## Command of Evidence: Textual Digital (Digital SAT-Verbal)

Question no. 1

Paul Kitz, Marjorie Harper, and Cassandra Williams have proposed that the elaborate frill structure around the neck of the dinosaur Triceratops horridus enhanced the creature’s ability to disperse heat, thereby increasing its survival rate in extreme temperature environments. To test their proposition, a new group of scientists built two solar-powered mechanical models of T. horridus, one with a frill and one without, and subjected both to the same heat exposure tests in a controlled environmental chamber.
Which outcome from the heat exposure tests, if valid, would most firmly corroborate Kitz and his team’s theory?
A. The model with a frill experienced significantly higher surface temperatures than the model without a frill.
B. The model with a frill cooled down significantly faster after exposure to high temperatures than the model without a frill.
C. The model with a frill consumed significantly more solar power after the exposure tests than the model without a frill.
D. The model with a frill had significantly less time to achieve a steady-state temperature after heat exposure than the model without a frill.

Answer Key: B. The model with a frill cooled down significantly faster after exposure to high temperatures than the model without a frill.

Explanation: The hypothesis proposed by Kitz, Harper, and Williams was that the frill of Triceratops horridus was used to disperse heat, helping the dinosaur survive in extreme temperature environments. If their hypothesis were correct, we would expect that a model with a frill would be able to cool down more quickly after exposure to high temperatures than a model without a frill. Therefore, option B, which states exactly that, would most strongly support the hypothesis.
Options A, C, and D would not necessarily support the hypothesis. A higher surface temperature (option A) could merely indicate that the frill absorbs more heat, not that it’s effective in dispersing it. More solar power consumption (option C) would not directly relate to the frill’s ability to disperse heat. The time to reach steady-state temperature (option D) could be influenced by many factors other than heat dispersion, making it less directly supportive of the hypothesis.

Question 2

Nina Oswald, James Cornish, and Leslie Oswald have suggested that the long and slender beak of the extinct bird Ichthyornis dispar improved the creature’s efficiency in catching swift underwater prey. To investigate their assertion, another group of researchers crafted two remote-controlled models of I. dispar, one with the unique beak and one without, and performed a series of identical tests in a large water tank.
Which finding from the model trials, if accurate, would most powerfully validate Oswald and team’s theory?
A. The model with a beak spent significantly more time underwater compared to the model without a beak.
B. The model with a beak could dive significantly deeper than the model without a beak.
C. The model with a beak showed significantly better maneuverability and precision in striking at high-speed targets than the model without a beak. D. The model with a beak required significantly more power to perform the same underwater movements as the model without a beak.

Solution

Answer Key: C. The model with a beak showed significantly better maneuverability and precision in striking at high-speed targets than the model without a beak.
Explanation: Oswald, Cornish, and Leslie’s hypothesis states that the long and slender beak of Ichthyornis dispar enhanced the bird’s ability to catch swift underwater prey. Thus, a result demonstrating that the model with a beak exhibits better precision and maneuverability when striking high-speed targets (option C) would strongly support their hypothesis, as it directly relates to the predicted advantage of the beak.
Options A, B, and D, while potentially interesting, do not directly address the hypothesis. More time spent underwater (option A) or the ability to dive deeper (option B) do not necessarily correlate with improved hunting efficiency, especially if the prey is swift and requires quick precision. Similarly, more power requirement (option D) might suggest the beak makes movement more difficult, which would actually contradict the hypothesis.

Question: 3

Simon Wells, Rose Hutchinson, and Aaron Stuart have theorized that the unusually long tusks of the extinct mammal Elasmotherium sibiricum, also known as the Siberian unicorn, played a critical role in digging for water sources during dry seasons, thereby improving the creature’s survival chances in harsh climatic conditions. To validate their theory, a different group of researchers assembled two mechanical models of E. sibiricum, one equipped with long tusks and one without, and carried out a set of identical digging tests in a sandbox environment.

Which result from the digging tests, if proven accurate, would most compellingly support Wells and colleagues’ theory?

A. The model with tusks was significantly heavier than the model without tusks.

B. The model with tusks consumed significantly more battery power during the tests than the model without tusks.

C. The model with tusks achieved significantly greater digging depth in a shorter time than the model without tusks.

D. The model with tusks was significantly louder during the digging process than the model without tusks.

Answer Key: C. The model with tusks achieved significantly greater digging depth in a shorter time than the model without tusks.

Explanation: Wells, Hutchinson, and Stuart’s theory asserts that the long tusks of Elasmotherium sibiricum were beneficial for digging for water sources. Therefore, a result indicating that the model with tusks could dig deeper in less time (option C) would most strongly support their theory. This evidence directly suggests that the tusks improved the creature’s ability to dig, which aligns with the researchers’ hypothesis.

Options A, B, and D do not provide clear evidence supporting the researchers’ theory. The weight of the model (option A) or its noise level during digging (option D) doesn’t directly impact its ability to dig for water. More battery consumption (option B) could suggest that the tusks require more energy to operate but does not necessarily imply improved digging capability.

Question: 5

Margaret Grey, Ethan Smith, and Lily Green have proposed that the retractable claws of the extinct saber-toothed tiger, Smilodon fatalis, were specially adapted for climbing trees to ambush prey, thus increasing the animal’s hunting success. To evaluate their proposition, a different group of researchers designed two robotic models of S. fatalis, one with retractable claws and one without, and performed a series of climbing tests on a life-size model tree.

Which outcome from the climbing tests, if true, would most conclusively support Grey and her team’s theory?

A. The model with retractable claws was significantly more balanced while climbing than the model without retractable claws.

B. The model with retractable claws was able to climb significantly higher on the model tree than the model without retractable claws.

C. The model with retractable claws required significantly more power to climb the model tree than the model without retractable claws.

D. The model with retractable claws was significantly heavier than the model without retractable claws.

Answer Key: B. The model with retractable claws was able to climb significantly higher on the model tree than the model without retractable claws.

Explanation: The hypothesis proposed by Grey, Smith, and Green posits that the retractable claws of Smilodon fatalis were adapted for tree climbing, which assisted in successful hunting. Therefore, a result indicating that the model with retractable claws could climb significantly higher on the model tree (option B) would be a strong evidence to support their theory. This finding would directly suggest that the retractable claws improved the animal’s ability to climb, which is in line with the original hypothesis.

Options A, C, and D, while they may be interesting results, do not directly validate the researchers’ theory. More balance while climbing (option A) does not necessarily correlate with climbing height, which is more important for ambushing prey from above. Greater power consumption (option C) could imply that the claws require more energy to function, but this does not directly show improved climbing capability. Lastly, a heavier model (option D) has no clear connection to climbing ability or hunting success.

Question: 6

Carlos Vega, Abigail Thompson, and Bruce Lee have suggested that the large nose of the extinct proboscidean Deinotherium giganteum served as a resonance chamber, enhancing the animal’s communication range and improving its social interaction capabilities. To assess their theory, another group of researchers created two acoustic models of D. giganteum, one with the large nose and one without, and conducted a series of identical sound tests in an echo-free chamber.

Which finding from the sound tests, if confirmed, would most significantly substantiate Vega and team’s theory?

A. The model with the large nose produced significantly louder sounds than the model without the large nose.

B. The model with the large nose emitted sounds at a significantly wider range of frequencies than the model without the large nose.

C. The model with the large nose had significantly higher sound absorption than the model without the large nose.

D. The model with the large nose transmitted sounds significantly further than the model without the large nose.

Answer Key: D. The model with the large nose transmitted sounds significantly further than the model without the large nose.
Explanation: The hypothesis put forth by Vega, Thompson, and Lee is that the large nose of Deinotherium giganteum functioned as a resonance chamber, enhancing the animal’s ability to communicate over long distances. Therefore, an outcome showing that the model with the large nose transmitted sounds significantly further (option D) would directly support their hypothesis, as it indicates an improved communication range due to the presence of the large nose.
The other options, while potentially intriguing, do not directly support the hypothesis. Louder sounds (option A) do not necessarily travel further, and a wider range of frequencies (option B) does not guarantee better long-distance communication. High sound absorption (option C) might even counteract the ability to transmit sounds effectively, as some sound energy would be lost.

Question

“In Hidden Wealth”, a 1923 short story by O. Henry, the author characterizes Mrs. Jane Parker’s personality as being characterized by her unwavering optimism: ______ Which statement from “Hidden Wealth” best depicts this characteristic?

A. Mrs. Jane Parker always saw the glass half full, not half empty.

B. She walked with a spring in her step, her eyes twinkling with joy, as if life was one big party.

C. The room was filled with the infectious laughter of Mrs. Jane Parker as she entertained her guests.

D. It was a typical Sunday morning; Mrs. Jane Parker was admiring her beautiful garden, while sipping on her freshly brewed coffee, filled with gratitude for the blessings in her life.

Answer key: A. Mrs. Jane Parker always saw the glass half full, not half empty.

Explanation: The phrase “seeing the glass half full, not half empty” is an idiomatic expression used to describe someone who is optimistic and tends to see the positive aspects of situations rather than the negatives. Thus, this quotation most directly illustrates Mrs. Jane Parker’s optimism, which is the claim made in the quest

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