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# Some small animals will instinctively go "playing dead" when

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Re: Some small animals will instinctively go "playing dead" when [#permalink]
MentorTutoring wrote:
chondro48 wrote:
Some small animals will instinctively go "playing dead" when caught by a predator. But it is hard to see how playing dead can have survival value in this situation. The predator means to eat the animal just the same, whether or not it plays dead.

Which one of the following, if true, would most help to resolve the apparent paradox described above?

A) Many small animal species will play dead when surprised by a loud noise or unexpected movement.
B) Predators often leave their food in a hiding place rather than eating it immediately.
C) More likely than not, a small animal will play dead when caught by a predator if the predator species is common in the area.
D) Most predators prey upon a variety of species, not all of which play dead when caught.
E) Many small animal species that do not play dead often unsuccessfully fight off predators.

Posted from my mobile device

Somebody please explain this to me.

Aadi01 - At the heart of this question lies an apparent paradox, as the question stem tells us, so what is that paradox? At a base level, it is the fact that an animal playing dead can actually preserve its life. (Death = life?) If we comb through the answer choices, we can separate reasonable choices from unreasonable choices and improve the probability of arriving at the correct conclusion.

(A) Many small animal species will play dead when surprised by a loud noise or unexpected movement.

Analysis: This may explain why animals in a certain situation adopt the behavior, but it does not help us understand why playing dead when caught by a predator can lead to saving their lives. This is what I call a red light answer. It does not answer the question by presenting a response that is grounded in the given information.

(B) Predators often leave their food in a hiding place rather than eating it immediately.

Analysis: Although unassuming at first, this could provide a logical reason as to why a prey animal might play dead--by doing so, it may often have a chance to escape, since the predatory animal is likely to leave what it means to eat in a hiding place, rather than consuming the apparently dead animal right away. Would I choose this answer right away? Probably not, since I would at least want to check the others. Thus, this is what I call a yellow light answer.

(C) More likely than not, a small animal will play dead when caught by a predator if the predator species is common in the area.

Analysis: Why would it matter whether the predator species were common in the area? This has nothing to do with the paradox, which does not pit common versus uncommon predators against each other. Red light.

(D) Most predators prey upon a variety of species, not all of which play dead when caught.

Analysis: Once again, this information does not resolve the paradox. In fact, it does not even make an attempt to explain why prey animals would bother playing dead, shifting the focus instead to a variety of species. Red light.

(E) Many small animal species that do not play dead often unsuccessfully fight off predators.

Analysis: This answer can look appealing, as it touches on how prey animals that do not adopt the behavior in question often end up unable to ward off predators. But the paradox is not based on fighting, an unrelated behavior to the one we need to examine. Rather, the paradox is based on prey animals playing dead in order to survive (or increase their chances of survival). Even though this answer would probably sidetrack many a test-taker, it proves nothing more than a distraction. Red light.

With the other four answer choices disproved, that leaves (B) as the correct response. As often as possible on CR questions, stick strictly to the premise(s) on which the argument, plan, or, in this case, paradox may be based. The more you practice with these considerations in mind, the more questions you will answer correctly, and these pesky CR nuances will stick out like a sore thumb.

I hope that helps. Thank you for requesting help.

- Andrew

Thanks. Appreciate your efforts
Re: Some small animals will instinctively go "playing dead" when [#permalink]
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