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# Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991,

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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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14 Sep 2013, 23:29
pqhai wrote:
honchos wrote:
This is OG13 Q81

Fossils is Plural, hence B C and E can be eliminated immediately subject verb agreement issue.

D seems to be correct, But can some faculty give in depth explanation WHY A is wrong D is correct.

Hi honchos.

A is wrong because of the comma.

A) Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of the Greater Antilles islands.
The green part is modifier that should be blocked off both sides by commas. However, there is only a comma on the right, not on the left. Grammatically, this is wrong structure.

D). sloth, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, have been dated at 34 million years old, making the sloth the earliest known mammal on
The modifier is blocked off perfectly both sides by two commas. Hence, D is a correct sentence.

Hope it's clear.

Noted, I still believe there is more grammatical flaws here in A. However i have noted your explanation, that is quite impressive.
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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14 Sep 2013, 23:52
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honchos wrote:
pqhai wrote:
honchos wrote:
This is OG13 Q81

Fossils is Plural, hence B C and E can be eliminated immediately subject verb agreement issue.

D seems to be correct, But can some faculty give in depth explanation WHY A is wrong D is correct.

Hi honchos.

A is wrong because of the comma.

A) Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of the Greater Antilles islands.
The green part is modifier that should be blocked off both sides by commas. However, there is only a comma on the right, not on the left. Grammatically, this is wrong structure.

D). sloth, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, have been dated at 34 million years old, making the sloth the earliest known mammal on
The modifier is blocked off perfectly both sides by two commas. Hence, D is a correct sentence.

Hope it's clear.

Noted, I still believe there is more grammatical flaws here in A. However i have noted your explanation, that is quite impressive.

I want to elaborate more.

(1) If a modifier is blocked off by commas --> there must be two commas on both sides.
For example: The new car, designed by BMW and manufactured by Ford, is super expensive.

(2) If a modifier is NOT blocked off by commas --> No commas on both sides.
For example: The SARS virus expanding over Asia in November 2002 was first originated in Hongkong.

Hope it's clear now.
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2013, 18:55
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honchos wrote:
pqhai wrote:
A) Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of the Greater Antilles islands.

Noted, I still believe there is more grammatical flaws here in A. However i have noted your explanation, that is quite impressive.
There is more to A that's wrong. When a section of a sentence is set off by commas, as is "and dated" in version A, that section of the sentence is unnecessary. That is, the sentence should read logically and grammatically with the isolated section excised. Try that with (A)

Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of the Greater Antilles islands.

You get nonsense! How did fossils make the sloth the earliest known mammal? The dating is what made it the earliest known mammal, and (D) makes that logical connection clear, unlike (A).

Hope this helps!
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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05 Apr 2014, 15:58
Another quick way / split method:

a) Eliminate A, C and E because "... the earliest mammal of the Greater Antilles islands" is incorrect. It should be the "... mammal on the... XX islands"

b) Between B and D, difference lies in the singular/plural choice of "Fossils". Since "Fossils" is plural, we will require "have been dated" instead of "has been dated". B also have the problem of ambiguity with "they" with no Antecedent. B therefore can be eliminated, leaving "E" the only best choice in the 5 given options.

If I could rewrite the sentence, I probably will try to eliminate the 2 commas in option D (which made it a little nervous choosing it, but is the only correct answer by POE)

Hope this helps.

Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of the Greater Antilles islands.
A. sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of
B. sloth, that they found in Puerto Rico in 1991, has been dated at 34 million years old, thus making it the earliest mammal known on
C. sloth that was found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, making this the earliest known mammal of
D. sloth, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, have been dated at 34 million years old, making the sloth the earliest known mammal on
E. sloth which, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, made the sloth the earliest known mammal of
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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19 May 2014, 10:54
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russ9 wrote:
Can someone please explain why "WAS dated" is wrong. Wasn't the fossil dated in the past? - Referring to choice E.

Hi russ9,

Let’s first understand the usage of the two tenses.

The simple past tense is used to represent an event/action that happened in the past and has no effect in the present time.

The present perfect tense is used to represent an event/action that started at some point of time in the past and
1. either has continued till now
2. or ended in the past but its effect is still visible in the present.

Now, in the given sentence what is the result or effect of the fact that the fossils have been dated/was dated at 34 million years old.

Effect: It makes the sloth the earliest known mammal on the Greater Antilles islands.

Is this effect still visible in the present?
Yes, so the present perfect tense is correctly used here.

If we consider the simple past tense as the correct answer in this option then the effect won’t be visible in the present. In that case the meaning of the sentence becomes that when these fossils were dated at 34 million years old, at that point of the time the sloth was the earliest known mammal on the Greater Antilles islands.

Let’s understand this with one more official question. I have taken this question from OG-13 with the correct option.

• Rock samples taken from the remains of an asteroid about twice the size of the 6-mile-wide asteroid
• have been dated at 3.47 billion years old
• and thus are evidence of the earliest known asteroid impact on Earth.

In this case the present perfect tense (have been dated) is used because its effect (and thus are evidence of…..) is visible in the present.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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07 Sep 2014, 00:20
Hi e-gmat,

Hi Experts,

Source: Explanation links provided under OG quiz SV.

Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of the Greater Antilles Islands.

Isn't grammatically in this choice (A) "Found" modifies "SLOTH" when meaning wise it should modify "FOSSILS".

Sloth found and dated.

(D) sloth, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, have been dated at 34 million years old, making the sloth the earliest known mammal on

Per this sentence also "found" structurally seems to modify "SLOTH", when meaning wise it should modify "FOSSILS".
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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31 Mar 2015, 03:55
Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of the Greater Antilles islands.

A. sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of
Usage"and" shows \\sm and IC both are missing + "it" has no reference

B. sloth, that they found in Puerto Rico in 1991, has been dated at 34 million years old, thus making it the earliest mammal known on
"that" refers to sloth which is not a subject + "they" doesn't have a reference + Usage of "has been" is wrong must be have been + "it" has no reference.

C. sloth that was found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, making this the earliest known mammal of
Same as B

D. sloth, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, have been dated at 34 million years old, making the sloth the earliest known mammal on
Correct

E. sloth which, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, made the sloth the earliest known mammal of
Which refers to "sloth" not to the subject hence wrong

Hence D
Ans

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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2015, 02:46
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A. sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of
B. sloth, that they found in Puerto Rico in 1991, has been dated at 34 million years old, thus making it the earliest mammal known on
C. sloth that was found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, making this the earliest known mammal of
D. sloth, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, have been dated at 34 million years old, making the sloth the earliest known mammal on
E. sloth which, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, made the sloth the earliest known mammal of
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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06 Jun 2016, 22:36
g3lo18 wrote:
I thought a verb-ed modifier must modifier the preceding noun entity.

Isn't found a past tense verb-ed modifier?

Hi g3lo18, found is a past participle. Past participles have a bit of a flexibility in terms of what they modify: They can modify the Noun or the Noun-Phrase (whichever makes sense) immediately before the participle.

There are quite a few official examples (other than this one) that corroborate this point. I am listing a few:

An OG 13 question:

In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, testified in Patent Office hearings that, to test the system, a colleague of his had managed to win a patent for one of Kirchoff's laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics.

- made modifies observation (and not electric current)

An OG 12 question:

Diabetes, together with its serious complications, ranks as the nation’s third leading cause of death, surpassed only by heart disease and cancer.

- surpassed modifies nation’s third leading cause (and not death)

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses modifier issues of Participial Phrases, their application and examples in significant detail. If someone is interested, PM me your email-id, I can mail the corresponding section.
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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05 Jul 2016, 23:46
A super easy question
We don't need grammar and rules and stuff to get the correct answer (at least for this question). What we need is a little common sense.
Lets work on this problem

Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of the Greater Antilles islands.

So the arm of a sloth was found. and thus Sloth was designated the earliest known mammal.
But in the sentence , the subject of the sentence is "the arm" not the "Sloth" himself

So the correct option must remove this discrepancy by using the word "Sloth" while addressing information about sloth being the earliest mammal.

OPTION A,B,C HAVE INCORRECT MEANING BECAUSE OF THE PRONOUN "IT". "IT" MAKES IT SEEMS THAT ARM OF THE SLOTH WAS THE EARLIEST MAMMAL AND NOT THE SLOTH

D AND E are possible answer

E is incorrect because it talks about three chronological actions in the past (first found, then dated and then finally declared the oldest) but just uses simple past for all three actions.
Also "made" is incorrect meaning wise. Sloth is still the oldest mammal. So use of past simple "Made" is wrong for an action that is still persisting.

D remains and is the correct answer

trainspotting wrote:
Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years
old, made it the earliest known mammal of
the Greater Antilles islands.

A. sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the
earliest known mammal of
B. sloth, that they found in Puerto Rico in 1991, has been dated at 34 million years
old, thus making it the earliest mammal known on
C. sloth that was found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old,
making this the earliest known mammal of
D. sloth, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, have been dated at 34 million years old,
making the sloth the earliest known mammal on
E. sloth which, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old,
made the sloth the earliest known mammal of

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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2016, 02:26
Hello everyone,
I still have problems to understand the pronoun - one antecedent issue in this setence. As far as i know:

- Sentences should convey the intended meaning without any ambiguity.. Thus, each pronoun must refer to one and only one antecedent . If there are sentences with more than one pronoun then the reader is left confused about the sense.

- The pronoun-anticedent pair must make sense. Pronouns can only refer to nouns, if they refer to any other part of the sentence the usage is considered incorrect.

Lets analyse the first option:
Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of the Greater Antilles islands.

So here are my questions:
A noun can also be included into a prepositonal phrase, right?

Fossils of the arm of a sloth ...

Since "of" is a prepositonal phrase marker, there are two different nouns available: "the arm" and "a sloth". Thus, it is not clear without any ambiguity what "it" refers to? This ambiguity is solved in answer option D by explicity using "the sloth"?

I would be deeply grateful if someone could help me with that issue.
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2016, 06:31
CAN ANYONE HELP ME REINFORCE SPLIT3). THIS IS NEW KNOWLEDGE FOR ME!

SPLIT1) SVA. THE SUBJECT IS FOSSILS, THE VERB WILL HAVE TO BE SINGULAR. B, C AND E ARE OUT. "HAVE BEEN DATED" IS PLURAL THAT'S WHY D STAYS IN

SPLIT2) THE SINGULAR PRONOUN "IT" NEEDS TO REFER TO THE PRIOR NOUN IN THE SENTENCE, IN THIS CASE THE PRIOR NOUN IS PLURAL "FOSSILS", THAT'S ONE OF THE REASONS FOR A TO BE WRONG. A IS OUT.

SPLIT3) THE PRONOUN "IT" MUST REFER TO A "FREE ANTECEDENT". THE WORDS "OF THE ARM" AND "OF A SLOTH" ARE PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES SO "IT" CANNOT REFER TO ARM OR SLOTH. A IS OUT.

SPLIT4) LOGIC BEHIND PARALLELISM. IN A YOU ARE BEING TOLD THAT THE SLOTH WAS FOUND IN PUERTO RICO AND DATED 34M YEARS OLD. FOUND + DATED = PARALLEL. BUT THAT FACT THAT THE SLOTH WAS FOUND IN PUERTO RICO IS A DETAIL, SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD SEE IN COMMA BRACKETS. THE FOSSIL DATE OF 34 MILLION YEARS OLD IS THE MAIN IDEA BUT YET IT IS PRESENTED AS PARALLEL WITH A DETAIL INFORMATION. THAT IS WEIRD. OPTION D CLARIFIES THIS ISSUE. A IS OUT.
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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05 Apr 2017, 14:12
Expert's post
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KARISHMA315, the issue here is that in (B), (C), and (E), we have the noun modifiers ("relative pronouns", if you like grammar jargon) "which" and "that." With rare exceptions, these modifiers will point to the immediately preceding noun. So if we look at (B), (C), and (E) very strictly and literally, the sentences are saying that the sloth was found. And that doesn't make sense, unless you think that sloths live for millions of years.

When participles (often an "-ed" or "-ing" word, such as "found" or "making" or "including") are used as modifiers -- and that's exactly what "found" is doing in (A) and (D) -- they're much more forgiving in terms of their placement. It's fine for the participle "found" to modify the entire phrase that precedes it. So the phrase beginning with "found" can modify "fossils of the arm of a sloth", and not necessarily just the sloth.

I hope this helps!
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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05 Apr 2017, 19:03
Merged topics. please, search before posting questions!
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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02 May 2017, 19:25
Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of the Greater Antilles islands.

A. sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of
--> it clearly and truly modidies sloth. The issue in this sentence is meaning: that fossils have been dated at 34 million years old makes the sloth the earliest known mammal, not fossils makes the sloth the earliest known mammal.

B. sloth, that they found in Puerto Rico in 1991, has been dated at 34 million years old, thus making it the earliest mammal known on

C. sloth that was found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, making this the earliest known mammal of

D. sloth, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, have been dated at 34 million years old, making the sloth the earliest known mammal on
--> correct.

E. sloth which, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, made the sloth the earliest known mammal of
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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25 May 2017, 06:01
Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of the Greater Antilles islands.

Meaning:
The sentence is talking about fossils of a sloth's arm. This sloth was found in Puerto Rico in 1991. The fossils that have been found are 34 million years old and this makes the sloth earliest known mammal of some islands.

Error:
1) Verb-ed modifier modifies the immediate preceding noun and thus 'found' modifies sloth and thus presents more information about the sloth.
Also how can we know if a verb-ed word is a modifier or a verb?
Simply ask the question who is the subject of this verb and is this subject REALLY PERFORMING the task?
In this sentence, sloth did not found itself and thus found is a verb-ed modifier.

2) The sentence tries to show that there are two verbs of the subject fossils by connecting two verbs with 'and' and this is incorrect.
Also we use comma if a list contains more than two items.
A,B, and C

Also comma+and (FANBOYS) connect two independent clauses but in this sentence what follows this structure is not an independent clause.

3) Use of pronoun 'it' is kind of okay because 'it' can refer to only sloth here (logically). If 'it' refers to fossils, the sentence won't make sense.
Let's replace 'it' with fossils, we get:
made fossils the earliest known mammal of the Greater Antilles islands.

Can fossils be the earliest known mammal? According to me, it really does not make sense.

Let's look at the choices:
A. sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of
Incorrect

B. sloth, that they found in Puerto Rico in 1991, has been dated at 34 million years old, thus making it the earliest mammal known on

'they' found. Who found? 'They' does not have an antecedent.
The subject 'fossils' is plural and thus does not agree with singular verb 'has been dated'.

C. sloth that was found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, making this the earliest known mammal of
Same subject verb error

D. sloth, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, have been dated at 34 million years old, making the sloth the earliest known mammal on
The use of present perfect tense 'have been dated' shows a fact that is true in the current scenario as well.
Also the 'ing' modifier: making the sloth............clearly presents a result of the preceding clause.

An 'ing' modifier either presents the result of the preceding clause or modifies the action of the preceding clause.
Correct choice
E. sloth which, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, made the sloth the earliest known mammal of
Same subject verb error.
Also 'made the sloth.....' shows that it is no more true and the sloth is no more the earliest known mammal on.......
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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30 May 2017, 00:23
Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old,
made it the earliest known mammal
of the Greater Antilles islands.

A. sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of
B. sloth, that they found in Puerto Rico in 1991, has been dated at 34 million years old, thus making it the earliest mammal known on
C. sloth that was found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, making this the earliest known mammal of
D. sloth, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, have been dated at 34 million years old, making the sloth the earliest known mammal on
E. sloth which, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, made the sloth the earliest known mammal of
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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13 Jun 2017, 22:39
daagh wrote:
Let us first clear up a few things. This is not a test of the usage of ‘which’ or ‘that’. GMAT doesn’t test that aspect any more as it would not like to indulge in this controversial usage.

This is a clearly test of SV agreement, tense and idiom. What is the verb and what is its subject? Made is the verb and what made it the earliest mammals? The fossils made it (it stands for the sloth) because only fossils are dated and not any other thing. So the subject is the plural fossils and let us find the matching verb with a proper number and tense.

A. Sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of …. ‘Made it’ is wrong tense to use for something that was initiated in the past, and which remains even today so. The right tense should be the present perfect ‘have made’. Mammals of is unidiomatic

B. sloth that they found in Puerto Rico in 1991, has been dated at 34 million years old, thus making it the earliest mammal known on … Fossils …. Has been dated – S-V mis - match.

C. sloth that was found in Puerto Rico in 1991 was dated at 34 million years old, making this the earliest known mammal of …… Fossils … was dated –S-V mis-match and use of past tense which is wrong.

D. sloth, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, have been dated at 34 million years old, making the sloth the earliest known mammal on……. Correct number agreement, proper tense usage and right idiom – the perfect choice

E. sloth which, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, made the sloth the earliest known mammal of….. Fossils was dated SV mis - match , wrong tense and wrong idiom

Can someone help me clarify my following doubts:
option c is the usage of 'this' correct?
option e is the usage of 'which' correct? if so, what does it refer to? usually which is preceded by comma. However, in this sentence comma is preceded by which. How does this change the meaning?

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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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04 Jul 2017, 11:42
nakib77 wrote:
Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of the Greater Antilles islands.

A. sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of

B. sloth, that they found in Puerto Rico in 1991, has been dated at 34 million years old, thus making it the earliest mammal known on

C. sloth that was found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, making this the earliest known mammal of

D. sloth, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, have been dated at 34 million years old, making the sloth the earliest known mammal on

E. sloth which, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, made the sloth the earliest known mammal of

How In option D, "have been dated at 34 million years old' is correct? "Has/Have been" is used for any action which was initiated in past and still continuing? here we are talking about dating age of the fossils which if continue to present then 34 would not be constant and by now it might has been 200 years, isn't it?
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2017, 13:09
In my opinion letter A has no grramatical error.

Some have presented multiple information matters for it to be wrong, however, for me none of those are correct:

"sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of"

1)Pronoun (also OG response)
The pronoun "it" correctly addresses to the sloth, as due to the logical meaning of the sentence and there is a clear distinction addressing to the preceding sloth noun

2)Present simple

Some of you have said that present simple cannot be used to address something from that passed that is still used today, however present simple is also used to present facts EG "the earliest known mammal is the sloth"

3)Mammal of

Is not undiomatic and there is no error in relation.

for me the answer is D only because it presents a more solid cause and effect relation by using the verb-ing modifier."making it"
Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991,   [#permalink] 01 Aug 2017, 13:09

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