keep for now.

Answer is clearly B or E.

I think we'll go with B here as the implications extend beyond just tortoises and therefore add a good deal of evidence to the broader argument.

OA = B
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Re: longest life span in the world [#permalink]

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17 Jun 2012, 18:59
The given argument is claiming that there is a trade-off between devoting biological resources to longevity and devoting them to procreating quickly. Only B comes close to strengthening this assumption of a trade-off.
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Re: longest life span in the world [#permalink]

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18 Jun 2012, 05:45
ARGUMENT: well-protected animals can devote more biological resources to longevity, while animals that are more vulnerable devote their resources to procreating quickly and at an early age

Do we have to strengthen the argument ONLY ..... OR ..... we have to strengthen the argument in such a way that "Tortoise has longest life span" is also STRENGTHENED.

I am asking this because B strengthens the argument but does not strengthen the argument so that it can explain the reason for longer life span of tortoise
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Re: longest life span in the world [#permalink]

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18 Jun 2012, 11:07
vikram4689 wrote:
Biologists have posited one reason why the giant tortoise, thought to be the animal with the longest life span in the world, enjoys such longevity. They argue that large, well-protected animals such as the tortoise can devote more biological resources to longevity, while animals that are more vulnerable devote their resources to procreating quickly and at an early age.

Which of the following most strengthens the biologists' argument?

(E) Tortoises who face less pressure from predators tend to have longer lifespans.

What's the source on this problem?

I've been typing and deleting responses to it for the past fifteen minutes, because every time I read this answer choice I get a different meaning from it. This answer raises two questions: 1) are we discussing Giant Tortoises in particular, or tortoises as a family or related animals? And 2) are we discussion lifespans assuming the tortoises aren't eaten, or are we factoring attrition from predation into the average lifespan?

I think the confusion some posters have from choice (E) comes from the reading that some types of tortoises are less "well-protected" than others, and therefore are likely to have shorter lifespans due to a different expenditure of biological resource. But I think that (E) actually says that the average lifespan of the tortoise is lower because some tortoises are eaten by predators, which is in fact a tautology and therefore irrelevant!
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Prepare with Kaplan and save $150 on a course! Kaplan Reviews Magoosh GMAT Instructor Joined: 28 Nov 2011 Posts: 307 Followers: 521 Kudos [?]: 986 [1] , given: 2 Re: longest life span in the world [#permalink] Show Tags 18 Jun 2012, 12:18 1 This post received KUDOS Expert's post The argument isn't too difficult to take apart: the more well-protected a species the more likely it will live long (think of a tortoise's giant shell); the less well-protected the more likely it will try to procreate as quickly as possible (I'm thinking rabbits here ). By extension, the sooner a species tries to procreate the shorter its lifespan. As for the best answer, it gets a little trickier... (A) Tortoises that procreate quickly and at an early age tend to live longer than tortoises that devote their resources to protecting themselves. The real issue is between species. That is, we want to compare well-protected to not-so-well-protected species in terms of longevity. Anyhow, this answer choice apparently goes against the conclusion. (B) Animals that procreate early, such as fruit flies, have shorter lifespans. ANSWER Here we have an animal that procreates early (the fruit fly, all 50mg of it, just isn't too well protected) try to multiply as soon as possible. Again, the argument is stating that the less well-protected/sooner procreating species tends to have a shorter lifespan. This answer choice is by no means a homerun answer that makes you think, 'hey this is obviously it!' After all, we do not have much information on well-protected/wait-to-procreate species. Nonetheless, the answer lends some credence to the view, so I'll keep it. (C) The oldest tortoises on record live about twice as long as the oldest humans in history. We need to know a little bit more about when exactly the tortoise starts procreating. Sure, the turtle lives to well over 100 years, but when does it start procreating compared to a human? (D) Tortoises lay between one and thirty eggs at a time, while other animals may lay hundreds. Sure, but perhaps there are many animals that lay fewer than 30 eggs (and presumably they do not live as long as the longest-living species). Anyhow, we are concerned with the 'when' not the 'how' of procreation. (E) Tortoises who face less pressure from predators tend to have longer lifespans. Like (A), this answer choice focuses on tortoises. The correct answer has to discuss less well-protected species and their longevity/age of procreation. This answer choice may be tempting because it states something that is logically sound: tortoises that are not prey tend to live longer. And like that, the only correct answer left standing is (B). Hope that helps _________________ Christopher Lele Magoosh Test Prep Senior Manager Joined: 30 Jun 2011 Posts: 274 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 67 [0], given: 20 Re: longest life span in the world [#permalink] Show Tags 18 Jun 2012, 16:51 Chris, your explanation seems to refer exactly the issue that i asked above longest-life-span-in-the-world-134604.html#p1097553 However, i would like to confirm it once again Please read the link. I have also clarified my view below Earlier i thought that i have to strengthen the LINK between Argument and 1st sentence of stimulus. Here ARGUMENT: well-protected animals can devote more biological resources to longevity, while animals that are more vulnerable devote their resources to procreating quickly and at an early age and i thought that i have to strengthen the argument in such a way that it makes us more likely to believe that "tortoise has longer lifespan" But it seems we to strengthen the argument standalone without thinking whether argument makes us more likely to believe that "tortoise has longer lifespan". Is it common for GMAT to ask such question. i mean i have never seen any question where any given info. is NOT required. 1st statement is NOT required if we want to strengthen ARGUMENT STANDALONE P.S. here my concern is to understand how to respond to such ques STEMS Kaplan GMAT Instructor Joined: 25 Aug 2009 Posts: 644 Location: Cambridge, MA Followers: 83 Kudos [?]: 276 [0], given: 2 Re: longest life span in the world [#permalink] Show Tags 18 Jun 2012, 19:50 vikram4689 wrote: ARGUMENT: well-protected animals can devote more biological resources to longevity, while animals that are more vulnerable devote their resources to procreating quickly and at an early age Do we have to strengthen the argument ONLY ..... OR ..... we have to strengthen the argument in such a way that "Tortoise has longest life span" is also STRENGTHENED. I am asking this because B strengthens the argument but does not strengthen the argument so that it can explain the reason for longer life span of tortoise Stenghtening the "argument" always means strengthening the link between the supporting evidence and the conclusion that it supports. In this case, the word "posited" is the giveaway--the REASON, not the age of the tortoise, is the conclusion. Therefore, we are supporting the reason, not the fact that tortoises have a long life. Hope this helps! _________________ Eli Meyer Kaplan Teacher http://www.kaptest.com/GMAT Prepare with Kaplan and save$150 on a course!

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Re: longest life span in the world [#permalink]

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19 Jun 2012, 01:28
KapTeacherEli wrote:
vikram4689 wrote:
ARGUMENT: well-protected animals can devote more biological resources to longevity, while animals that are more vulnerable devote their resources to procreating quickly and at an early age

Do we have to strengthen the argument ONLY ..... OR ..... we have to strengthen the argument in such a way that "Tortoise has longest life span" is also STRENGTHENED.

I am asking this because B strengthens the argument but does not strengthen the argument so that it can explain the reason for longer life span of tortoise
Stenghtening the "argument" always means strengthening the link between the supporting evidence and the conclusion that it supports. In this case, the word "posited" is the giveaway--the REASON, not the age of the tortoise, is the conclusion. Therefore, we are supporting the reason, not the fact that tortoises have a long life.

Hope this helps!

I got confused with your reply. First you said that strengthening means strengthening the LINK but later you said we are supporting the reason, which is the conclusion.

strengthening the LINK means strengthening the ARGUMENT in such a way that "tortoise has larger life span" is STRENGTHENED whereas
strengthening the ARGUMENT means simply strengthening the argument without giving a thought whether "tortoise has larger life span" is STRENGTHENED or NOT
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19 Jun 2012, 05:30
Hi Vikram,

I don't think it's that common to find an answer choice that only addresses the extreme opposite case of what the argument is asking. That is, to strengthen that tortoises live longer and take their time to procreate, we invoke the exact opposite: fruit flies, which have a very short life span, procreate very quickly. At the same time, out of the answer choice, it is the best answer. For your GMAT studying, I would recommend just moving beyond this question and sticking to official material. You should be wrestling with the correct answer choices there, instead of on material that doesn't give the best approximation of the exam.

Hope that helps!
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19 Jun 2012, 06:41
ChrisLele wrote:
Hi Vikram,

I don't think it's that common to find an answer choice that only addresses the extreme opposite case of what the argument is asking. That is, to strengthen that tortoises live longer and take their time to procreate, we invoke the exact opposite: fruit flies, which have a very short life span, procreate very quickly. At the same time, out of the answer choice, it is the best answer. For your GMAT studying, I would recommend just moving beyond this question and sticking to official material. You should be wrestling with the correct answer choices there, instead of on material that doesn't give the best approximation of the exam.

Hope that helps!

Sure i agree that such ques. is uncommon. However, i would like to understand this one We are asked to strengthen the argument, but argument doesn't deal with tortoise having longest life span. Argument is following line only "ARGUMENT: well-protected animals can devote more biological resources to longevity, while animals that are more vulnerable devote their resources to procreating quickly and at an early age" Do you agree ?

2nd ques. : How does B strengthens that tortoise has longest life span
3rd ques. : Can i eliminate E on the basis that it merely restates info. in Premises and answer to STRENGTHEN ques. NEVER restate a premise

Last edited by vikram4689 on 19 Jun 2012, 07:34, edited 1 time in total.
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19 Jun 2012, 07:01
B is the only answer that gives some evidence of the link between a shorter lifespan and a tendency to procreate quickly and bountifully.

Cheers.
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Re: Biologists have posited one reason why the giant tortoise [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2012, 23:23
Let me try this out ...

Biologists have posited one reason why the giant tortoise, thought to be the animal with the longest life span in the world, enjoys such longevity. They argue that large, well-protected animals such as the tortoise can devote more biological resources to longevity, while animals that are more vulnerable devote their resources to procreating quickly and at an early age.

Which of the following most strengthens the biologists' argument?

Generally , for strengthen questions, we extract the conclusion of the argument quite easily by using the conclusion indicators like 'thus' , 'therefore' etc.
But here I found it difficult as there was no such indicators.

CONCLUSION : Tortoises enjoy longevity

WHY : Large, well-protected animals can devote more biological resources to longevity, while animals that are more vulnerable devote their resources to procreating quickly and at an early age.

(A) Tortoises that procreate quickly and at an early age tend to live longer than tortoises that devote their resources to protecting themselves.
This is exactly opposite to what is being told by the stimulus. The stimulus says that : "animals that are more vulnerable devote their resources to procreating quickly and at an early age."

(B) Animals that procreate early, such as fruit flies, have shorter lifespans.

Out of the various ways we can strengthen an argument, one way is : Arguments that use some examples , analogies or surveys rely upon the validity of those examples , analogies or surveys . Now if we get an answer choice which strengthen the examples , analogies or surveys , or establishes their soundness, such answer choice is usually correct.

This option has strengthen the relation : procreate early means shorter lifespan .
Hence this can be the correct choice

(C) The oldest tortoises on record live about twice as long as the oldest humans in history.

We are not interested to know how long a tortoise can live. We are interested in knowing why a tortoise can live for longer spans

(D) Tortoises lay between one and thirty eggs at a time, while other animals may lay hundreds.

This option says : "other animals may lay hundreds" and not " other animals lay hundreds". The statement is not that strong.There may be some animals which lay less than 30 eggs at a time and still live for lesser life span. We don't know.

(E) Tortoises who face less pressure from predators tend to have longer lifespans.
Here we are giving another reason why a tortoise may have longer lifespan. Hence this choice actually weakens the argument

We have only 1 contender, so answer is B.
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Re: Biologists have posited one reason why the giant tortoise [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2012, 23:48
IMO-B
easy one.
B clearly explains and provide extended illustration for the argument that "....while animals that are more vulnerable devote their resources to procreating quickly and at an early age".
A-no comparison is asked between "the Tortoises that procreate quickly" and " tortoises that devote their resources to protecting themselves".
B-Correct choice
C-Human vs tortoise comparison is irrelevant.
D-Laying of eggs and its comparison is not asked.
E-Predator has no role in this argument.

Stick to the conclusion and try to figure out the option which links directly to the conclusion.
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Re: Biologists have posited one reason why the giant tortoise, [#permalink]

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23 Nov 2013, 23:00
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Re: Biologists have posited one reason why the giant tortoise, [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2015, 02:44
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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Re: Biologists have posited one reason why the giant tortoise,   [#permalink] 28 Jun 2015, 02:44
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