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Critical Reasoning: Paradox Questions

Unlike in the vast majority of species of monkeys, in a newly discovered society of minuscule monkeys in South Africa the dominant male is not the largest specimen, but rather the one with the strongest odor, even if it is quite unimpressive looking.

Which of the following, if true, would most contribute to an explanation of the facts above?



This answer choice explains why smell is important, but not how an unimpressive looking and smallish male can become the dominant one. In addition, ovulation occurs in females; while you do not need to know that to eliminate the answer choice, it could help you verify your suspicions.



The fact that the new type of monkey is deaf does not explain the precedence of odor over size and appearance.

Very good.


If the newly discovered monkey is visually impaired, looks or even size become much less important. This indeed contributes to an explanation of how the strongest smelling male is the dominant one.



This answer choice emphasizes the paradox. If in most monkey communities the largest and strongest males are the alphas, why is the newly discovered species different?



While this answer choice doesn't necessarily contradict the premises, it also does not resolve our paradox as it is too general and does not explain why odor is more important than looks among the newly discovered monkey community. There is a better answer choice which does so - look for it!

The new type of monkey is deaf.
Odor plays a role in the ability to determine ovulation among many mammals.
The new species of monkey is visually impaired, and thus relies on its sense of smell.
In most monkey communities the largest and strongest males are the alpha males and they mate with the mature females of the community.
Monkeys have a wide variety of parameters which together establish order of precedence among the males of a community.