The prairie vole, a small North American grassland rodent, : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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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, 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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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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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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New post 18 Mar 2007, 22:09
would go for E.
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New post 18 Mar 2007, 22:15
E !
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New post 19 Mar 2007, 21:31
E.
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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]

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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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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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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]

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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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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
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New post 24 May 2016, 00:37
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 groups. 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. -->This doesn't support or provides any explanation as why there is seasonal variations due to mortality.
B) Prairie vole populations vary dramatically in size from year to year. --> This doesn't strengthen at all. It says that by default the population varies and as such there are no seasonal variation factors.
C) The prairie vole subsists primarily on broad-leaved plants that are abundant only in spring. --> okay plants are abundant in spring. But we don't have any information if due to scarcity are the rodents dying ? no information given.
D) Winters in prairie vole's habitat are often harsh, with temperatures that drop well below freezing.-->Okay temperatures drop in winter, but no information given to conclude whether due to low temperature are they dying ?
E) Snakes, a major predator of young prairie voles, or active only from spring thru early autumn. --> Perfect ! This option explains why the rodents are dying in different different seasons because of snakes which are active in certain period and predate on the rodents !
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New post 05 Jun 2016, 09:29
culsivaji wrote:
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 groups. 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. -->This doesn't support or provides any explanation as why there is seasonal variations due to mortality.
B) Prairie vole populations vary dramatically in size from year to year. --> This doesn't strengthen at all. It says that by default the population varies and as such there are no seasonal variation factors.
C) The prairie vole subsists primarily on broad-leaved plants that are abundant only in spring. --> okay plants are abundant in spring. But we don't have any information if due to scarcity are the rodents dying ? no information given.
D) Winters in prairie vole's habitat are often harsh, with temperatures that drop well below freezing.-->Okay temperatures drop in winter, but no information given to conclude whether due to low temperature are they dying ?
E) Snakes, a major predator of young prairie voles, or active only from spring thru early autumn. --> Perfect ! This option explains why the rodents are dying in different different seasons because of snakes which are active in certain period and predate on the rodents !



Can someone please explain to me meaning of this line "The seasonal variation in groups size can probably be explained by a seasonal variation in mortality among young voles" , doesn't this mean , rodents are dying because of seasonal changes , which is supported by choice D. Please help me understand how E is correct. Would really appreciate your help.

Thanks
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CR is creating a lot of Problem in my life..I have even buy the e-gmat whole course and revise the same five times..

But nothing is improving..Please Help
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Re: The prairie vole, a small North American grassland rodent, [#permalink]

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kolheanup wrote:
CR is creating a lot of Problem in my life..I have even buy the e-gmat whole course and revise the same five times..

But nothing is improving..Please Help


Bro, I cant assure you that my strategy will work for you but you can give it a try ( As suggested by eGMAT & MGMAT CR ), here is my approach ( And I am finding it works for me )

1. Read the first Line ( This introduces the Topic/Background ) & try to pre think ( What is going to follow next )
2. Form Mental Images ( If Scientists are described , visualize men working in Science LAB in white LAB Coats )
3. Read / Re Read the conclusion ( Find what the authors believes to be true and what he/she convinces us to believe)
4. While reading the Stimulus predict the question that might follow ( Generally works well for Logical Flaw Questions )
5. Try to find the Reasoning used by the author for arriving at a specific Conclusion


Apart from these I am of the opinion that eGMAT / MGMAT and these notes ( I found here at GMATclub ) will definitely help you , coz 700+ score getters have been relying on these excellent materials for years now ...

All the best, hope these help you...
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