Whales originated in the freshwater lakes and rivers of ancient Asia about sixty
million years ago. Not until about ten million years later did species of whales
develop specialized kidneys enabling them to drink salt water. Although fossil
evidence shows that some early whale species that lacked such kidneys sometimes
swam in the Earth’s saltwater oceans, these species must have had to return frequently
to freshwater rivers to drink.
Which of the following is most strongly supported by the information given?
A. Fossils of whale species dating from between sixty million and fifty million
years ago will not be found on continents that were at the time separated from
ancient Asia by wide expanses of ocean.
B. Among whale fossils that date from later than about fifty million years ago,
none are fossils of whale species that drank only fresh water.
C. Fossils of whale species that drank fresh water will not be found in close
proximity to fossils of whale species that drank salt water.
D. The earliest whales that drank salt water differed from fresh-water-drinking whales only in their possession of specialized kidneys.
E. Between sixty million and fifty million years ago, the freshwater lakes and
rivers in which whales originated were gradually invaded by salt water.
is the answer D?