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# Micro-wear patterns found on the teeth of long-extinct specimens o

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Re: Micro-wear patterns found on the teeth of long-extinct specimens o [#permalink]
The passage seems to be talking more about usefulness of determining diet through micro-wear patterns the diets of the species concerned are used as examples, then how could answer to Q8 be B
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Re: Micro-wear patterns found on the teeth of long-extinct specimens o [#permalink]
t.kunj
The passage seems to be talking more about usefulness of determining diet through micro-wear patterns the diets of the species concerned are used as examples, then how could answer to Q8 be B
(B) isn't a very good answer. It's just the only one that works at all for question 8.
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Re: Micro-wear patterns found on the teeth of long-extinct specimens o [#permalink]
t.kunj
The passage seems to be talking more about usefulness of determining diet through micro-wear patterns the diets of the species concerned are used as examples, then how could answer to Q8 be B
This post might help you understand why (B) fits. Check it out and let us know if you have any further questions.
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Re: Micro-wear patterns found on the teeth of long-extinct specimens o [#permalink]
Hi MartyMurray , so I have kind of an off-topic question based on Q2 of the passage.

When a question says " The passage suggests that Person A's research indicates which of the following" - are we talking about person A's conclusions based on his research or rather the passage's (passage author's) interpretation of person A's research and so the author's conclusions based on person A's research. I believe it should be the latter option, and so in cases where the author and person A don't see eye-to-eye it is the author's inferences (based on person A's research) that the question is seeking.

Now this doesn't come into play in Q2-option B (correct answer) of the passage because "Walker" infers or shows that Australopithecine lack micro-wear characteristics associated with seed-eating and bone crunching, AND the author is in accordance with this too. But I believe that if there was an option stating something along the lines of "Fruit is one out of possibly many items in the Australopithecine diet" this would have been correct, as Walker's research proves that fruit was definitely a part of the Australopithecine diet, and the passage (author) expands on this and says that other items might have been too. The reason I believe that option A is incorrect because the author had no reason to believe that fruit was definitely only a small part of the diet. (might be true or false)

Could you confirm this please Marty?

Thanks!
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Re: Micro-wear patterns found on the teeth of long-extinct specimens o [#permalink]

Quote:
3. The passage suggests that which of the following would be true of studies of tooth micro-wear patterns conducted on modern baboons?
(D) They would inadequately reflect the extent to which some baboons consume certain types of insects.
the passage never tells us what these baboons prefer or what those baboons mainly consume; it refers baboons as a whole population—they eat soft body insects.
though errors are more serious in other four options than in option (D), this extra determiner added leaves us a space to doubt it as the correct answer.
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Re: Micro-wear patterns found on the teeth of long-extinct specimens o [#permalink]
­KarishmaB GMATNinja. Could you help me understand why E is incorrect? If I have missed it from the discussion on this topic, please help me re-direct. Thank you in advance.

In option D, the words "accurate indication" threw me off.

Question 5
It can be inferred from the passage that if studies of tooth micro-wear patterns were conducted on modern baboons, which of the following would most likely be true of the results obtained?

(A) There would be enough abrasion to allow a determination of whether baboons are frugivorous or insectivorous.
(B) The results would suggest that insects constitute the largest part of the baboons’ diet.
(C) The results would reveal that there are no significant differences in tooth micro-wear patterns from one regional baboon population to another.
(D) The results would provide an accurate indication of the absence of some kinds of insects from the baboons’ diet.
(E) The results would be unlikely to provide any indication of what inferences about the australopithecine diet can or cannot be drawn from micro-wear studies.
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Re: Micro-wear patterns found on the teeth of long-extinct specimens o [#permalink]
GMATNinja
yunbao
For question 6/100, It can be inferred from the passage that Walker’s conclusion about the australopithecine diet would be called into question under which of the following circumstances? Why the option E) is wrong?

My thought is that, soft-bodied insects are not leaving any micro-wear pattern. So if there were a lot of such insects around, there was no way to tell whether australopithecine ate those insects or not. It can be they eat fruit like orangutans as well as soft-bodied insects.
Quote:
6. It can be inferred from the passage that Walker’s conclusion about the australopithecine diet would be called into question under which of the following circumstances?

(A) The tooth enamel of australopithecines is found to be much heavier than that of modern frugivorous primates.
(B) The micro-wear patterns of australopithecine teeth from regions other than east Africa are analyzed.
(C) Orangutans are found to have a much broader diet than is currently recognized.
(D) The environment of east Africa at the time australopithecines lived there is found to have been far more varied than is currently thought.
(E) The area in which the australopithecine specimens were found is discovered to have been very rich in soft-bodied insects during the period when australopithecines lived there.
First, let's discuss option (C). The passage specifically tells us that "[Walker's] conclusion that australopithecines were frugivores (fruit eaters) is based upon his observation that the tooth micro-wear characteristics of east African australopithecine specimens are indistinguishable from those of chimpanzees and orangutans, which are commonly assumed to be frugivorous primates."

Phew, that's a mouthful, but it breaks down Walker's logic:

• East African australopithecine teeth have the same micro-wear patterns as chimp/orangutan teeth.
• Chimps/orangutans are fruit eaters.
• Therefore, australopithecines were also fruit eaters.

Choice (C) directly contradicts the second bullet. If orangutans ate much more than just fruit, then Walker's logic completely falls apart--the fact that australopithecine and orangutan teeth have similar patterns would NOT suggest that the australopithecines were fruit eaters. That makes (C) a solid answer.

Choice (E), on the other hand, while tempting, does not affect Walker's logic. Sure, there may have been a ton of soft-bodied insects around. There may have also been an abundance of seeds, wheat, small rodents, pizza trees (if only that were a real thing!), sushi bushes, etc., but that doesn't mean that the australopithecines actually ATE those things. Sure, if soft-bodied insects were NOT around, we would have solid evidence that the australopithecines did NOT eat them. However, the presence of soft-bodied insects, without any other evidence, does not call Walker's conclusion into question.

I hope that helps!
­

GMATNinja Such a fantastic explanation. Thanks for this!
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