Rachael Wilkenfeld wrote:Hi to you both,
Let's break this one down. How can we know what fully grown females and young male bones would suggest? Let's look back at the passage. From paragraph two, we learn that people who mostly used domesticated animals for milk/meat would have had killed off most of the males before adulthood. That suggests the exact pattern described in answer choice (C), the bones of mostly adult females and younger males.
Let's also look at why each of the other answer choices don't work.
Answer choice (A) talks about male hunting pods. We'd expect to see more fully grown male horse bones in that case, because if they were hunting male horses, the bones had to be somewhere.
Answer choice (B) talks about riding and training wild horses. It doesn't explain why we'd see the bones of mostly adult females.
Answer choice (C) is our correct answer, explained above.
Answer choice (D) is not discussed in the passage. It doesn't say what other sources of food they may or may not have had.
Answer choice (E) establishes that the horses were used for more than just meat, as described in the last paragraph, but it doesn't explain the male/female difference.
Hope that helps!
Following up on A vs. C:
I think A may be wrong because of "targeted", specifically.
The passage distinguishes between wild "large animal species" and "horses", and then notes a second distinction between groups of wild horses. From this second distinction, the author draws an inference: "to maximize success in hunting horses, one would target the families."
The characteristics of "The families" ("one stallion, six or so adult females and their young") seem to line up with the characteristics noted in the question stem. Considered together with lines 36-38 "Thus, if the Botai had merely hunted horses, Olsen argues, the proportion of adult male bones should be lower.." I felt the hypothetical condition specified within the question stem wanted us to infer that the Botai hunted wild horses.
However, I think A goes slightly too far by stating that they "targeted" one of the wild groups instead of the other.
I eliminated C because I felt it was a "half wrong"-type answer choice. Specifically, I was unable to support, given the hypothetical condition within the question stem, that this would allow us to infer they "did not ride them."