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# Over the last century, paleontologists have used small

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Over the last century, paleontologists have used small [#permalink]

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10 Jan 2008, 07:20
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Over the last century, paleontologists have used small differences between fossil specimens to classify triceratops into sixteen species. This classification is unjustified, however, since the specimens used to distinguish eleven of the species come from animals that lived in the same area at the same time.

Which of the following, if true, would enable the conclusion of the argument to be properly drawn?

(A) Not every species that lived in a given area is preserved as a fossil.

(B) At least one individual of every true species of triceratops has been discovered as a fossil specimen.

(C) No geographical area ever supports more than three similar species at the same time.

(D) In many species, individuals display quite marked variation.

(E) Differences between fossil specimens of triceratops that came from the same area are no less distinctive than
differences between specimens that came from different areas

Please explain your answer. Also, is the question asking us to strengthen the conclusion or is it asking for an assumption? Didn't quite understand what the question is really asking us to do.
thanks

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Director
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Re: CR: Fossil Specimens [#permalink]

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10 Jan 2008, 07:37
(C) No geographical area ever supports more than three similar species at the same time.

The passage has stated a conclusion saying "we can't be sure there were 16 species because they found 11 of them from specimens from the same area and time" and we need to choose the statement that makes makes this conclusion acceptable. If C is true and no area ever supports more than 3 similar species then we can say the findings are incorrect.

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Kudos [?]: 1005 [0], given: 1

Re: CR: Fossil Specimens [#permalink]

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10 Jan 2008, 07:42
thanks man. would you then please explain what's wrong with E? thanks

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Director
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Re: CR: Fossil Specimens [#permalink]

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10 Jan 2008, 07:46
Alright, the passage is saying scientists have found 16 different species of this dinosaur in the same area but the author says this claim is unjustified because they found most of the species in the same area from the same time.

C makes this claim legitimate because it says that 11 similar species in the same area at the same time is impossible!

E says that the species found in the same area can be as distinct from one another as species from other areas, but the passage doesn't say anything about the fossils and how distinct they are. The main point the author is making is "these claims of 16 species can't be real because they were all found close together" and leaves it at that. We need to find something that makes it impossible for 11 different species to be found near each other. E makes it sound like it's possible and they'd be distinct.

Sorry my verbal explanations are so bad, I hope this helped.

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Re: CR: Fossil Specimens [#permalink]

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10 Jan 2008, 09:23
no need to appologize man. i think you're explanation is great. thanks a lot

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Re: CR: Fossil Specimens [#permalink]

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15 Jan 2008, 10:29
eschn3am wrote:

C makes this claim legitimate because it says that 11 similar species in the same area at the same time is impossible!

eschn3am,
Isn’t C weakening authors argument that “since the specimens used to distinguish eleven of the species come from animals that lived in the same area at the same time”
And C says . three or more species cant exist in same area in same time.
So if both this statement are contrast, how can a proper conclusion be drawn.

I know OA is C , and I am missing something.
Please illuminate me!

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Re: CR: Fossil Specimens [#permalink]

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15 Jan 2008, 11:31
The author is arguing against this conclusion.

Quote:
Over the last century, paleontologists have used small differences between fossil specimens to classify triceratops into sixteen species. This classification is unjustified, however, since the specimens used to distinguish eleven of the species come from animals that lived in the same area at the same time.

Which of the following, if true, would enable the conclusion of the argument to be properly drawn?

Quote:
(C) No geographical area ever supports more than three similar species at the same time.

The fact that no more than 3 similar species live together backs up the claim that the classification is unjustified. The fact that the author is arguing against the claim is what you can't miss while reading it.

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Re: CR: Fossil Specimens   [#permalink] 15 Jan 2008, 11:31
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# Over the last century, paleontologists have used small

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