Talk:List of fossil primates

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Plesiadapis[edit]

The mention of Plesiadapis should be modified, as it is not considered as a Primate any more (not, at least, by Hartwig, on whose book is based this article). A reference to order Plesiadapiformes should be made. Vasconicus (talk) 10:13, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

What does Hartwig suggest as the earliest primate ancestor? I've added Dryomomys and Purgatorius as the earliest fossils found but they also don't seem to be covered by Hartwig. Jack (talk) 12:16, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Okay my rephrasing isn't particularly good, Purgatorius is a Plesiadapiform and therefore a possible ancestor of Plesiadapiformes and Primates, while Teilardina (c. 55–47 mya) maybe in fact be the earliest uncontested primate with a comparatively large amount fossil evidence. Jack (talk) 12:28, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
According to David Rasmussen, author of one of the articles of the book edited by Hartwig, one of the first Primates is Altiatlasius koulchii, which lived in Morocco, during the Paleocene. I would suppress the reference to both Purgatorius and Plesiadapis. Dryomomys is not mentioned by Hartwig. Vasconicus (talk) 05:58, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Be bold, have a go at writing the intro yourself, I'll correct it if there are any mistakes. Cheers, Jack (talk) 12:58, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
OK, Jack. Give me a couple of days. Thank you for trusting me. Hominid regards. Vasconicus (talk) 10:12, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Done! Help yourself: correct whatever you don't like, add whatever you want.Vasconicus (talk) 06:21, 27 April 2009 (UTC)


List of prehistoric Mammals[edit]

The part of the article [[1]] concerning Primates should be either deleted or merged with this article, which is much more complete. Vasconicus (talk) 05:58, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Okay I've removed that section and replaced it with a link, the section looked in bad shape anyway. Jack (talk) 12:55, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Inconsistent presentation[edit]

Some authors & works are in parenthesis, others are not. Is there a signification to this? Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 16:55, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

No significance, those authorities were just added by a different editor. I've changed them to a consistent style now, following the taxobox usage. Jack (talk) 23:03, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, there are significance. The Code (ICZN) says:

"51.3. Use of parentheses around authors' names (and dates) in changed combinations. When a species-group name is combined with a generic name other than the original one, the name of the author of the species-group name, if cited, is to be enclosed in parentheses (the date, if cited, is to be enclosed within the same parentheses).

Example. Taenia diminuta Rudolphi, when transferred to the genus Hymenolepis, is cited as Hymenolepis diminuta (Rudolphi) or Hymenolepis diminuta (Rudolphi, 1819)." Burmeister (talk) 14:16, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Sorry about that, ignorance on my behalf! I've reinstated the parentheses and added a little explanation to the lead, though I'm not entirely sure that it covers their use? Please add any corrections if needed. Cheers, Jack (talk) 14:45, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Confusion of Classification and Contradictions of other Primate Articles[edit]

Although this is one of the best lists of fossils, the classification contradicts other primate articles (for example, Dendropithecus is shown on the list as a member of Dendropithecidae, yet in Dendropithecus article it states (in taxobox) as a member of the Pliopithecidae. So either someone do an edit and revision on the list or change the classification in the taxobox of the articles of a fossil primate. Because it's confusing and it's ridicuolus. --4444hhhh (talk) 21:08, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Welcome to the world of primate classification... particularly for fossil primates. Unfortunately there are probably many more errors in the list, but its hard to tell without having a recent taxonomic publication in hand or expert knowledge on the subject. Anyway, there are several major problems involved here and no simple solutions. To put this into perspective, I have spent a year and a half just trying to make all the lemur classifications consistent and accurate, and I've only recently been able to finish that process (...unless I've missed article out there on Wiki somewhere). Basically, the problems you run into are:
  1. These taxonomic lists are found in multiple articles, in addition to the taxoboxes for individual species. It's easy to miss some of them, particularly if you're not aware that the list pages exist. In my opinion, this is a problem with proper wiki-linking and/or duplication of lists to provide any content for stub articles. (Fortunately, that's not the case in the example you gave above.)
  2. Editors with good intentions may pick up a (fossil) primate book from 2000 and hop on Wiki to update the list, feeling they are doing the community a service. Even if they manage to track down every page and clean things up, the list they are using is 10 years old. Even in this best-case scenario, the list is still incorrect. Consequently, less devoted editors might update what they see as an error (either with newer or older sources), then go on their merry way without fixing it everywhere else. Drag this out over a couple years, especially with new taxonomic interpretations coming out all the time, often resulting in vast changes in taxonomy, and you get the mess we have today.
  3. Primate taxonomy is hotly debated. Taking this and the previous point about dated sources into mind, things only get more complicated because many paleoanthropologists and biological anthropologists seem to avoid traditional taxonomy and favor cladistics instead, mostly because these classifications change so rapidly.
  4. Deprecated taxa are hard to eliminate because its rare to find research articles or secondary sources that bother to explain that the taxa that had been used previously is no longer used. Instead, they'll just stop mentioning it. Is it deprecated? Yes... but you don't have a source. As a result, you need to convince other Wiki editors rather than just make the call yourself by merging pages.
As you can see, it's not a fun process and would require more than just a few hours of updating. If you have access to the resources to properly update this information, ideally with the most recent major publication available from a good taxonomic authority, then I encourage you to update everything. Eventually I plan to clean things up, at least for the Eocene primates. Unfortunately, I'm tied up with lemur articles and will be probably for another year or two. So if you know an academic who is passionate about fossil primates and Wiki, please introduce them. I'm more than willing to coach them along.
As for your specific problem, I do not have a good, recent source for fossil primates on hand, otherwise I would at least attempt that quick fix. Sorry I can't help there. – VisionHolder « talk » 21:44, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Further reading and External links sections added[edit]

After completing this section, I will be adding 'Further reading' and 'External links' sections to the article, in which I will list a few resources at hand, and anything else I come across along the way. Two books I'll be listing have human evolution as their 'focus', but don't be fooled by the titles (although the titles also suggest they should be checked out - I mean you just can't write on their subject matters without referring to the fossil record). Both are gems in their own rights, and continue to serve as reliable resources in the study of human and primate evolution, which necessarily includes overviews on fossils, phylogeny etc, and very good references, including citations. I've tracked down several original citations courtesy of these books. I'll also list Hartwig's book of course. Although I see it referenced several times in the article, a further reading section would be remiss without it. Wotnow (talk) 23:00, 10 May 2010 (UTC)