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Whales originated in the freshwater lakes and rivers of ancient Asia about sixty million years ago. Not until about ten million years later did species of whales develop specialized kidneys enabling them to drink salt water. Although fossil evidence shows that some early whale species that lacked such kidneys sometimes swam in the Earth’s saltwater oceans, these species must have had to return frequently to freshwater rivers to drink.

Which of the following is most strongly supported by the information given?


Option A:

Fossils of whale species dating from between sixty million and fifty million years ago will not be found on continents that were at the time separated from ancient Asia by wide expanses of ocean.

Option B:

Among whale fossils that date from later than about fifty million years ago, none are fossils of whale species that drank only fresh water.

Option C:

Fossils of whale species that drank fresh water will not be found in close proximity to fossils of whale species that drank salt water.

Option D:

The earliest whales that drank salt water differed from fresh-water-drinking whales only in their possession of specialized kidneys.

Option E:

Between sixty million and fifty million years ago, the freshwater lakes and rivers in which whales originated were gradually invaded by salt water.

Difficulty Level



Option A is the correct answer.


Option Analysis

Question type: Inference based 

Summary of the argument: Since this is an inference question, it is best to read the argument and the jump to the options to select the option that is 100% true based on the information given.  

A) Correct Answer 

B) This is an extreme answer choice. The usage of the word “none” makes the answer choice difficult to infer.  

C) There is no such comparison.  

D) We do not know if kidneys were the only differentiating factors.  

E) We do not have information to talk about this geographical invasion.