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The prairie vole, a small North American grassland rodent,

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The prairie vole, a small North American grassland rodent, [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2007, 18:23
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The prairie vole, a small North American grassland rodent, breeds year around, and a group of voles living togather consists primarily of an extended family, often including two or more litters. Voles commonly live in large groups from late autumn to winter; from spring thru early autumn, however, most voles live in far smaller groips. The seasonal variation in groups size can probably be explained by a seasonal variation in mortality among young voles.

Which of the following, if true, provides the strongest support for the explanation above?

A) It is the spring and in the early summer that prairie vole communities generally contain the highest proportion of young voles.
B) Prairie vole populations vary dramatically in size from year to year.
C) The prairie vole subsists primarily on broad-leaved plants that are abundant only in spring.
D) Winters in prairie vole's habitat are often harsh, with temperatures that drop well below freezing.
E) Snakes, a major predator of young prairie voles, or active only from spring thru early autumn.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2007, 19:45
The seasonal variation in groups size can probably be explained by a seasonal variation in mortality among young voles.

Snakes, a major predator of young prairie voles, or active only from spring thru early autumn.

E
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2007, 20:21
agree with E,

D would be wrong because just because the winter is harsh does not mean that will cause the prairies to die
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2007, 22:09
would go for E.
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2007, 22:15
E !
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Mar 2007, 21:31
E.
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Mar 2007, 16:18
OA is E...

thanks guys!

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Re: The prairie vole, a small North American grassland rodent, [#permalink] New post 28 Nov 2013, 09:02
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Actually E is the only answer which explains a difference in mortality. However, I do not understand one thing here.

If snakes are active from spring through early autumn, probably killing a lot of young voles, how can the group be bigger in winter (after the snakes killed the voles)?
I think that's a flaw in the answer...
The other answers are not better, but this made me stuck...
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The prairie vole, a small North American grassland rodent, [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2014, 02:12
wfmd wrote:
Actually E is the only answer which explains a difference in mortality. However, I do not understand one thing here.

If snakes are active from spring through early autumn, probably killing a lot of young voles, how can the group be bigger in winter (after the snakes killed the voles)?
I think that's a flaw in the answer...
The other answers are not better, but this made me stuck...


I too am stuck with the reasoning behind the answer option. :|
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The prairie vole, a small North American grassland rodent, [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2014, 02:22
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neo656 wrote:
I too am stuck with the reasoning behind the answer option. :|



Hi,

The key word here is "Breeds year around"- In this sentence it is stated that the voles breed throughout the year. If snakes are only active from spring to early autumn, they will not be able to kill the young voles born during late autumn or in winter.

so the group is bigger in winter.

Hope it helps.
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Re: The prairie vole, a small North American grassland rodent, [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2014, 05:21
Gnpth wrote:
neo656 wrote:
I too am stuck with the reasoning behind the answer option. :|



Hi,

The key word here is "Breeds year around"- In this sentence it is stated that the voles breed throughout the year. If snakes are only active from spring to early autumn, they will not be able to kill the young voles born during late autumn or in winter.

so the group is bigger in winter.

Hope it helps.


Read again with a different perpective. Guess what? It does make sense now... :idea:
Thanks .. :)
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Re: The prairie vole, a small North American grassland rodent, [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2015, 11:40
I am sorry but the logic here is seems flawed to me. If vole groups are smaller from during spring and summer time, they cannot become larger in the winter. If snakes are the cause of vole mortality, than the group size should decline overtime starting at high group size, and slowly decrease to winter. Now if voles split up into smaller groups as a defense tactic, the smaller group sizes are a result of that tactic, not the snakes
Re: The prairie vole, a small North American grassland rodent,   [#permalink] 28 Apr 2015, 11:40
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