Over the last century, paleontologists have used small : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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Over the last century, paleontologists have used small

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Over the last century, paleontologists have used small [#permalink]

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09 Feb 2006, 22:30
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Over the last century, paleontologists have used small differences between fossil specimens to classify triceratops into sixteen species. This classification is unjustified, however, since the specimens used to distinguish eleven of the species come from animals that lived in the same area at the same time.
Which of the following, if true, would enable the conclusion of the argument to be properly drawn?
(A) Not every species that lived in a given area is preserved as a fossil.
(B) At least one individual of every true species of triceratops has been discovered as a fossil specimen.
(C) No geographical area ever supports more than three similar species at the same time.
(D) In many species, individuals display quite marked variation.
(E) Differences between fossil specimens of triceratops that came from the same area are no less distinctive than differences between specimens that came from different areas.
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09 Feb 2006, 23:13
C is the right choice. It proves that the classification is unjustified.

My choice was E at first but it strenghtens the unjustified classification.
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10 Feb 2006, 00:55
Is it C???

I was stuck between C and E. But C strengthens properly saying that even though no geographical area supports different species at the same time, then how the fossils found at one place can be classified in different species.
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10 Feb 2006, 02:51
Think that E) is correct
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10 Feb 2006, 04:10
(A) Not every species that lived in a given area is preserved as a fossil.
Does not pertain to the argument being made at large. "Fossils are being classified and the differences between each one of them is being used as a parameter".
(B) At least one individual of every true species of triceratops has been discovered as a fossil specimen. Would weaken the conclusion by justifying the classification.
(C) No geographical area ever supports more than three similar species at the same time. Negate it and it will weaken the conclusion. A geographical area will support more than three similar species at the same time. (D) In many species, individuals display quite marked variation.
Generic argument. While in many species individuals display quite marked variation there is a possibility that in the triceratops there might be variations between individuals. (E) Differences between fossil specimens of triceratops that came from the same area are no less distinctive than differences between specimens that came from different areas.

Diffrences are no less distinctive irrespective of the area they come from. This strengthens the argument that the classification is just.
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10 Feb 2006, 04:51
If you step back from the passage, C emerges as the clear answer.
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11 Feb 2006, 08:41
good job guys OA is C
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11 Feb 2006, 12:08
Late but its C.
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12 Feb 2006, 01:05
Even though (C) uses extreme language, it is the clear reason why 16 species cannot exist.
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