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In polluted environments, dolphins gradually accumulated toxins in their body fat, and the larger the dolphin the more accumulated toxin it can tolerate. Nearly 80 percent of the toxins a female dolphin has accumulated pass into the fat-rich milk her nursing calf ingests. Therefore, the unusually high mortality rate among dolphin calves in the industrially contaminated waters along Florida’s Gulf Coast is probably the result of their being poisoned by their mother’s milk.

Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument?


Option A:

The survival rate of firstborn dolphin calves in the area along Florida’s Gulf Coast is highest for those whose mothers were killed before they were weaned.

Option B:

The rate at which adult dolphins living in the waters along Florida’s Gulf Coast accumulate toxins is no higher than that of adult dolphins in comparably polluted waters elsewhere.

Option C:

Among dolphin calves born in the area along Florida’s Gulf Coast, the mortality rate is highest among those with living siblings.

Option D:

As dolphins age, they accumulate toxins from the environment more slowly than when they were young.

Option E:

Dolphins, like other marine mammals, have a higher proportion of body fat than do most land mammals.

Difficulty Level



Option A is the correct answer.

Option Analysis

Question type: Strengthen the argument 

Summary of the argument: The argument goes onto conclude that high mortality rate of the dolphin calves is due to the poisonous milk that these calves drank from their mother.  

A) Correct Answer 

B) We are not worried about dolphins living elsewhere as the argument is about the dolphins living only in Florida.  

C) This does not relate the mortality rate to siblings.  

D) This option does not relate mortality to the behavior as mentioned in the option.  

E) So what? Higher body fat does not indicate the mortality rate of dolphin calves.