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# The cougar (Puma concolor), also known as the mountain lion

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The cougar (Puma concolor), also known as the mountain lion  [#permalink]

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27 Jun 2018, 07:09
2
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Question 1
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based on 158 sessions

44% (02:45) correct 56% (02:52) wrong

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Question 2
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38% (01:41) correct 62% (01:48) wrong

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Question 3
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36% (01:12) correct 64% (01:11) wrong

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The cougar (Puma concolor), also known as the mountain lion, puma, panther, painter, mountain cat, or catamount, is a large cat native to the Americas. Its range, from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America, is the greatest of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere. An adaptable, generalist species, the cougar is found in most American habitat types. Secretive and largely solitary by nature, the cougar is properly considered both nocturnal and crepuscular, although sightings during daylight hours do rarely occur. The cougar is more closely related to smaller felines, including the domestic cat, than to any subspecies of lion.

An excellent stalk-and-ambush predator, the cougar pursues a wide variety of prey. Primary food sources include ungulates such as deer, elk, moose, and bighorn sheep, as well as domestic cattle, horses and sheep, particularly in the northern part of its range. This cat prefers habitats with dense underbrush and rocky areas for stalking, but can also live in open areas. While large, it is not always the apex predator in its range, yielding to the jaguar, gray wolf, American black bear, and grizzly bear. It is reclusive and mostly avoids people, so fatal attacks on humans are rare but have been trending upward in certain areas during recent years as more people enter their territory.

Excessive hunting following European colonization of the Americas and the ongoing human development of cougar habitat has caused populations to drop in most parts of its historical range. In particular, the cougar was extirpated in eastern North America in the beginning of the 20th century, except for an isolated subpopulation in Florida. However, in recent decades, breeding populations have moved east into the far western parts of the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Transient males have been verified in Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and Illinois, where a cougar was shot in the city limits of Chicago, and, in at least one instance, observed as far east as Connecticut. Today, reports of eastern cougars (Puma concolor cougar) still surface, but the last verified one was killed in 2011.

B

Explanation: For this type of broad, universal question, you must use your general understanding of the passage to determine where it would most likely come from. (A) is out of scope because you do not know if the cougar is an endangered species. While the populations have declined, you are not given enough information to determine this. Clearly, this would not be an excerpt from such a textbook if the cougar is not an endangered species. (B) matches the text perfectly. In the passage you learn a series of facts about the cougar’s history (a North American predator), its habitat, and its behavior – all things you would expect to see in a field book. For (C), this does not come from a proposal – in that type of document you would expect to see some new ideas or prescriptions and the focus would be on protecting the species. (D) is far too broad and off-topic, as this passage is specifically about cougars and their traits. The passage only talks briefly about the effects of human development on the cougar. (E) is even broader in scope, and probably the easiest of the five choices to eliminate. Answer is (B).

1. This is most likely an excerpt from which of the following:

(A) A textbook on endangered species
(B) A field book on North American predators
(C) A proposal to help protect the cougar species in North America
(D) A government study on the effects of human development
(E) An analysis of North American ecosystems

D
Explanation: For this question, you must go through each choice, find where it is discussed in the passage, and determine if it is a proper inference. For (A), there is no evidence given to support this conclusion. While you learn that cougars have traditionally been found in Florida and have recently moved into Minnesota, there is no way to determine from the passage where more exist. For (B), you learn in the passage that hunting played a role in the decline of cougar populations, as did human encroachment on cougar habitat. However you have no idea from the passage if hunting has been the PRIMARY cause of the decrease across its ENTIRE habitat. Be careful about such strongly worded language in any inference questions. (C), like (B), goes too far and is not a reasonable inference. You learn that attacks on humans are rare and have been generally trending upwards, but you have no idea what the case is in Florida and whether attacks there are more likely than several decades ago. For (D), you learn in the passage that “Its range, from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America, is the greatest of ANY large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere.” From this you can infer with certainty that the cougar has a larger range than the grizzly bear or American bison. Of course, the trick in this answer choice is that the American Bison is not discussed in the passage, but it is certainly a wild terrestrial mammal so (D) must be true. For (E), you learn specifically that the cougar is NOT always the apex predator in its range so you cannot make this inference. Answer is (D).

2. Which of the following can be properly inferred from the passage?

(A) There are more cougars in Florida than there are in Minnesota.
(B) Excessive hunting has been the primary cause of the population decrease in cougars across its entire habitat.
(C) In Florida, cougar attacks on humans are more likely now than they were several decades ago.
(D) The cougar has a larger range than either the grizzly bear or the American bison.
(E) The cougar is considered the apex predator in most habitats.

C
Explanation: For this type of question, use your initial reading to try to locate each of these topics quickly. For (A), the habitat of the cougar is discussed in several places, so this is not the correct answer. In the beginning of the 2nd paragraph the cougar is described as “An excellent stalk-and-ambush predator,” which describes exactly how the cougar pursues its prey. As a result, (B) can be eliminated. Answer choice (C) is tricky but it is NOT found in the passage and is thus correct. While you learn the effects of human encroachment on cougar habitat, there is nothing in the passage about how land preservation has affected the cougar. In the third paragraph you learn about the extirpation of the cougar in the 20th century (1900s) so (D) is not correct. And lastly, in the end of the first paragraph you learn that the cougar is more closely related to felines than to lions – a portion of the evolutionary history of the cougar. Answer is (C).

3. All of the following are discussed in the passage EXCEPT:

(A) the habitat of the cougar.
(B) how the cougar pursues its prey.
(C) the effects of land preservation on the cougar.
(D) extirpation of the cougar in the 1900s.
(E) the evolutionary history of the cougar.

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Re: The cougar (Puma concolor), also known as the mountain lion  [#permalink]

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27 Jun 2018, 22:28
prags1989 wrote:
for QUE 1 , why D is wrong ?

The passage doesn't talk about human development or its effect. The entire passage is about cougar. Hence D is out of context
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Re: The cougar (Puma concolor), also known as the mountain lion  [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2018, 01:51
Can anyone share the explanation. I got all wrong

Sent from my Lenovo K33a42 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app
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Re: The cougar (Puma concolor), also known as the mountain lion  [#permalink]

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04 Jul 2018, 17:27
can anyone help me on how do i answer the inference questions?
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Re: The cougar (Puma concolor), also known as the mountain lion  [#permalink]

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04 Jul 2018, 21:19
raveesh1203 wrote:
Can anyone share the explanation. I got all wrong

Sent from my Lenovo K33a42 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app

The explanations are mentioned in the question it self under the heading "Spoiler"
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Re: The cougar (Puma concolor), also known as the mountain lion  [#permalink]

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05 Jul 2018, 02:59
Kunal760 for inference question you need to remember how the RC is structured and how details are spreaded in the RC because options given in inference question can come up from any part of RC.
(A) There are more cougars in Florida than there are in Minnesota. para 3 , line 5
(B) Excessive hunting has been the primary cause of the population decrease in cougars across its entire habitat. para 3 line 1
(C) In Florida, cougar attacks on humans are more likely now than they were several decades ago. para 3 last line
(D) The cougar has a larger range than either the grizzly bear or the American bison. para 1 line 4
(E) The cougar is considered the apex predator in most habitats. para 2 line 6

correct option is D
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Re: The cougar (Puma concolor), also known as the mountain lion  [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2018, 09:49
Vyshak wrote:
The cougar (Puma concolor), also known as the mountain lion, puma, panther, painter, mountain cat, or catamount, is a large cat native to the Americas. Its range, from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America, is the greatest of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere. An adaptable, generalist species, the cougar is found in most American habitat types. Secretive and largely solitary by nature, the cougar is properly considered both nocturnal and crepuscular, although sightings during daylight hours do rarely occur. The cougar is more closely related to smaller felines, including the domestic cat, than to any subspecies of lion.

3. All of the following are discussed in the passage EXCEPT:

(A) the habitat of the cougar.
(B) how the cougar pursues its prey.
(C) the effects of land preservation on the cougar.
(D) extirpation of the cougar in the 1900s.
(E) the evolutionary history of the cougar.

Veritas mentions the following as the OE:
"For this type of question, use your initial reading to try to locate each of these topics quickly. For (A), the habitat of the cougar is discussed in several places, so this is not the correct answer. In the beginning of the 2nd paragraph the cougar is described as “An excellent stalk-and-ambush predator,” which describes exactly how the cougar pursues its prey. As a result, (B) can be eliminated. Answer choice (C) is tricky but it is NOT found in the passage and is thus correct. While you learn the effects of human encroachment on cougar habitat, there is nothing in the passage about how land preservation has affected the cougar. In the third paragraph you learn about the extirpation of the cougar in the 20th century (1900s) so (D) is not correct. And lastly, in the end of the first paragraph you learn that the cougar is more closely related to felines than to lions – a portion of the evolutionary history of the cougar. Answer is (C)."

But I dont agree with the explanation of Answer Choice E. the Mentioned part does not constitute the Evolutionary History.
Can any one help resolve this ?

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Re: The cougar (Puma concolor), also known as the mountain lion  [#permalink]

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17 Aug 2018, 04:23
1
Vyshak wrote:
[box_out]
The cougar (Puma concolor), also known as the mountain lion, puma, panther, painter, mountain cat, or catamount, is a large cat native to the Americas. Its range, from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America, is the greatest of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere. An adaptable, generalist species, the cougar is found in most American habitat types. Secretive and largely solitary by nature, the cougar is properly considered both nocturnal and crepuscular, although sightings during daylight hours do rarely occur. The cougar is more closely related to smaller felines, including the domestic cat, than to any subspecies of lion.

An excellent stalk-and-ambush predator, the cougar pursues a wide variety of prey. Primary food sources include ungulates such as deer, elk, moose, and bighorn sheep, as well as domestic cattle, horses and sheep, particularly in the northern part of its range. This cat prefers habitats with dense underbrush and rocky areas for stalking, but can also live in open areas. While large, it is not always the apex predator in its range, yielding to the jaguar, gray wolf, American black bear, and grizzly bear. It is reclusive and mostly avoids people, so fatal attacks on humans are rare but have been trending upward in certain areas during recent years as more people enter their territory.

Excessive hunting following European colonization of the Americas and the ongoing human development of cougar habitat has caused populations to drop in most parts of its historical range. In particular, the cougar was extirpated in eastern North America in the beginning of the 20th century, except for an isolated subpopulation in Florida. However, in recent decades, breeding populations have moved east into the far western parts of the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Transient males have been verified in Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and Illinois, where a cougar was shot in the city limits of Chicago, and, in at least one instance, observed as far east as Connecticut. Today, reports of eastern cougars (Puma concolor cougar) still surface, but the last verified one was killed in 2011.
[box_in]
B

Explanation: For this type of broad, universal question, you must use your general understanding of the passage to determine where it would most likely come from. (A) is out of scope because you do not know if the cougar is an endangered species. While the populations have declined, you are not given enough information to determine this. Clearly, this would not be an excerpt from such a textbook if the cougar is not an endangered species. (B) matches the text perfectly. In the passage you learn a series of facts about the cougar’s history (a North American predator), its habitat, and its behavior – all things you would expect to see in a field book. For (C), this does not come from a proposal – in that type of document you would expect to see some new ideas or prescriptions and the focus would be on protecting the species. (D) is far too broad and off-topic, as this passage is specifically about cougars and their traits. The passage only talks briefly about the effects of human development on the cougar. (E) is even broader in scope, and probably the easiest of the five choices to eliminate. Answer is (B).

1. This is most likely an excerpt from which of the following:

(A) A textbook on endangered species
(B) A field book on North American predators
(C) A proposal to help protect the cougar species in North America
(D) A government study on the effects of human development
(E) An analysis of North American ecosystems

D
Explanation: For this question, you must go through each choice, find where it is discussed in the passage, and determine if it is a proper inference. For (A), there is no evidence given to support this conclusion. While you learn that cougars have traditionally been found in Florida and have recently moved into Minnesota, there is no way to determine from the passage where more exist. For (B), you learn in the passage that hunting played a role in the decline of cougar populations, as did human encroachment on cougar habitat. However you have no idea from the passage if hunting has been the PRIMARY cause of the decrease across its ENTIRE habitat. Be careful about such strongly worded language in any inference questions. (C), like (B), goes too far and is not a reasonable inference. You learn that attacks on humans are rare and have been generally trending upwards, but you have no idea what the case is in Florida and whether attacks there are more likely than several decades ago. For (D), you learn in the passage that “Its range, from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America, is the greatest of ANY large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere.” From this you can infer with certainty that the cougar has a larger range than the grizzly bear or American bison. Of course, the trick in this answer choice is that the American Bison is not discussed in the passage, but it is certainly a wild terrestrial mammal so (D) must be true. For (E), you learn specifically that the cougar is NOT always the apex predator in its range so you cannot make this inference. Answer is (D).

2. Which of the following can be properly inferred from the passage?

(A) There are more cougars in Florida than there are in Minnesota.
(B) Excessive hunting has been the primary cause of the population decrease in cougars across its entire habitat.
(C) In Florida, cougar attacks on humans are more likely now than they were several decades ago.
(D) The cougar has a larger range than either the grizzly bear or the American bison.
(E) The cougar is considered the apex predator in most habitats.

hi can someone explain why Option A is in correct for question 1 and

why option D is correct for question 2
because passage just says Its range, from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America, is the greatest of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere.
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The cougar (Puma concolor), also known as the mountain lion  [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2018, 21:22
Vyshak wrote:
The cougar (Puma concolor), also known as the mountain lion, puma, panther, painter, mountain cat, or catamount, is a large cat native to the Americas. Its range, from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America, is the greatest of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere. An adaptable, generalist species, the cougar is found in most American habitat types. Secretive and largely solitary by nature, the cougar is properly considered both nocturnal and crepuscular, although sightings during daylight hours do rarely occur. The cougar is more closely related to smaller felines, including the domestic cat, than to any subspecies of lion.

3. All of the following are discussed in the passage EXCEPT:

(A) the habitat of the cougar.
(B) how the cougar pursues its prey.
(C) the effects of land preservation on the cougar.
(D) extirpation of the cougar in the 1900s.
(E) the evolutionary history of the cougar.

Veritas mentions the following as the OE:
"For this type of question, use your initial reading to try to locate each of these topics quickly. For (A), the habitat of the cougar is discussed in several places, so this is not the correct answer. In the beginning of the 2nd paragraph the cougar is described as “An excellent stalk-and-ambush predator,” which describes exactly how the cougar pursues its prey. As a result, (B) can be eliminated. Answer choice (C) is tricky but it is NOT found in the passage and is thus correct. While you learn the effects of human encroachment on cougar habitat, there is nothing in the passage about how land preservation has affected the cougar. In the third paragraph you learn about the extirpation of the cougar in the 20th century (1900s) so (D) is not correct. And lastly, in the end of the first paragraph you learn that the cougar is more closely related to felines than to lions – a portion of the evolutionary history of the cougar. Answer is (C)."

But I dont agree with the explanation of Answer Choice E. the Mentioned part does not constitute the Evolutionary History.
Can any one help resolve this ?

Got this question in my mock yesterday and was wondering the same. The passage nowhere mentions "evolutionary history" of cougars and explicitly mentions effects of land preservation as "population to drop in most parts". I wonder how C is the OA.
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Re: The cougar (Puma concolor), also known as the mountain lion  [#permalink]

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29 Sep 2018, 05:56
Easy Passage! Got 3/3 correct but took 8:48 min.
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Re: The cougar (Puma concolor), also known as the mountain lion  [#permalink]

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23 Jan 2019, 12:15
For Q2) can we assume the American bison is an animal found in the western hemisphere?

"Its range, from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America, is the greatest of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere"

What if the bison isn't found in the Western hemisphere and as such has a larger range than the puma.

GMATNinja
Re: The cougar (Puma concolor), also known as the mountain lion   [#permalink] 23 Jan 2019, 12:15
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# The cougar (Puma concolor), also known as the mountain lion

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