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#16 - Babblers, a bird species, live in large cooperative

maximbasu
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Hi,
The correct answer is B while I chose answer choice D.

The stimulus states:
1. Bab's live in large groups + loudly call to defend themselves
2. However, they don't need to be afraid: they're well camouflaged
3. Predators become aware of Bab's location by their calls

Question: Why do Bab's call in the first place? Doing extra work!

D seemed to state that since the predators had good eyesight but weak hearing, Bab's camouflage would protect them and when they sensed the predator, Bab's would loudly call each other to alert one another of the predator.
Is D wrong because that would be stupid; eventually, they would have figured out that they didn't need to call at all because their camouflage does the job for them?

Is B correct because if the predators are intimidated by their calls, there is a logical reason for Bab's calls and the camouflage acts as a safety asset.
Adam Tyson
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Hey there Maxim!

Answer B here resolves the paradox in this question by giving the birds a reason to keep making noise - it scares the predators, increasing the birds' safety despite having alerted the predators to their presence. D is wrong because it doesn't resolve the paradox, but deepens the problem. As you say, if D is true then it would be stupid of them to keep making noise! The only thing you have to ask yourself with this question type is "does this answer help explain things?" If it doesn't, it doesn't matter what it does or whether it's true or not - it's a loser, so give it the old heave-ho and move on.

Don't read into the answers - D says nothing about camouflage, nor does it imply anything about it. Stop your analysis at "does this help?", and don't delve into it further than that. Any further effort on the answer is wasted, and wastes time, too.

Stay on target! Maintain focus on the task at hand!
Adam M. Tyson
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mokkyukkyu
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Adam Tyson wrote:Hey there Maxim!

Answer B here resolves the paradox in this question by giving the birds a reason to keep making noise - it scares the predators, increasing the birds' safety despite having alerted the predators to their presence. D is wrong because it doesn't resolve the paradox, but deepens the problem. As you say, if D is true then it would be stupid of them to keep making noise! The only thing you have to ask yourself with this question type is "does this answer help explain things?" If it doesn't, it doesn't matter what it does or whether it's true or not - it's a loser, so give it the old heave-ho and move on.

Don't read into the answers - D says nothing about camouflage, nor does it imply anything about it. Stop your analysis at "does this help?", and don't delve into it further than that. Any further effort on the answer is wasted, and wastes time, too.

Stay on target! Maintain focus on the task at hand!

Im still not sure about D...
I thought they are making noises because they do not realize they are making noises...it feels not likely but I thought it could be the reason...
Nikki Siclunov
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Hi mokkyukkyu,

Thanks for your question. Let's take a look at your assumption here:

I thought they are making noises because they do not realize they are making noises...


Let's break this down a bit :) If by "they" you mean the babblers, what makes you think that the babblers are unwittingly making noises? I don't believe there is any evidence to support such an assertion, either from the stimulus or from answer choice (D). Furthermore, why would their lack of - let's call it "acoustic self-awareness" - be the reason for making said noises? I can see no logical justification for such a causal claim, so please elaborate on it if you can.

The question is simply this: why are the babblers making barking noises when this can easily alert predators of their location? There must be some evolutionary reason for their strange behavior, and answer choice (B) gives us that. By contrast, answer choice (D) merely states that predators have good eyesight but relatively weak hearing. Does that mean they can't hear the babblers' barking? Not really: don't question the facts! The author clearly states that "these predators ... generally become aware of the presence of babblers only because of their [babblers'] shrill barks." Weak hearing or not, the predators do hear the barks. So, why are the babblers still doing that? Answer choice (D) does not give us a satisfactory answer.

Hope this clears it up!

Thanks,
Nikki Siclunov
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dtodaizzle
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According to the argument, babblers continue to bark after "most members of the group have been able to take cover.". After most of the babblers are able to take cover, do we still have a large number of babblers? Logically speaking, it is possible since "most" doesn't connote a specific quantity.

However, the reason I didn't pick (B) is because if predators are intimidated by a large number of babblers, why bother to camouflage in the first place? Why wouldn't the babblers just simply stand their ground?
Adam Tyson
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The goal in a Resolve the Paradox question, dtodaizzle, is to find some new bit of information that helps explain what otherwise seems strange. Here, it seems pretty weird that the birds make all that noise when they see a predator, because they are apparently making things worse for themselves by drawing attention to their location when they could have just quietly hidden until the threat passed. In order to explain that oddity, we need to find some new info that tells us that barking makes sense.

B does that by making the barking valuable. The predators become aware of the birds, but they are then intimidated by the noise and would be more likely to leave the area than to hunt their prey. Sure, they could have hidden and waited, but instead they choose to act tough and scare away the threat. Think of it in human terms - when we see a scary looking guy approaching us in a dark alley, we can hide in the shadows and wait for him to pass, or we can puff ourselves up, make some noise and appear threatening to intimidate him so he leaves us alone. Sure, hiding might work to keep you safe, but it's not the only option.

By the way, don't assume that the hidden babblers stop barking! The stimulus says that one babbler's bark incites the others to join in, so maybe they are all barking away like mad, including the hidden ones, so that the predators sense a large group and get frightened off.

Your reason for rejecting B is exactly why you should accept it! You've cited the paradox that we are trying to resolve - why bark when you can just hide? B tells us why barking is advantageous. We don't want to deny the truth of the premises, so we have to accept that they COULD just hide, but they don't; they bark.

I hope that helped! Best of luck on the test.
Adam M. Tyson
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sgd2114
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Hi -

I mistakenly chose (E), because it suggested to me that the barking was actually part of some sort of relationship between the Babblers and the other animals. The Babblers bark, I reasoned, because it warns the other animals in close proximity that a predator is near.

Is (E) incorrect because the second sentence of the stimulus says "Each member attempts to defend the group" where the "group" means the Babblers? Thus, we can't assume that the Babblers would want to help the other animals because the barking is a mechanism used to defend their themselves?

Thank you!
nicholaspavic
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Hi sgd,

That's a great reason to eliminate Answer Option (E). By focusing on the stimulus and the Babblers' defense of their group, you are being called upon to explain how that evolutionary behavior might otherwise help the group with the apparent paradoxical behavior of continuing to bark even when most in the group are safe. Bringing in some outside group of (non-predator) animals probably is never going to explain why the Babblers behave the way they do with one another which is the actual paradox you are being called upon to explain. Thanks for the great question and I hope this helped!
:-D
Lsat180Please
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Hi I was stuck between B and E on this one. B seemed strange to me because they "live in large cooperative groups" to begin with. So why do they need to bark if they would be intimidating to their predators regardless? Thank you!
Brook Miscoski
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LSAT180please,

I don't think that birds living in large cooperative groups are intimidating unless Alfred Hitchcock is directing. Certainly to a predator, a large group of prey shouldn't be assumed to appear intimidating. It might be, it might not be.

B and the stimulus work together. The predators can't see the tasty babblers to identify them (camouflage), so all the predators have to go on is this din of scary barking, and will hopefully be scared away from where the babblers have congregated. B thus explains why the babblers hide and bark.

E doesn't do much for me. I see where you're going with it--babblers attract predators to alternative prey, satisfied predator keeps babblers around for another day. The problem with E is that all it says is that alternative prey lives nearby, we don't have any reason to believe that the babblers position themselves near the alternative prey at that moment.