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# The folktale that claims that a rattlesnake's age can be

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Director
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The folktale that claims that a rattlesnake's age can be [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2005, 20:00
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The folktale that claims that a rattlesnake's age can be determined from the number of sections in its rattle is false, but only because the rattles are brittle and sometimes partially or completely break off. So if they were not so brittle, one could reliably determine a rattlesnake's age simply from the number of sections in its rattle, because one new section is formed each time a rattlesnake molts.

Which one of the following is an assumption the argument requires in order for its conclusion to properly drawn?

A) Rattlesnakes molt exactly once a year

B) The rattles of rattlesnakes of different species are identical in appearance.

C) Rattlesnakes molt more frequently when young than when old

D) The brittleness of a rattlesnake's rattle is not correlated with the length of the rattlesnake's life

E) Rattlesnakes molt as often when food is scare as they do when food is plentiful
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Director
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28 Nov 2005, 20:14
In order to properly gauge the age of a rattlesnake, the interval between molts has to be constant.

(E) Rattlesnakes molt as often when food is scare as they do when food is plentiful.

Thus, (E) should be assumed.
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28 Nov 2005, 21:17

If rattlesnakes molt twice a year, age could not be reliably determined based on the number of sections.
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28 Nov 2005, 21:23
I think it should be A
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28 Nov 2005, 21:49
I'll go for 'A'.

Last edited by vivek123 on 28 Nov 2005, 21:53, edited 1 time in total.
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28 Nov 2005, 21:52
gamjatang wrote:
In order to properly gauge the age of a rattlesnake, the interval between molts has to be constant.

(E) Rattlesnakes molt as often when food is scare as they do when food is plentiful.

Thus, (E) should be assumed.

I reconsider, agree with 'E'.
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28 Nov 2005, 21:56
I think both A and E have the same concept that the age could be determined accurately if the molting is constant and is not affected by other factors.

However...A stays within the scope.

OA pls!
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28 Nov 2005, 22:42
TeHCM wrote:

If rattlesnakes molt twice a year, age could not be reliably determined based on the number of sections.

If a rattlesnake molts twice a year, a rattle with 6 sections mean that the rattlesnake is 3 years old.

If a rattlesnake molts three times a year, a rattle with 6 sections mean that the rattlesnake is 2 years old.

If we know how many times a rattlesnake molts and how many sections its rattle has, we can determine how old it is, on condition that this "two times" or "three times" is constant through years.

Therefore, IMO, a rattlesnake doesn't have to molt exactly once a year.
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28 Nov 2005, 22:54
Makes sense...
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29 Nov 2005, 00:19
OA is E
Director
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29 Nov 2005, 00:20
OA is E
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29 Nov 2005, 00:32
Dough!

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29 Nov 2005, 20:52
TeHCM wrote:
Dough!

Why is A wrong???
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30 Nov 2005, 14:37
I picked A. Doesn't A say the same thing as E does. Equal intervals of time?
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30 Nov 2005, 14:49
They do not have to necessarily molt once a year. It could be twice a year. or four times a year.
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30 Nov 2005, 14:57
I picked A. and I am not too sure how A is incorrect.
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hey ya......

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AGE - how old is the snake [#permalink]

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30 Nov 2005, 20:21
Age should be in number or years or months

No alternative but A talks about A.

Can u answer how old the snake is?

What is the source of the question ?
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01 Dec 2005, 00:13
This is from an lsat practice exam "10 actual lsats". Also i dont understand why it matters to be i n months or years.
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01 Dec 2005, 10:15
Vote for E as well.

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01 Dec 2005, 23:35
[quote="joemama142000"]The folktale that claims that a rattlesnake's age can be determined from the number of sections in its rattle is false, but only because the rattles are brittle and sometimes partially or completely break off. So if they were not so brittle, one could reliably determine a rattlesnake's age simply from the number of sections in its rattle, because one new section is formed each time a rattlesnake molts.

Which one of the following is an assumption the argument requires in order for its conclusion to properly drawn?

A) Rattlesnakes molt exactly once a year

B) The rattles of rattlesnakes of different species are identical in appearance.

C) Rattlesnakes molt more frequently when young than when old

D) The brittleness of a rattlesnake's rattle is not correlated with the length of the rattlesnake's life

E) Rattlesnakes molt as often when food is scare as they do when food is plentiful[/quote]
===========
Dare I hazard a guess?
The question asks for a required assumption. So if we negate the correct choice the argument 'if not for their brittleness, rattles can determine age' should fall apart.
A) - Wrong - Negating does not affect the argument.
B) - Wrong - same as above
C) - Wrong - same as above
D) - Wrong - Same. Even if negated - i.e. there is a correlation. If brittleness increases with, say age, once the snake is old we cannot determine the age. So brittleness can still prevent age determination.
E - If molting were not at a constant rate the argument 'age=rattles if brittleness were not a factor' falls apart.
E is correct.
Re: CR Rattlesnakes   [#permalink] 01 Dec 2005, 23:35

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