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# The caterpillar of the monarch butterfly feeds on milkweed

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The caterpillar of the monarch butterfly feeds on milkweed [#permalink]

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19 Nov 2007, 01:16
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The caterpillar of the monarch butterfly feeds on milkweed plants, whose toxins make the adult monarch poisonous to many predators. The viceroy butterfly, whose caterpillars do not feed on milkweed plants, is very similar in appearance to the monarch. Therefore, it can be considered that the viceroy is so seldom preyed on because of its visual resemblance to the monarch.

Which of the following, if it were discovered to be true, would most seriously undermine the argument?

(A) Some predators do not have a toxic reaction to insects that feed on milkweed plants.
(B) Being toxic to predators will not protect individual butterflies unless most members of the species to which such butterflies belong are similarly toxic.
(C) Some of the predators of the monarch butterfly also prey on viceroys.
(D) The viceroy butterfly is toxic to most predators.
(E) Toxic to predators is the principal means of protection for only a few butterfly species.
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19 Nov 2007, 04:11
The argument is: viceroy is seldom preyed on because it resembles monarch

(D) gives an alternative reason for the viceroy being seldom preyed on.
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19 Nov 2007, 12:40
Raffie wrote:
The argument is: viceroy is seldom preyed on because it resembles monarch

(D) gives an alternative reason for the viceroy being seldom preyed on.

I agree with Raffie. If the viceory is inherently toxic, its resemblance to the monarch butterfly is irrelevant.
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19 Nov 2007, 13:32
I guess E is also possible since the assumption here is that being toxic is a major reason of protection. What if this point itself is weakened.
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19 Nov 2007, 14:22
Agree with D.

The reasoning that Viceroy butterflies are not preyed upon because they resemble Monarch butterflies is destroyed.
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20 Nov 2007, 11:53
Thanks everybody.
OA is D.

Raffie wrote:
The argument is: viceroy is seldom preyed on because it resembles monarch

(D) gives an alternative reason for the viceroy being seldom preyed on.
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