QUESTION TEXT: Scientist: Rattlesnakes prey on young California…
QUESTION TYPE: Strengthen
CONCLUSION: Heated squirrel tails help California ground squirrels deter rattlesnake attacks.
REASONING: The tails of California ground squirrels heat up when squirrels defend against rattlesnake attacks. Rattlesnakes can see heat with infrared sensing.
ANALYSIS: This argument is far less persuasive than it sounds. If you move your arm, it heats up. That doesn’t mean your arm’s heat is a defense mechanism against rattlesnake attacks.
This argument has shown that it’s possible that the heat in squirrel tails helps them defend against rattlesnake attacks. To strengthen the argument, we need to show actual evidence that heated tails serve a purpose.
- Who cares about rattlesnake tails? The question is about squirrel tails.
- This answer is useless. It’s not surprising that squirrels use their tails for multiple purposes. This doesn’t help us prove anything about the effect squirrel tails have on rattlesnakes.
- CORRECT. This supports the argument by actually isolating heat as a factor. It shows that heated tails deter rattlesnakes better than regular tails do.
- It doesn’t matter what squirrels do with other predators. The argument is about heat and rattlesnakes. This answer doesn’t even mention heat; it’s a distraction.
- Who cares? Rattlesnakes do have an organ to sense infrared energy, and they’re the ones we’re concerned with.
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