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# QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a

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QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 19 Jun 2018, 22:16
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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 41: Sentence Correction

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Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroid bigger than Mount Everest slammed into North America, which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks the end of the geologic era known as the Cretaceous Period.

(A) which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks

(B) which caused the plant and animal extinctions and marks

(C) and causing plant and animal extinctions that mark

(D) an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, which marks

(E) an event that caused the plant and animal extinctions that mark

Every question of the day will be followed by an expert reply by GMATNinja in 12-15 hours. Stay tuned! Post your answers and explanations to earn kudos.

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https://www.nytimes.com/1996/11/26/science/asteroid-s-shallow-angle-may-have-sent-inferno-over-northern-kill-zone.html

SCIENTISTS have reconstructed an almost blow-by-blow account of the catastrophe that overtook the Earth 65 million years ago at the end of the age of dinosaurs.

They believe a marauding asteroid bigger than Mount Everest slammed into Earth at a shallow angle, blasting an inferno of white-hot debris for thousands of miles across the young continent of North America and turning its mountains and valleys into killing fields.

The incinerated plants and animals were the first victims in a wave of global extinction that eventually erased hundreds of thousands of species from the face of Earth, marking the end the Cretaceous Period.

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Originally posted by souvik101990 on 26 Jun 2017, 10:05.
Last edited by hazelnut on 19 Jun 2018, 22:16, edited 2 times in total.
Corrected option D from "and it marks" to "which marks"
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a  [#permalink]

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26 Jun 2017, 10:06
11
7
This one isn't too awful, compared to some of the QOTDs we'll inflict on you later this week. For the most part, this is a nice story about straightforward uses of "that" and "which" modifiers, with some meaning stuff thrown in.

The uses of "that" and "which" can get nastier, though. Check out last Monday's YouTube webinar for more on the various uses of "that" on the GMAT... and we'll feature the other examples from the webinar as QOTDs later this week.

Quote:
A. which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks

"Which" can only modify "North America" here, and that makes no sense at all: "North America, which... marks the end of the geologic era"?! The placement of the "-ing" modifier doesn't seem great, either. Eliminate (A).

Quote:
B. which caused the plant and animal extinctions marking

Again, the modifier beginning with "which" is modifying "North America" again, and that makes no sense: "North America, which caused the plant and animal extinctions..." Eliminate (B).

Quote:
C. and causing plant and animal extinctions that mark

I'm OK with the use of "that" here, but the parallelism doesn't work. The parallelism marker "and" is followed by "causing plant and animal extinctions", and I can't find anything in the sentence that could possibly be parallel to "causing." (C) is gone.

Quote:
D. an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks

The last part of the underlined portion makes me hesitate: "it" could refer to "event", I guess. So "...an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and the event marks the end of the geologic era..." That's not awful, but I really don't understand why we're starting a whole new clause there, with "event" as the subject. It makes a whole lot more sense when the end of the sentence says "... marks the end of the geologic era..." function as a modifier for "extinctions" -- and that's exactly what (E) does.

Since "it" is the subject of the second clause, you could also argue that it refers back to the subject of the first clause: "an asteroid bigger than Mount Everest." But that wouldn't really make much sense, either: the asteroid marks the end of the geologic era? Hm, not so sure about that one. But either way: even if you're OK with the pronoun, (E) does a much better job of conveying the meaning of the sentence.

Incidentally, there's another version of this answer choice in the verbal guide (any edition): "an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, which marks..." Clearly, that's wrong for a different reason: "extinctions... marks" is a clear subject-verb error.

Either way, (D) is gone.

Quote:
E. an event that caused the plant and animal extinctions that mark

(E) has two "thats", and they're both perfectly fine. The event caused the plant and animal extinctions, and the extinctions mark the end of the geologic era. Nice and clear. (E) wins.
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a  [#permalink]

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26 Jun 2017, 20:29
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Top Contributor
1
Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroid bigger than Mount Everest slammed into North America, which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks the end of the geologic era known as the Cretaceous Period.

A., which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks --- 'Which' has no referent, present tense ' marks' is incorrect.

B., which caused the plant and animal extinctions marking -- same pronoun error as in A.

C. and causing plant and animal extinctions that mark --- a fragment

D. an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks -- no referent for the pronoun 'it'

E. an event that caused the plant and animal extinctions that mark -- correct choice. The restrictive pronoun 'that' before the plural verb 'mark' refers to the plural noun 'extinctions'.
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a  [#permalink]

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27 Jun 2017, 05:35
1
daagh wrote:
Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroid bigger than Mount Everest slammed into North America, which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks the end of the geologic era known as the Cretaceous Period.

A., which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks --- 'Which' has no referent, present tense ' marks' is incorrect.

B., which caused the plant and animal extinctions marking -- same pronoun error as in A.

C. and causing plant and animal extinctions that mark --- a fragment

D. an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks -- no referent for the pronoun 'it'

E. an event that caused the plant and animal extinctions that mark -- correct choice. The restrictive pronoun 'that' before the plural verb 'mark' refers to the plural noun 'extinctions'.

daagh, doesn't "it" in (D) refer to "an event".
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a  [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2017, 00:01
manhasnoname wrote:
doesn't "it" in (D) refer to "an event".

Hi manhasnoname, D says:

an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks

From a purely parallelism perspective, if the intent of it was to refer to an event, then option D should have been:

an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and that marks
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a  [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2017, 02:27
Hi,
Could someone explain, would it be wrong to use 'plant and animal extinctions' instead of 'the plant and animal extinctions' here, as it varies in the options?
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a  [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2017, 05:19
1
StaicyT wrote:
Hi,
Could someone explain, would it be wrong to use 'plant and animal extinctions' instead of 'the plant and animal extinctions' here, as it varies in the options?

Not using "the" is also alright in this case - if the "extinctions" have already been mentioned before, then using "the" is required to refer to the previously mentioned "extinctions". Otherwise not using "the" is alright.

I have books that are not worth reading. ("books" are not mentioned before in the context.)
I have the books, which are not worth reading. ("The books" have already been intriduced before this sentence. The reader already knows which books are referred to.)

Similarly in option E, usage of "the" implies that the reader has already been introduced to "the extinctions" before this sentence.
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a  [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2018, 22:05
I think they misread the question before merging the posts. The options are. different. I choose that over which, because the word THAT emphasizes on significance that we need here. So E is good over D in THIS question.

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a  [#permalink]

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25 Apr 2018, 00:45
Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroid bigger than Mount Everest slammed into North America, which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks the end of the geologic era known as the Cretaceous Period.

(A) which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks

(B) which caused the plant and animal extinctions and marks

(C) and causing plant and animal extinctions that mark

(D) an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, which marks

(E) an event that caused the plant and animal extinctions that mark
Correct--> A noun (an event) + noun modifier (that caused....)
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a  [#permalink]

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15 May 2018, 11:56
I had a question regarding B).

The option currently reads: which caused the plant and animal extinctions marking

If it were: which caused the plant and animal extinctions, marking

Would it have been correct? I understand that "which" is preferred to be close to the noun it is modifying and that it usually modifies a noun; but as far as I know both these conditions are not a must. So here "which" could potentially be modifying the clause, "an asteroid bigger than Mount Everest slammed into North America". "Which", as far as I am aware, can modify a clause if the context and meaning supports the usage. And similarly it can be place a bit further from what it modifies, if meaning is clear.

Further, a comma before "marking" makes it a comma -ing modifier, and the underlined portion seems to make sense.

Any thoughts?
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a  [#permalink]

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15 May 2018, 21:14
1
Hi Sagar, which is a relative pronoun and hence, can never modify a clause.

Clauses have verbs and since which is a pronoun, which can only modify a noun (not a verb).

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses usage of which, 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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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a  [#permalink]

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17 May 2018, 01:57
Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroid bigger than Mount Everest slammed into North America, which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks the end of the geologic era known as the Cretaceous Period.

(A) which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks

(B) which caused the plant and animal extinctions and marks

(C) and causing plant and animal extinctions that mark

(D) an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, which marks

(E) an event that caused the plant and animal extinctions that mark

In all the replies option D has been mentioned as

an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks

But its which marks ,
SO suppose if we would have plural verb mark out here instead of marks then would this option have been a correct one ?

WOuld someone pls suggest.
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a  [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2018, 06:27
1
GMATNinja wrote:
Quote:
D. an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks

The last part of the underlined portion makes me hesitate: "it" could refer to "event", I guess. So "...an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and the event marks the end of the geologic era..." That's not awful, but I really don't understand why we're starting a whole new clause there, with "event" as the subject. It makes a whole lot more sense when the end of the sentence says "... marks the end of the geologic era..." function as a modifier for "extinctions" -- and that's exactly what (E) does.

Since "it" is the subject of the second clause, you could also argue that it refers back to the subject of the first clause: "an asteroid bigger than Mount Everest." But that wouldn't really make much sense, either: the asteroid marks the end of the geologic era? Hm, not so sure about that one. But either way: even if you're OK with the pronoun, (E) does a much better job of conveying the meaning of the sentence.

Incidentally, there's another version of this answer choice in the verbal guide (any edition): "an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, which marks..." Clearly, that's wrong for a different reason: "extinctions... marks" is a clear subject-verb error.

Either way, (D) is gone.

Would you please elabrate further on choice D from author, which is a bit different from your quote D
Quote:
(D) an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, which marks

Honestly, i picked up D -- an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, which marks

Here is my reasoning,
I was struggling with which marks/mark the end of XXX, either "an event" or "extinctions", eventually, i chose "an event" because i thought it is somehow redundant to say extinctions mark the end.

another question, i am not 100% sure "which" refers to extinctions or an event.
at first glance, i view which refers to extincition, but later, i thougt it should refer to an event, because that caused plant and animal extinctions is modifier of an event, cataloging the event, if i removing the modifier, the core of the phrase is an event, so which refers to an event

Seems i am wrong, but i don't know where, genuinely want your help, mikemcgarry, GMATNinjaTwo, GMATNinja, MagooshExpert Carolyn,
sayantanc2
VeritasPrepKarishma
hope you guys join

have a lovely day.

>_~
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a  [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2018, 06:53
daagh wrote:
Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroid bigger than Mount Everest slammed into North America, which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks the end of the geologic era known as the Cretaceous Period.

A., which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks --- 'Which' has no referent, present tense ' marks' is incorrect.

B., which caused the plant and animal extinctions marking -- same pronoun error as in A.

C. and causing plant and animal extinctions that mark --- a fragment

D. an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks -- no referent for the pronoun 'it'

E. an event that caused the plant and animal extinctions that mark -- correct choice. The restrictive pronoun 'that' before the plural verb 'mark' refers to the plural noun 'extinctions'.

Sir, how does one identify that mark refers to 'extinctions' and not 'an event'? The primary reason for me not choosing 'E' was because i thought 'event' is the subject in this case. Can you please elaborate on this aspect. Also can you suggest some method/statergy to identify the same?
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a  [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2018, 09:04
1
Top Contributor
E. An event that caused the plant and animal extinctions that mark

The restrictive pronoun 'that' before the plural verb 'mark' refers to the plural noun 'extinctions.'
'That' and 'which' are relative pronouns and hence they can only antecede ta logical noun before them. Whether that logical noun is just in front or farther off is the task
1. In this connection, it may be remembered that unlike 'which,' 'that' is a restrictive pronoun and has there to modify mostly only the noun just before unless it is absurd to do so.
2. Relative pronouns cannot jump over a noun (in the given case, the verb is caused) and so there is no way 'that' or 'which' can refer to the event.

The event was the collision between two cosmic bodies. But it did not mark the end of the era. What marked the end of the era were the plural extinctions. That is the reason, the singular pronoun 'it' is wrong in choice D.
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a  [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2018, 21:47
zoezhuyan wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
Quote:
D. an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks

The last part of the underlined portion makes me hesitate: "it" could refer to "event", I guess. So "...an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and the event marks the end of the geologic era..." That's not awful, but I really don't understand why we're starting a whole new clause there, with "event" as the subject. It makes a whole lot more sense when the end of the sentence says "... marks the end of the geologic era..." function as a modifier for "extinctions" -- and that's exactly what (E) does.

Since "it" is the subject of the second clause, you could also argue that it refers back to the subject of the first clause: "an asteroid bigger than Mount Everest." But that wouldn't really make much sense, either: the asteroid marks the end of the geologic era? Hm, not so sure about that one. But either way: even if you're OK with the pronoun, (E) does a much better job of conveying the meaning of the sentence.

Incidentally, there's another version of this answer choice in the verbal guide (any edition): "an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, which marks..." Clearly, that's wrong for a different reason: "extinctions... marks" is a clear subject-verb error.

Either way, (D) is gone.

Would you please elabrate further on choice D from author, which is a bit different from your quote D
Quote:
(D) an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, which marks

Honestly, i picked up D -- an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, which marks

Here is my reasoning,
I was struggling with which marks/mark the end of XXX, either "an event" or "extinctions", eventually, i chose "an event" because i thought it is somehow redundant to say extinctions mark the end.

another question, i am not 100% sure "which" refers to extinctions or an event.
at first glance, i view which refers to extincition, but later, i thougt it should refer to an event, because that caused plant and animal extinctions is modifier of an event, cataloging the event, if i removing the modifier, the core of the phrase is an event, so which refers to an event

Seems i am wrong, but i don't know where, genuinely want your help, mikemcgarry, GMATNinjaTwo, GMATNinja, MagooshExpert Carolyn,
sayantanc2
VeritasPrepKarishma
hope you guys join

have a lovely day.

>_~

Hi experts,
mikemcgarry, GMATNinjaTwo, GMATNinja, MagooshExpert Carolyn,
sayantanc2
VeritasPrepKarishma

Are you here? please shed light on these questions.

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QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a  [#permalink]

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01 Jul 2018, 13:35
daagh wrote:
E. An event that caused the plant and animal extinctions that mark

The restrictive pronoun 'that' before the plural verb 'mark' refers to the plural noun 'extinctions.'
'That' and 'which' are relative pronouns and hence they can only antecede ta logical noun before them. Whether that logical noun is just in front or farther off is the task
1. In this connection, it may be remembered that unlike 'which,' 'that' is a restrictive pronoun and has there to modify mostly only the noun just before unless it is absurd to do so.
2. Relative pronouns cannot jump over a noun (in the given case, the verb is caused) and so there is no way 'that' or 'which' can refer to the event.

The event was the collision between two cosmic bodies. But it did not mark the end of the era. What marked the end of the era were the plural extinctions. That is the reason, the singular pronoun 'it' is wrong in choice D.

I have the same doubt as he has "Honestly, i picked up D -- an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, which marks

Here is my reasoning,
I was struggling with which marks/mark the end of XXX, either "an event" or "extinctions", eventually, i chose "an event" because i thought it is somehow redundant to say extinctions mark the end.

another question, i am not 100% sure "which" refers to extinctions or an event.
at first glance, i view which refers to extincition, but later, i thougt it should refer to an event, because that caused plant and animal extinctions is modifier of an event, cataloging the event, if i removing the modifier, the core of the phrase is an event, so which refers to an event"

Can you please explain in detail why is D wrong ?
I have my GMAT exam next month.

It would be really great if you could spare some time to help this

mikemcgarry, GMATNinjaTwo, GMATNinja, MagooshExpert Carolyn,

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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a  [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2018, 07:27
Quote:
Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroid bigger than Mount Everest slammed into North America, which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks the end of the geologic era known as the Cretaceous Period.

(A) which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks

(B) which caused the plant and animal extinctions and marks

(C) and causing plant and animal extinctions that mark

(D) an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, which marks

(E) an event that caused the plant and animal extinctions that mark

Approach --

Here mark refer to the extinctions. Therefore, eliminate A, B and D(uses marks with extinctions)
In E, caused is in simple past which is correct instead of gerund(-ing) also, ing is not parallel to slammed
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a  [#permalink]

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25 Jul 2018, 07:28
+1 for option E. My take :

Logical meaning - According to some scientists , 65 million years ago an asteroid bigger than mount Everest rammed into North America. This event , ie the activity of ramming , had two outcomes. Which two outcomes ? - Extinction of plant and animals. These two outcomes mark the end of a geologic era known as the Cretaceous Period.

Error analysis -

Use of which is wrong as it refers to North America. This is clearly incorrect !

POE -

a) Discussed above
b) Same as above
c) Structure error. , and causing is incorrect here.
d) Singular "marks" and use of "it" is incorrect . Extinctions mark ...
e) Correct option

Option E it is !!!
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a  [#permalink]

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03 Aug 2018, 10:03
GMATNinja wrote:

The uses of "that" and "which" can get nastier, though.

Quote:
D. an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks

The last part of the underlined portion makes me hesitate: "it" could refer to "event", I guess. So "...an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and the event marks the end of the geologic era..." That's not awful, but I really don't understand why we're starting a whole new clause there, with "event" as the subject. It makes a whole lot more sense when the end of the sentence says "... marks the end of the geologic era..." function as a modifier for "extinctions" -- and that's exactly what (E) does.

However, option given in question is as below :

(D) an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, which marks

Explanation or question may be updated suitably........
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Re: QOTD: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an a &nbs [#permalink] 03 Aug 2018, 10:03

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