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During the month of May, crabs arrive on Delaware's beaches to lay egg

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During the month of May, crabs arrive on Delaware's beaches to lay egg  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 23 Jan 2019, 05:49
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During the month of May, crabs arrive on Delaware's beaches to lay eggs. Certain shorebirds depend on these eggs for food during their annual spring migration to their northern breeding grounds. Delaware's crab population has declined recently. This decline, however, poses no serious threat to the migrating shorebird populations: by remaining longer in Delaware, the birds will be able to eat enough crab eggs to allow them to complete their migration.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?


(A) No other food available to the birds on Delaware's beaches is as nutritious and accessible as are crab eggs.

(B) The decline in the number of crabs on Delaware's beaches is due to the harvesting of crabs by humans.

(C) There are more crabs on Delaware's beaches than in any other area that the migrating birds pass through.

(D) The crabs do not conceal their eggs.

(E) The earlier in the season the shorebirds complete their migration, the more likely they are to breed successfully.

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Originally posted by GMAT TIGER on 09 Jan 2009, 16:45.
Last edited by Bunuel on 23 Jan 2019, 05:49, edited 3 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: During the month of May, crabs arrive on Delaware's beaches to lay egg  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Feb 2014, 17:52
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Conclusion: This decline, however, poses no serious threat to the migrating shorebird populations:
Premise: ...by remaining longer in Delaware, the birds will be able to eat enough crab eggs to allow them to complete their migration.

Reasoning: This is a causal relationship between "eating enough crab eggs" and "migrating shorebird populations". The cause is "eating enough crab eggs," and the effect is"migrating shorebirds populations." Additionally, there is another, embedded relationship: "by remaining longer" and "be able to eat enough crab eggs" and "successfully breed." A->B->C

Thus, the conclusion can be weakened if (1) an alternative cause is proposed; (2) cause occurs and the effect does not occur; (3) cause does not occur and the effect does; (4) the relationship is reversed; (5) the validity of the data is weakened.


A. No other food available to the birds on Delaware's beaches is as nutritious and accessible as are crab eggs. Neutral. No change to the cause or effect whatsoever.

B. The decline in the number of crabs on Delaware's beaches is due to the harvesting of crabs by humans. Shell game. Whether or not the crabs are declining because of humans, the length of the stay of shorebirds does not affect the shorebirds populations.

C. There are more crabs on Delaware's beaches than in any other area that the migrating birds pass through. Neutral. Whether or not there are more crabs on the beach than migrating birds, the length of the stay of shorebirds does not affect the shorebirds populations

D. The crabs do not conceal their eggs. Out of scope. No affect on conclusion.

E. The earlier in the season the shorebirds complete their migration, the more likely they are to breed successfully. OK - The length of time does matter in how successful their breeding is. If the birds stay longer than normal, then the migrating shorebird populations could be affected. Thus, the cause of "remaining longer in Delaware" occurs, but the effect "shorebird populations" does not occur.

IMO E
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Re: During the month of May, crabs arrive on Delaware's beaches to lay egg  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2009, 19:38
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GMAT TIGER wrote:
During the month of May, crabs arrive on Delaware's beaches to lay eggs. Certain shorebirds depend on these eggs for food during their annual spring migration to their northern breeding grounds. Delaware's crab population has declined recently. This decline, however, poses no serious threat to the migrating shorebird populations: by remaining longer in Delaware, the birds will be able to eat enough crab eggs to allow them to complete their migration.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

A. No other food available to the birds on Delaware's beaches is as nutritious and accessible as are crab eggs.
B. The decline in the number of crabs on Delaware's beaches is due to the harvesting of crabs by humans.
C. There are more crabs on Delaware's beaches than in any other area that the migrating birds pass through.
D. The crabs do not conceal their eggs.
E. The earlier in the season the shorebirds complete their migration, the more likely they are to breed successfully.


Between E and A. E is my pick.
E shows that the conclusion reached by the stem is weakend given this additional information.
A on the other hand is somewhat off topic and doesn't directly affect the conclusion/argument as much.
Just my 0.02
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Re: During the month of May, crabs arrive on Delaware's beaches to lay egg  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2009, 20:16
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For weakening questions you should focus primarily on the conclusion ("this decline, however, poses no serious threat to the migrating shorebird populations:"). The correct answer should discredit or show that the conclusion is not likely
A - Other food? Not relevant
B - What caused the decline is not relevant.
C - Any other area? We are only concerned with Delaware
D - Whether the eggs are concealed or not is not an issue
E - This shows that the delay may result in some type of serious threat. So this is the credited response.
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Re: During the month of May, crabs arrive on Delaware's beaches to lay egg  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jan 2009, 21:54
Agree with E

A is wrong also because it is a general statement about "birds" The argument is about certain shorebirds

Lots of people getting 'lured...' :wink:

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Re: During the month of May, crabs arrive on Delaware's beaches to lay egg  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Feb 2014, 23:13
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PREMISE 1. During the month of May, crabs arrive on Delaware's beaches to lay eggs. Certain shorebirds depend on these eggs for food during their annual spring migration to their northern breeding grounds.
PREMISE 2. Delaware's crab population has declined recently.
PREMISE 3. By remaining longer in Delaware, the birds will be able to eat enough crab eggs to allow them to complete their migration.
CONCLUSION- This decline poses no serious threat to the migrating shorebird populations.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

A. No other food available to the birds on Delaware's beaches is as nutritious and accessible as are crab eggs.NUTRITIOUS IS NOT THE ISSUE..WHETHER decline poses serious threat to the migrating shorebird populations IS THE ISSUE .
B. The decline in the number of crabs on Delaware's beaches is due to the harvesting of crabs by humans.CAUSE FOR DECLINE IN CRABS IS NOT THE ISSUE....WHETHER decline poses serious threat to the migrating shorebird populations IS THE ISSUE.
C. There are more crabs on Delaware's beaches than in any other area that the migrating birds pass through.WE ARE NOT CONCERNED WITH OTHER BEACHES..WHETHER decline poses serious threat to the migrating shorebird populations IS THE ISSUE..
D. The crabs do not conceal their eggs...IRRELEVANT.WHETHER decline poses serious threat to the migrating shorebird populations IS THE ISSUE
E. The earlier in the season the shorebirds complete their migration, the more likely they are to breed successfully....CORRECT....Decline WILL pose serious threat to the migrating shorebird populations AS THE BIRDS WILL STAY LONGER TO EAT THE EGGS LEADING TO INSUFFICIENT breedING HENCE REDUCTION IN POPULATION... .
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Re: During the month of May, crabs arrive on Delaware's beaches to lay egg  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2015, 13:59
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For weaken questions target the assumption. You can target the conclusion also but that should be secondary I feel.

A causes B.

A = assumption = by remaining longer in Delaware, the birds will be able to eat enough crab eggs to allow them to complete their migration
B = conclusion = decline, however, poses no serious threat to the migrating shorebird populations

How to weaken : Find a answer that will not make the bird stay longer. (not enough eggs already mentioned so we're not picking this point)
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Re: During the month of May, crabs arrive on Delaware's beaches to lay egg  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Feb 2017, 23:12
I don't agree with your viewpoint. When the option says 'the birds', it's logically referring to the shorebirds.

Issue with A is that nutritious value and accessibility of eggs are not the issues at hand here.
Let's walk through the argument.

Imagine a nice, beautiful sea shore. Come May and I see a lot of crabs coming down to the shoreline but hey! what are they doing here ?
I see, they are laying lots and lots of eggs. Ok.
I also see certain birds coming here and feeding on these eggs. People tell me (the argument tells me) that these are migratory birds and they depend on these eggs for food in order to complete their annual migration. Seems these birds actually live somewhere else but migrate in order to breed. On the way they stop on this shore to have eggs. Hmm. Ok.
Now, some change has happened. The crab population has declined, I see. So that may mean fewer eggs, or maybe not, if the existing crabs lay more eggs. Let's see.
But people tell me that this decline will not harm the birds. Well, why ? Because the birds can stay longer and have their fill before leaving.

Alright. So to compensate for the fewer eggs available, birds can stay longer on the shore, have similar quantity of eggs as they used to before the population decline and continue flying toward their destinations.
Essentially, the birds are compromising time for food. Looks like even if they spend a lot of time on the shore, it won't matter to them. It seems eating the right quantity of eggs is really important for these birds compared to the time.

Now, that I can see though the argument, let me think of weakeners. Something that tells me that this is not the right strategy for the birds. Something that tells me that by waiting for the eggs, they will not succeed. Enough thinking. Let's dive into the options.


A> This says crab eggs are the most nutritious and accessible food available to the birds. Well, ok, but how does this affect the strategy that the birds are going to deploy in order to ensure that the decline in the crab population and the subsequent decline in the number of eggs does not affect them ? Not related to issue at hand.

B> The decline is due to harvesting by humans, or due to pollution or due to Trump winning US elections. Why the decline is happening is not our issue. Eliminated.

C> O wow! There are more crabs on Delaware's beaches than in any other area the birds pass through. So ? Aren't we concerned about the population decline on Delaware beaches only ? This option unnecessarily brings other beaches into picture. Not ok.

D> Crabs don't conceal their eggs. Alright. They did not conceal before the decline, they don't conceal now. How does this affect the birds strategy ?

E> Earlier the birds complete their migration, better are the chances that they breed successfully. Ok. Interesting thing about this option is that it hits the bird's strategy.
So it's definitely relevant, first of all. Now, this option tells us that time IS an important factor for the birds. They cannot chose to spend time waiting on the beautiful
Delaware beaches for eggs. This option tells us that hey! the birds can't really laze around the beach ! They got work to do ! They got to reach their destination on time!
Otherwise they may not breed successfully. Looks ok and better than all other choices.

E it is.


unplugged wrote:
Agree with E

A is wrong also because it is a general statement about "birds" The argument is about certain shorebirds

Lots of people getting 'lured...' :wink:

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Re: During the month of May, crabs arrive on Delaware's beaches to lay egg  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2018, 10:32
During the month of May, crabs arrive on Delaware's beaches to lay eggs. Certain shorebirds depend on these eggs for food during their annual spring migration to their northern breeding grounds. Delaware's crab population has declined recently. This decline, however, poses no serious threat to the migrating shorebird populations: by remaining longer in Delaware, the birds will be able to eat enough crab eggs to allow them to complete their migration.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

A. No other food available to the birds on Delaware's beaches is as nutritious and accessible as are crab eggs. -Okay, so as per the argument shorebirds will stay for longer time on the beach and continue on their journey. This has no impact on the argument.
B. The decline in the number of crabs on Delaware's beaches is due to the harvesting of crabs by humans. -We are concerned about the population of shorebird
C. There are more crabs on Delaware's beaches than in any other area that the migrating birds pass through. -This strengthens the argument because it states that birds will stop at that beach only.
D. The crabs do not conceal their eggs. -This is just a fact statement.
E. The earlier in the season the shorebirds complete their migration, the more likely they are to breed successfully. -Correct. Highlighted part is the conclusion. This might impact the population of birds
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Re: During the month of May, crabs arrive on Delaware's beaches to lay egg  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2018, 11:30
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please explain why the answer is E
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Re: During the month of May, crabs arrive on Delaware's beaches to lay egg  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2018, 18:04
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Psk13 wrote:
GMATNinja chetan2u
please explain why the answer is E

We are told that the crab population has declined recently, so the concern is that there will be less food (crab eggs) for the migrating birds. The author argues that the population decline "poses no serious threat to the migrating shorebird populations" because the birds can simply remain longer in Delaware while they "fuel up" on crab eggs. In other words, the author says that the birds won't have a problem getting the amount of food they need eventually. The birds will simply have to stay in Delaware a bit longer to get the amount of food they need. According to the author, this extra time spent in Delaware is not a problem.

Quote:
E. The earlier in the season the shorebirds complete their migration, the more likely they are to breed successfully.

Choice (E) tells us that spending extra time in Delaware IS a problem. If the birds stay in Delaware longer, they will complete their migration later. If they complete their migration later, they will be LESS likely to breed successfully. So the decline in the crab population DOES pose a serious threat "to the migrating shorebird populations." And (E) is correct.

I hope that helps!
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Re: During the month of May, crabs arrive on Delaware's beaches to lay egg  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jan 2018, 04:12
IMO OA is E
Below is my reasoning.

A. No other food available to the birds on Delaware's beaches is as nutritious and accessible as are crab eggs.
-> Out of scope. We do not need to think about nutrition of food.
B. The decline in the number of crabs on Delaware's beaches is due to the harvesting of crabs by humans.
-> Out of scope. We do not need to think about harvesting of crabs by human
C. There are more crabs on Delaware's beaches than in any other area that the migrating birds pass through.
-> Not weeken. I think it can be strengthen.
D. The crabs do not conceal their eggs.
-> Nothing.
E. The earlier in the season the shorebirds complete their migration, the more likely they are to breed successfully.
-> Correct
The last sentence of passage argues that there is no threat to population.
However, if E is correct, there would be serious threat to their population. So E is correct.
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Re: During the month of May, crabs arrive on Delaware's beaches to lay egg  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2019, 05:28
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Re: During the month of May, crabs arrive on Delaware's beaches to lay egg   [#permalink] 23 Jan 2019, 05:28
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