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The arctic fox was once the most common fox on the Northern Island.

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The arctic fox was once the most common fox on the Northern Island.  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Sep 2015, 03:59
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The arctic fox was once the most common fox on the Northern Island. Recently, the number of red fox on the island surpassed, for the first time, that of the arctic fox. Nonetheless, both foxes eat the same prey and share the same environment.

Which of the following, if true, could best account for the decrease in arctic fox relative to the red fox?

A) The red fox is able to digest food faster than the arctic fox can
B) The polar bear, the arctic fox’s primary predator, has become increasingly less common on the island.
C) On the most northern part of the island, the number of arctic fox still exceeds the number of red fox.
D) Because the arctic fox tends to live longer than the red fox, a greater percent of arctic fox are able to procreate than are the red fox.
E) As a result of increased temperatures, much of the snow that had provided camouflage to the arctic fox is now gone.

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The arctic fox was once the most common fox on the Northern Island.  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Sep 2015, 06:32
Harley1980 wrote:
The arctic fox was once the most common fox on the Northern Island. Recently, the number of red fox on the island surpassed, for the first time, that of the arctic fox. Nonetheless, both foxes eat the same prey and share the same environment.

Which of the following, if true, could best account for the decrease in arctic fox relative to the red fox?

A) The red fox is able to digest food faster than the arctic fox can
B) The polar bear, the arctic fox’s primary predator, has become increasingly less common on the island.
C) On the most northern part of the island, the number of arctic fox still exceeds the number of red fox.
D) Because the arctic fox tends to live longer than the red fox, a greater percent of arctic fox are able to procreate than are the red fox.
E) As a result of increased temperatures, much of the snow that had provided camouflage to the arctic fox is now gone.


poor answer by Magoosh imho. it ought to be A for the following reasons:
1. Option E only talks about the effects on arctic fox and there is no mention as to how the same affects red fox.
2. Option A is clear in that it compares the the 2 foxes through their digestion abilities. Since, red fox is able to digest food faster as compared to an arctic fox and since both of them share the same prey, the red fox runs the arctic one out of preying options ( here a small assumption is that a red fox outsmarts arctic fox in its preying abilities too which in my view is not a big assumption to make as it is limited in its effect.). hence, the conclusion as mentioned above.
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Re: The arctic fox was once the most common fox on the Northern Island.  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Sep 2015, 08:03
grr8pe wrote:
Harley1980 wrote:
The arctic fox was once the most common fox on the Northern Island. Recently, the number of red fox on the island surpassed, for the first time, that of the arctic fox. Nonetheless, both foxes eat the same prey and share the same environment.

Which of the following, if true, could best account for the decrease in arctic fox relative to the red fox?

A) The red fox is able to digest food faster than the arctic fox can
B) The polar bear, the arctic fox’s primary predator, has become increasingly less common on the island.
C) On the most northern part of the island, the number of arctic fox still exceeds the number of red fox.
D) Because the arctic fox tends to live longer than the red fox, a greater percent of arctic fox are able to procreate than are the red fox.
E) As a result of increased temperatures, much of the snow that had provided camouflage to the arctic fox is now gone.


poor answer by Magoosh imho. it ought to be A for the following reasons:
1. Option E only talks about the effects on arctic fox and there is no mention as to how the same affects red fox.
2. Option A is clear in that it compares the the 2 foxes through their digestion abilities. Since, red fox is able to digest food faster as compared to an arctic fox and since both of them share the same prey, the red fox runs the arctic one out of preying options ( here a small assumption is that a red fox outsmarts arctic fox in its preying abilities too which in my view is not a big assumption to make as it is limited in its effect.). hence, the conclusion as mentioned above.


Hello grr8pe
Digesting is the process of absorption of food and
preying abilities is how this fox hunting the animals.

How you connect speed of digesting and preying abilities?
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Re: The arctic fox was once the most common fox on the Northern Island.  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Sep 2015, 08:45
Harley1980 wrote:
grr8pe wrote:
Harley1980 wrote:
The arctic fox was once the most common fox on the Northern Island. Recently, the number of red fox on the island surpassed, for the first time, that of the arctic fox. Nonetheless, both foxes eat the same prey and share the same environment.

Which of the following, if true, could best account for the decrease in arctic fox relative to the red fox?

A) The red fox is able to digest food faster than the arctic fox can
B) The polar bear, the arctic fox’s primary predator, has become increasingly less common on the island.
C) On the most northern part of the island, the number of arctic fox still exceeds the number of red fox.
D) Because the arctic fox tends to live longer than the red fox, a greater percent of arctic fox are able to procreate than are the red fox.
E) As a result of increased temperatures, much of the snow that had provided camouflage to the arctic fox is now gone.


poor answer by Magoosh imho. it ought to be A for the following reasons:
1. Option E only talks about the effects on arctic fox and there is no mention as to how the same affects red fox.
2. Option A is clear in that it compares the the 2 foxes through their digestion abilities. Since, red fox is able to digest food faster as compared to an arctic fox and since both of them share the same prey, the red fox runs the arctic one out of preying options ( here a small assumption is that a red fox outsmarts arctic fox in its preying abilities too which in my view is not a big assumption to make as it is limited in its effect.). hence, the conclusion as mentioned above.


Hello grr8pe
Digesting is the process of absorption of food and
preying abilities is how this fox hunting the animals.

How you connect speed of digesting and preying abilities?


see, the way i see this is since there is no mention of the extent of difference in numbers of red fox & arctic fox, let us assume that red fox=7 & arctic fox=10
red's digestion > arctic's digestion => red's time to be hungry again < arctic's time to be hungry again => red will go hunting again sooner than arctic one would. hence, there is more opportunity for red to catch its prey both in terms of time & numbers. that's how i connected the two things. i didn't say it in absolute sense of the word.
i hope i have presented my case well here.
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Re: The arctic fox was once the most common fox on the Northern Island.  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Sep 2015, 09:31
grr8pe wrote:
see, the way i see this is since there is no mention of the extent of difference in numbers of red fox & arctic fox, let us assume that red fox=7 & arctic fox=10
red's digestion > arctic's digestion => red's time to be hungry again < arctic's time to be hungry again => red will go hunting again sooner than arctic one would. hence, there is more opportunity for red to catch its prey both in terms of time & numbers. that's how i connected the two things. i didn't say it in absolute sense of the word.
i hope i have presented my case well here.


Yes you are presented it well but this point is two-edged sword.
If red fox has need to eat more often then it can dye from hunger more often then arctic fox.
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The arctic fox was once the most common fox on the Northern Island.  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Sep 2015, 09:38
Harley1980 wrote:
grr8pe wrote:
see, the way i see this is since there is no mention of the extent of difference in numbers of red fox & arctic fox, let us assume that red fox=7 & arctic fox=10
red's digestion > arctic's digestion => red's time to be hungry again < arctic's time to be hungry again => red will go hunting again sooner than arctic one would. hence, there is more opportunity for red to catch its prey both in terms of time & numbers. that's how i connected the two things. i didn't say it in absolute sense of the word.
i hope i have presented my case well here.


Yes you are presented it well but this point is two-edged sword.
If red fox has need to eat more often then it can dye from hunger more often then arctic fox.



yes, you are right that it's a double -edged sword but again keeping the boundaries of the argument in mind, the argument of dying from hunger is too far-fetched as it will require us to assume that preys are in limited quantity which in my view would really go beyond the scope of the argument as the number of preys doesn't come into picture at all at any time.
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The arctic fox was once the most common fox on the Northern Island.  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Sep 2015, 09:59
grr8pe wrote:
Harley1980 wrote:
grr8pe wrote:
see, the way i see this is since there is no mention of the extent of difference in numbers of red fox & arctic fox, let us assume that red fox=7 & arctic fox=10
red's digestion > arctic's digestion => red's time to be hungry again < arctic's time to be hungry again => red will go hunting again sooner than arctic one would. hence, there is more opportunity for red to catch its prey both in terms of time & numbers. that's how i connected the two things. i didn't say it in absolute sense of the word.
i hope i have presented my case well here.


Yes you are presented it well but this point is two-edged sword.
If red fox has need to eat more often then it can dye from hunger more often then arctic fox.



yes, you are right that it's a double -edged sword but again keeping the boundaries of the argument in mind, the argument of dying from hunger is too far-fetched as it will require us to assume that preys are in limited quantity which in my view would really go beyond the scope of the argument as the number of preys doesn't come into picture at all at any time.


Correct me if I wrong but I think that you built your answer on availability of prey:
" there is more opportunity for red to catch its prey both in terms of time & numbers. that's how i connected the two things"
"since both of them share the same prey, the red fox runs the arctic one out of preying options "

If we have unlimited quantity of prey when why hunting ability of red fox lead to decreasing of arctic fox?
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Re: The arctic fox was once the most common fox on the Northern Island.  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Sep 2015, 10:28
Harley1980 wrote:
grr8pe wrote:
Harley1980 wrote:
[quote="grr8pe

Correct me if I wrong but I think that you built your answer on availability of prey:
" there is more opportunity for red to catch its prey both in terms of time & numbers. that's how i connected the two things"
"since both of them share the same prey, the red fox runs the arctic one out of preying options "

If we have unlimited quantity of prey when why hunting ability of red fox lead to decreasing of arctic fox?


simply bcoz red gets more time to hunt and it's no brainer that the more time you get, the more likelihood of getting more preys caught which leaves less chance for arctic one to hunt & remember 2 "more" have been used.
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Re: The arctic fox was once the most common fox on the Northern Island.  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Sep 2015, 11:26
grr8pe wrote:
simply bcoz red gets more time to hunt and it's no brainer that the more time you get, the more likelihood of getting more preys caught which leaves less chance for arctic one to hunt & remember 2 "more" have been used.


I think we gone too far from the GMAT question )

But why red foxes have more time? They have more often times of hunting but each animal have a period when it want to it for example 5 hours and it will be equal for both foxes.
So arctic fox has for example needness to hunt one time per two days and red fox one time per one day.

And red fox will struggle more because it has shorter periods between food intaking.

So red fox in this case have a more chances to die from hunger than arctic fox.
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Re: The arctic fox was once the most common fox on the Northern Island.  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Sep 2015, 00:38
I am still not able to get why E...If the snow was camouflaging arctic fox..now since the snow is gone, the arctic fox should outnumber that of the red fox..

Also C seems more apt for me because it says that the arctic fox are still present but probably they have relocated to another area.Please help me..
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Re: The arctic fox was once the most common fox on the Northern Island.  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Sep 2015, 00:38
I am still not able to get why E...If the snow was camouflaging arctic fox..now since the snow is gone, the arctic fox should outnumber that of the red fox..

Also C seems more apt for me because it says that the arctic fox are still present but probably they have relocated to another area.Please help me..
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Re: The arctic fox was once the most common fox on the Northern Island.  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Sep 2015, 01:10
I was between A and E, I did choose A rather E because the passage tells that the arctic fox and the Red Fox shares the same prey and environment, By the snow been melted and the temperature increasing camouflage is gone for both arctic fox and red fox . So choose A upon E
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Re: The arctic fox was once the most common fox on the Northern Island.  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Sep 2015, 09:47
vinnisatija wrote:
I am still not able to get why E...If the snow was camouflaging arctic fox..now since the snow is gone, the arctic fox should outnumber that of the red fox..

Also C seems more apt for me because it says that the arctic fox are still present but probably they have relocated to another area.Please help me..


Hello vinnisatija
If snow has gone then arctic fox do not have ability to disguise themself so for now it is harder for them to prey on animals and to hide from predators.

C does not give clear answer and we should to inven some reason to justify this answer. We can do this with any question.
For example B
"B) The polar bear, the arctic fox’s primary predator, has become increasingly less common on the island."
There is appear another predator of arctic fox and it became it so many foxes that polar bear start dying from hunger and that is why red foxes are outnumber arctic foxes

This can be correct in real life but this is too much thinking to be correct for GMAT CR questions
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Re: The arctic fox was once the most common fox on the Northern Island.  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Aug 2018, 17:11

Official Explanation


Fact #1 – For the first time, fewer A.F. than R.F on island.

Fact #2 – Share same environment; eat same prey

Paradox: Arctic fox continues to decline

(A) The ability to digest food quickly does not directly tie together with survival rates. Arguing that quick digestion allows the arctic fox more time to hunt or evade prey, or something advantageous, is to make an inferential leap that is not acceptable on a GMAT credited answer.

(B) If the arctic fox’s primary predator has become less common, one would expect the arctic fox’s numbers to increase.

(C) does not give us a compelling reason for the observed paradox. Sure, there are more arctic fox on the northern part of the island, but the question as to why are there fewer overall arctic foxes remains unanswered.

(D) provides evidence that would imply that the arctic fox’s numbers should not be decreasing.

(E) provides a strong reason why the arctic fox’s numbers would decrease: it is more vulnerable to predators since it cannot camouflage itself as well.
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Re: The arctic fox was once the most common fox on the Northern Island. &nbs [#permalink] 06 Aug 2018, 17:11
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