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# The anthropomorphic bias of those who would relegate marsupials to an

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The anthropomorphic bias of those who would relegate marsupials to an  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 07 Dec 2019, 07:51
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 241, Date : 01-Aug-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details

The anthropomorphic bias of those who would relegate marsupials to an inferior evolutionary status is most apparent in their recourse to data on brain structure and behavior. Unlike humans and other placentals, marsupials lack the corpus callosum, which facilitates inter-hemisphere transfer of data acquired through the senses. Yet it cannot be inferred that marsupials are thus deprived of such function. Didelphis Virginiana, one of the opossums, makes use of the anterior commissure, an adaptation that is also found in reptiles and monotremes. Diprodontons, including kangaroos and koalas, supplement the anterior commissure with the fasciculus aberrans. While the modes of neocortical interconnection may be diverse, the work of Johnson, Heath, and Jones points to the conclusion that, functionally speaking, the cortices and neocortices of both groups of mammals exhibit parallel connections. Parker also notes "a similar range of brain size to body weight ratios and of neocortical expansion."

Another stigma borne by marsupials is the consensus that they are less intelligent than placentals. Yet Williams argues that, all else being equal, natural selection will favor instinctive over learned behavior as being more biologically efficient and that it is the accidental death of the young that is the prime selective pressure for the evolution of intelligence. Seen in this light, marsupials have a competitive edge; their gestation period is brief and the young remain in the pouch for an extended period exposed only to those dangers which also affect the mother. There they are directly exposed to the mother's food supply and can observe her behavior at leisure. Placentals, on the other hand, not only have a longer gestation period but, once their young are born, must often leave while foraging. Such absences increase the risk of mortality and decrease the opportunity to learn. Thus, among placentals, selection would favor the appearance of intelligence in the young and protective behavior in the mother.

Marsupials are not known to exhibit maternal protective behavior. In fact, Serventy has reported that frightened female kangaroos will drop their pouch-young as they flee, drawing a predator's attention to the less able offspring while the adult escapes. This behavior, whether purposeful or accidental, instantaneously relieves the female marsupial of the mechanical difficulties of pregnancy with which her placental counterpart would be burdened, while marsupials can replace any lost young quickly. Thus, in the absence of any need for close maternal supervision, sacrificing their offspring in this manner may well have been favored in selection. Pointing to the absence of the "virtue" of maternal protectiveness in marsupials is an instance of how mistaken are those theorists who see similarities with humans as marks of evolutionary sophistication.

1. According to the passage, similarities between marsupials and placentals will most likely be found in

A.brain function
B.brain anatomy
C.maternal behavior
D.the corpus callosum
E.selection for intelligence

2. According to the passage, which of the following favor(s) the development of intelligence as a trait of placental mammals?

I) The need to leave their young while foraging
II) The comparatively great risk of accidental death of the young
III) The opportunity for the young to observe the mother at leisure

A) I only
B) III only
C)I and II only
D) II and III only
E)I, II, and III

3. The author's attitude toward those who consider marsupials to occupy an inferior evolutionary position would most probably be one of

A)criticism because they ignore evidence that marsupials are more intelligent than usually supposed
B)disagreement because current studies support the opposite view
C)disagreement because they apply human standards in an inappropriate context
D)agreement, but on the basis of marsupials' lack of maternal protective behavior rather than their brain structure
E)neutrality, on the grounds that the concept of evolutionary inferiority has not been defined with precision

4. All of the following authorities are cited for their work on marsupials EXCEPT

A) Johnson
B) Parker
C) Heath
D) Williams
E) Serventy

Originally posted by iamdp on 14 Jun 2015, 05:24.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 07 Dec 2019, 07:51, edited 4 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (309).
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Re: The anthropomorphic bias of those who would relegate marsupials to an  [#permalink]

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14 Jun 2015, 23:33
4
2
Hi
For Rc's you must be a good reader. All depends on your grasping power. How effectively you understand the language.
Reading is the key to Rc's. Read books, articles, magazine or anything you like to read.
If you like technology, gadgets and science related stuff read something on these topics.
Also while reading you should't be bored. Read the passage as if you really like what is written.

>>>My Best Strategy For Rc's<<<
1. Read the RC once ( Understand the 1st paragraph thoroughly and then speed up a little bit on the remaining)
2. Read the question and identify the type. Don't rush understand what is asked in the question and act accordingly.
3. Read each answer choice slowly( remember don't rush) .I bet if you have read the passage grasping the stuff you'll get the right answer on you 1st read.
4. Look for extreme words in the answer choices.
##### General Discussion
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Joined: 27 Dec 2013
Posts: 191
Re: The anthropomorphic bias of those who would relegate marsupials to an  [#permalink]

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15 Jun 2015, 12:27
2
HI My take, 10 Mintes (I know this is rubbish) but got all correct.

Finally its worth for such a nice passage.

Question 1; Answer A. The hint is in the line 'Yet it cannot be inferred that marsupials are thus deprived of such function.' and also the last line of the passage says that. They both mean to say that Brain anatomy though different, functions normally for both.

Question 2: Of the three options, only the third option is suitable for Marsupials, because the passage says that Marsupial babies have less gestational period and have ample time to observe mothers.

Question 3: For the question 3, the conclusion of the passage says it that '' People end up comparing Marsupials with human similarities. The author disagreement.

Question 4; The scientist william highlighted about Natural selection , but has not directly worked on Marsupials, unlike the others.

Thank you for a good passage.

dpo28 wrote:
The anthropomorphic bias of those who would relegate marsupials to an inferior evolutionary status is most apparent in their recourse to data on brain structure and behavior. Unlike humans and other placentals, marsupials lack the corpus callosum, which facilitates inter-hemisphere transfer of data acquired through the senses. Yet it cannot be inferred that marsupials are thus deprived of such function. Didelphis Virginiana, one of the opossums, makes use of the anterior commissure, an adaptation that is also found in reptiles and monotremes. Diprodontons, including kangaroos and koalas, supplement the anterior commissure with the fasciculus aberrans. While the modes of neocortical interconnection may be diverse, the work of Johnson, Heath, and Jones points to the conclusion that, functionally speaking, the cortices and neocortices of both groups of mammals exhibit parallel connections. Parker also notes "a similar range of brain size to body weight ratios and of neocortical expansion."

Another stigma borne by marsupials is the consensus that they are less intelligent than placentals. Yet Williams argues that, all else being equal, natural selection will favor instinctive over learned behavior as being more biologically efficient and that it is the accidental death of the young that is the prime selective pressure for the evolution of intelligence. Seen in this light, marsupials have a competitive edge; their gestation period is brief and the young remain in the pouch for an extended period exposed only to those dangers which also affect the mother. There they are directly exposed to the mother's food supply and can observe her behavior at leisure. Placentals, on the other hand, not only have a longer gestation period but, once their young are born, must often leave while foraging. Such absences increase the risk of mortality and decrease the opportunity to learn. Thus, among placentals, selection would favor the appearance of intelligence in the young and protective behavior in the mother.

Marsupials are not known to exhibit maternal protective behavior. In fact, Serventy has reported that frightened female kangaroos will drop their pouch-young as they flee, drawing a predator's attention to the less able offspring while the adult escapes. This behavior, whether purposeful or accidental, instantaneously relieves the female marsupial of the mechanical difficulties of pregnancy with which her placental counterpart would be burdened, while marsupials can replace any lost young quickly. Thus, in the absence of any need for close maternal supervision, sacrificing their offspring in this manner may well have been favored in selection. Pointing to the absence of the "virtue" of maternal protectiveness in marsupials is an instance of how mistaken are those theorists who see similarities with humans as marks of evolutionary sophistication.
According to the passage, similarities between marsupials and placentals will most likely be found in

A.brain function
B.brain anatomy
C.maternal behavior
D.the corpus callosum
E.selection for intelligence

According to the passage, which of the following favor(s) the development of intelligence as a trait of placental mammals?
I) The need to leave their young while foraging
II) The comparatively great risk of accidental death of the young
III) The opportunity for the young to observe the mother at leisure
A) I only
B) III only
C)I and II only
D) II and III only
E)I, II, and III

The author's attitude toward those who consider marsupials to occupy an inferior evolutionary position would most probably be one of
A)criticism because they ignore evidence that marsupials are more intelligent than usually supposed
B)disagreement because current studies support the opposite view
C)disagreement because they apply human standards in an inappropriate context
D)agreement, but on the basis of marsupials' lack of maternal protective behavior rather than their brain structure
E)neutrality, on the grounds that the concept of evolutionary inferiority has not been defined with precision

All of the following authorities are cited for their work on marsupials EXCEPT
A) Johnson
B) Parker
C) Health
D) Williams
E) Serventy

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Re: The anthropomorphic bias of those who would relegate marsupials to an  [#permalink]

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21 May 2019, 07:42
I don't understand question 2 at all. It's asking what favors the development of intelligence as a trait of placental mammals? I thought this was asking what advantages mammals have over marsupials; is it simply asking what relates to them?
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Re: The anthropomorphic bias of those who would relegate marsupials to an  [#permalink]

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21 May 2019, 08:59
1
georgethomps wrote:
I don't understand question 2 at all. It's asking what favors the development of intelligence as a trait of placental mammals? I thought this was asking what advantages mammals have over marsupials; is it simply asking what relates to them?

The second paragraph addresses this question in detail. The last bit is quite helpful:
"Placentals, on the other hand, not only have a longer gestation period but, once their young are born, must often leave while foraging. Such absences increase the risk of mortality and decrease the opportunity to learn. Thus, among placentals, selection would favor the appearance of intelligence in the young and protective behavior in the mother."

Going through the question choices:
I) The need to leave their young while foraging
(mentioned in the second paragraph)
II) The comparatively great risk of accidental death of the young
(mentioned in the second paragraph)
III)The opportunity for the young to observe the mother at leisure
(mentioned in the second paragraph as a trait for marsupials not placentals)

The answer is I & II only.

Please send some kudos if this was helpful.
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Re: The anthropomorphic bias of those who would relegate marsupials to an  [#permalink]

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31 Jul 2019, 07:13
1
Regarding Question3,

Pointing to the absence of the "virtue" of maternal protectiveness in marsupials is an instance of how mistaken are those theorists who see similarities with humans as marks of evolutionary sophistication.

What does above sentence mean?

The author's attitude toward those who consider marsupials to occupy an inferior evolutionary position would most probably be one of

The author is in agreement toward those who consider marsupials to occupy an inferior evolutionary position. How is it a disagreement?
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Re: The anthropomorphic bias of those who would relegate marsupials to an  [#permalink]

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17 Oct 2019, 09:08
Q4: Scientist name is written as Health in option 4 and the name of the scientist mentioned in RC is Heath. How can this will be a wrong option unless there is a typo error?
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Schools: HEC Montreal '21
Re: The anthropomorphic bias of those who would relegate marsupials to an  [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2019, 20:38
Hi, it took me 14 min to read and answer all the questions. Though I got all of them right barring the first one, what is an effective way to reduce the passage reading time?

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: The anthropomorphic bias of those who would relegate marsupials to an  [#permalink]

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30 Nov 2019, 10:10
Q4: Scientist name is written as Health in option 4 and the name of the scientist mentioned in RC is Heath. How can this will be a wrong option unless there is a typo error?

All of the following authorities are cited for their work on marsupials EXCEPT
A) Johnson
B) Parker
C) Health
D) Williams
E) Serventy

All the 5 author names are mentioned in the para.

Johnson, Parker, Health and Serventy are cited for their work related to marsupials while Williams is cited for a general argument about Evolution -

Yet Williams argues that
"All else being equal, natural selection will favor instinctive over learned behavior as being more biologically efficient and that it is the accidental death of the young that is the prime selective pressure for the evolution of intelligence "
Re: The anthropomorphic bias of those who would relegate marsupials to an   [#permalink] 30 Nov 2019, 10:10
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