Some flowering plant species, entirely dependent on bees for pollination, lure their pollinators with abundant nectar and pollen, which are the only source of food for bees. Often the pollinating species is so highly adapted that it can feed from – and thus pollinate – only a single species of plant. Similarly, some plant species have evolved flowers that only a single species of bee can pollinate – an arrangement that places the plant species at great risk of extinction. If careless applications of pesticides destroy the pollinating bee species, the plant species itself can no longer reproduce.
The information above, if true, most strongly supports which one of the following?
I'm happy to help with this.
The argument focuses on how certain flowering plants and certain species of bee have evolved into a relationship of interdependence. (A) The earliest species of flowering plants appeared on Earth contemporaneously with the earliest bee species
Weak. Bees & flowers showed up at the same time in the great evolutionary scheme. Does this mean all bees do all plants and vice-versa? or does it mean there's some specialization? It's entirely unclear from this floppy statement. This one is incorrect. (B) If the sole pollinator of a certain plant species is in no danger of extinction, the plant species it pollinates is also unlikely to become extinct.
Hmmm. The plant needs the bee --- using formal logic, we could say the bee is necessary
for the plant. We don't know, though, that the bee is sufficient
for the plant. The plant could be getting service from the bee, but still be attacked by, say, a fungus or virus or parasite. In other words, something else could take the plant species down even if the bee serving it was doing fine. This choice involves a necessary/sufficient confusion --- that can be a tricky type of wrong answer. This one is incorrect. (C) Some bees are able to gather pollen and nectar from any species of plant.
This direct contradicts the argument. The argument says: some plant species have evolved flowers that only a single species of bee can pollinate
. If flower #7 can only be only be pollinated by bee species #22, and flower #18 can only be pollinated by bee species #13, then no single bee species would be able to pollinate every flower. This one is incorrect. (D) The blossoms of most species of flowering plants attract some species of bees and do not attract others.
This is a very tricky one. The blossom is the visual part of the flower. The passage doesn't mention blossoms at all. The passage says that the flowers "lure their pollinators with abundant nectar and pollen
." Bees seek the nectar for food. Furthermore, chemical sensors are primary for bees: a bee's world is awash in pheromones. By contrast, we upright mammals are primarily visual creatures, so the thing that most makes an impression on us about a flower is the visual aspect --- i.e. the blossom. This is very tempting answer, because it plays on our mammalian sensibilities to read more into the paragraph than is there --- ultimately, to read "ourselves" into the paragraph. We care about the blossoms of flowers. Bees don't give two hoots about the blossom, and may not even see the same brilliance that we see, but that's OK, because for them, the nectar smells divine and is yummy. This one is incorrect. (E) The total destruction of the habitat of some plant species could cause some bee species to become extinct.
Aha! This one speaks directly to the interdependence that is key in this argument. The specific bee species and the specific flowering plant have evolved to depend on one another. If we destroy the plant habitat, those plants die, which means that species of bee loses its only source of food. It's no good for a species if its only source of food vanishes. This statement makes total sense in the context of the paragraph, and it indeed would be corroborating evidence, so it strengthens the argument. This is the only acceptable answer.
Does all this make sense?
Magoosh Test Prep