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# Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so

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Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 13 Dec 2018, 02:04
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Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so were probably without language, a shortcoming that may explain why they were supplanted by our own species.

(A) Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes

(B) Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s

(C) The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape’s

(D) The Neanderthal’s vocal tracts resembled the apes’

(E) The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes

Originally posted by reply2spg on 09 Feb 2009, 19:17.
Last edited by Bunuel on 13 Dec 2018, 02:04, edited 5 times in total.
Edited the question.
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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20 Sep 2013, 02:32
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Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so were probably without language, a shortcoming that may explain why they were supplanted by our own species.
(A) Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes
(B) Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s
(C) The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape’s
(D) The Neanderthal’s vocal tracts resembled the apes’
(E) The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes

Two Independent clauses connected by co-ordinating conjunction ('AND' in this case) should have a parallel structure.

Clause 1 :- Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of apes ------> Subject - InTransitive Verb - Predicate
Clause 2 :- so were probably without language --------> Subject - InTransitive Verb - Predicate

The logical antecedent of 'So', which is the Subject of second clause, is 'Neanderthals'. Hence 'Neanderthals' should be a subject of the First clause.

Only Choice A and B have their subject as 'The Neanderthal'. So C, D, E are out.

In Choice A has the Pronoun Agreement Error. 'Those of Apes'(plural) can not refer to the 'Vocal Tract of Neanderthals'(Singular)

Choice B Wins.
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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09 Feb 2009, 19:41
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Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so were probably without language, a shortcoming that may explain why they were supplanted by our own species.

(A) Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes
(B) Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s
(C) The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape’s
(D) The Neanderthal’s vocal tracts resembled the apes’
(E) The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes

Can someone explain this one?

C,D,E out.. vocal tracts.. were probably without language.. --> completely wrong.. Neanderthals were without language is correct.

A -- we are comparing vocal tract with "those" (vocal tracts) of apes.. Wrong comparision.

B is perfect.

Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s [vocal tract] ...
##### General Discussion
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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20 Sep 2009, 05:08
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Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so were probably without language, a shortcoming that may explain why they were supplanted by our own species.
IN THIS QUESTION,WE NEED TO LOOK AT THE CLUES PROVIDED BY THE LATER PART OF THE SENTENCE.CONCENTARTE ON THE PARTS "AND SO WERE" AND "WHY THEY WERE"..WHAT DO THESE PLURAL FORM SUGGEST;THAT THERE HAS TO BE A VERY CEAR PLURAL SUBJECT PRESENT IN THE EARLIER HALF OF THE SENTENCE..AND ALSO THAT THESE SUBJECTS SHOULD BE CERTAIN LIVING BEINGS WHO POSSESED THESE CHARACTERISTICS.LETS LOOK AT THE OPTIONS
(A) Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes
YES,THIS SENTENCE HAS SUBJECTS BUT 2 OF THEM NEANDERHALS/APES..WHICH ONES
IS THE LATER HALF REFERRING TO? A LITTLE CONFUSION..RIGHT!!! SUSPECT..LETS SEE OTHERS

(B) Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s
NEANDERTHALS ARE A CLEAR SUBJECT
APE'S (VOAL TRACTS) CANNOT BE A SUBJECT SINCE WE HAVE DECIDED EALRLIER THAT IT HAS TO BE A LIVING ENTITY ..SO IS BETTER THAN A...ELIMINATE A AND KEEP THIS
(C) The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape’s
VOCAL TRACTS OF NEANDRTHALS IS THE SUBJECT.FIRST THIS IS SINGULAR AND SECOND
THIS IS NOT OUR APPROPRAITE CHOICE OF SUBJECT....THROW THIS OUT
(D) The Neanderthal’s vocal tracts resembled the apes’
BY NOW IM SURE WE CAN MAKE OUT THAT THIS ALSO LACKS A SUITABLE SUBJECT
(E) The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes
SAME AS ABOVE

HENCE B IS THE CREDITED OPTION.HOPE THAT HELPED
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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20 Sep 2009, 06:04
5
tejal777 wrote:
This is a an important question and has not been discussed adequately.Keep getting it wrong..
I had straight away eliminated B,C,D because of "resembling an ape's.." resembling an ape's what?!which body part?hand,leg?!

The comparision is between the vocal tract of Neanderthals with the vocal tracts of ape's..

some possible comparisons:

- Netherlands' vocal tract <==> Apes' vocal tract
- vocal tract of Netherlands <==> vocal tract of Apes
- vocal tract of Netherlands <==> Apes' vocal tract.

Third one is used in case of B.

In cases of comparisons:

Unlike X of A, B's (X) is/are ... (here, X is implicit and is not necessary in the sentence)

HTH.
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20 Sep 2009, 08:57
5
I'm not sure if I understand your question

In the first one you don´t have comma before and therefore you don't repeat the subject.

Peter ate an apple and drank water
Peter ate an apple, and he drank water

These two sentences are correct. If you put comma you repeat the subject

In the second, you have an enumeration x, y, and z

As the explanation says the comma suggests the coming of the participle because,IMO, if you want to join the clauses using "and" you remove the comma and don't repeat the subject or put the comma and repeat the subject.

Nuclear fusion is the force that powers the Sun, the stars, and hydrogen bombs and ...
Nuclear fusion is the force that powers the Sun, the stars, and hydrogen bombs, and it ....

Let me know if this was what you were asking for.
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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12 Feb 2009, 05:23
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Should it not be Neanderthals had vocal tracts (plural)?

by having plural 'vocal tracts', we are decribing the inherent nature of the vocal tracts (of the Neanderthals) in general, which I think what the sentence is all about.

From the OA, Neanderthals had a vocal tract... seems to refer to a single vocal tract 'shared' by all Neanderthals which I find illogical.

Correct me if I am wrong, but my thinking is that the vocal tracts(plural) of Neanderthals should be compared to the apes' vocal tracts (plural).

-BM-
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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28 Aug 2012, 10:46
4
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Excellent discussion on the post thus far. Pronoun replacement is a nice tool for solving problems like this. You just replace the pronoun - in this case the very commonly tested "they" - with the antecedant to see if the result is logical.

...explain why the vocal tracts were supplanted by our own species - illogical.
...explain why the Neanterthals were supplanted by our own species - logical.

You may want to use pronoun replacement whenever you see shifts in the subject (notice they are both plural so it's not a subject/verb question) with a commonly tested pronoun (it, its, they, them, their).

KW
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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21 Sep 2015, 04:49
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rohitmanglik-

Great questions here - I can see where the confusion comes in. This structure is a bit different than just "and" connecting clauses...you really have to look at the conjunction as "and so".

You are connecting these two clauses:
1)Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape's
and so
2 [Neanderthals] were probably without language...

Using "and so" make a special connection here because the "so" makes the 2nd clause the result of the first. That causal connection is what makes the past perfect legitimate in the first clause (poor vocal tract) because it had to come first and so the simple past is the result (no language).

KW

(notice the not coincidental use of "and so" in my explanation )
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22 Mar 2011, 07:32
2
garimavyas wrote:
that is why i posted this question here. Neanderthals is supposed to be plural but can it be treated as a singular in this context . its like saying ... dogs had a tail which wagged whenever they saw a bone .

You are allowed to talk about a plural group and reference a singular trait of that plural group. "Neanderthals had a vocal tract" is ok. "Dogs have a tail" is ok. "Humans have a heart that pumps blood" is ok.

"Neanderthals had vocal tracts that resembled those of the apes" might be what you're looking for--but it's not one of the answer choices.

Oftentimes, the optimal/most correct answer choice you might have in mind actually does not show up in the answer choices. It doesn't matter--your job is to pick the best of the existing ones--not the best possible answer choice in your mind.
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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28 Apr 2011, 13:42
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First thing to note is Neandethals is a common subject of compound statement separated by and.

A. those is plural which is referring to singular antecedent vocal tract.
B. Subject Neandethals remains common to both part of compound statement. OA
C, D, and E has vocal tracts as subject of 2nd part of compound statement (i.e and so were probably without language) which is incorrect.
Also, C, D and E uses plural vocal tracts when singular is needed.
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2016, 23:46
2
1
Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so were probably without language, a shortcoming that may explain why they were supplanted by our own species.

(A) Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes
(B) Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s
(C) The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape’s
(D) The Neanderthal’s vocal tracts resembled the apes’
(E) The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes

Can someone explain this one?

IMO B.
Let me try explaining this one in detail..

Meaning: The Neanderthals had a vocal chord similar to the vocal chord of apes, this fact indicates that the Neanderthals were without language and thus were supplanted(replaced) by our species.

Now lets look at the options
We'll first answer why the other options are wrong..and this will lead us to B.

C. The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape’s and so were probably without language, a shortcoming that may explain why they were supplanted by our own species.[part of the question]

In this option:
1. The subject of the sentence is "vocal tracts".
2. The two underlined words are acting as the verb of the subject(vocal tracts)

This doesn't make sense. The vocal tracts cannot be without any language and this is thus nonsensical.Considering parallelism, the highlighted "were" is parallel to these verbs and again, nonsensically indicates that the "vocal tracts" were replaced by "our species".
Eliminated.

D. The Neanderthal’s vocal tracts resembled the apes’
This option too, like C, makes the vocal tracts the subject, by using the possessives(apostrophes--> Neanderthal's vocal tracts).
Eliminated.

E. The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes
Does the same mistake that C and D do.
Eliminated.

A. Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes.
All is good with this option, but it has a subtle mistake. It has compared two non similar things; in other words, it has compared a singular entity("vocal tract") with a plural entity("those of the apes"). This is considered wrong in the GMAT world.
Eliminated.

B. Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s and so were probably without language, a shortcoming that may explain why they were supplanted by our own species. [Part of the question]

Correct.
What makes it correct?
1. The subject is Neanderthals.
2. The underlined verbs have the correct logical subject, and this also makes the two portions on the either sides of "and" parallel.
3. resembling is a Linking Verb, and a Linking Verb demands parallelism. The two entities on the either sides of "resembling" are singular entities(and are thus "comparable").

Hope it helps. I have done my best to explain
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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30 Apr 2020, 15:02
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Yes, and if we look further, we also see that "they" were supplanted by our species. If we make vocal tracts the subject, then the default interpretation is that "they" means vocal tracts. We want "they" to refer to Neanderthals, so it's best to make them the subject of the sentence rather than part of a modifier.

EducationAisle wrote:
lakshya14 wrote:
In (E), isn't it "those of" referring to "vocal tracts", and if we replace it in the original sentence, it compares correctly?

Agree. However, E seems to suggest that the vocal tracts were probably without language, while the intended meaning is that Neanderthals were probably without language (in any case, vocal tracts cannot have a language).

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Re: usage of resembled .  [#permalink]

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21 Mar 2011, 19:58
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that is why i posted this question here. Neanderthals is supposed to be plural but can it be treated as a singular in this context . its like saying ... dogs had a tail which wagged whenever they saw a bone .
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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13 Apr 2016, 01:49
1
dina98 wrote:
(A) "they" in the latter part of the sentence should refer to Neanderthals. This option leaves room for ambiguity. INCORRECT.

Actually GMAT has exhibited tolerance to pronouns way more ambiguous than this:).

A big issue with A is the presence of demonstrative pronoun those (...resembled those of the apes...).

The intent obviously is that those should refer to vocal tracts, but the issue is that vocal tracts doesn't appear in the sentence; only vocal tract does. So, in that sense, those does not have any valid antecedent.

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses this aspect of Pronoun, its 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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Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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16 May 2018, 14:21
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dave13 wrote:
Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so were probably without language, a shortcoming that may explain why they were supplanted by our own species.

(A) Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes
(B) Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s
(C) The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape’s
(D) The Neanderthal’s vocal tracts resembled the apes’
(E) The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes

(B) Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s

Neanderthals is in plural form and an ape’s is in singular --- isnt it a parallelism issue

thanks and enjoy a day

(1) No, there is not a parallelism issue.

Why not? Option B leaves out the words
that would help. Those omitted words constitute a singular noun. In other words, we have a case of ellipsis.

The possessive noun "ape's" contains the hint:
the comparison is between singular "vocal tract" that Neanderthals had,
and another singular "vocal tract" that an ape has.

Rewrite:
Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s [vocal tract] and so were probably without language, a shortcoming that may explain why they were supplanted by our own species.

The second vocal tract is implied.
Vocal tract and vocal tract are both singular.
Neither instance of "vocal tract" is the subject of the sentence.
Neither instance is referred to with the wrong possessive pronoun, as in Option A:
a vocal tract that resembled those [that] of

In other words, the issue of parallelism in Option B is
not between Neanderthals and ape(s), but rather
between a singular vocal tract and another unstated singular vocal tract.
Option B is correct. Option A is wrong.

Finally, I wonder whether you were tempted by another answer?
If so, which answer choice tempted you?

If not, I assume you want to understand the (non)issue
in option B in case that issue arises in another SC question.

TIP: If you see a possessive noun or pronoun that is not followed
by a "something" (either what the possessive noun/pronoun "owns" or is related to)
if the issue arises, fill in the something.

Filling in the "something" will clear up most issues.

The ape's WHAT? The ape's vocal tract.
Their president may be even worse than ours. Our WHAT? Our president.

This suggestion will help often.
Remembering and analyzing what we can see is hard enough under pressure,
never mind what we cannot see.

2) If you still believe Option B is wrong, read on. Otherwise, skip.

Split #1: vocal tracts become the subject of the sentence, such that
both meaning is changed and logic is defied.
"Vocal tracts" should not be taking the highlighted verbs.

Vocal tracts can neither be without language nor be supplanted by anatomically modern homo sapiens (our species).

(C) The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape’s [vocal tract] and were probably without language . . .[and] were supplanted by [us].

(D) The Neanderthal’s vocal tracts resembled the apes’ [vocal tracts] and were probably without language . . .[and] were supplanted by [us].

(E) The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes and were probably without language . . .[and] were supplanted by [us].

Eliminate C, D, and E.

2) Split number two: agreement

(A) Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes
The non-agreement here is prominent.
The noun is A vocal tract, which then gets referred to incorrectly by those

If you feel short on time: by POE, choose B and move on.
If you have a few seconds, read Option B. Insert "vocal tract" after "ape's"

Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s [vocal tract]
and so [Neanderthals] were probably without language,
a shortcoming that may explain why they [Neanderthals] were supplanted by our own species.

dave13, I hope that helps.

"your SC majesty" :razz: Actually, I think I'm your straight man - a foil. You may know these terms. Just in case:
Straight man: a member of a comedy team who feeds lines to a partner who in turn replies with usually humorous quips, see here. FOIL: a person or thing that makes another seem better by contrast:
The straight man was an able foil to the comic. see here.

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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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16 May 2018, 15:13
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lary301254M7 wrote:
Why is it wrong to compare vocal tract to vocal tracts of apes (plural)?
still comparing the same organ right?
Or is it because "those" has no plural antecedent to refer to

lary301254M7 , sorry! I didn't see your recent question when

I assume you refer to Option A?
First, yes, "those" should be "that."
The antecedent in Option A is "vocal tract." That antecedent does not agree with the plural pronoun "those." A subtle detail exists; the pronoun is wrong, not the antecedent. The antecedent, as an anatomical term, is typically singular.

That is, reference to anatomical parts typically is singular except in
obvious cases such as wings or antennae.
This preference is stylistic and arcane.

A hyena's jaw, not hyenas' jawbones.
A hornet's stinger, not hornets' stingers.
The trunk of an elephant, not the trunks of elephants.

The preference is just that -- a preference, not a hard rule.

You do not need to know this stylistic inclination toward
anatomical references. The options will give you other reasons
to eliminate the options.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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30 Apr 2020, 06:59
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lakshya14 wrote:
In (E), isn't it "those of" referring to "vocal tracts", and if we replace it in the original sentence, it compares correctly?

Agree. However, E seems to suggest that the vocal tracts were probably without language, while the intended meaning is that Neanderthals were probably without language (in any case, vocal tracts cannot have a language).
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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01 Jan 2011, 04:25
2
(B)

(A) Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes
(B) Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s
(C) The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape’s
(D) The Neanderthal’s vocal tracts resembled the apes’
(E) The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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31 Jan 2013, 05:16
Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so were probably without language, a shortcoming that may explain why they were supplanted by our own species.
(A) Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes - should be THAT
(B) Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s - It means that vocal tract is similar to Ape in appearance
(C) The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape’s - It means that vocal tract is similar to Ape in appearance
(D) The Neanderthal’s vocal tracts resembled the apes’ - It means that vocal tract is similar to Ape in appearance
(E) The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes - CORRECT

Thus the answer has to be E

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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so   [#permalink] 31 Jan 2013, 05:16

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