Which one of the following, if true, is LEAST consistent with Riechert's theory about fighting behavior in spiders?

Lauren-Au on August 21, 2019

Help with correct answer

@lsatmax I choose (E) and I think I know why (D) is right but could you please clarify. Would (D) be right because the spiders would actually be more willing to fight when in a riparian habitat than in a grassland because there is actually less land for web building? Thank you

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Meredith on November 14, 2019

I have the same question

DavidClimber on November 23, 2019

Why not C but D? I really have issue with Q16 of the PT52 S4 RC. HELP!!!!

shunhe on January 4, 2020


Thanks for the questions! That's not quite the reason (D) is right - I would say (D) is actually right because the spiders would be less willing to fight in a riparian habitat than in a grassland because there is more land for web building. We get direct evidence for this in the last sentence of the passage, though I assume you've seen that sentence by now. Remember that we are looking for an answer choice INCONSISTENT with the passage, and (C) is patently inconsistent with what the passage tells us. Remember that Riechert believes that various factors and conditions will determine conflict, and her beliefs aren't those of the species-specific model.

Taking a look at the last sentence of the passage again, we can see that it is fully consistent with (E), and therefore wrong. Since there is so much "free real estate" in the riparian habitat, as an alternative to escalated fighting, it seems intuitive that a spider would be more likely to withdraw from a larger opponent and go somewhere else to find territory.

Similarly, (C) gives us another potential alternative to escalated fighting that spiders in the riparian habitat can take. Instead of actually fighting, they simply engage in displays (like the Galapagos turtles) to decide who gets to live where. By doing so, they avoid injuring themselves and tangling with other spiders that out-display them. Hope this helps!