GMAT Critical Reasoning

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Source: PREP

Level: 4

The prairie vole, a small North American grassland rodent, breeds year-round, and a group of voles living together consists primarily of an extended family, often including two or more litters. Voles commonly live in large groups from late autumn through winter; from spring through early autumn, however, most voles live in far smaller groups. The seasonal variation in group size can probably be explained by a seasonal variation in mortality among young voles.

Which of the following, if true, provides the strongest support for the explanation offered?

  • A It is in the spring and early summer that prairie vole communities generally contain the highest proportion of young voles.
  • B Prairie vole populations vary dramatically in size from year to year.
  • C The prairie vole subsists primarily on broad-leaved plants that are abundant only in spring.
  • D Winters in the prairie voles' habitat are often harsh, with temperatures that drop well below freezing.
  • E Snakes, a major predator of young prairie voles, are active only from spring through early autumn.

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