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Monogamy is not natural — hardly any species practice it, except for b

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Monogamy is not natural — hardly any species practice it, except for b  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 26 Sep 2019, 22:53
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 68, Date : 06-MAR-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details

Monogamy is not natural — hardly any species practice it, except for birds. Social monogamy wherein two creatures mate and work together to meet their needs is especially uncommon among nonavian warm-bloods; only about 5% of the 4,000 mammal species are monogamous. Since mating with one female at a time lowers a male’s chances of producing as many offspring as possible, what good, evolutionarily speaking, can come of monogamy? Why would mammals be monogamous?

One reason, according to a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), suggests that males stayed with one female to ensure their young were not killed by another male, but survived to reproduce to carry on their genetic lineage. Based on breeding and parenting behaviors of 230 primate species over several generations, the researchers determined that males balanced the need to spread their gene pool against the need to protect their young from being killed. The attacking males needed to kill the young so they could breed with its mother, who would delay conception of another offspring if she were nursing. So the father hung around to protect his genetic line and help raise the young so the mother could reproduce again sooner. “This is the first time that theories for evolution of monogamy have been systematically tested, conclusively showing that infanticide is the driver of monogamy,” trumpeted Christopher Opie, a researcher in anthropology. “This brings to a close the long-running debate about the origin of monogamy in primates.”

Well, not so fast! Another study, published in the journal Science, used a similar analysis, but across a wider sample — about 2,500 mammal species. Those authors, Dieter Lukas and Tim Clutton-Brock, found no correlation between infanticide and monogamy. They suggested that monogamy is about location and supply. “Monogamy develops where females live at low density,” says Lukas. Males cannot fend off rival suitors from more than one female at a time because they’re too spread out. To ensure their young are the ones the female is carrying, they stick with one female. “It’s a consequence of resource defense.” This study notes that in monogamous mammalian species, the females tend to be solitary and intolerant of other females. Unlike those of ungulates, who are rarely monogamous, these mammals’ nutritional needs are greater, and they therefore shoo off competitors for food resources.

As for human monogamy, the PNAS study is more comfortable extrapolating its results. Because humans have big brains, their infants take longer to nurture and are vulnerable for longer. Therefore, human males needed to protect their child-rearing female until breeding was done. So how important were kids in man’s move towards monogamy? It’s a fascinating fight, but ultimately, whether monogamy is natural is less relevant than whether it’s desirable. Human monogamy seems to be both an acquired taste and a social necessity. The question remains whether it’s worth the cost of learning it.

Source: What Drove Man to Monogamy: It Wasn’t Love – Belinda Luscombe – in Time Magazine (July 30, 2013)

Which one of the following can be supported by the information given in the passage?

A. Humans are warm-blooded.
B. Safety of genetic line is essential for evolution.
C. Infanticide is the driver of monogamy in primates.
D. Ungulate females are intolerant of other females.
E. Producing as many offspring as possible will ensure genetic progression.
Spoiler: :: OA
B

Which one of the following best describes the content of the passage?

A. A chronology of the development of different theories of evolution of human monogamy
B. An effort to explore origins of monogamy and questioning human adoption of the practice
C. An argument concerning whether or not monogamy is natural and desirable
D. An attempt to determine which theory best explains the monogamous behavior of humans
E. A discussion of how the human monogamy differs from that of other primates
Spoiler: :: OA
B

All of the following are key aspects of the PNAS study EXCEPT:
A. Nursing mothers delay conception of another offspring.
B. Protecting young from being killed is a necessity for evolution.
C. Male primates balance between spreading their gene pool and protecting their young from being killed.
D. Kids are of utmost importance in making men move towards monogamy.
E. Male parental help allows females to reproduce again sooner.
Spoiler: :: OA
D

It can be inferred from the passage that further research on which one of the following topics will explain origin of human monogamy with greater clarity?

A. formation of social structure and customs
B. whether monogamy is desired
C. effect of monogamy on human evolution
D. how human monogamy differs from monogamy in other species
E. monogamy in areas with low density female population
Spoiler: :: OA
A

Source: Experts Global GMAT
Difficulty Level: 700

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Originally posted by broall on 03 Sep 2017, 04:23.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 26 Sep 2019, 22:53, edited 4 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (694).
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Re: Monogamy is not natural — hardly any species practice it, except for b  [#permalink]

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06 Sep 2017, 13:54
Hi All,

Requesting someone to please explain on how is the OA for questions 4 as option A?

Thanks,
Somesh.
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Joined: 23 Jul 2015
Posts: 138
Re: Monogamy is not natural — hardly any species practice it, except for b  [#permalink]

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07 Sep 2017, 21:29
1
somesh86 wrote:
Hi All,

Requesting someone to please explain on how is the OA for questions 4 as option A?

Thanks,
Somesh.

my 2 cents

I think the answer lies in the question asked. We are asked about origin of monogamy in humans and not whether its desirable or its effects.

It can be inferred from the passage that further research on which one of the following topics will explain origin of human monogamy with greater clarity?

A. formation of social structure and customs - this will explain the origin
B. whether monogamy is desired OOS
C. effect of monogamy on human evolution OOS
D. how human monogamy differs from monogamy in other speciesThough we know what is monogamy in humans, differences in monogamy won't explain its origin.
E. monogamy in areas with low density female populationOOS
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Re: Monogamy is not natural — hardly any species practice it, except for b  [#permalink]

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23 Apr 2018, 19:23
1
akanksha.setiya wrote:
My Answers are:

1- c. Can anyone please help me with this one? Why is the OA given as B? I am not able to trace it back to the passage.
2- b
3- d
4- a

I used POE to solve this

Which one of the following can be supported by the information given in the passage?

A. Humans are warm-blooded. Not Mentioned --OFS
B. Safety of genetic line is essential for evolution. --Answer
C. Infanticide is the driver of monogamy in primates. --at the starting of 3 rd para we see a turn and you can refer to these lines from passage"Those authors, Dieter Lukas and Tim Clutton-Brock, found no correlation between infanticide and monogamy. "
D. Ungulate females are intolerant of other females.-- Opposite
E. Producing as many offspring as possible will ensure genetic progression.-- Not Mentioned

+1 if this helps
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Adi
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Re: Monogamy is not natural — hardly any species practice it, except for b  [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2019, 09:53
2
1
1. IMO B
In both studies there is one common factor that the genetic lineage is protected so that the gene pool of the male can survive for further generations.
2. IMO B
The first 3 paragraphs talk about the origin of monogamy and the last talks about the human adoption of monogamy. Only option b covers the entire passage.
3. IMO D
Kids are not the reason for monogamy, as stated it is infanticide
4. IMO A
It is mentioned that human monogamy is an acquired taste and a necessity. Why that may be the case is not given. So expalining social norms and struxture may lead to an explanation of the origins of human monogamy.

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Re: Monogamy is not natural — hardly any species practice it, except for b  [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2019, 22:41
Rakesh1987 I was telling you about this one
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Re: Monogamy is not natural — hardly any species practice it, except for b  [#permalink]

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23 Oct 2019, 19:05
I truly believe this passage mixes basic concept of evolution and maintaining a wide genetic pool. Nowhere in the passage is evloution mentioned, it assumes that the spread of genetic pool is evolution but I dont think thats a valid assumption
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Re: Monogamy is not natural — hardly any species practice it, except for b  [#permalink]

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23 Mar 2020, 18:50
can someone explain Q1,Q2,Q5
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Re: Monogamy is not natural — hardly any species practice it, except for b  [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2020, 07:31
2
1. Which one of the following can be supported by the information given in the passage?

A. Humans are warm-blooded. Not mentioned or implied in the passage. Eliminate.

B. Safety of genetic line is essential for evolution. Correct. This is supported by the following two sentences taken together:

"...what good, evolutionarily speaking, can come of monogamy?"
AND
"...males stayed with one female to ensure their young were not killed by another male, but survived to reproduce to carry on their genetic lineage."

C. Infanticide is the driver of monogamy in primates. Not mentioned or implied in the passage. Eliminate.

D. Ungulate females are intolerant of other females. The passage implies the opposite when it states "in monogamous mammalian species, the females tend to be solitary and intolerant of other females. Unlike those of ungulates, who are rarely monogamous...". Eliminate.

E. Producing as many offspring as possible will ensure genetic progression.While this is indeed desirable, whether it will "ensure" genetic progression is not mentioned or implied in the passage. Eliminate.

2. Which one of the following best describes the content of the passage?

The passage spends most of its time describing various theories of why some mammals, and especially humans, are monogamous. It explores various possible reasons that could explain why these species chose to become monogamous.

A. A chronology of the development of different theories of evolution of human monogamy There is no chronology is the passage. Eliminate.

B. An effort to explore origins of monogamy and questioning human adoption of the practice This appears promising as it is consistent with our thinking above. Let's hold on to this option for now.

C. An argument concerning whether or not monogamy is natural and desirable While this is mentioned in the passage, large parts of the passage do not address this question. Eliminate.

D. An attempt to determine which theory best explains the monogamous behavior of humans This can be considered. However, while several theories and discussed, the relative merits and demerits of them are not discussed. We can hold on, at this point

E. A discussion of how the human monogamy differs from that of other primates This is not discussed in any great length. Eliminate.

Between (B) and (D), I prefer (B) since the passage does not appear to discuss the relative merits and demerits of the various theories, which is essential to "determine which theory best explains the monogamous behavior of humans".

3. All of the following are key aspects of the PNAS study EXCEPT:

A. Nursing mothers delay conception of another offspring. The passage states "The attacking males needed to kill the young so they could breed with its mother, who would delay conception of another offspring if she were nursing". Eliminate.

B. Protecting young from being killed is a necessity for evolution. The passage states "...according to a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), suggests that males stayed with one female to ensure their young were not killed by another male, but survived to reproduce to carry on their genetic lineage". Eliminate.

C. Male primates balance between spreading their gene pool and protecting their young from being killed. The passage states "the researchers determined that males balanced the need to spread their gene pool against the need to protect their young from being killed". Eliminate.

D. Kids are of utmost importance in making men move towards monogamy. On this, the passage states "So how important were kids in man’s move towards monogamy?...Human monogamy seems to be both an acquired taste and a social necessity". It appears that kids were not the only or most important factor in the human move to monogamy. Correct answer.

E. Male parental help allows females to reproduce again sooner. The passage states "...the father hung around to protect his genetic line and help raise the young so the mother could reproduce again sooner". Eliminate.

4. It can be inferred from the passage that further research on which one of the following topics will explain origin of human monogamy with greater clarity?

On the origin of human monogamy, the passage states "Human monogamy seems to be both an acquired taste and a social necessity". So any research on "acquired tastes" or "social necessities" could throw more light on this topic.

A. formation of social structure and customs Correct. Consistent with above.

B. whether monogamy is desired On this, the passage states "whether monogamy is natural is less relevant than whether it’s desirable". However, whether this is connected to the "origin of human monogamy" is not clear - it appears to be a separate topic.Eliminate.

C. effect of monogamy on human evolution Unrelated to "origin of human monogamy". Eliminate.

D. how human monogamy differs from monogamy in other species Unrelated to "origin of human monogamy". Eliminate.

E. monogamy in areas with low density female population This is already well researched as per the passage; it is unlikely to throw "greater clarity" on the origin of human monogamy. Eliminate.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Monogamy is not natural — hardly any species practice it, except for b   [#permalink] 27 Mar 2020, 07:31

Monogamy is not natural — hardly any species practice it, except for b

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