Scientist: Rattlesnakes prey on young California ground squirrels. Protective adult squirrels harass a threatening ra...

maggsll on May 15, 2020

Please explain!

I chose B because to me, squirrels might want to get the attention of more squirrels to scare away a snake. C doesn't make sense to me. Why making the snake more defensive would support the hypothesis of repelling it?

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SamA on May 16, 2020

Hello @maggsll,

Note that the hypothesis here is about the heat of the squirrel's tail.

"Since rattlesnakes have an infrared sensing organ that detects body heat, the heating up of the squirrel's tail probably plays a role in repelling rattlesnakes."

Answer choice B is irrelevant because it has nothing to do with tail temperature. It is important to always keep an eye on the conclusion, but especially so on strengthen questions. We need an answer choice that tells us, "tail heat does help to repel rattlesnakes." Answer choice B does not provide that support.

C is correct because it suggests that a rattlesnake will respond differently when a squirrel heats up its tail. At very least, this means that the snake notices the temperature change, which supports the argument. In addition, "more defensive" suggests that the snake is more threatened/repelled. Think of it this way. "Defensive" implies that the snake is being attacked. This is why C is the correct answer.

maggsll on May 19, 2020

Makes sense, thank you so much! I will keep an eye on the conclusion!