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# Zoologist: Meerkats are desert mammals that live in groups

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Manager
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Zoologist: Meerkats are desert mammals that live in groups [#permalink]

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27 Sep 2011, 22:41
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Zoologist: Meerkats are desert mammals that live in groups and are believed to exhibit altruistic behavior. While the group is foraging, a single meerkat will stand guard, keeping watch for predators and giving loud warning cries when danger appears. However, this behavior is not true altruism: Meerkats on guard duty do not face a greater risk of being killed, and solitary meerkats will also stand guard.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously undermines the reasoning in the zoologist's argument?
(B) The degree to which an activity may lead to immediate death is not the only determinant of altruism.
(C) Several desert species prey on meerkats, and meerkats are most at risk when they are foraging for food, even if one of the group stands guard.
(D) A solitary meerkat who stands guard may be part of a group except for when it forages for food.
(E) When meerkats stand guard, they forego opportunities to forage for food even though others in the group may not share food with them.

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
MGMAT 6 650 (51,31) on 31/8/11
MGMAT 1 670 (48,33) on 04/9/11
MGMAT 2 670 (47,34) on 07/9/11
MGMAT 3 680 (47,35) on 18/9/11
GMAT Prep1 680 ( 50, 31) on 10/11/11

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
CR notes
http://gmatclub.com/forum/massive-collection-of-verbal-questions-sc-rc-and-cr-106195.html#p832142
http://gmatclub.com/forum/1001-ds-questions-file-106193.html#p832133
http://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-prep-critical-reasoning-collection-106783.html
http://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.html
http://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.html?hilit=chineseburned

If you have any questions
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Manager
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28 Sep 2011, 00:59
2
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catfreak wrote:
Zoologist: Meerkats are desert mammals that live in groups and are believed to exhibit altruistic behavior. While the group is foraging, a single meerkat will stand guard, keeping watch for predators and giving loud warning cries when danger appears. However, this behavior is not true altruism: Meerkats on guard duty do not face a greater risk of being killed, and solitary meerkats will also stand guard.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously undermines the reasoning in the zoologist's argument?
(B) The degree to which an activity may lead to immediate death is not the only determinant of altruism.
(C) Several desert species prey on meerkats, and meerkats are most at risk when they are foraging for food, even if one of the group stands guard.
(D) A solitary meerkat who stands guard may be part of a group except for when it forages for food.
(E) When meerkats stand guard, they forego opportunities to forage for food even though others in the group may not share food with them.

The zoologist believes that because all meerkats stand equal chance of being killed by predators during the time when the group is foraging for food, the guard does not do any unselfish (altruistic) work for the other meerkats. so to prove zoologist wrong and to prove that the meerkat who stands as guard does indeed works with unselfish motives we have to show a act which meerkat who stands as guard does without any selfish purpose. E does the job.

E proves that the meerkat who does the job of standing as guard and forgoes foraging may not have any chance of eating because other members of group may not share food with him or her. With this external premise, add the original premise which says that the meerkat who stands as guard has equal chance of getting killed while the group is foraging . From both we infer that meerkats motives may indeed be altruistic as one who stands as guard may not gain any food from foraging activity but still risks his life equally as others. so the only ones who may be gaining anything are the group members who are involved in foraging and the one who stands as guard has nothing to gain but something to lose( risk of losing life)

B ) Does indeed questions the faulty criteria zoologist uses to determine the meerkats behaviour in general based on only 1 reason (that all stand equal chance of getting killed and not just the guard, so the guard is not doing any unselfish work). This choice only questions the faulty criteria that author uses to question the meerkats behaviour BUT choice E proves the zoologist's conclusion itself as wrong and establishes the fact that meerkats behaviour may indeed be altruistic.

Other answers are pretty weak and do not weaken or address the the conclusion.
Manager
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28 Sep 2011, 04:35
What's wrong with C? Doesn't it weaken the zoologist's argument?
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28 Sep 2011, 05:16
raghavakumar85 wrote:
What's wrong with C? Doesn't it weaken the zoologist's argument?

(C) Several desert species prey on meerkats, and meerkats are most at risk when they are foraging for food, even if one of the group stands guard

C says that meerkats are most at risk when THEY are foraging for food. This means all of them are at risk and not any particular one among them. This is exactly what the zoologists cites as reason for meerkats behaviour not being altruistic. Notice that option E neither contradicts the claim that all of them are at equal risk nor tries to prove that the meerkat who stands guard is on higher risk, instead E gives a new reason why meerkats are altruistic. From E we can infer that all meerkats are at equal risk of death but the guard may not receive any food for his service whereas other meerkats will will eat during forage.
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28 Sep 2011, 11:25
Could you explain why E is preferred over B ?
B certainly weeks the conclusion " Death means altruism " by explaining that "Death is not the only criterion for altruism"
Where as E, provides a totally new view point which is not mentioned in the paragraph and also doesn't say anything about being altruist.
_________________

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
MGMAT 6 650 (51,31) on 31/8/11
MGMAT 1 670 (48,33) on 04/9/11
MGMAT 2 670 (47,34) on 07/9/11
MGMAT 3 680 (47,35) on 18/9/11
GMAT Prep1 680 ( 50, 31) on 10/11/11

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
CR notes
http://gmatclub.com/forum/massive-collection-of-verbal-questions-sc-rc-and-cr-106195.html#p832142
http://gmatclub.com/forum/1001-ds-questions-file-106193.html#p832133
http://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-prep-critical-reasoning-collection-106783.html
http://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.html
http://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.html?hilit=chineseburned

Manager
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Kudos [?]: 119 [0], given: 42

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29 Sep 2011, 01:01
This Question is out of scope for me.
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29 Sep 2011, 02:07
Lolz... I hope AJ85 or some other CR geek has an explanation.
_________________

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
MGMAT 6 650 (51,31) on 31/8/11
MGMAT 1 670 (48,33) on 04/9/11
MGMAT 2 670 (47,34) on 07/9/11
MGMAT 3 680 (47,35) on 18/9/11
GMAT Prep1 680 ( 50, 31) on 10/11/11

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
CR notes
http://gmatclub.com/forum/massive-collection-of-verbal-questions-sc-rc-and-cr-106195.html#p832142
http://gmatclub.com/forum/1001-ds-questions-file-106193.html#p832133
http://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-prep-critical-reasoning-collection-106783.html
http://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.html
http://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.html?hilit=chineseburned

Manager
Joined: 14 Mar 2011
Posts: 203
Followers: 6

Kudos [?]: 121 [1] , given: 21

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29 Sep 2011, 06:56
1
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catfreak wrote:
Could you explain why E is preferred over B ?
B certainly weeks the conclusion " Death means altruism " by explaining that "Death is not the only criterion for altruism"
Where as E, provides a totally new view point which is not mentioned in the paragraph and also doesn't say anything about being altruist.

hii catfreak, - two things is important to note. Neither altruism means death nor death means altruism . Altruism is any act which you do for others without any 'selfish' motive. For example If a Rich person does a lot of charity for poor without intention to get fame or accolade, but only from feeling of humanity then that act will be called as altruism.

The zoologist argues that Meerkats on guard duty do not face a greater risk of being killed than other meerkats who are involved in foraging, so the act of meerkat is not truly altruistic. From this we can infer that zoologist believes that if the meerkat who stands guard during the time when group are involved in eating was more at risk to die of attack of a predator then that act would have been called altruistic. So zoologist believes meerkats are not altruistic. We have to prove that meerkats are altruistic in some way.

(B) The degree to which an activity may lead to immediate death is not the only determinant of altruism.

This option does not talks about death. read it again, it only says that the risk of death is NOT the only criteria of determining altruism. means there can be other acts which can be altruistic. This option definitely questions the zoologists claim but UNLIKE E it does not provide an example of altruistic behaviour from meerkats. E does provides an example of altruistic behaviour from meerkats and thus completely negates or weaken the faulty conclusion of zoologist.

Also the other point, we are not allowed to bring an outside info in assumption or inference question. In a strengthen or weaken question we can bring an outside information if that information does not contradicts original argument.
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Re: Zoologist: Meerkats are desert mammals that live in groups [#permalink]

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01 Feb 2012, 02:53
Zoologist: Meerkats are desert mammals that live in groups and are believed to exhibit altruistic behavior. While the group is foraging, a single meerkat will stand guard, keeping watch for predators and giving loud warning cries when danger appears. However, this behavior is not true altruism: Meerkats on guard duty do not face a greater risk of being killed, and solitary meerkats will also stand guard.
Conclusion: Meerkats stand guard even when alone, not necessarily when they are in groups. Hence, these animals are not altruistic. An option that shows that a Meerkat is concerned about other Meerkats will prove that they are indeed altruistic.

(A) Some meerkat populations are nomadic and rarely return to the same place to find food. Irrelevant
(B) The degree to which an activity may lead to immediate death is not the only determinant of altruism. Irrelevant. No such degree is mentioned.
(C) Several desert species prey on meerkats, and meerkats are most at risk when they are foraging for food, even if one of the group stands guard. Wrong. This shows that ALL meerkats are in danger. Not necessarily ONE.
(D) A solitary meerkat who stands guard may be part of a group except for when it forages for food. slightly strengthens
(E) When meerkats stand guard, they forego opportunities to forage for food even though others in the group may not share food with them. Shows that these animals are concerned about others first, hence are altruistic. CORRECT
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Re: Zoologist: Meerkats are desert mammals that live in groups [#permalink]

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04 Feb 2012, 01:07
+1 for E
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+1 if you like my explanation .Thanks

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Re: Zoologist: Meerkats are desert mammals that live in groups [#permalink]

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21 Dec 2015, 03:41
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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Re: Zoologist: Meerkats are desert mammals that live in groups   [#permalink] 21 Dec 2015, 03:41
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