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#3 - In some places, iceberg lilies are the mainstay of

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Complete Question Explanation

Resolve the Paradox. The correct answer choice is (B)

This stimulus provides that in some places, iceberg lilies are the mainstay of the summer diet of grizzly bears, who uproot the plants and eat their bulbs. While the bears destroy a large percentage of the iceberg lilies, it has been determined that the survival of the lily is actually promoted by the bears:


    ..... Cause ..... ..... Effect

    Bears eat lilies :arrow: Lilies benefit

The question stem asks the test-taker to “resolve the apparent discrepancy” in the stimulus. In prephrasing the answer, one must look for a premise consistent with the two apparently paradoxical premises. In this case, how can the bears’ foraging and eating a large percentage of these lilies actually aid in the plant’s survival? We need to look for an answer choice that explains how reduction of the lilies’ numbers would somehow promote the plant’s survival.

Answer choice (A): This answer choice would appear to widen the apparent discrepancy:

    Bears eat lilies :arrow: Bears kill more lilies than they eat

Even with this new information, it remains unclear how the bears' actions promote plant growth.

Answer choice (B): This is the correct answer choice, as it shows how “thinning the herd” can actually help the iceberg lily survive. If a lack of disturbance leads to depletion of necessary resources, then the bears’ disturbance actually provides a valuable service.

Answer choice (C): This choice would seem to widen the apparent discrepancy:

    Bears forage :arrow: smaller number of lilies produced

Since this information points to an apparent detriment associated with the bears’ foraging, so this answer choice is incorrect.

Answer choice (D): This choice helps explain why it is convenient for the bears to eat the lilies, but it does not explain how this might promote the lilies’ survival.

Answer choice (E): This answer choice would explain why the bears would benefit from eating the lilies, but it does nothing to explain how the bears promote the plant’s survival.