Giant arctic squids, the largest squid species, when kept in captivity, are susceptible to a wide variety of fatal diseases with which they would never come in contact if they lived in the wild. Yet, the likelihood that a leatherback will reach its theoretical maximum life expectancy is about the same whether that animal is living in captivity or in the wild because __________ . 

Which of the following best completes the reasoning above?

A – few zoologists have sufficient knowledge to establish an artificial environment that is conducive to the well-being of captive giant arctic squids.

B – the average life expectancy of the giant arctic squid in general is longer than that of almost all other marine animals.

C – the size of a giant arctic squid is an untrustworthy indicator of its age.

D – most giant arctic squids that perish in the wild are killed by predators.

E – fewer diseases attack the giant arctic squid compared to those that attack other large marine animals. 

OA: D 

Explanation : The task here is similar to that of a paradox question; the contrary points of data seem to be that while giant arctic squids die more frequently in captivity because of diseases they wouldn’t contract in the wild, the life expectancy seems to be the same both in the wild and in captivity. The explanation would lie in the fact that there might be other risks involved in the wild that may not be the case in captivity, such as environmental hazards, other large marine animals or human activity. 

A – while this might explain why the giant squid is susceptible to death due to disease in captivity, it does not explain the reason they live as long as wild giant squids do. 

B – comparing the life expectancy of the squid with those of other animals is irrelevant since it’s beyond the scope of this argument. 

C – the correlation between size and age is never mentioned in the argument and is irrelevant to the case at hand. 

D – this correctly provides an alternate hazard in the wild; predators that kill these squids in the wild might be causing their life expectancy to drop and match that of captive squids. 

E – comparing the giant squid to other marine animals is irrelevant and beyond the scope of this argument. 

X

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