SAT Subject Biology Practice Question 295: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 295

5. A bird that feeds on both insects and berries would be classified as a

I. primary consumer

II. secondary consumer

III. tertiary consumer

A. I only
B. II only
C. III only
D. I and II only
E. II and III only

Correct Answer: D


D Berries are plant products (i.e., primary producers), thus any organism that eats berries is a primary consumer, or an herbivore (I is true, choices B, C, and E can be eliminated). Notice at this point that the only remaining choices (A and D) do not contain option III, therefore, option III is false. Secondary consumers, carnivores and omnivores (e.g., birds) eat primary consumers (e.g., bugs), thus II is also true, and choice A can be eliminated. Tertiary consumers are carnivores (e.g., cats) that eat other carnivores (e.g., birds, secondary consumers). III is false, as we saw earlier.

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