they vs it in regard to animal species

Scar504

Member
The English That's Spoken In America
Which is more appropriate in formal descriptions of animal species? (I'm not asking about these sentences in particular; they're examples of the they vs it delimma.)

Ex 1: The red kangaroo typically lives most of its life underground.

Ex 2: They may weigh as much as seven hundred kilograms.

What about mixing them up?

There are times when one seems more appropriate than the other, but mixing them together can seem inconsistent. What are the conventions regarding this?
 
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  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    What do you mean by "mixing them together"? Do you mean combining the sentences by using different constructions?
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    I think he means juxtaposing Ex1 and Ex2, so "they" (who weigh as much as [yes, as much as :cool:] 700kg (each)) are the red kangaroos of which only a sentence ago there was only one.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Hmmm... we better tell him that there wasn't just one; there was a whole species of them.

    "The red kangaroo typically lives most of its life underground and they individuals may weigh as much as seven hundred kilograms."
     

    Scar504

    Member
    The English That's Spoken In America
    This is exceedingly difficult to explain: I spent twenty minutes sitting here writing and re-writing a response, but this is too confusing.

    If a moderator would delete this post, I would appreciate it. As it stands it doesn't event ask the question I want it to.
     
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