SAT Subject Biology Practice Question 446: Answer and Explanation
16. Six pairs of bald eagles were released into the wild in Indiana. Four of the pairs of birds successfully nested and raised young. Two of the pairs nested near an industrial complex that released waste products (PCBs) into a nearby lake. These birds laid eggs, but the embryos failed to develop.
Which of the following is the LEAST likely reason for the failure of the embryos to develop?
A. Mutations in the embryos halted their development.
B. The adult birds failed to exhibit proper nesting behavior and did not care for the eggs.
C. The contaminated lake water that the birds consumed affected the development of their young.
D. The sperm of the males were affected by the PCBs in such a way that they were unable to fertilize the eggs.
E. Indiana is not a good location for bald eagles to mate and reproduce.
Correct Answer: E
E Remember this is a LEAST/EXCEPT/NOT question-you're looking for the "wrong" answer. Choices A through D all describe possible reasons for the failure of embryo development. However, choice E is false, because four pairs (of the six pairs of bald eagles released) successfully nested and raised young.