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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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New post Updated on: 10 Mar 2018, 21:03
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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.

Originally posted by Jivana on 11 Aug 2009, 18:49.
Last edited by broall on 10 Mar 2018, 21:03, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2009, 00:59
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Premise: paleontologists have used small differences between fossil specimens to classify triceratops into sixteen species

Counter premise: however, since the specimens used to distinguish eleven of the species come from animals that lived in the same area at the same time

Conclusion: the classification is unjustified.

Now we have to find a link between the counter premise and the conclusion. This link will allow the conclusion to be properly drawn


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

This means that some species that lived in a given area are preserved as a fossil. This supports the paleontologists view

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

same as A

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

This restricts to three the number of species in a geographical area at the same time. Let's put both premises together to see if we can draw the conclusion

since the specimens used to distinguish eleven of the species come from animals that lived in the same area at the same time and since no geographical area ever supports more than three similar species at the same time, we can conclude that it is impossible to classify triceratops into sixteen species.

This sounds correct

(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.

This means that we should not distinguish between triceratops that came from the same are and triceratops that came from different areas. This supports the paleontologists view that we can use the differences in fossils to classify triceratops.
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2009, 19:50
OUCH!Even I answered E :( Could anybody explain?
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2009, 20:19
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Jivana wrote:
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.

Chose E, OA is C


The conclusion of the argument is "This classification is unjustified". Therefore, E is wrong because E weakens the conclusion.
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Aug 2009, 01:18
E says that the differences are less disticnt but still there are differences ...

C is right in saying that since max 3 species can survive, the eleven differentiations are not justified ...
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2009, 21:50
What is the reson for eliminating *(D)?
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2009, 07:21
C seems to be right because it clearly says that not more than 3 species can be found in the same geographic area. Therefore, the assertion of the author is correct that 11 species could not have come from the same area.
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jan 2010, 13:15
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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.
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jan 2010, 13:48
Answer is E.

Since the differences between the fossil specimens of same area and that from different area is not much, we can draw the conclusion of the argument.

I am not very confident though about this answer.

OA please. Thanks
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jan 2010, 12:08
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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.

Would go with C..... although I read the question wrong before :)

Explanation:
CN = The classification is wrong as the specimens used to distinguish 11 species come from same area.

The only supporting option to this is C.. as it says clear that any area can support max of 3 similar species at the same time!
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small  [#permalink]

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New post 27 May 2010, 08:26
I am still not convinced with C.

What if there are two same species and the third one is different or all the three are different?

Experts please comment.
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jun 2010, 11:49
C it is.

argument says...classification of species is not justified because 11 species came from animals that lived in same area at the same time.

option C says...no geographical area ever supports more than 3 similar species at the same time.

so option (C) will help in stating that conclusion is justified because at max there can be only 3 species from the same geographical area.
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New post 30 Apr 2011, 02:02
'The conclusion of the argument is "This classification is unjustified". Therefore, E is wrong because E weakens the conclusion.'

maximum explanation in minimum words.
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small  [#permalink]

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New post 26 May 2012, 20:10
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Correct answer is C. A study is presented and the author finds flaw in the study. The flaw is that the study has used fossils from the same area to determine new species. Author is not convinced about it.

(A) Not every species that lived in a given area is preserved as a fossil.
Some of the species may not be preserved but the others can be used to determine the species. We will take the fossils only. Concern is about finding species and not the finding of all the fossil
(B) At least one individual of every true species of triceratops has been discovered as a fossil specimen.
Exaggerated answer that is not supported/ implied from the argument
(C) No geographical area ever supports more than three similar species at the same time.
Correct answer. Let us negate this. "There is at least one geographical are that supports more than three similar species at the same time". If there exists such an area, then we can find 11 different species from the same area. Author says the complete opposite. The argument of the author will fail if the statement is true.
(D) In many species, individuals display quite marked variation.
Out of scope
(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.
This is the opposite of C and the reasoning used by the study. Author is not convinced with the statement and says that such a statement can't be true. Variations exist between species from different geographical regions.
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small  [#permalink]

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New post 27 May 2012, 06:50
+1 C

This choice confirms that there cannot be eleven species in the same area.
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2013, 08:53
tejal777 wrote:
What is the reson for eliminating *(D)?


D says "In many species, individuals display quite marked variation."
Sure it might be true. But have a closer look at the option. It says MANY.

The triceratops might not be one of the many.

Option C correctly states that "No geographical area ever supports more than three similar species at the same time."
Hence it is not possible to have found 11 species of triceratops in the same area at the same time
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jul 2014, 06:53
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. - So what..even if there are more than 11 species living there..it has nothing to do with classification issue
(B) At least one individual of every true species of triceratops has been discovered as a fossil specimen.- Again nothing to do with classification issue
(C) No geographical area ever supports more than three similar species at the same time.- So how come 11 were found to be living in the same area at the same time..
(D) In many species, individuals display quite marked variation.- We donot know the details of the classification method used..we cannot comment on this one
(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.- Differences may be less or more distinctive..but we have already identified the species and the identification is not at stake here..it is the classification of the species
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2014, 02:11
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Jivana wrote:
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?

Conclusion: The classification is unjustified.

(A) Not every species that lived in a given area is preserved as a fossil. - This does not mean that there couldn't be 16 different species (or 11 for that matter) ; there could be more as well. So A goes out.
(B) At least one individual of every true species of triceratops has been discovered as a fossil specimen. - This somehow neither justifies nor defies the conclusion.
(C) No geographical area ever supports more than three similar species at the same time. - If there could only exist 3 species at max in a given area then 11 being found in a particular area is unjustified. Hence C is the answer.
(D) In many species, individuals display quite marked variation. - What species?
(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. - This rather defies the conclusion by proving that there are these different species that might have existed.

I choose But it is not the OA.


I chose C. Explanations in red. Please let me know if I went wrong somewhere.

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

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New post 06 Jul 2014, 04:53
C is the right answer.
E is weakening the conclusion.
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Re: Over the last century, paleontologists have used small &nbs [#permalink] 06 Jul 2014, 04:53

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