QUESTION TYPE: Complete the Argument
CONCLUSION: Boats affect killer whales’ hearing. (my guess at the conclusion)
REASONING: Engine noise is on the same frequency as killer whales’ hearing. And it can be loud enough to hurt their hearing.
ANALYSIS: If whales scream at frequencies between 100-3000 hertz, they must be able to hear at those frequencies. And the boats engines make noise on those frequencies that is loud enough to damage whales’ hearing.
So it’s reasonable to conclude that the engines affect whales ability to communicate, either by hurting their hearing or by drowning out their screams.
- The argument never says whether younger or older whales are most affected.
- The argument says whales don’t seem to behave differently when boats pass overhead. So maybe they do try to communicate just as often.
- CORRECT. The whole argument is leading to this point. It’s less specific than B, which makes it more likely to be correct. We don’t know exactly how whales’ communication is impaired, but the boat engines probably make things difficult. The engines make noise on the same frequency as whale screams, and the noise is so loud that it hurts hearing.
- We have no idea where whales will be. Maybe their best feeding grounds also happen to be beneath shipping lanes.
- Who knows? Maybe the engines confuse fish, and make it easier for whales to eat them.
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