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# A new species of fish has just been discovered living in

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VP
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Re: A new species of fish [#permalink]

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10 Dec 2012, 06:47
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
daviesj wrote:
A new species of fish has just been discovered living in great numbers in the waters off Papua New Guinea. The fish exhibits some characteristics belonging to sharks, such as a cartilaginous skeleton. However, the fish also exhibits characteristics belonging to eels, such as a long, snake-like body. Because of the habitat where it was found and its obviously eel-like body, almost all scientists believe that the fish is an eel. But the cartilaginous skeleton puzzles them, since no known eel possesses one. So scientists are still unsure as to the fish's precise classification, but they agreed immediately that the most logical classification would be as either a shark or an eel.

The statements above, if true, most strongly support which of the following?

A.To be placed into a certain classification, a fish must possess all the characteristics of that classification.
B.Physical characteristics, such as skeletons, are scientists' primary means of classifying new species.
C.Some fish with cartilaginous skeletons are not sharks.
D.The waters off Papua New Guinea are generally hospitable to eels.
E.A fish cannot be both a shark and an eel.

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
D

Responding to a pm:

We need to look for an option which we can infer/conclude from the argument. The argument must provide data to support it. Since most of the options have come up for discussion, let's discuss each one of them.

A.To be placed into a certain classification, a fish must possess all the characteristics of that classification.

We cannot infer this from the argument. In fact, we can say that 'a fish needn't possess all the characteristics of that classification' with more authority. Note this line: "Because of the habitat where it was found and its obviously eel-like body, almost all scientists believe that the fish is an eel."
The scientists believe that the fish is an eel because of a couple of eel like characteristics. They are puzzled by one characteristic that this fish has which no eel has but other missing eel like characteristics doesn't seem to cause any problem at all. Hence we can certainly not conclude this statement.

B.Physical characteristics, such as skeletons, are scientists' primary means of classifying new species.

Again, we cannot infer this. We don't know the primary means of classifying new species. Scientists seem to be using physical characteristics e.g. eel like body, skeleton etc as well as habitat.

C.Some fish with cartilaginous skeletons are not sharks.

All we can say from the argument is that no eel has cartilaginous skeletons and some sharks have cartilaginous skeletons. We don't know whether some non-sharks have cartilaginous skeletons too. The new fish has not been classified yet. We don't know whether it is an eel or a shark or both. If it is classified as an eel, then we can say that some fish with cartilaginous skeletons are not sharks. If instead, it is classified as a shark, then we do not know whether there are some fish with cartilaginous skeletons that are not sharks. Hence, we cannot infer this.

D.The waters off Papua New Guinea are generally hospitable to eels.

We can infer this statement. The fish has been found in the waters off Papua New Guinea. The statement "Because of the habitat where it was found and its obviously eel-like body, almost all scientists believe that the fish is an eel." helps us infer that this habitat is suited to eels.

E.A fish cannot be both a shark and an eel.

The argument only says that the fish is either a shark or an eel. Recall that 'either or' construct implies 'at least one' in reasoning. Both are also possible. When we say 'I will get either a dog or a cat', it implies I will get at least one of the two and I could get both too.
In any case, the argument only talks about this particular fish. It says that this fish is either a shark or an eel. It is certainly possible that there is some fish which is considered both a shark and an eel. The argument doesn't say that such a fish does not exist. At the end of the debate, the scientists may put this fish also in both the classifications. We cannot conclude that a fish cannot be both from this argument.

Hi Karishma
Thanks for the post but i am bit confused about whether the question asks to strengthen or inferring.......
The question is most strongly support. So do we need to look for a supporter or inference......
A basic doubt.. PLs help me
VP
Status: Final Lap Up!!!
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GMAT 1: 410 Q35 V11
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Kudos [?]: 564 [0], given: 70

Re: A new species of fish [#permalink]

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10 Dec 2012, 21:02
Karishma

Thanx for excellent explanation....
+1

Regards

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Re: A new species of fish has just been discovered living in [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2012, 00:26
Thanks for the wonderful explaination Karishma....Kudos +1... I would have never gotten it right even after 4 choices...
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Re: A new species of fish has just been discovered living in [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2012, 08:27
is this question even from GMAT... I mean it should have diff level of 900.. the answer I chose was not even closer to what OA is.... first option I rejected was OA .... so difficult.
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Re: A new species of fish has just been discovered living in [#permalink]

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07 Jan 2013, 04:37
A.To be placed into a certain classification, a fish must possess all the characteristics of that classification.
the argument mentions that there is no such eel with cartilaginous skeleton yet, the scientist are not sure whether the fish is an eel or shark. This means the scientist possibly may make this fish an exception as an eel with skeleton. The scientists may make exceptions.
thus, A is false.

B.Physical characteristics, such as skeletons, are scientists' primary means of classifying new species.
this is extreme. The scientist had the skeleton as basis but nowhere was it mentioned as their primary means. B is not given in the argument.

C.Some fish with cartilaginous skeletons are not sharks.
if the fish is classified as an eel, then this will be true but it has not been finalized yet. This is not confirmed in the stimulus.

D.The waters off Papua New Guinea are generally hospitable to eels.
because of its habitat the fish may be classified as eel... This is true...

E.A fish cannot be both a shark and an eel.
this may happen. This fish may be the first. For now it could be either eel or shark but nowhere did the argument confirmed that it cannot be both.

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Re: A new species of fish has just been discovered living in [#permalink]

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22 Dec 2015, 03:13
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Re: A new species of fish has just been discovered living in   [#permalink] 22 Dec 2015, 03:13

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# A new species of fish has just been discovered living in

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