The waters surrounding Shooter's Island have long been a dumping ground for ruined ships and boats, and the wreckage ...

zgnewquist on September 17, 2019

Explanation of Each Answer Choice

I understand why the correct answer is correct, but I more confused as to why the others are wrong and this answer is necessarily correct.

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SamA on September 17, 2019

Hello @zgnewquist,

Happy to help, let's break down the problem before we go through the answer choices.

Premise: Shipwrecks around Shooter's Island make the water very still.

Premise: Overall abundance of waterbirds around Shooter's Island is similar to neighboring islands.

Premise: Juvenile waterbirds are much more abundant around Shooter's Island than around neighboring islands.

Conclusion: The still waters around Shooter's Island serve as a nursery for young birds.

We need an answer that supports the conclusion.

A) We already know from the passage that the water around the island has "long been" a dumping ground for boats. This doesn't give us any new information that supports the conclusion.

B) It doesn't really matter if the numbers fluctuate throughout the year. As long as the young birds are more abundant around Shooter's Island than the nearby islands, a fluctuation among all islands does not help or hurt our conclusion.

C) This is the correct answer. Previous, documented knowledge that waterbirds use still waters for nursery's supports strongly supports the conclusion that the same phenomena is occurring around Shooter's Island.

D) We already know that the waters around Shooter's Island are exceptionally calm. Therefore, we knew that the surrounding islands had rougher seas. The addition that they are "much rougher" doesn't affect our conclusion.

E) This one actually hurts the conclusion. If waterbirds as a whole are more abundant around a nursery, then the overall population of Shooter's Island would be greater than the surrounding islands, which it isn't.