Paleoanthropologists recently discovered evidence of the earliest known hominid—a relative of modern man that had an apelike brain size and skull shape but sports a remarkably large browridge like that of early human species.
C. it sported
D. they sported
This question is based on Tense Usage.
The underlined word is a verb. When there are multiple verbs in a sentence, all the verbs must be in a tense form that is consistent with each other.
If one verb is in the past tense, the other verbs must also be in some form of the past tense unless there is a vast difference in the time frame of the different actions mentioned in the sentence.
In this sentence, the other verbs are ‘discovered’, and ‘had’, both of which are in the simple past tense. So, the verb that is underlined must also be in the simple past tense.
Option E is the only one that has the simple past tense form of the verb ‘sport’. So, E is the best of all the options.
In Option A, the verb is in the simple present tense, so, this option can be eliminated.
Option B contains the participle form of the word. A participle without an auxiliary/helping verb does not act as a verb, so, this option can be eliminated.
Since the underlined portion is part of a modifier that describes “a relative of modern man”, the pronoun ‘it’ is redundant. So, Option C can be eliminated.
Option D contains the same error of redundancy as Option C. Furthermore, the plural pronoun ‘they’ cannot refer to the singular antecedent “a relative. So, Option D can also be eliminated.
Therefore, E is the most appropriate option.