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# Paleontologist: Plesiosauromorphs were gigantic, long-necked marine

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Paleontologist: Plesiosauromorphs were gigantic, long-necked marine  [#permalink]

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06 Aug 2017, 10:07
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Paleontologist: Plesiosauromorphs were gigantic, long-necked marine reptiles that ruled the oceans during the age of the dinosaurs. Most experts believe that plesiosauromorphs lurked and quickly ambushed their prey. However, plesiosauromorphs probably hunted by chasing their prey over long distances. Plesiosauromorph fins were quite long and thin, like the wings of birds specialized for long-distance flight.

Which one of the following is an assumption on which the paleontologist’s argument depends?

(A) Birds and reptiles share many physical features because they descend from common evolutionary ancestors.
(B) During the age of dinosaurs, plesiosauromorphs were the only marine reptiles that had long, thin fins.
(C) A gigantic marine animal would not be able to find enough food to meet the caloric requirements dictated by its body size if it did not hunt by chasing prey over long distances.
(D) Most marine animals that chase prey over long distances are specialized for long-distance swimming.
(E) The shape of a marine animal’s fin affects the way the animal swims in the same way as the shape of a bird’s wing affects the way the bird flies.

Source: LSAT

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Re: Paleontologist: Plesiosauromorphs were gigantic, long-necked marine  [#permalink]

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06 Aug 2017, 12:17
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Akela wrote:
Paleontologist: Plesiosauromorphs were gigantic, long-necked marine reptiles that ruled the oceans during the age of the dinosaurs. Most experts believe that plesiosauromorphs lurked and quickly ambushed their prey. However, plesiosauromorphs probably hunted by chasing their prey over long distances. Plesiosauromorph fins were quite long and thin, like the wings of birds specialized for long-distance flight.

Which one of the following is an assumption on which the paleontologist’s argument depends?

(A) Birds and reptiles share many physical features because they descend from common evolutionary ancestors.
(B) During the age of dinosaurs, plesiosauromorphs were the only marine reptiles that had long, thin fins.
(C) A gigantic marine animal would not be able to find enough food to meet the caloric requirements dictated by its body size if it did not hunt by chasing prey over long distances.
(D) Most marine animals that chase prey over long distances are specialized for long-distance swimming.
(E) The shape of a marine animal’s fin affects the way the animal swims in the same way as the shape of a bird’s wing affects the way the bird flies.

Source: LSAT

In assumption questions, it is important to identify the premise and conclusion since our assumption will link the premise and conclusion.
Premise: Plesiosauromorph fins were quite long and thin, like the wings of birds specialized for long-distance flight
Conclusion: plesiosauromorphs probably hunted by chasing their prey over long distances

A - The fact that birds and reptiles share many physical features is irrelevant to the argument. This does not address the specific feature of wings
B - The fact that P is the only marine reptiles that had long, thin fins is irrelevant to the argument.
C - This may strengthen the conclusion, but does not address the link between the premise and the conclusion. The answer says nothing about how the fins of P is similar to the wings of birds that allow birds to fly long distance. This answer is actually irrelevant
D - Similar to C, this does not address the link between the premise and the conclusion
E - Correct. The answer notes that shape of marine's fins affects the way an animal swims in the same way as the shape of a bird’s wing affects the way the bird flies. If fins DO NOT affect how marine animal swims the same way bird's wings affects the way the bird flies, then the premise cannot be used to support the conclusion that P chased prey over long distances
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Re: Paleontologist: Plesiosauromorphs were gigantic, long-necked marine  [#permalink]

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24 May 2019, 03:54
Paleontologist: Plesiosauromorphs were gigantic, long-necked marine reptiles that ruled the oceans during the age of the dinosaurs. Most experts believe that plesiosauromorphs lurked and quickly ambushed their prey. However, plesiosauromorphs probably hunted by chasing their prey over long distances. Plesiosauromorph fins were quite long and thin, like the wings of birds specialized for long-distance flight.

Notes
Ples. background
experts: Ples. lurk ambush pretty
BUT (C) prob. chase over LD
+ fins long/thin --> LD hunting

Analysis

Our friendly palaeontologist starts his argument by giving context for the Plesiosauromorphs. He then states an expert’s opinion on the reptile, citing their view about the reptile’s hunting habits: “lurking and ambush[ing its] prey,” before quickly refuting the expert statement. Instead, he concludes that the reptile actually was more likely to “chase their prey over a long distance,” supporting this fact by bringing in the physicality of the reptile and its similarity to birds. A gap in this argument is that having fins similar to birds can be proof for a certain hunting behaviour. In short, what our palaeontologist assumes here is that form follows function!

Which one of the following is an assumption on which the paleontologist’s argument depends?

(A) Birds and reptiles share many physical features because they descend from common evolutionary ancestors.
Well, this is nice to know but irrelevant to the conclusion that the reptile DEFINITELY chased its prey over long distances. Love the GMAT but we’re not here for fun facts!

(B) During the age of dinosaurs, plesiosauromorphs were the only marine reptiles that had long, thin fins.
OK, we’re getting warmer. At least we’re now discussing the plesiosauromorphs (damn, that’s a long word to write!). This is definitely not an assumption the author makes. Even if these reptile were the only ones with a specific trait, this answer choice does not prove/disprove the author’s claim about their hunting style.

(C) A gigantic marine animal would not be able to find enough food to meet the caloric requirements dictated by its body size if it did not hunt by chasing prey over long distances.
I now feel bad for these marine animals….but so many phrases here are not relevant to our argument! At least the answer choice brings in long distance hunting….but it discusses “marine animal[s]” too generally!

(D) Most marine animals that chase prey over long distances are specialized for long-distance swimming.
This is kind of a backwards logic. It also discusses long-distance swimming, which is kind of off-putting. The argument claims that having long, thin fins —> long distance hunting. This answer choice says: chasing prey over long distances (long distance hunting) —> specialisation for the long-distance swimming. Nah, beyond the reverse logic, I also don’t like this “swimming” idea either! As a double check, let’s negate this statement. The logical opposite of most is less than 50%. Less than 50% (let’s say 40% for fun!) that chase pretty over long distances are specialised for long distance swimming. OK, well that’s great to know but does that WEAKEN the idea that the reptiles in the stimulus were long-distance hunters? No. Not at all.

(E) The shape of a marine animal’s fin affects the way the animal swims in the same way as the shape of a bird’s wing affects the way the bird flies.
Oh, hello! Form follows function! If we negate this answer choice: “The shape of an animal’s fin DOES NOT affect the way the animal swims.” Well if we know that the shape of an animal's fin has 0 effect on the animal swims then the palaeontologist is clearly wrong! Correct.

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Re: Paleontologist: Plesiosauromorphs were gigantic, long-necked marine   [#permalink] 24 May 2019, 03:54
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