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Over an extended period of time, the average seawater temperature in a

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Over an extended period of time, the average seawater temperature in a  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Oct 2019, 23:14
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Over an extended period of time, the average seawater temperature in a region of an ocean increased by over 1 degree Celsius. During that same time, the average size of the haddock population in the region decreased by more than 25 percent. This observation led scientists to hypothesize that warmer waters favored smaller fish because their bodies were less energy intensive and better able to adapt to the warmer water. However, long-term laboratory experiments showed no changes in the average size of haddock as water temperatures were increased.

Which of the following best explains the differences between the observations in nature and those in the laboratory experiments?

(A) The measurements of fish size in the ocean were made by oceanographers, but the ones in the laboratory were made by biologists.

(B) Measurements were made more frequently in the laboratory experiments than in the ocean.

(C) A change in marine fishing regulations during the period allowed the use of nets with a more tightly spaced mesh than had previously been permitted.

(D) The population in the ocean of predators that feed on smaller haddock increased during the period.

(E) The water salinity measured in the laboratory exactly matched that of the ocean.

Source: Kaplan Prep Plus 2020

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Re: Over an extended period of time, the average seawater temperature in a  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Oct 2019, 00:51
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SajjadAhmad wrote:
Over an extended period of time, the average seawater temperature in a region of an ocean increased by over 1 degree Celsius. During that same time, the average size of the haddock population in the region decreased by more than 25 percent. This observation led scientists to hypothesize that warmer waters favored smaller fish because their bodies were less energy intensive and better able to adapt to the warmer water. However, long-term laboratory experiments showed no changes in the average size of haddock as water temperatures were increased.

Which of the following best explains the differences between the observations in nature and those in the laboratory experiments?

(A) The measurements of fish size in the ocean were made by oceanographers, but the ones in the laboratory were made by biologists.

(B) Measurements were made more frequently in the laboratory experiments than in the ocean.

(C) A change in marine fishing regulations during the period allowed the use of nets with a more tightly spaced mesh than had previously been permitted.

(D) The population in the ocean of predators that feed on smaller haddock increased during the period.

(E) The water salinity measured in the laboratory exactly matched that of the ocean.

Source: Kaplan Prep Plus 2020


The claim is that seawater temperature increased and haddock size decrease at the same time, suggesting a hypothesis that smaller fish do better in warm waters. This hypothesis was not supported by lab experiments.
We need to look for something which explains why the lab experiments gave a different result. Since we don't have much to go on, we'll look to the answers for help instead of trying to infer an answer, an Alternative approach.

(A) this could work but is very weak -- why would biologists and oceanographers measure fish size differently?
(B) this works only if the haddock's weight is oscillatory -- it goes up and down and up and down. A bit farfetched, unlikely.
(C) this provides a direct reason -- it suggests that all large fish had been fished. (C) is almost certainly the answer, if we're short on time we could mark it and move on.
(D) this is opposite to (C) and so opposite to what we want -- it would suggest that the weight in the ocean increased, not decreased.
(E) no; same conditions to not give different results.

(C) it is.
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Re: Over an extended period of time, the average seawater temperature in a  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Oct 2019, 07:26
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SajjadAhmad wrote:
Over an extended period of time, the average seawater temperature in a region of an ocean increased by over 1 degree Celsius. During that same time, the average size of the haddock population in the region decreased by more than 25 percent. This observation led scientists to hypothesize that warmer waters favored smaller fish because their bodies were less energy intensive and better able to adapt to the warmer water. However, long-term laboratory experiments showed no changes in the average size of haddock as water temperatures were increased.

Which of the following best explains the differences between the observations in nature and those in the laboratory experiments?

(A) The measurements of fish size in the ocean were made by oceanographers, but the ones in the laboratory were made by biologists.

(B) Measurements were made more frequently in the laboratory experiments than in the ocean.

(C) A change in marine fishing regulations during the period allowed the use of nets with a more tightly spaced mesh than had previously been permitted.

(D) The population in the ocean of predators that feed on smaller haddock increased during the period.

(E) The water salinity measured in the laboratory exactly matched that of the ocean.

Source: Kaplan Prep Plus 2020



A. Wrong. Who takes the measurement makes no difference to the situation as we are not given any reason to believe otherwise.
B. Wrong. This option would have made sense if the accuracy of the measurements was challenged, however, no such information is given.
C. Correct. This option presents a reason that difference between average size of haddock in lab and in sea is because in ocean only smaller sized fishes could escape the trap.
D. Wrong. This option is in the opposite direction.
E. Wrong. Clearly this option doesn't solve the paradox.
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Re: Over an extended period of time, the average seawater temperature in a   [#permalink] 14 Oct 2019, 07:26
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