I came across the following sentence in Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari:
Even prisons and concentration camps are cooperation networks, and can function only because thousands of strangers somehow manage to coordinate their actions.
I've always read that one should use a comma to separate two independent clauses.
However, in the example above, the comma before "and" offsets a dependent clause.
Grammarly goes so far as to say that the above construction is incorrect:
Don’t use a comma before and when one of the clauses it’s connecting is a dependent clause. Example: "Sam tossed the ball, and watched the dog chase it."
Meanwhile, Purdue OWL states:
Use a pair of commas in the middle of a sentence to set off clauses, phrases, and words that are not essential to the meaning of the sentence.
Thus, I'm assuming that the latter half of Harari's sentence is parenetical, hence the comma usage. Or does another grammatical rule govern its usage?