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#4 - The coat patterns of large cat species correspond to

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What’s wrong with c?
Stephanie Turaj
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lanereuden wrote:What’s wrong with c?

Hi Lane,

Please see my response on this post: If you could follow the same process on this post, that would be appreciated! :)

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I originally chose C during the test, but got A right on BR. Here's my breakdown. In my opinion, I thought C was a clearer answer because there were less assumptions to be made than A.

Stimulus breakdown:
GIVEN THAT the coat patterns of large cat species correspond to the habitats in which they live and hunt. And species with spotted coats are at home in trees and dappled forests. And species living in the open plains, like lions, have plain coats.

HOW IS IT THAT the cheetah who is a spotted cat, lives in the open savannah?

C made so much sense to me. Because if the cheetah is spotted then it would be used to climbing trees & forests. But, because of these wide paws they have, they're not able to climb trees so they gotta live in the open plains.

But when I looked at this question again during BR, I can see how A is the stronger answer because it distinguishes cheetahs from all other large cat species. But here is where I feel like you have to make some assumptions for this answer to work. It says cheetahs' hunting strategy does not rely on stealth but instead relies purely on speed. Okay, so? So you would need to assume that the cats living in trees rely on stealth & the cats living in the open savannahs rely on speed? I mean I kind of get it, but it seems like we're making some assumptions here LSAC... -__-

Can someone please further illustrate why A is the right answer & C isn't? Thank you!
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The key to many Resolve questions is in looking at similarities vs. differences, lawadvocate!. When the paradox is based on two things that should be similar turning out to be different, you need an answer that explains the difference. If two things that should be different turn out to be the same, you need an answer that explains the similarities.

Here, the cheetah is different from lions and other large cats that live on the open savannah. It should have a plain coat, but it has a spotted coat. It's also different from other spotted cats, because they all live in the forests. So we need an answer that tells us what makes cheetahs different from all those other large cats.

Answer C tells us nothing about a difference. The stimulus never told us anything about whether any large cats can climb trees. It only said that the spotted ones tend to live in dappled forests (and that word "dappled" should stand out - it means the environment is spotted, like their coats). "Not climbing trees" doesn't explain a difference between the cheetah and other large cats, especially not the other large cats that live where it lives.

Answer A should be attractive right out of the gate, because it starts with "unlike all other large cat species" - it's telling us how the cheetah is different from everything else! Different from the cats that live where it lives, and different from the ones that look like it but live elsewhere. This is an explanation of how the cheetah can be such an anomaly!

Lions and other savannah cats have plain coats that blend into their environment. Large cats that live in dappled forests have spotted coats that blend in with their environments. The cheetah does not blend in. Answer A gives us a good reason why they can survive without blending in like all the other big cats.

No assumptions required, I think, although perhaps a little outside knowledge about what savannahs and dappled forests look like.

Be careful about assuming too much yourself! It's not a valid assumption that living in the forest means living in or climbing trees.

Keep at it, you're doing great!
Adam M. Tyson
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