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# The presence of microorganisms that produce a toxin causes

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The presence of microorganisms that produce a toxin causes [#permalink]

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01 Apr 2004, 07:19
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The presence of microorganisms that produce a toxin causes
seawater to turn brownish red, phenomenon known as a red tide. Sea
otters do not feed in areas where clams, their main source of food,
have become contaminated with this toxin. According to a proposed
explanation of the otters' behavior, the otters sample the clams in a
potential feeding areas and can taste any toxin in them.

Which of the following, if true, would most strongly indicate that
the hypothesis described in the last sentence of the passage is not
correct?

(A) In some of the areas where red tides occur, neither clams nor sea
otters are indigenous species.
(B) The presence of sea otters in a given areas has a significant
effect on which other marine organisms are to be found in that area.
(C) When seawater in an area unaffected by red tide is artificially
dyed brownish red, sea otters do not feed on the clams in that area.
(D) If the clams in a given area are contaminated with toxins, sea
otters move to other areas in search of food.
(E) Although very small amounts of the toxin produced during a red
tide are not harmful, large doses can be fatal to animals the size of
sea otters.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by Vyshak on 11 May 2016, 05:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The presence of microorganisms that produce a toxin causes [#permalink]

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11 May 2016, 04:59
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batliwala wrote:
The presence of microorganisms that produce a toxin causes
seawater to turn brownish red, phenomenon known as a red tide. Sea
otters do not feed in areas where clams, their main source of food,
have become contaminated with this toxin. According to a proposed
explanation of the otters' behavior, the otters sample the clams in a
potential feeding areas and can taste any toxin in them.

Which of the following, if true, would most strongly indicate that
the hypothesis described in the last sentence of the passage is not
correct?

(A) In some of the areas where red tides occur, neither clams nor sea
otters are indigenous species.
(B) The presence of sea otters in a given areas has a significant
effect on which other marine organisms are to be found in that area.
(C) When seawater in an area unaffected by red tide is artificially
dyed brownish red, sea otters do not feed on the clams in that area.
(D) If the clams in a given area are contaminated with toxins, sea
otters move to other areas in search of food.
(E) Although very small amounts of the toxin produced during a red
tide are not harmful, large doses can be fatal to animals the size of
sea otters.

Premise: Sea otters do not feed on clams in the areas where toxin is spread
Conclusion: Sea otters can taste the toxin.

We need to weaken this conclusion.
If we can prove the sea otters are not driven away by the taste but by something else, we can weaken it.
Option C says that the sea otters do not feed even if the sea is made red artificially.
Hence taste is definitely not the reason.

Correct Option: C
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Re: The presence of microorganisms that produce a toxin causes [#permalink]

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01 Apr 2004, 15:33
D for me.
C) could actually supports the hypothesis because if otters do not feed on infected clams, they can still sample them to a feeding area to eat them after.
D) on the other hand says that otters don't even go to areas where clams are contaminated. Hence, how can the otters sample those clams then?
E) fatality is not the issue
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Re: The presence of microorganisms that produce a toxin causes [#permalink]

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01 Apr 2004, 16:43
C...

C...means that Otters do not feed on clams which are found in reddish brown sea water indicating that its the color of water and not the toxic contamination of the clams which make Otters not eat those clams

As for D...I interpret it as...if clams are contaminated with toxins...Otters know they are contaiminted by sampling and so move to other areas for food.

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Re: The presence of microorganisms that produce a toxin causes [#permalink]

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02 Apr 2004, 14:35
I will go with C on this one.
C indicates that the otters are probably sensitive to the color of the water rather than the taste of the clams.
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Re: The presence of microorganisms that produce a toxin causes [#permalink]

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02 Apr 2004, 14:50
yes, I misinterpreted this one. C must be it. "artificially" in C also gives a good hint.
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Re: The presence of microorganisms that produce a toxin causes   [#permalink] 02 Apr 2004, 14:50
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# The presence of microorganisms that produce a toxin causes

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