Riddle: It 'is / was' a kind of ... animal

Doggie doggie

Senior Member
chinese
A Kind of Animal
It was a knid of elephant-shaped animal that roamed on the earth million years ago and died out at the end of Ice Age. The reasons of their extinction are considered to be climate change and overhunting by prehistoric humans armed with rocks and spears.
Dear all, I am trying to write an English riddle, but I am not sure if was should be substituted for is? Thanks.
 
  • manon33

    Senior Member
    English - England (Yorkshire)
    Dear all, I am trying to write an English riddle, but I am not sure if was should be substituted for is? Thanks.
    'It is' is the standard format for introducing a riddle, since it implies 'The answer to this ridddle is' (rather than 'was').

    However, as woolly mammouths (or whatever) are indeed extinct, I can see why you might feel it appropriate to say 'It was'.

    It depends whether you want the 'It' to refer to 'the answer', or 'the animal'.
     

    MichaelW

    Senior Member
    English (British)
    "As woolly mammoths were extinct" would imply here that they had been extinct in the past, but are now no longer extinct.
     
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