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QOTD: Capuchin monkeys in Venezuela often rub a certain type

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QOTD: Capuchin monkeys in Venezuela often rub a certain type [#permalink]

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 171: Critical Reasoning


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Capuchin monkeys in Venezuela often rub a certain type of millipede into their fur. Secretions of these millipedes have been shown to contain two chemicals that are potent mosquito repellents, and mosquitoes carry parasites that debilitate the capuchins. The rubbing behavior is rare except during the rainy season, when mosquito populations are at their peak. Therefore monkeys probably rub millipedes into their fur only because doing so helps protect them against mosquitoes.

Which of the following would be most useful to determine in order to evaluate the argument?

(A) Whether the two chemicals provide any protection for millipedes against their own predators

(B) Whether the type of millipede used by the capuchin monkeys in Venezuela is found in other parts of the world

(C) Whether animals other than capuchins rub insects of any kind into their fur

(D) Whether the only time millipedes are readily available to capuchins is during rainy season

(E) Whether secretions of any other insects accessible to capuchins contain chemicals that repel the mosquitoes


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QOTD: Capuchin monkeys in Venezuela often rub a certain type [#permalink]

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After a really fun time with dengue fever in Venezuela and Brazil... well, so I'd happily rub millipedes all over myself if I thought it would help get rid of the little turds. I wish that capuchin monkeys had taught me this trick back in the day.

Anyway, let's start with the conclusion, which is that "monkeys probably rub millipedes into their fur only because doing so helps protect them against mosquitoes." How does the author arrive at this conclusion?

  • We know that capuchin monkeys often rub a certain type of millipede into their fur.
  • We also know that this rubbing behavior is rare except during the rainy season. So even though they do this OFTEN, it is uncommon outside of rainy season.
  • Rainy season is also when mosquito populations are at their peak.
  • The millipedes secrete two chemicals that are potent mosquito repellents.
  • Mosquitoes carry parasites that debilitate the monkeys. So the monkeys would have an incentive to use the mosquito repellent, if possible.

The author reasons that since the monkeys only rub the millipedes into their fur during the rainy season when mosquitoes are at their worst, it is likely that the monkeys are only doing this for mosquito protection. If there were OTHER reasons for rubbing the millipedes into their furs, then the monkeys would probably do it all year round.

For example, if the millipede secretions were also good for the monkeys' skin and fur, then the rubbing behavior would probably continue regardless of whether mosquito populations were high or low. But, according to the author, since the monkeys only do this during peak mosquito season, the mosquitoes are probably the only motivation for the rubbing.

Which of the following choices would help us evaluate the author's argument and conclusion? (And if you prefer your explanations in video form, check out this YouTube CR webinar.)

Quote:
(A) Whether the two chemicals provide any protection for millipedes against their own predators

How the millipedes use those chemicals is irrelevant. We only care to explain why the MONKEYS might have an interest in those chemicals. Why do they rub the millipedes and why do they only do so during the rainy season? Choice (A) does not help us answer either of those questions, so it can be eliminated.

Quote:
(B) Whether the type of millipede used by the capuchin monkeys in Venezuela is found in other parts of the world

We are only concerned with explaining the rubbing behavior of the capuchin monkeys in Venezuela. Regardless of whether the millipedes are found in other parts of the world, why do these monkeys only exhibit the rubbing behavior during the rainy season? Choice (B) is irrelevant and can be eliminated.

Quote:
(C) Whether animals other than capuchins rub insects of any kind into their fur

Again, we are trying to explain why the capuchins only rub mosquitoes into their furs during the rainy season. The rubbing behavior of other animals is irrelevant, so (C) can also be eliminated.

Quote:
(D) Whether the only time millipedes are readily available to capuchins is during rainy season

We know that the rubbing is rare outside of rainy season. The author explains this by suggesting that the rubbing is not needed when the mosquitoes aren't so bad. But what if there is another explanation? What if the monkeys would LIKE to rub the millipedes into their furs outside of peak mosquito season but simply cannot do so because the millipedes are not readily available? If that were the case, it would suggest that the monkeys have OTHER reasons for wanting to continue the rubbing behavior. Wanting to repel mosquitoes during the rainy season would probably not be the ONLY reason. This would contradict the author's argument and conclusion. Thus, choice (D) would be useful to determine in order to evaluate the argument.

Quote:
(E) Whether secretions of any other insects accessible to capuchins contain chemicals that repel the mosquitoes

We are told that the rubbing behavior is rare outside of rainy season, and we can infer that the monkeys often rub the millipedes into their fur during the rainy season. Sure, they might be doing the same thing with some other insects, but why is the rubbing behavior rare outside of rainy season? The author provides one explanation, and choice (E) does not provide an alternative. Choice (E) has no impact on the author's argument and can be eliminated.

Choice (D) is the best answer.
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Re: QOTD: Capuchin monkeys in Venezuela often rub a certain type [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2017, 22:17
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Its D

If millipedes are available throughout and are not used by monkeys, then the argument conclusion is strengthened

If millipedes are available on in that season, the argument is weakened.

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Re: QOTD: Capuchin monkeys in Venezuela often rub a certain type [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2017, 02:12
Capuchin monkeys in Venezuela often rub a certain type of millipede into their fur. Secretions of these millipedes have been shown to contain two chemicals that are potent mosquito repellents, and mosquitoes carry parasites that debilitate the capuchins. The rubbing behavior is rare except during the rainy season, when mosquito populations are at their peak. Therefore monkeys probably rub millipedes into their fur only because doing so helps protect them against mosquitoes.

Which of the following would be most useful to determine in order to evaluate the argument?

(A) Whether the two chemicals provide any protection for millipedes against their own predators
We need to evaluate the impact on monkeys

(B) Whether the type of millipede used by the capuchin monkeys in Venezuela is found in other parts of the world
We are not worried about parts of world

(C) Whether animals other than capuchins rub insects of any kind into their fur
We are not worried about other animals

(D) Whether the only time millipedes are readily available to capuchins is during rainy season
Correct

(E) Whether secretions of any other insects accessible to capuchins contain chemicals that repel the mosquitoes
We are not concerned about the accessibility to other insects. We must evaluate things related to millipedes
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Re: QOTD: Capuchin monkeys in Venezuela often rub a certain type [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2017, 03:51
Yes D. If millipedes are readily available to capuchins only during rainy season, then we cannot conclude that monkeys rub millipedes into their fur in rainy season "only" because doing so helps protect them against mosquitoes. Because with this, we can also conclude that monkeys rub millipedes into their fur in rainy season because millipedes are available "only" in rainy season.

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Re: QOTD: Capuchin monkeys in Venezuela often rub a certain type [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2017, 04:41
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 167: Sentence Correction


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Capuchin monkeys in Venezuela often rub a certain type of millipede into their fur. Secretions of these millipedes have been shown to contain two chemicals that are potent mosquito repellents, and mosquitoes carry parasites that debilitate the capuchins. The rubbing behavior is rare except during the rainy season, when mosquito populations are at their peak. Therefore monkeys probably rub millipedes into their fur only because doing so helps protect them against mosquitoes.

Which of the following would be most useful to determine in order to evaluate the argument?

(A) Whether the two chemicals provide any protection for millipedes against their own predators

(B) Whether the type of millipede used by the capuchin monkeys in Venezuela is found in other parts of the world

(C) Whether animals other than capuchins rub insects of any kind into their fur

(D) Whether the only time millipedes are readily available to capuchins is during rainy season

(E) Whether secretions of any other insects accessible to capuchins contain chemicals that repel the mosquitoes


Every question of the day will be followed by an expert reply by GMATNinja in 12-15 hours. Stay tuned! Post your answers and explanations to earn kudos.



Conclusion we are trying to evaluate:Therefore monkeys probably rub millipedes into their fur only because doing so helps protect them against mosquitoes.
We are looking for an answer choice that provides an alternative to why monkeys rub millipedes in their fur.

A) Whether the two chemicals provide any protection for millipedes against their own predators
Irrelevant-we are looking specifically for an answer that relates to the behavior of the monkeys

(B) Whether the type of millipede used by the capuchin monkeys in Venezuela is found in other parts of the world
Out of scope-the question is specifically asking about capuchin monkeys in Venezuela, not millipedes in other countries

(C) Whether animals other than capuchins rub insects of any kind into their fur
Out of scope because again, we are only concerned about monkeys, not other animals that may exhibit this behavior

(D) Whether the only time millipedes are readily available to capuchins is during rainy season
This looks good- this answer provides an alternative reason why the monkeys rub millipedes in their fur during rainy season. It may be to protect themselves from mosquitoes or it may be because this is the only time when millipedes are available.

(E) Whether secretions of any other insects accessible to capuchins contain chemicals that repel the mosquitoes
out of scope because we are only interested in why capuchins are using millipedes, not other insects.

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Re: QOTD: Capuchin monkeys in Venezuela often rub a certain type [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2017, 22:49
E because conclusion restricts here the cause of usage of millipede 'only' to mosquito repellant but there may be multiple cause of using millipede. So it is necessary to know whether there is other accessible insect which have the same poperty

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Re: QOTD: Capuchin monkeys in Venezuela often rub a certain type   [#permalink] 06 Dec 2017, 22:49
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QOTD: Capuchin monkeys in Venezuela often rub a certain type

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