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The sloth bear, an insect-eating animal native to Nepal, exhibits only

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The sloth bear, an insect-eating animal native to Nepal, exhibits only  [#permalink]

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The sloth bear, an insect-eating animal native to Nepal, exhibits only one behavior that is truly distinct from that of other bear species: the females carry their cubs (at least part-time) until the cubs are about nine months old, even though the cubs can walk on their own at six months. Cub-carrying also occurs among some other myrmecophagous (ant-eating) mammals; therefore, one explanation is that cub-carrying is necessitated by myrmecophagy, since myrmecophagy entails a low metabolic rate and high energy expenditure in walking between food patches. However, although polar bears’ locomotion is similarly inefficient, polar bear cubs walk along with their mother. Furthermore, the daily movements of sloth bears and American black bears—which are similar in size to sloth bears and have similar-sized home ranges—reveal similar travel rates and distances, suggesting that if black bear cubs are able to keep up with their mother, so too should sloth bear cubs.

An alternative explanation is defense from predation. Black bear cubs use trees for defense, whereas brown bears and polar bears, which regularly inhabit treeless environments, rely on aggression to protect their cubs. Like brown bears and polar bears (and unlike other myrmecophagous mammals, which are noted for their passivity), sloth bears are easily provoked to aggression. Sloth bears also have relatively large canine teeth, which appear to be more functional for fighting than for foraging. Like brown bears and polar bears, sloth bears may have evolved in an environment with few trees. They are especially attracted to food-rich grasslands; although few grasslands persist today on the Indian subcontinent, this type of habitat was once wide-spread there. Grasslands support high densities of tigers, which fight and sometimes kill sloth bears; sloth bears also coexist with and have been killed by tree-climbing leopards, and are often confronted and chased by rhinoceroses and elephants, which can topple trees. Collectively these factors probably selected against tree-climbing as a defensive strategy for sloth bear cubs. Because sloth bears are smaller than brown and polar bears and are under greater threat from dangerous animals, they may have adopted the extra precaution of carrying their cubs. Although cub-carrying may also be adoptive for myrmecophagous foraging, the behavior of sloth bear cubs, which climb on their mother’s back at the first sign of danger, suggests that predation was a key stimulus.


VRC000630-01
1. The author mentions rhinoceroses and elephants (lines 52-53) primarily in order to

(A) explain why sloth bears are not successful foragers in grassland habitats
(B) identify the predators that have had the most influence on the behavior of sloth bears
(C) suggest a possible reason that sloth bear cubs do not use tree-climbing as a defense
(D) provide examples of predators that were once widespread across the Indian subcontinent
(E) defend the assertion that sloth bears are under greater threat from dangerous animals than are other bear species



VRC000630-02
2.Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the author’s argument in highlighted text?

(A) Cub-carrying behavior has been observed in many non-myrmecophagous mammals.
(B) Many of the largest myrmecophagous mammals do not typically exhibit cub-carrying behavior.
(C) Some sloth bears have home ranges that are smaller in size than the average home ranges of black bears.
(D) The locomotion of black bears is significantly more efficient than the locomotion of sloth bears.
(E) The habitat of black bears consists of terrain that is significantly more varied than that of the habitat of sloth bears.



VRC000630-03
3.Which of the following is mentioned in the passage as a way in which brown bears and sloth bears are similar?

(A) They tend to become aggressive when provoked.
(B) They live almost exclusively in treeless environments.
(C) They are preyed upon by animals that can climb or topple trees.
(D) They are inefficient in their locomotion.
(E) They have relatively large canine teeth.



4.The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. trace the development of a particular behavioral characteristic of the sloth bear
B. explore possible explanations for a particular behavioral characteristic of the sloth bear
C. compare the defensive strategies of sloth bear cubs to the defensive strategies of cubs of other bear species
D. describe how certain behavioral characteristics of the sloth bear differ from those of other myrmecophagous mammals
E. provide an alternative to a generally accepted explanation of a particular behavioral characteristic of myrmecophagous mammals



5. The author mentions which of the following as evidence for the view that cub-carrying behavior among sloth bears functions primarily as a defense from predation?

A. The relative passivity of sloth bears in comparison with other species of bears
B. The age at which sloth bear cubs can defend themselves from predators
C. The unsuitability of cub-carrying for myrmecophagous foraging
D. The behavior of sloth bear cubs when they first perceive danger
E. The inefficient locomotion of sloth bears and other myrmecophagous animals


Originally posted by GMAT TIGER on 10 Dec 2008, 21:37.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 10 Sep 2019, 02:52, edited 3 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (493).
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Re: The sloth bear, an insect-eating animal native to Nepal, exhibits only  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Dec 2008, 22:38
GMAT TIGER wrote:
The sloth bear, an insect-eating
animal native to Nepal, exhibits only one
behavior that is truly distinct from that of
Line other bear species: the females carry
(5) their cubs (at least part-time) until the
cubs are about nine months old, even
though the cubs can walk on their own
at six months. Cub-carrying also occurs
among some other myrmecophagous
(10) (ant-eating) mammals; therefore, one
explanation is that cub-carrying is
necessitated by myrmecophagy, since
myrmecophagy entails a low metabolic
rate and high energy expenditure in
(15) walking between food patches. How-
ever, although polar bears’ locomotion
is similarly inefficient, polar bear cubs
walk along with their mother. Further-
more, the daily movements of sloth
(20) bears and American black bears—
which are similar in size to sloth bears
and have similar-sized home ranges—
reveal similar travel rates and distances,
suggesting that if black bear cubs are
(25) able to keep up with their mother, so
too should sloth bear cubs.
An alternative explanation is defense
from predation. Black bear cubs use
trees for defense, whereas brown bears
(30) and polar bears, which regularly inhabit
treeless environments
, rely on aggres-
sion to protect their cubs. Like brown
bears and polar bears (and unlike other
myrmecophagous mammals, which are
(35) noted for their passivity), sloth bears
are easily provoked to aggression.
Sloth bears also have relatively large
canine teeth, which appear to be more
functional for fighting than for foraging.
(40) Like brown bears and polar bears,
sloth bears may have evolved in an
environment with few trees. They are
especially attracted to food-rich
grasslands; although few grasslands
(45) persist today on the Indian subcontinent,
this type of habitat was once wide-
spread there. Grasslands support
high densities of tigers, which fight and
sometimes kill sloth bears; sloth bears
(50) also coexist with and have been killed
by tree-climbing leopards, and are often
confronted and chased by rhinoceroses
and elephants, which can topple trees.
Collectively these factors probably
(55) selected against tree-climbing as a
defensive strategy for sloth bear cubs.
Because sloth bears are smaller than
brown and polar bears and are under
greater threat from dangerous animals,
(60) they may have adopted the extra pre-
caution of carrying their cubs. Although
cub-carrying may also be adoptive for
myrmecophagous foraging, the behavior
of sloth bear cubs, which climb on their
(65) mother’s back at the first sign of danger,
suggests that predation was a key
stimulus.

Q9: The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. trace the development of a particular behavioral characteristic of the sloth bear
B. explore possible explanations for a particular behavioral characteristic of the sloth bear
C. compare the defensive strategies of sloth bear cubs to the defensive strategies of cubs of other bear species
D. describe how certain behavioral characteristics of the sloth bear differ from those of other myrmecophagous mammals
E. provide an alternative to a generally accepted explanation of a particular behavioral characteristic of myrmecophagous mammals

Q10: The author mentions rhinoceroses and elephants (lines 52-53) primarily in order to

A. explain why sloth bears are not successful foragers in grassland habitats
B. identify the predators that have had the most influence on the behavior of sloth bears
C. suggest a possible reason that sloth bear cubs do not use tree-climbing as a defense
D. provide examples of predators that were once widespread across the Indian subcontinent
E. defend the assertion that sloth bears are under greater threat from dangerous animals than are other bear species

Q11: Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the author’s argument in lines 18-26 (“Furthermore … sloth bear cubs”)?

A. Cub-carrying behavior has been observed in many non-myrmecophagous mammals.
B. Many of the largest myrmecophagous mammals do not typically exhibit cub-carrying behavior.
C. Some sloth bears have home ranges that are smaller in size than the average home ranges of black bears.
D. The locomotion of black bears is significantly more efficient than the locomotion of sloth bears.
E. The habitat of black bears consists of terrain that is significantly more varied than that of the habitat of sloth bears.

Q12: Which of the following is mentioned in the passage as a way in which brown bears and sloth bears are similar?

A. They tend to become aggressive when provoked.
B. They live almost exclusively in treeless environments.
C. They are preyed upon by animals that can climb or topple trees.
D. They are inefficient in their locomotion.
E. They have relatively large canine teeth.


for Q12, the paragraph says that "whereas brown bears
(30) and polar bears, which regularly inhabit
treeless environments" not sloth bears and the correct answer lies in this line "Like brown
bears and polar bears (and unlike other
myrmecophagous mammals, which are
(35) noted for their passivity), sloth bears
are easily provoked to aggression."

I would suggest read the passage carefully
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Re: The sloth bear, an insect-eating animal native to Nepal, exhibits only  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2016, 03:43
3
Key Takeaways from the passage
-The author talks about a behavior of sloth bears that is different from the behavior of most other types of bears
- The author then provides possible explanations for that behavior

1. The primary purpose of the passage…
The key takeaways clearly suggest that option (B) is the right answer choice

2. The author mentions..
“rhinoceroses and elephants, which can topple trees. Collectively these factors probably selected against tree-climbing as a defensive strategy for sloth bear cubs"
Option (C ) is the right answer choice as it is a clear word justification for the above.

3. Which of the following…
“However, although polar bears’ locomotion is similarly inefficient, polar bear cubs walk along with their mother. Furthermore, the daily movements of sloth bears and American black bears—which are similar in size to sloth bears and have similar-sized home ranges—reveal similar travel rates and distances, suggesting that if black bear cubs are able to keep up with their mother, so too should sloth bear cubs.

The author’s argument would be most weakened if black bears were more efficient in their locomotion.
Hence option (D) is the best answer choice.

4. Which of the following…
“Like brown bears and polar bears (and unlike other myrmecophagous mammals, which are noted for their passivity), sloth bears are easily provoked to aggression"
Option (A) is a clear word justification of the above and is hence correct
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Re: The sloth bear, an insect-eating animal native to Nepal, exhibits only  [#permalink]

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New post 27 May 2019, 06:46
GMAT TIGER wrote:
The sloth bear, an insect-eating animal native to Nepal, exhibits only one behavior that is truly distinct from that of other bear species: the females carry their cubs (at least part-time) until the cubs are about nine months old, even though the cubs can walk on their own at six months. Cub-carrying also occurs among some other myrmecophagous (ant-eating) mammals; therefore, one explanation is that cub-carrying is necessitated by myrmecophagy, since myrmecophagy entails a low metabolic rate and high energy expenditure in walking between food patches. However, although polar bears’ locomotion is similarly inefficient, polar bear cubs walk along with their mother. Furthermore, the daily movements of sloth bears and American black bears—which are similar in size to sloth bears and have similar-sized home ranges—reveal similar travel rates and distances, suggesting that if black bear cubs are able to keep up with their mother, so too should sloth bear cubs.

An alternative explanation is defense from predation. Black bear cubs use trees for defense, whereas brown bears and polar bears, which regularly inhabit treeless environments, rely on aggression to protect their cubs. Like brown bears and polar bears (and unlike other myrmecophagous mammals, which are noted for their passivity), sloth bears are easily provoked to aggression. Sloth bears also have relatively large canine teeth, which appear to be more functional for fighting than for foraging. Like brown bears and polar bears, sloth bears may have evolved in an environment with few trees. They are especially attracted to food-rich grasslands; although few grasslands persist today on the Indian subcontinent, this type of habitat was once wide-spread there. Grasslands support high densities of tigers, which fight and sometimes kill sloth bears; sloth bears also coexist with and have been killed by tree-climbing leopards, and are often confronted and chased by rhinoceroses and elephants, which can topple trees. Collectively these factors probably selected against tree-climbing as a defensive strategy for sloth bear cubs. Because sloth bears are smaller than brown and polar bears and are under greater threat from dangerous animals, they may have adopted the extra precaution of carrying their cubs. Although cub-carrying may also be adoptive for myrmecophagous foraging, the behavior of sloth bear cubs, which climb on their mother’s back at the first sign of danger, suggests that predation was a key stimulus.

VRC000630-01
1. The author mentions rhinoceroses and elephants (lines 52-53) primarily in order to

(A) explain why sloth bears are not successful foragers in grassland habitats
(B) identify the predators that have had the most influence on the behavior of sloth bears
(C) suggest a possible reason that sloth bear cubs do not use tree-climbing as a defense
(D) provide examples of predators that were once widespread across the Indian subcontinent
(E) defend the assertion that sloth bears are under greater threat from dangerous animals than are other bear species



VRC000630-02
2.Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the author’s argument in highlighted text?

(A) Cub-carrying behavior has been observed in many non-myrmecophagous mammals.
(B) Many of the largest myrmecophagous mammals do not typically exhibit cub-carrying behavior.
(C) Some sloth bears have home ranges that are smaller in size than the average home ranges of black bears.
(D) The locomotion of black bears is significantly more efficient than the locomotion of sloth bears.
(E) The habitat of black bears consists of terrain that is significantly more varied than that of the habitat of sloth bears.



VRC000630-03
3.Which of the following is mentioned in the passage as a way in which brown bears and sloth bears are similar?

(A) They tend to become aggressive when provoked.
(B) They live almost exclusively in treeless environments.
(C) They are preyed upon by animals that can climb or topple trees.
(D) They are inefficient in their locomotion.
(E) They have relatively large canine teeth.



4.The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. trace the development of a particular behavioral characteristic of the sloth bear
B. explore possible explanations for a particular behavioral characteristic of the sloth bear
C. compare the defensive strategies of sloth bear cubs to the defensive strategies of cubs of other bear species
D. describe how certain behavioral characteristics of the sloth bear differ from those of other myrmecophagous mammals
E. provide an alternative to a generally accepted explanation of a particular behavioral characteristic of myrmecophagous mammals



5. The author mentions which of the following as evidence for the view that cub-carrying behavior among sloth bears functions primarily as a defense from predation?

A. The relative passivity of sloth bears in comparison with other species of bears
B. The age at which sloth bear cubs can defend themselves from predators
C. The unsuitability of cub-carrying for myrmecophagous foraging
D. The behavior of sloth bear cubs when they first perceive danger
E. The inefficient locomotion of sloth bears and other myrmecophagous animals



Official Explanation - Question 2

Supporting idea

This question depends on recognizing what the passage states explicitly about brown bears in relation to sloth bears. In the second paragraph, the author states directly that brown bears, polar bears, and sloth bears are easily provoked to aggression.

A Correct. That both brown bears and sloth bears are easily provoked to aggression is stated directly in the passage.
B The author notes early in the second paragraph that brown bears and polar bears inhabit treeless environments, but mentions later that sloth bears coexist with animals that climb trees. The author also states that brown bears and sloth bears may both have evolved in treeless environments, but this fact does not indicate that these animals currently live in treeless environments.
C The author states that brown bears live in treeless environments; thus it is unlikely that brown bears, unlike sloth bears, are preyed upon by animals that climb or topple trees.
D The passage does not refer to the efficiency of brown bears’ locomotion.
E While it may be inferred from the passage that brown bears have large canine teeth, this is not mentioned in the passage.

The correct answer is A.
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Re: The sloth bear, an insect-eating animal native to Nepal, exhibits only  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jul 2019, 15:13
Passage Map:
p1: Authors states how sloth bears differ from other bears, specifically with regards to cub carrying
p2: Serves to explain this differing characteristic
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Re: The sloth bear, an insect-eating animal native to Nepal, exhibits only  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jan 2020, 10:07
Can someone help me to understand why D is better than E in
2.Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the author’s argument in highlighted text?

The similarities in habitats of Black bear and Sloth bear make the expectation that Sloth bear should also keep up with their mothers. So, to weaken it - the correct ans should say that the habitats of the BB and SB are not similar. E says it- the habitats of BB are more "varied".

D is the similarity in locomotion of Sloth bear and Black bear, but I had to reject it because :
1) Passage mentions about Polar Bear and not Black Bear "However, although polar bears’ locomotion is similarly inefficient, polar bear cubs walk along with their mother.."
2) This part of the passage is NOT highlighted (as asked in the question).

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Re: The sloth bear, an insect-eating animal native to Nepal, exhibits only  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2020, 11:14
Hi,

Can someone help with this:

VRC000630-02
2.Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the author’s argument in highlighted text?

(A) Cub-carrying behavior has been observed in many non-myrmecophagous mammals.
(B) Many of the largest myrmecophagous mammals do not typically exhibit cub-carrying behavior.
(C) Some sloth bears have home ranges that are smaller in size than the average home ranges of black bears.
(D) The locomotion of black bears is significantly more efficient than the locomotion of sloth bears.
(E) The habitat of black bears consists of terrain that is significantly more varied than that of the habitat of sloth bears.

I still think that the answer should be E, as the locomotion has been mentioned for the polar bear and not for the black bear.

Thanks
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Re: The sloth bear, an insect-eating animal native to Nepal, exhibits only  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2020, 18:30
agar123 wrote:
Hi,

Can someone help with this:

VRC000630-02
2.Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the author’s argument in highlighted text?

(A) Cub-carrying behavior has been observed in many non-myrmecophagous mammals.
(B) Many of the largest myrmecophagous mammals do not typically exhibit cub-carrying behavior.
(C) Some sloth bears have home ranges that are smaller in size than the average home ranges of black bears.
(D) The locomotion of black bears is significantly more efficient than the locomotion of sloth bears.
(E) The habitat of black bears consists of terrain that is significantly more varied than that of the habitat of sloth bears.

I still think that the answer should be E, as the locomotion has been mentioned for the polar bear and not for the black bear.

As per E , More efforts are required if terrain is uneven.

But if Black bear has more efficiency than brown bear, terrain will have no effects.

hence this statement doesn't weaken the argument completely.

Hope it helps.

Thanks
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Re: The sloth bear, an insect-eating animal native to Nepal, exhibits only  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2020, 07:50
Harsh2111s wrote:
agar123 wrote:
Hi,

Can someone help with this:

VRC000630-02
2.Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the author’s argument in highlighted text?

(A) Cub-carrying behavior has been observed in many non-myrmecophagous mammals.
(B) Many of the largest myrmecophagous mammals do not typically exhibit cub-carrying behavior.
(C) Some sloth bears have home ranges that are smaller in size than the average home ranges of black bears.
(D) The locomotion of black bears is significantly more efficient than the locomotion of sloth bears.
(E) The habitat of black bears consists of terrain that is significantly more varied than that of the habitat of sloth bears.

I still think that the answer should be E, as the locomotion has been mentioned for the polar bear and not for the black bear.

As per E , More efforts are required if terrain is uneven.

But if Black bear has more efficiency than brown bear, terrain will have no effects.

hence this statement doesn't weaken the argument completely.

Hope it helps.

Thanks


Thanks. Got it. In E terrain is more varied cannot weaken the claim as how it is varied we don't know. At the same time, in D if Black Bears are more efficient than the locomotion of sloth bears then it will definitely weaken the author's argument.
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Re: The sloth bear, an insect-eating animal native to Nepal, exhibits only  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jan 2020, 08:37
Sumi1010 wrote:
Can someone help me to understand why D is better than E in
2.Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the author’s argument in highlighted text?

The similarities in habitats of Black bear and Sloth bear make the expectation that Sloth bear should also keep up with their mothers. So, to weaken it - the correct ans should say that the habitats of the BB and SB are not similar. E says it- the habitats of BB are more "varied".

D is the similarity in locomotion of Sloth bear and Black bear, but I had to reject it because :
1) Passage mentions about Polar Bear and not Black Bear "However, although polar bears’ locomotion is similarly inefficient, polar bear cubs walk along with their mother.."
2) This part of the passage is NOT highlighted (as asked in the question).

GMATNinja

In the highlighted text, the author concluldes that "if black bear cubs are able to keep up with their mother, so too should sloth bear cubs."

The evidence to support this conclusion is that "the daily movements of sloth bears and American black bears—which are similar in size to sloth bears and have similar-sized home ranges—reveal similar travel rates and distances."

Our job in answering Q2 is to weaken the author's argument. One possible way to do this would be to discuss how the habitats of the bears are different, but that is not the only way to weaken the argument. As long as the answer choice weakens the author's conclusion, it is the correct answer.

Take another look at (D):
Quote:
(D) The locomotion of black bears is significantly more efficient than the locomotion of sloth bears.

(D) suggests that black bears are just better at walking than sloth bears. It provides a reason for black bear cubs to be able to keep up with their mothers, while sloth bear cubs may not be able to do so.

(D) weakens the author's argument that sloth bears should be able to keep up with their mothers if black bear cubs can do so. (D) is looking good.

Compare that with (E):
Quote:
(E) The habitat of black bears consists of terrain that is significantly more varied than that of the habitat of sloth bears.

We know that black bear cubs can keep up with their mothers, and (E) tells us that they do so in terrain that is "significantly more varied" than the terrain in which sloth bears live.

The question is, does varied terrain make it easier or harder for black bears to keep up with their moms? If anything, more varied terrain would tend to make locomotion more difficult than less varied terrain. So, if black bear cubs can keep up even in this difficult terrain, sloth bear cubs should DEFINITELY be able to keep up in easier terrain. This actually supports the author's argument.

Even if we don't assume that more varied terrain makes locomotion more difficult, we certainly can't infer the opposite -- that black bears are somehow assisted in keeping up by moving through more varied terrain. Because (E) doesn't provide an explanation for sloth bear cubs failing to keep up while black bear cubs do keep up, (E) is not the answer.

I hope that helps!
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Re: The sloth bear, an insect-eating animal native to Nepal, exhibits only   [#permalink] 18 Jan 2020, 08:37
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