Verbal Ability – Summary – North American walnut sphinx

Verbal Ability – Summary

The passage given below is followed by four summaries. Choose the summary that best captures the author’s position.


CAT 2017 - Afternoon slot - Verbal Ability - Summary - North American walnut sphinx
North American walnut sphinx moth caterpillars (Amorpha juglandis) look like easy meals for birds, but they have a trick up their sleeves—they produce whistles that sound like bird alarm calls, scaring potential predators away. At first, scientists suspected birds were simply startled by the loud noise. But a new study suggests a more sophisticated mechanism: the caterpillar’s whistle appears to mimic a bird alarm call, sending avian predators scrambling for cover. When pecked by a bird, the caterpillars whistle by compressing their bodies like an accordion and forcing air out through specialized holes in their sides. The whistles are impressively loud – they have been measured at over 80 dB from 5 cm away from the caterpillar – considering they are made by a two-inch long insect.

A) North American walnut sphinx moth caterpillars will whistle periodically to ward off predator birds – they have a specialized vocal tract that helps them whistle.
B) North American walnut sphinx moth caterpillars can whistle very1 loudly; the loudness of their whistles is shocking as they are very small insects.
C) North American walnut sphinx moth caterpillars, in a case of acoustic deception, produce whistles that mimic bird alarm calls to defend themselves.
D) North American walnut sphinx moth caterpillars, in a case of deception and camouflage, produce whistles that mimic bird alarm calls to defend themselves.


Option (C)


After reading the above passage about Summary from CAT 2017 – Verbal Ability, we can infer that,
Option A: The caterpillars produce whistling sounds only when they are pecked by a bird and not at regular intervals. This option is wrong.
Option B: This statement does not mention why they whistle. Hence, it is wrong.
Option C: This statement covers all the main points of the passage. This is the right answer.
Option D: Camouflage is changing one’s appearance and the caterpillars do not do that. They only make sounds that mimic a bird’s alarm call. This option is wrong.

Download CAT 2017 Question Paper with answers and detailed solutions in PDF

CAT 2017 Questions from Verbal Ability – Summary

Verbal Ability – Summary – Q1: A fundamental property of language is that it is slippery and messy and more liquid than solid, a gelatinous mass that changes shape to fit. As Wittgenstein would remind us, “usage has no sharp boundary.”
Verbal Ability – Summary – Q2: Both Socrates and Bacon were very good at asking useful questions. In fact, Socrates is largely credited with corning up with a way of asking questions
Verbal Ability – Summary – Q3: For each of the past three years, temperatures have hit peaks not seen since the birth of meteorology, and probably not for more than 110,000 years.
Verbal Ability – Summary – Q4: A translator of literary works needs a secure hold upon the two languages involved, supported by a good measure of familiarity with the two cultures.
Verbal Ability – Summary – Q5: To me, a “classic” means precisely the opposite of what my predecessors understood: a work is classical by reason of its resistance to contemporaneity and supposed universality, by reason of its capacity to indicate human particularity and difference in that past epoch.

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