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Must Be True. The correct answer choice is (E)
Based on the average body size of a northern fur seal it is possible to reliably determine the species’
local population levels; larger populations correlate with a smaller average body size. Archeologists
researched an 800-year period during which the seals were hunted by North American natives, and
found that the average body size of the seals remained fairly stable. The stability of the average body
size of the seals would indicate that the fur seal population remained fairly stable during that period
The question that follows is a Must Be True question, so the correct answer choice will be supported
by the information provided in the stimulus.
Answer choice (A): The information in the stimulus suggests that the seal populations were not
significantly depleted by the hunting of North Americans during the 800-year period studied, but
there is no information about the degree of variety in hunting practices among different groups of
Natives at that time.
Answer choice (B): The author makes no mention of the correlation between the body weight of the
northern fur seals and their overall health, so this choice fails the Fact Test and can be ruled out of
Answer choice (C): Although there was not much fluctuation in the seals’ average weight during the
800-year period studied, that does not mean that there was fluctuation before that period. Since there
is nothing in the stimulus to support this assertion, it cannot be the right answer to this Must Be True
Answer choice (D): The stimulus does lead to the inference that the fur seal population was not
significantly depleted during the 800-year period studied, but this was not necessarily the result of
any intent on the part of the Native peoples. Since the author provides no information about any
such efforts on the part of the Natives during that time, this choice cannot be confirmed by the
information provided in the stimulus.
Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice. As discussed, the fact that the average
body size of the seals did not vary significantly suggests that the seal population levels did not vary
significantly either, meaning that the population could not have been significantly depleted by the
hunting of the north Americans during the 800-year period under examination.