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Swamp sparrows live in a variety of wetland habitats. Unlike

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New post 07 Aug 2013, 00:20
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Swamp sparrows live in a variety of wetland habitats. Unlike most swamp sparrows, which live in freshwater habitats, the coastal-plain subspecies lives in tidal wetlands, where freshwater and seawater mix and the mud is gray rather than brown. Coastal-plain swamp sparrows differ from all other populations of swamp sparrows in having plumage that is gray brown rather than rusty brown. DNA analysis indicates several important genetic differences between swamp sparrows that inhabit tidal marshes and other subspecies of swamp sparrows. Therefore there must have been genetic-selection pressure on swamp sparrows in tidal marshes to become darker and grayer.

Select Strengthen for the statement that would, if true, most strengthen the argument, and select Weaken for the statement that would, if true, most weaken the argument. Make only two seletions, one in each column.

(A) None of the genetic differences that have been identified in the genomes of coastal-plain swamp sparrows and freshwater swamp sparrows affect plumage color.
(B) Mud in tidal marshes tends to be graysih because of the presence of iron sulfide, whereas freshwater mud is browner because of the presence of iron oxide.
(C) Some species of birds that live in tidal marshes do not have gray plumage.
(D) The diets of both coastal-plain and freshwater swamp sparrows can change significantly from season to season.
(E) Baby birds of coastal-plain subspecies and baby birds of a freshwater swamp subspecies, all raised on an identical diet under controlled conditions, grew plumage similar in color to that of their respective parents.

Strengthen: E, Weaken: A
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New post 09 Aug 2013, 03:33
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Hi,

Information:
Coastal-plain swamp sparrows are gray brown whereas others are rusty brown.
There are a lot of genetic differences between the coastal-plain swamp sparrows and the others.
Conclusion:
Genetic differences must be the reason of of the difference in color.

The gap is that we do not know whether the difference is caused by internal(i.e. genetics) or external (i.e. climate, food etc.) reasons.

Taking these into consideration
A) weakens the argument, because it clearly states that there is no genetic difference between coastal-plain swamp sparrows and freshwater swamp sparrows that affects plumage color, thus the reason of difference in plumage color should be external (for example food)
E) strengthens the argument, because it shows that under same external conditions(“identical diet and controlled conditions”) the birds grew plumage similar in color to that of their respective parents. This shows that external factors have no affect, thus the reason should be genetic.

Hope this helps
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New post 12 Oct 2016, 10:55
On what basis can we eliminate C (as weakener) ? As it doesn't correlate genes and colour difference?
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New post 05 Nov 2016, 12:38
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Option C states : SOME species of birds do not have grey plumage.
The passage states : there must have been genetic-selection pressure on swamp sparrows.
The passage exclusively talks about swamp sparrows, whereas the option C talks about other species ( can be any species - of any bird), which is irrelevant. Maybe parrots did not have the genetic pressure to grow grey plumage - this does not impact the conclusion stated that is exclusive to swamp sparrows.
This is a typical GMAT trap where the option goes from specific to general. Hope this helped
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New post 16 Dec 2018, 06:41
Any reason for not considering second D? in my view ..cause it is extra information about diet which is not being talked about anywhere in the para. right?
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New post 22 Dec 2018, 08:22
The strengthen section should remove any ambiguity in the passage to strengthen the conclusion. The facts mentioned about the color of mud can be interpreted as something that doesn’t have a supporting fact. So any strengthen choice should directly help resolve this. The only one that does is answer choice E

The weaken question should directly impact the conclusion. The conclusion is that genetic selection is responsible for the color. The answer choice C correctly weakens by suggesting there are no genetic difference that impact the plumage color.

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Re: Swamp sparrows live in a variety of wetland habitats. Unlike   [#permalink] 22 Dec 2018, 08:22
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