How was the gap between a walking mammal and a swimming whale bridge? Missing until recently were fossils clearly intermediate, or transitional, between land mammals and cetaceans.

Pay attation to the last sentence.

My friend told me that the sentence is inverted. The actual order is "fossils clearly intermediate, or transitional, between land mammals and cetaceans were Missing until recently". (I hope she is right, or you have to answer one more question.)

Then comes my question: Why the adjectives (intermediate) is put after the noun (fossils)?

I consider it as an Adjective clause with the omission of "that/which are", ie. fossils (that/which are) clearly intermediate, or transitional, between land mammals and cetaceans were Missing until recently.

But wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dependent_clause#Adjective_clause says "However, the English relative pronoun may be omitted and only implied if it plays the role of the object of the verb in a restrictive clause".

I also don't remember we can omit them in such a case.

Looking forward to your reply!
gqqnbigWhy are the adjectives (intermediate) put after the noun (fossils)?
It is because of the additional prepositional phrase that modifies the adjectives. (between land mammals and cetaceans)

If you put the adjectives before fossils, you get this:

... * clearly intermediate, or transitional between land mammals and cetaceans fossils.

which is not grammatically correct!

On the other hand, this is correct (no prepositional phrase)

....clearly intermediate, or transitional fossils.

Or this:

.... fossils that are clearly intermediate, or transitional, between land mammals and cetaceans
I get it. Thanks a lot.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
It is a reduced adjective clause not a omission.