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# Biologists suspect that feathers are modified scales.

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Biologists suspect that feathers are modified scales. [#permalink]

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22 May 2011, 11:57
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Biologists suspect that feathers are modified scales. Ancient reptiles developed feathers as a way to insulate their bodies from the cold and regulate their body temperatures. However, many of these early feathered reptiles were unable to fly. Thus, today’s flightless birds probably developed their feathers as a way to manage their body temperatures.

The argument above relies on which of the following assumptions?

A. A characteristic developed for a particular ability does not remain after that ability is lost.
B. Some animals that are able to fly lack feathers.
C. Feathered dinosaurs that were able to fly also used their feathers to regulate body temperature.
D. Today’s flightless birds are direct descendants of feathered reptiles.
E. Without the ability to regulate their body temperature, flightless birds will go extinct.

I thought the answer is D. Can anyone help me understand why A also fits the bill?
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Ancient reptile(Question from TMH's verbal guide): Need help [#permalink]

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22 May 2011, 12:34
retro wrote:
Biologists suspect that feathers are modified scales. Ancient reptiles developed feathers as a way to insulate their bodies from the cold and regulate their body temperatures. However, many of these early feathered reptiles were unable to fly. Thus, today’s flightless birds probably developed their feathers as a way to manage their body temperatures.

The argument above relies on which of the following assumptions?

A. A characteristic developed for a particular ability does not remain after that ability is lost.
B. Some animals that are able to fly lack feathers.
C. Feathered dinosaurs that were able to fly also used their feathers to regulate body temperature.
D. Today’s flightless birds are direct descendants of feathered reptiles.
E. Without the ability to regulate their body temperature, flightless birds will go extinct.

I thought the answer is D. Can anyone help me understand why A also fits the bill?

According to me Option D is the answer. How can A be the ans. Probably the given OA is wrong ...
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Re: Ancient reptile(Question from TMH's verbal guide): Need help [#permalink]

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22 May 2011, 12:40
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Explanation given in the book:

Answer: A. This is an assumption question. Its conclusion and premises are:
Premises: (1) Ancient reptiles developed feathers as a way to insulate their bodies from the cold and regulate their body temperatures. (2) Many of these early feathered reptiles were unable to fly.

Conclusion: Today’s flightless birds probably developed their feathers as a way to manage their body temperatures.

This argument uses the fact that many early feathered reptiles were unable to fly to conclude that flightless birds developed their feathers for the same reason. But it must be assuming that the feathers did not develop for some other reason. Perhaps the feathers developed first for flight, but the birds eventually lost that ability. Choice A correctly states the assumption of the argument because it indicates that the flightless birds did not develop the feathers for an ability that they now no longer have. Choice B does not address the link between the feathers of flightless birds and the feathers of reptiles. Choice C doesn’t deal with flightless birds at all, so it cannot be correct. Choice D may be true, but it is not an assumption of the argument. The argument is only concluding why the flightless birds developed their feathers, not where they came from. Choice E is new information and not part of the argument.

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Rahul
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Re: Ancient reptile(Question from TMH's verbal guide): Need help [#permalink]

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23 May 2011, 02:00
in A, the characteristic is the feathers and the ability is to fly.

the option says as the ability to fly is lost,the characteristic (feathers) does not remain.
However, the argument says the other way round, where the characteristic is still present while just the ability is lost.

D should be the one.
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Re: Ancient reptile(Question from TMH's verbal guide): Need help [#permalink]

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23 May 2011, 07:14
Agree with D
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Re: Ancient reptile(Question from TMH's verbal guide): Need help [#permalink]

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20 Jun 2011, 22:51
option A is against the information given in the argument.
ans has to be D
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Re: Ancient reptile(Question from TMH's verbal guide): Need help [#permalink]

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03 Jul 2011, 08:06
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A for me.

If the ability to fly is lost, the feathered thing will be gone. Since flightless birds still have feathers, then it means that feathers aren't developed for flying, but for managing body temperatures.
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Re: Ancient reptile(Question from TMH's verbal guide): Need help [#permalink]

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03 Jul 2011, 20:45
D
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Re: Ancient reptile(Question from TMH's verbal guide): Need help [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2011, 08:14
A is the answer. The argument talks about 'ancient' reptiles not the reptiles today. This means that the assumption is that once the ability of reptiles to use feathers is lost, the characteristic is lost too..
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Re: Ancient reptile(Question from TMH's verbal guide): Need help [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2011, 23:08
IMO D
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Re: Ancient reptile(Question from TMH's verbal guide): Need help [#permalink]

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02 Nov 2011, 08:41
I also got D.. someone please explian
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Re: Ancient reptile(Question from TMH's verbal guide): Need help [#permalink]

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02 Nov 2011, 08:58
IMO-A,

Conclusion is- today’s flightless birds probably developed their feathers as a way to manage their body temperatures.

Premise- Ancient reptiles developed feathers as a way to insulate their bodies and many of these early feathered reptiles were unable to fly.

Option A clearly explains why Biologists suspect that feathers are modified scales
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Re: Ancient reptile(Question from TMH's verbal guide): Need help [#permalink]

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02 Nov 2011, 09:20
A doesnt seem to be the correct. Ill go with D.
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Re: Biologists suspect that feathers are modified scales. [#permalink]

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11 Jan 2012, 22:46
+ 1 for D.
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Re: Biologists suspect that feathers are modified scales. [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2013, 03:40
I went with D also.

While I understand the explanation some users have given for choosing A I believe the Gmat would not risk a controversial question, unless it is experimental. In my opinion someone could successfully argue that this question is not bullet-proof.
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Re: Biologists suspect that feathers are modified scales. [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2013, 20:24
Pls explain why answer choice D is incorrect.
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Re: Biologists suspect that feathers are modified scales. [#permalink]

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30 Aug 2013, 09:24
Hi,

Why is A correct??
Can someone explain..

Thanks,
Jai
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Re: Biologists suspect that feathers are modified scales. [#permalink]

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20 Sep 2013, 08:32
Biologists suspect that feathers are modified scales. Ancient reptiles developed feathers as a way to insulate their bodies from the cold and regulate their body temperatures. However, many of these early feathered reptiles were unable to fly. Thus, today’s flightless birds probably developed their feathers as a way to manage their body temperatures.

The argument above relies on which of the following assumptions?

A. A characteristic developed for a particular ability does not remain after that ability is lost.
B. Some animals that are able to fly lack feathers.
C. Feathered dinosaurs that were able to fly also used their feathers to regulate body temperature.
D. Today’s flightless birds are direct descendants of feathered reptiles.
E. Without the ability to regulate their body temperature, flightless birds will go extinct.

Premises: Ancient reptiles with feathers for holding body temperatures.
Conclusion: flightless birds' feathers as a way to manage body temperatures.
Assumption: MUST BE TRUE that a developed characteristic holds its purpose, otherwise will disappear. Flightless birds' feathers are for holding body temperatures, not for flying.
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Re: Biologists suspect that feathers are modified scales. [#permalink]

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20 Sep 2013, 11:28
Fell for D.

But on reflection, D seems to justify the conclusion with out-of-the-argument information, a possible choice on a STRENGTHEN question.

A fits the bill perfectly by undermining the possbility that feathers developed in flightless bird for purposes of flying.
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Re: Biologists suspect that feathers are modified scales. [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2014, 10:10
shivajibose wrote:
Fell for D.

But on reflection, D seems to justify the conclusion with out-of-the-argument information, a possible choice on a STRENGTHEN question.

A fits the bill perfectly by undermining the possbility that feathers developed in flightless bird for purposes of flying.

Out of question info IS allowed in Assumption questions.
Re: Biologists suspect that feathers are modified scales.   [#permalink] 28 Jun 2014, 10:10

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