User talk:Dysmorodrepanis/Archive2005-2006

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Mohammed Haydar Zammar

Hi. You made this edit:[1]. Is this December 15 of 2005? Also, do you have a source? All the best, – Quadell (talk) (bounties) 19:47, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Added that information -- Dysmorodrepanis 03:31, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

polynesian sandpipers

No problems with the changes, I never created an article on the third form as the evidence isn't as great as it could be. That said, with an estimated 2000 human caused bird extinctions in the Pacific Ocean, it probably is a species that went extinct and we have a rumour of, as opposed to the vast majority which just went extinct and we'll never know about. I've been meaning to do a page on the extinction event across the Pacfic, perhaps I'll work on it this weekend. Sabine's Sunbird 19:56, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

  • I anticiapte that there will be two articles eventually, an article discussing the historical extinctions and the older ones, and a list of extinct birds of the Pacific. That said, I am not certain yet that the article should just be about birds, though there would not be many other species to include even if it was widened. Given that the vast majority of known extinct species are so poorly studied and won't eventually get their own article I don't think there is a strong case for creating a redlinked list, instead simply creating links for the articles as and when they are written. Sabine's Sunbird 16:16, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
    • Will think about that. The redlinks are mainly there because they were already there when I started to work. When I'm done rounding up the species, I will go over the list once more to unify the style (section headings etc) and may just as well remove the redlinks. (If I want to spare the time, I will check each and every one of them to see whether there already exists a corresponding redlink in some family or genus summary. In the cases where it does and in cases of disambigs, I may leave them in to show that the articles in question have already been suggested on some other page. But only if I want to spare the time ;-)). Til I'm done with basic work, I'll leave the redlinks in case somebady wants to add articles (as had been done for the Chendytes), check for disambigs etc. The fossil section demands an awful lot of attention which I'm not really prepare to offer, prehistoric extinctions being the name of my game, so splitting the list is eventually the best choice probably. -- Dysmorodrepanis 16:37, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
      • I don't have a problem with redlinks - I create them all the time myself, as a prompt to further article writing. But creating a whole list of red- that I draw the line at. Red links are good when you create a new article and find that it is already linked, especially in places you wouldn't think to link to. Sabine's Sunbird 18:08, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
        • True, and this is why most of them will be gone by next week. You were correct, the list needs to be split. On Talk:Extinct Birds there has been a naming/renaming discussion already been going on and I asked for suggestions on how to name the split pages. This is not unimportant, since many "darling" birds ppl will come looking for on the "Extinct Birds" page (Harpagornis, most moa species Genyornis etc) are now in the Late Quarternary Prehistoric section/soon-to-be-page. So, as soon as there is some consensus on naming (or probably, some good suggestions for names really as there does not seem to be disagreement in the first place), I'll split the prehistorics list, set it up nicely and work over the layout, i.e. unify the headers, italicize the genera and kill the useless redlinks. Since I finished with the list earlier than expected, this I can probably do this weekend. -- Dysmorodrepanis 19:23, 10 February 2006 (UTC)


Thanks for the effort, guys! Fossil Birds does benefit from it, too. If I happen across some early birds on the main dinosaur list that are not marked as such, I will do so (and have done so in some cases).Dysmorodrepanis 19:34, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. That's appreciated. I know we've done a few fossil birds that happened to wander into WP dinosaurs.--Firsfron 21:24, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Birds and categories

I am trying to understand why you are removing bird articles from categories. E.g why shouldn't Charadriiformes be in the category Charadriiformes at its root? I would expect to find it there. It also leaves Charadriiformes uncategorized. Thanks, Open2universe 00:38, 27 April 2006 (UTC) seems to be the ultimate root category for all bird taxa. I did not know whether it would be appropriate to doubly list the families on that page. If it is OK, then "Birds by classification" would be the order-level category. Stepping down, the respective category entries for families usually look like this, thus I am really not sure whether to always have double listings (as would be the case when the taxonomy categories all have an introductory statement like they should AND the taxon page would be categorized in its own category).
There was no homogenous system of categorization for higher bird taxa to start with, so I tried using one that is both intuitive and does not link the same article multiple times on one cat page. Unfortunately, the naming of many genera and families is a mess, but in cases like "owl", it really would not help to use "Strigiformes" instead. Dysmorodrepanis 00:50, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
I originally created Category:Birds_by_classification, and it is inended to reproduce the actual taxonomy, although sometimes cat are not divided as deeply as possible due to rasonable limitas on number of articles. You want to look at Wikipedia:Categorization, which clearly states that in most cases, one should sort an article in the most specific category: "In the "vertical" dimension, Wikipedia has traditionally been more frugal, placing articles only in the most specific categories they reasonably fit in.". Circeus 01:05, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
Intended to reproduce the actual taxonomy? Well try this Passenger Pigeon guy for example. Did I set it up correctly? (One can discuss whether including monotypic genera as a category of their own makes sense, but I just set it up as it is and one can walk right through the category tree up to Columbiformes).
I categorized the orders where I had removed cats anew as Category:Birds_by_classification for a start. Of course, I didn't think of the obvious, i.e. removing the link in the cat description and leaving the article categorized and on top of the pages section of its category. Can be added back in of course.
But to get back to the first sentence: I see even more opportunities: Firstly, the category is not very complete as far as articles go, and the category system can leisurely be set up to have a complete taxonomical setup down to genera. Secondly, taxa like New World vultures (the Cathartidae category, not the NWV article) can, under this system, be put into several categories, thus reproducing not one taxonomy but as many alternative ones as one sees fit. The categories would need an explanatory text in such cases, though. For example, Accipitriformes is already in Category:Birds_by_classification, although the taxoboxes of the diurnal raptors follow the conventional Falconiformes model. Creating a parallel taxonomical tree (or rather shrubbery) on the category level circumvents the limitation of the taxoboxes, where one has to decide for one particular model.Dysmorodrepanis 01:41, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
One of the points of the category system is to avoid creating underpopulated categories, of which Category:ectopistes is a prime example of *over*-categorization Circeus 01:49, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
True enough. So, monotypical genera should go under the next highest category, like now Passenger pigeon? Dysmorodrepanis 01:56, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

While I vastly prefer the category system currently used by Wikiproject Dinosaurs (only one taxon cat per article, with the taxon categories themselves then nested further), I'll let the bird folks decide what's best in that project. I would ask that you do not add Avians to the Feathered Dinosaurs category, which states (or should, I'll double check) that it is reserved for only non-avian or possibly non-avian dinosaurs with direct evidence of feathers. Thanks.Dinoguy2 16:54, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Right. I would actually have done this for exactly the reasons you state, but there were some taxa (Hulsanpes, Archaeopteryx) which are now rather unequivocally dinosaurs, that had this category and so I wrongly assumed it to be consensus. I will rm all "feathered dinosaur" categorizations from what is classified as birds, but what about ambiguous taxa like Shenzhouraptor according to Ji et al. (Jixiangornis description)? Dysmorodrepanis 16:59, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Moving pages

When a page needs to be moved, please use the "move" button at the top of the page, and don't just cut-and-paste the content (as you appear to have done with Norfolk Island Kākā). Cut-and-paste loses the page history, and is thus a violation of contributor's copyright. Using the "move" link preserves the history with the new page. Please see WP:MOVE for more details. I have fixed Norfolk Island Kākā to now have its history. Are there any others that also need an administrator to fix? --Scott Davis Talk 13:44, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

North Island Takahē. Thanks - I didnt know that it was possible to move pages over existing ones.Dysmorodrepanis 13:50, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Done. Anybody (logged in) can move an article over a redirect to the name you're moving from. Only admins can move over articles with history, or delete and merge histories after cut-and-paste moves. I think I've fixed North Island Takahē now. --Scott Davis Talk 15:24, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Bolding genus names in species taxoboxes

I saw that you have bolded a lot of genusnames in species taxoboxes, but this is not appropriate unless it is a monotypic genus. See Wikipedia:WikiProject_Tree_of_Life/taxobox_usage#Bold.2Fitalic_markup: Bolding is used to indicate the subject of the article. The name, binomial, and trinomial arguments bold automatically. In the placement section - regnum through species - the final taxon should be bolded, as well as any higher groups that only include the final taxon. I will go ahead and briong them back in line with this usage, but maybe you want to help as well. KimvdLinde 15:38, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I saw it, Thanks. I think you are doing valuable work at wikipedia, so keep going! KimvdLinde 15:51, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Categories for taxonomic rankings of birds

Hi. I've done some categorisation on the following as per your recent work on e.g. Ninox, and would appreciate your views on whether I've tackled this appropriately:

Families: Broadbill
Subfamilies: Ground-hornbill, Oxpecker, River martin
Tribes: Darwin's finches
Genera: Saltator, Machaerirhynchus, Petronia, Ficedula, Leiothrix, Spiderhunter, Broad-billed Sapayoa, Helmet Vanga, Marsh tern

Also, how do you think we should approach articles such as Noddy, Grosbeak and Nine-primaried oscine? SP-KP 16:43, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

I think the most sensible way in categories is to use the scientific names as category names, i.e. instead of "Ground-hornbill" use "Bucorvinae". However, the appropriate page should be the category's reference page, so Ground-hornbill would get a "Category:Bucorvinae|*" tag etc. Genera containing only a single species would not get a separate genus category, but instead be listed as pages under the family category. See for example Category:Troglodytidae for a category containing some species that atre the only one in their genus, and some genera with multiple species already having own articles, and some genera with multiple species where only one has an article yet.
For non-scientific groupings like those you mention (e.g. vernacular names like "waterbirds" or "duck" or even "paraphyletic" vernaculars like "birds of prey") I have not come to a final conclusion under which category to put them. I have tried to tie them in somewhere, but IIRC have not done this consistently yet... some more taxoboxes to add til I do it. Instinctively, I would put the page or category (for ducks, there is both for example) in the next highest category as appropriate. Thus, the "Duck" page would be the reference page for the "ducks" category ("Category:Ducks|*"), which would then go under the category "Anatinae". Liekwise, the category "Eagles" would have the page "Eagle" as its reference page and go under the categories "Buteoninae" and "Birds of prey". One could also list these "vernacular name" pages (but not the categories!) under the "Birds by classification" category, just as "Nine-primaried oscine" used to be (IIRC). The page "Eagle" would thus be "Category:Eagles|*" and "Category:Birds by classification", and the category "Eagles" would be "Category:Buteoninae" and "Category:Birds of prey". This way, one would be able to keep the scientific-name taxonomy tree and the vernacular-name categories separate, but still connected.
I also tried to get the superorder and non-ranked categories to tie into "Birds by classification" at the very start of the listing (under "*" - it's more conspicuous with an asterisk than with just leaving a blank). So, Category:Passeriformes", for example, ties into the "Birds by classification" main category, but also takes the detour via Neognathae, which would be the correct way, but a bit too cumbersome (since about 90%+ of the bird taxa one would eventually find in WP are Neognathae).
The advantage of a complete replication of the taxonomic tree (in scientific names) as categories is that it is a) unequivocal (Buzzard comes to mind; see that article for differing usages) due to using scientific names, and b) flexible. Ther eis always discussion regarding articles' taxoboxes, i.e. in which order do New World vultures go, or is hummingbirds Trochiliformes or Apodiformes. WP is not even 100% consistent internally on that. Building a taxonomic tree in the categories section - which is not strictly hierarchical - helps with this dilemma. See Category:Cathartidae for how this can work: no matter where in your favored taxonomy the New World vultures stand, you will always find them when you start at the "Birds by classification" category! Dysmorodrepanis 17:15, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
I've not been able to look at Wikipedia for a while and I was involved in the original Taxo categorization for some of the birds, particularly Passerines. At that time we were trying to use English names for bird categories wherever possible, an encyclopedia is not generally aimed at ornithologists, who will know the Latin names, but all English speaking people who will recoginse the family names more readily.
If you always categorize down the family name you end up with a lot of very small categories, many with only a single bird, which in the end doesn't help you spot closely related birds using the categories. Consequently when I created categories I would only do so if there were at least 2 birds in that category and this was the same standard used by Circeus who did the rest of the birds.
I'm wondering if there is any standard for this or whether this level has just been applied to some passerines.
I noticed this when looking at Camptostoma, but haven't looked much further. Forest Elaenia currently has no Category assigned I was then unsure how to categorize it consistently. JohnCastle 16:22, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
For bird families and genera of birds categories I have been adding categories and modifying categories to point to the article that covers them. I fail to see the reason behind having links to redirect pages. This will confuse users because when following a link from the category you: 1) Finish on a different article 2) Finish on an article that is not in the category. Also it means that the article that covers the genus is not in the category which seems to defeat the purpose of the category.
The problem with vernacular names are that they are a) not always unambiguous and b) what would one do with terms like "buzzard", which mean different birds in different parts of the world? I am strongly against using a system that utilizes unscientific griteria for scientific topics. It is bad enough that a lot of people cannot even tell the difference between a species and a genus ("Boat-billed Flycatcher" is NOT a genus of bird, but a species of bird)! Besides, as many fossil birds have no vernacular names, your changes will result in an ambiguous, murky and unscientific hodgepodge. I know that categorizing redirects is unusual, but for the sake of good scientific practice, I did it, and the user will only see some "weird" result if somebody made a double redirect anyway. The issue should be put to debate on Wikipedia:WikiProject Birds, because the implications are quite far-reaching. Dysmorodrepanis 19:02, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
As a matter of fact, categorizing the (scientific-name) redirect and not the (vernacular) article itself to maintain consistency in the category would be a case where the use of categories in redirects is explicitly OK'd by the WP guidelines. So as there will be inevitably genera of birds which are categorized under their scientific name, ALL genera of birds (and families etc) should be categorized under their scientific name, EVEN if that means categorizing a redirect.
The main point of these categories is, after all, to increase the scientific standing or "exactness" of WP (the present situation is a point in case to those people who criticize WP of being scientifically unsound). Vernacular names find their place in categories like Category:Parrots or Category:Ducks, after all. But I still say this should be discussed on the WP Project page. My personal opinion on this matter is only one of all those people whose work would be affected. Dysmorodrepanis 20:50, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
If the main article for the species, bird or family is the scientific name then I would not create the vernicular name just to categorize it. If the article is ambiguous then I would create a bird specific article and a disambiguation page and include the article dealing with the bird in the category. But having links from a category to a redirect page does not aid the use of the encyclopedia. I realise that this places non-scientific names in bird categories, but it does mean that the articles that deal with the category are linked and surely that makes the encyclopedia more useful. If you think this requires debate, I'll happily join in. I've worked through the tyranni sub-family of the passerines applying that principle and before I go any further I'd like this resolved. JohnCastle 22:37, 23 July 2006 (UTC)


Hi, just out of interest can you give me the reference(s) where you found the synonyms, Neomorpha acutirostris, Neomorpha crassirostris (male) and Heteralocha gouldi

for Huia, Heteralocha acutirostris. cheers Goldfinger820 04:31, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Re your question: Fuller's Extinct Birds. I was somewhat puzzled at Neomorpha and will check it out as it might not be correst. H. gouldi might also be a synonym for the male (the male and female were initially believed to be different species because they're so different. That's why I wanted to put the synonyms in there in the first place). Dysmorodrepanis 11:25, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

awesome thanks - i was also a little puzzled at Neomorpha - not something i've come across before. thanks for your help! Goldfinger820 02:03, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Possibly Extinct


I'm writing about the "possibly extinct" category you added to the Taxobox. I've recently had a bot go through and fix most articles to use the correct IUCN category. I understand that many "critically endangered" species are very possibly extinct, but I'd prefer not to create a new "status" for it which would clash with the IUCN's categories. Instead would it be possible simply to add an ordinary category to such species? (e.g. Category:Possibly extinct species) or some other way of indicating it? —Pengo 06:32, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

The "CR(PE)" criterion is used by BirdLife and will probably be adapted to other animals as well. See the Guadalupe Storm-petrel (the IUCN or the BirdLife liks) for example.
There is no automatic category tagging of extinct or possibly extinct species as of now and it is not advisable anyway: extinct animals are sorted according to taxa, see here: Category:Extinct animals. So the automated category tagging of CR(PE) taxa is the same as with CR species; putting them into the appropriate "Extinct XYZ" category has to be done manually. Maybe it is better to scrap the automated tagging entirely - Category:Critically endangered species is one hell of a dump.
There should be an automated category tagging of EW species though (Category:Species extinct in the wild as a subcategory of Category:Critically endangered species)! You might want to propose it on the taxobox talk page if you hang around there regularly, or I'll do it. Dysmorodrepanis 16:43, 20 June 2006 (UTC)


Hello. I have rewritten the article about 'Elepaio - it was formerly a very garbled version of the facts. I included some material on the subspecies from the description of the image Image:Chasiempis sandwichensis ridgwayi.jpg which you uploaded to the commons. Would you mind checking 'Elepaio to see if anything needs to be changed - I am sure you will find some error since I am a New Zealander interested in Polynesian mythology and know little about Hawaiian birds. Many thanks Kahuroa 13:44, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Thanks! Sure, will do; I think I got sufficient literature to do it. Dysmorodrepanis 15:54, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Saint Croix Macaw

Which source does give you that name? -- Kim van der Linde at venus 02:05, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

Is there any other name? I do not think the name was ever formalized (prehistoric extinction, taxon described in the early 20th century - they didn't usually suggest vernaculars), but I have this bird only seen referenced to under this name if it was given a vernacular name at all. At any rate, it would be the SOP-ish way to call it (compare "Campbell Island Teal" or somesuch) Dysmorodrepanis 02:11, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Ok, just see Wetmore, A. (1918). "Bones of birds collected by Theodoor de Booy from kitchen midden deposits in the islands of St Thomas and St Croix". Proceedings of the United States National Museum 54: 513–522. . -- Kim van der Linde at venus 03:14, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
OIC, you meant the scientific name! Well, I thought that the 2 h-variant was the correct one. Can't really make up my mind on which one is right. E.g. Matthew I Williams & David W Steadman, "The Historic and Prehistoric Distribution of Parrots (Psittacidae) in the West Indies" has "-chthones". I think "-chthones" is correct, but as I said, I am not 100% sure. For what it's worth, it gives some 20 times as many Google hits. Dysmorodrepanis 10:42, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
That is probably based on the 1937 paper of Wetmore, which is most likely a lapsus of the 1918 paper. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 02:24, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Is the 1918 available online somewhere? It seems to be one of those things that most folks who deal with the species have heard of, but nobody seems to have read since like 50 years... my library (Germany) does not have the volumes around WW 1. Dysmorodrepanis 02:45, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

No. But one way is to take articles that have both articles referenced, and those sources afaik use without an extra h. Next summer, I probably can get a copy at Naturalis when I am back in the Netherlands. But I do not remain active at wikipedia... Wrong atmosphere... -- Kim van der Linde at venus 03:55, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Cryin' shame; I termendously enjoy your work here. Ironically, I am here because things are really ugly at German WP by comparison. Preposterous infighting galore, and a general reluctance to cite sources. For me, WP is the way to drop some of the stuff I have reviewed, and learn nore. Whether I run my own "evolution & extinction in the Aves" wiki for myself or whether I write up stuff here is basically the same to me, and on WP I get some sort of peer reviwe thrown in for free. Dysmorodrepanis 04:14, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, my prediction is anyway that Wikipedia will be superseded with a more quality based encyclopedia, one where people like you and me are more appreciated, and where soucing, and in depth work are actually apprciated. Maybe Citizendium, although it is still to early to say that for sure.... -- Kim van der Linde at venus 15:34, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Have a Cookie.


I greatly appreciate the additions you made to Laysan Millerbird. For this, I award you this WikiCookie. Keep up the good work. SeanMD80talk | contribs 00:47, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Merge tags

I noticed that you have added merge tags to a lot of the human evolution fossil pages I have recently created. I understand that these pages are pretty short stubs right now, but I disagree with the merge tags. Eventually I will add pictures and more details about each find. I think if we merged the specimens into the species we might lose a lot of the info. I suppose in a few species represented by 1 or two fossils it wouldn't be too bad to have a section on each fossil, but on species with 5-6 representative fossils, it could get congested very quickly. Also with new fossils being found, we never know how many a species may have in the future. Let me know what you think. Nowimnthing 11:41, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Ah, OK; I checked out the Taung child page. Makes sense now. So, just go on and remove the tags at your discretion. Sorry for the hassle... I was browsing throught the paleo-stubs category and found the pages odd, so I tagged them. Dysmorodrepanis 11:54, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, no problem, I thought a merge discussion might come up at some point, but I do have some valid reasons for wanting seperate pages. If you don't mind I will add this commentary to each of the pages to show that a merge has been discussed. Nowimnthing 16:46, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Completely fine with me. I would really not want to interfere with what you have planned with these pages - my thing is more to do some articles on the ostriches whose eggs your guys stole ;-) Dysmorodrepanis 18:04, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

About Carolina Parakeet

I don't seem to find any source supporting the following text added by you in the article Carolina Parakeet, I kindly ask for a citation or some supporting information, thank you... I am working in the translation to Chinese version :)

"This combination of factors extirpated the species from most of its range until the early years of the 20th century. However, the last populations were not much hunted for food or feathers, nor did the farmers in rural Florida consider them a pest as the benefit of the birds' love of cockleburs clearly outweighed the minor damage they did to the small-scale garden plots. The final extinction of the species is somewhat of a mystery, but the most likely cause seems to be that the birds succumbed to poultry disease, as suggested by the rapid disappearance of the last, small, but apparently healthy and reproducing flocks of these highly social birds. If this is true, the very fact that the Carolina Parakeet was finally tolerated to roam in the vicinity of human settlements proved its undoing." --Hkchan123 16:00, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Discussed at some length in:
Snyder, N. F. R., and K. Russell (2002): "Carolina Parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis)". In: The Birds of North America, No. 667 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA. doi:10.2173/bna.667 - I put the entire relevant section on the Carolina 'keet talk page so you may cull from it at lesiure. Dysmorodrepanis 16:24, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Category:Extinct Birds for ZH:WP has just been created:w:zh:Category:已滅絕鳥類. :)

but so far, this is no fossil bird article for ZH:WP...hope there will been one soon. :)

--Hkchan123 18:02, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Asking for some help

I am writing an article on Puerto Rico's fauna (currently in my Sandbox) and I was wondering if you have any information on Antillean avifauna. Especifically on biogeography and evolution of the families. Any help would be appreciated. Joelito (talk) 03:36, 4 August 2006 (UTC)


On August 4, 2006, you placed a delete discussion tag on Category:Tanagers indicating that it had been replaced by Category:Thraupidae, but no discussion entry was made on the Wikipedia:Categories for discussion page. Isn't there also a Wikipedia:WikiProject Birds where these things get discussed? Bejnar 16:58, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Bird categories should not use vernacular names anymore; these may not be unambiguous (e.g. "Wader"/"Shorebird") and do not tie in well here Category:Birds by Classification, which is the page where these categories are rooted. New categories have been following this format for some months now. There are some exceptions, in ceses when vernacular classifications do not 1:1 match scientific ones. Dysmorodrepanis 06:08, 9 August 2006 (UTC)


Since you commented on the Procellariidae peer review (in the bird project page) I was wondering if you'd feel inclined to support or at least comment on its FAC? Cheers. Sabine's Sunbird talk 08:24, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Contaminated HEK cell line

Hi, I have a question for you. You made the following edit on HEK cell: "It should be noted that cultures of the original (untransformed) HEK line have become contaminated with HeLa cells, which have displaced the cell line as originally established." I was thinking of adding this comment to the German wikipedia, since I believe it to be important. However, I do not quite understand the difference between this contaminated "original" cell line and the HEK293 cells used today. Is this original cell line still in use? Are the HEK293 cells used today clean? Is there a difference between "HEK293" and the original line? The talk page of "Hek cell" (Talk:HEK cell) says "HEK" and "HEK293" are synonyms. How big is the risk that a researcher using HEK cells today is really getting HeLa? Thank you very much in advance, -- 11:53, 15 August 2006 (UTC) (registered user Ponderevo in Germany)

Hi, the HEK line was the mother of all human embryonic kidney cultures, so to say. The original stock seems to be contaminated (perhaps there is clean stock available, but contamination dates back at least to 1976). HEK293 is adenovirus-transformed HEK and should be clean, but as I've not tested them, I won't vouch for it. Check out List of contaminated cell lines for references and methods how to determine whether a culture has been swamped by HeLa or not.
The claim that HEK and HEK293 are synonyms is not really true as far as I can tell. However, if HEK would still be clean, they are equivalent for most purposes. The only difference I could find at short notice is that Subgroup F/serotypes 40, 41 adenoviruses do not infect HEK or other derivates well, only the "293" strain. Other subgroups/serotypes apparently show no such preference, reproducing well in the original HEK and as it happens, also in HeLa (I wonder if there is a connection, i.e., the "original" HEK userd were really HeLa). There are some other commonly used HEK derivatives, such as HEK/HRV (contaminated) and HEK B8 and the 293T mentioned in the article (apparently clean). Unfortunately, many researchers do not clearly state the strain and origin of HEK cells, but I'd guess that these days, most use HEK 293 (and simply call it "HEK").
As to your final question, the matter has been simmering for a while now, but a very empathic review (Masters, Nature Rev. Cancer - see the contaminated cell lines article) in 2002 stressed the need for continuous quality-checks. Even major cultures are affected by the problem, but most contaminations occur on the individual laboratory level. Dysmorodrepanis 17:13, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Stephens Island Wren

Congratulations on the changes you have made to Stephens Island Wren. For some time I have been uncomfortable about how the article was written. All the relevant facts are very important. --WikiCats 01:09, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks! Check out the papers I linked, especially the one on the general decline of birds on S.I., it is very interesting. Dysmorodrepanis 01:24, 22 August 2006 (UTC)


I know. Wasn't me. Of course, when I change it to it's own article it's going to be a stub. *Sigh*. So many genus articles are.

BTW, a big thumbs up on all the work you do on fossils and extinct birds. It's fantastic. Sabine's Sunbird talk 06:10, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Always welcome! Y'know, I've been collecting all this info since the previous century ;-) At last, there exists a format in which I can get it organized, and better even than I've ever dared to dream! I think the WP page on extinct birds is now the best listing available anywhere, and I'm not saying this lightly.
Regarding the fossils, my idea is to get all this info together so that scientists and laypersons can get a good overview on trends and lineages in avian evolution. When I look at it now, even with all the unassignable taxa - or especially with them -, a pattern starts to emerge already (bearing in mind the papers I have read). I think/hope that by the end of next year, there will be enough molecular and osteological information available to get a fairly robust picture on avian evolution from the Cretaceous to today.
Genus articles are unfortunately very much bound to be stubby. Biogeography and evolution (in fossil-rich genera) are two of the subjects that come to mind to spice it up. Also general traits of behavior etc. The latter could even be used to make species articles more concise, referring to the genus article instead of repeating the same stuff over and over in the species articles. Systematics too. Sooty albatross article is exemplary, for example - with such a fundament, the species articles would only have contain what is really relevant to the particular species. Dysmorodrepanis 06:32, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
I wrote the sooty albatross page as a way of not having to do separate species articles, for both the reasons you gave and because I had enough to be getting on with and couldn't face doing three separate articles. Besides, I hate leaving stubs around. I admire your optimism with regards to untangeling bird taxonomy. I think they'll be debating it for a long time to come. Sabine's Sunbird talk 07:48, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for your support for the seabird FAC - and I re-enetered your edits on evolution. The comment on supernova was curious though, I've never heard it before. Sabine's Sunbird talk 08:25, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Mentioned in the Pleistocene article; apparently well-founded enough to make its way into astronomy textbooks. Dysmorodrepanis 14:27, 2 September 2006 (UTC)


Thanks for your comments on Dodo, but to tell you the truth, I have no idea what you wrote. I am not in anyway an expert on birds, or extinct ones, so whatever your suggestion was, go ahead and modify the page to improve it :) Judgesurreal777 22:18, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Maybe I will do so, but there has been some recent research that I do not know what to make of; basically, it puts al lot of the things we "know" upside down or at least tries to. As regards the relationships isuue, suffice to say that after comparing the dodo-Nicobar Pigeon paper with other recent research, I would by no means state that the N.P. is the dodo's closest living relative. "Maybe" or "possibly" or "the dodo is derived from a branch of the Indoaustralian pigeon radiation, which includes the Nicobar Pigeon", yes. But as fact I would not want to treat it. Dysmorodrepanis 22:31, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Tuamotu Sandpiper

Bio barnstar2.png The Bio-star
For endless work on the taxonomy, systematics, evolution and fossil record of birds Sabine's Sunbird talk 06:05, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Completely awesome job. When I wrote it originally I was struggling to find much of anything to write. I'm better at researching now, but I'm blown away by what you've managed here. Sabine's Sunbird talk 06:05, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Thanks aplenty! Always welcome... I just started with the Zusi paper, and suddenly, one thing started to lead to another. New information could well be upcoming soon I hope... the "in litt." citations on BirdLife seem promising!
It was, by the way, a good way to practice for the day on which I will tackle the Polynesian Ground-dove. Oh horror of supposed, real and extinct subspecies... no reference I have seen seems to have the same nomenclature... Dysmorodrepanis 06:15, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Ugh. I got it in my head yesterday to take on the Melanocharitidae, the berrypeckers and longbills. Talk about a trainwreck of a family. To describe them as unstudied is like describing the Titanic as having something of a staying-afloat problem. My best bet is either to raid some universities in Sydney next month for obscure New Guinean bird journals or wait til HBW comes around to them and see if they managed to find anything (I don't envy their task much). Sabine's Sunbird talk 06:35, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

book of the year

For like you, me and about three other people, anyways. Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds by David Steadman. 480 pages of extinct Pacific species, and oddly enough I thought of you when I saw it. I'll certainly be getting it when it comes out. Sabine's Sunbird talk 22:10, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Yep, this is what I'll be getting as a combined Xmas/birthday present this year. Can't wait to open it... Dysmorodrepanis 09:49, 18 September 2006 (UTC)


I agree that the Palaeopteryx article doen't convey the uncertainty about its identity properly. I'll try to re-write it a little. If you have the refs for the possible nomen nudum status, it would be great if you could add a bit about that. Thanks.Dinoguy2 19:45, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

It is on my todo list. But the critter is better placed in the domain of you folks, IMHO, so play around with it as you like. There is enough bird-related literature about it to make it worthwile to give it the old makeover, but don't expect this to happen anytime soon or unstub it.
A Japanese article in a popular magazine (1981: "Anima" vol 101 pp 33-40) seems to be the first report of the species, and it is not clear from what I have at hand right now (Olson, 1985: "The fossil record of birds" In: Avian Biology 8, which is not up-to-date of course but as far as such taxa are concerned usually as good as any ref) whether the name was formally published in "Encyclia" (1983: vol 58, pp 109-128, which seems a more acceptable source for a valid publication of a taxon if I read Olson correctly, but he is very oldschool about these things). So even the year of the description is in doubt. A work of the scope of Bock & Bühler on Eurolimnornis would be needed, but I do not think it exists - at least I have not come across any I could remember in the avian paleo literature. It is one of the taxa that most in the field treat as if it gives you bad karma; the silence about it definitively has an embarrassed quality. I can understand that, one "Protavis" is enough if you make your living with fossil bones.
I shall do some other work first, now the Fossil birds start getting into shape, and then return to this critter, do a shot at the literature and see what I can find. If I happen across good stuff, I shall enjoy very much clearing the issue up. Definitely more than Polarornis, which is one of the reasons why a lot of people in the biz loathe Chatterjee. Very confusing issue, papermache models of bones and other weird stuff being mentioned.
Olson (1985) is the one source I have at hand which suggests that the taxonomy of Palaeopteryx might not be in order. But you might just remark upon that fact and I will expand later. By the way, this (1985) review is public domain, but it is not available anywhere! This is a thing to do: get a scan, see to that it is not too big a file (some 180 pages...), and then offer it to SAPE for hosting. Professionals and enthusiasts everywhere should be able to read what was and still is in many respects one of the most comprehensive treatments of the rehistory of Aves.
By the way, my makeover perhaps made Kuszholia perhaps more avian than it deserves to be. The paleoornithology crowd are rather consistent in accepting it as avian in recent years, but you dino folks might have to say a word on this too. Unfortunately, this was one of my very first makeovers, when I just started to do fossil birdish things, so yes there is a source for all this but no I have not been as thorough as to write it down. By now, the "Fossil birds" is complete enough so that I can pick a new ref at leisure and dump it into WP, but when I worked that genus, it was only getting underway. Dysmorodrepanis 03:03, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

More parrots added

Hello - I just joined and added some important parrots to the talk page, but am not sure how to add them to the main pages. Maybe you can help? Poicephalus additions TheBirdMan 07:46, 10 October 2006 (UTC)


I've attempted to make some order out of these articles. I've made treecreeper cover the entire sub-family. I've left the Xenops article, but trimmed it to just cover the genus and moved the Great Xenops into its own stub article.

Could you take a look at this and see if the content is still correct. I've concentrated on making the navigation and categories correct, but some of the content may need updating and I'm not an expert.

I took the view that what was there couldn't be correct, so I've tried to at least make the articles consistent with each other. JohnCastle 11:20, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Looks good! Thanks for the work! Dysmorodrepanis 11:28, 30 October 2006 (UTC)


This article is categorized in birds by classification, but it doesn't really fit there to my reading. Also, it appears to be part of the TOL, but there's no taxobox to show where it fits exactly. I looked at it because I was surprised to find articles linked directly to that category. I think it needs some attention to put a taxobox and categorize it correctly, can you help or point me to somewhere that would give me the info required. JohnCastle 16:57, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

How much experience do you have with phylogenetic taxonomy? Because as prsented, the is inexact and misleading. IIRC, the Linnean Carinatae was = Neognathae but I'm not 100% on that. When and how and where Ichthyornis came into the fray needs to be looked up. Can't be before 1880, but the first mention of the name Carinatae dates bak to 1813 apparently. :( Dysmorodrepanis 19:52, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
It is not my area of expertise, ask me about programming computers and I can help. Most of what you said above means nothing to me and since it's relating to stuff that happened over 100 years ago my interest is about exhausted. JohnCastle 20:13, 30 October 2006 (UTC)


Is this family Corvida or Passerida? On the passeri page it is listed under Corvida, but is not present of the Corvida page itself. The article itself is linked to Passerida. Something is wrong, but I don't know what to do to fix it. Can you answer the question, or is it not that straight-forward? There were a few other families missing from Corvida, but they were categorized as Corvida so I just added them to the list on Corvida. JohnCastle 20:48, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Early fossil birds

Hi Dysmorodrepanis,

Recently, a number of articles on early fossil birds have been created by User:Elmo12456. These articles currently are listed as dinosaurs, but I'm pretty sure most of them are actually Enantiornithes or other early branchings of the avian tree. As you know your way around this area better than I, I figured I'd consult you before acting. Quercypsitta, Abavornis, etc. The full list of articles created can be found here. Firsfron of Ronchester 20:56, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Just go ahead, the Fossil birds list as present is >99% complete regarding pre-Neornithes birds and I'd say roughly 95% accurate as regards their taxonomic placement (especially w/revamping of Enantiornithes). If in doubt, just leave equivocal. When you add links in the list, you might notice comments behind the taxa - these are sources for references I have seen mentioned; you might want to peruse them (most of them are rather technical). More recently, I have started to tag those references where the taxon is described w/a star. Enjoy! Dysmorodrepanis 21:46, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Alright, thanks. If I make a mistake somewhere, give me a holler. :) Best, Firsfron of Ronchester 00:21, 31 October 2006 (UTC)


Today you made some edits based on a brand new published study reordering dendrobatidae, creating a number of new genera, and otherwise creating great upheval in dendrobatidae taxonomy. While I suspect this new ordering will be adopted, isn't it premature to start changing wikipedia's reflection of accepted taxonomy based on a study that is only a month old? Perhaps I am mistaken, but I believe that the act of publishing a suggested taxonomy does not de-facto make it the new, accepted ordering. I suggest that you edit articles to indicate the newly suggested ordering (and its source), rather than actually changing the heirarchy of the entire phylum? Of paramount importance (in my mind) is ensuring that people seeking articles on specific species are able to find them using the current, commonly-accepted genus/species naming. Thanks! --Leperflesh 01:03, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Oh well - the previous taxonomy was entirely unsourced... at face value, it was not apparent why it is "commonly accepted" and by whom (there is nothing in the article of significance either). Dysmorodrepanis 01:15, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Viti Levu Giant Pigeon Problem

How come you don't like the reconstruction?--Mr Fink 14:11, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

One look at the pictures in the PDF linked at the article should suffice. General shape is wrong, wings are wrong, bill is utterly wrong and color is of course conjectural and probably wrong too (this color combination is as far as anyone can tell impossible to achieve in pigeons). Furthermore, there is no indication whether or not it had a crest. It is important to understand that the closest the bird did come to a Goura was by the last part of its binomial, which simply pays homage to the fact that it was larger than Goura and had somewhat similar legs. It was probably not much closer related to Goura than the Dodo... and probably looked halfway between that bird and a normal pigeon. Ah well, just take a look at the pictures in the PDF. I would not call this image a "reconstruction" because a reconstruction is based on evidence whereas the image is a nice flight of fancy, but nothing of it shows any similarity to the few things that are known or can reasonably assumed about Natunaornis, which is a pity because it is nicely executed.
A stamp commmemorating the species uses a picture of the Choiseul Crested Pigeon which is just as bad. Reading the original paper clearly shows that this bird was very unlike anything alive today. Dysmorodrepanis 14:28, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
If you think my pictures are such eye-melting abominations, do you suppose you could do me a favor by either getting me better references than a mouldering tibiotarsal, replacing them with even better pictures, or, if it will really, really help, deleting the godawful eyesore altogether? I find your pretentious verdicts and snide comments about how my reconstructions are horrible flights of fancy to be insulting to the extreme. If you can do better than me, then, please, be my guest.--Mr Fink 02:18, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
It might have come across a bit harsh, but a "mouldering tibiotarsal" and the other broken, eroded and disassociated bones mentioned in the paper IS ALL THAT IS KNOWN OF THIS SPECIES at present, and nothing save going down to Viti Levu and getting the necessary permits and being very, very lucky is going to change anything, any ad hominems nonwithstanding (I find "pretentious verdicts" a grave insult. My verdict is based on hard scientific evidence which is quite appropriate for a scientific topic)! Send your picture to Trevor Worthy or David Steadman to see what they think of it if you want a less sniding but all the more devastating comment from the guys who knows the bird in question better than any other living person. (And IIRC "eye-melting abominations", "godawful eyesore" and such are what you said, not what I said; I (unsuccessfully, it appears) made it clear that the artistic side of your work is admirable bordering on great; it is purely the scientific basis of the reconstruction I take issue with).
I don't know whether you know of the methodology employed by bold and outstanding paleo-artists like Gregory S. Paul; in a nutshell, his ground-breaking reconstructions of dinosaurs as feathered critters were preceded by painstaking, state-of-the-art research. In paleontological reconstruction, everything has to be a bit conjectural, but there is a vast difference between imagination and reasonable inference.
And finally, I apologize for coming across that harsh. I knew the image before it found its way on WP and thought, "this has to be the most bizarre reconstruction since the Fijians simply co-opted Microgoura for their stamp; I hope it never finds its way to a place where people who actually want to know more about this critter go looking, such as Wikipedia..." The problem is that people will think it looked like that when most assuredly it didn't (e.g. the piece of bill indicates that the remainder of the skull must have been very different from other pigeons also, to accomodate the large jaws and accompaniying muscles) and this influences how people think about it, which is of no little importance in the popular conceptions (or misconceptions, rather) on evolutionary theory (most people who claim to be "anti-evolutionists" have simply not understood evolution, and a large number of these did so because of looking at patently absurd reconstructions of Archaeopteryx or somesuch). But I am fairly short-tempered when it comes to fantasy mixing with science, to the detriment of those which did not intend to mess with science in the first place - both fantasy and science have their merits and deserve appropriate consideration and effort IMHO, but if mixed, the resulting cocktail I find rather unpalatable except in a non-scientific context).
The usual lay way to do reconstructions of prehistoric life is these days to go to some Web forum or mailing list and discuss the issue in detail with professionals and learned amateurs. Usually, paleo-art is done in black-and-white so the viewer does not get an erroneous impression of color patterns (which in the present case are impossible to determine), or even in shilouette form altogether such as that of Genyornis newtoni.
A practical example: I consider this reconstruction of a weird fossil bird to be both outstanding artistically and valid scientifically. Of course, the color pattern is conjectural, but it is based on the following:
- The moa-nalos are known from molecular evidence to have evolved from Anas ducks.
- There are two likely candidates for the moa-nalo's closest living relative (sharing a common ancestor only a few million years ago) among these ducks for reasons of biogeography, the Mallard and the Pacific Black Duck (with the gadwall a less likely third possibility). We know that mallards and Pacific Black Ducks are so recently diverged from a common ancestor that in fact phylogenetically, both modern ducks may be equally close to moa-nalos.
- We can assume with near-certainty that before the arrival of humans, moa-nalos were hunted by the local sea eagle and the local harrier, possibly by the local hawk, but not by the local owls which were too small to tackle goose-sized prey.
- We know from the locations where fossils have been found and pollen analyses that these birds inhabited mesic forest and tree-fern thickets; this is supported by coprolithe analysis which indicates that they fed on ferns and other forest understory vegetation (which is somewhat sparse in the dense hapu'u-'ohi'a rainforest but plentiful in the mesic 'ohi'a-koa forest).
- We can tell from the present-day biodiversity of Anas ducks that the marked sexual dimorphism of the mallard and other species is probably an autapomorphy and as evidenced by the Laysan Duck readily reverts to a fairly monomorphic pattern. This holds true among present ducks both for a) forest-dwelling species, and b) for Hawaiian species.
In conclusion, it appears reasonable to assume that moa-nalos were sexually monomorphic, which aids the reconstruction taks a lot (at any rate, one could have drawn a female bird). It also seems reasonable to assume that the ancestors of the moa-nalos were birds which looked generally like female Mallards, or Pacific Black Ducks, Laysan Ducks, Hawaiian Ducks or Mariana Mallards of either sex.
The basic shape of the birds is borne out by the recovered material. We know that they cannot have had a duck-like (soft) bill, because the remains and the coprolithes prove without any reasonable doubt that hard plant material made up a large part of their diet; their bills were not suitable for dabbling or grazing, but expertly adapted to shearing, tearing and cutting plant stems and tough leaves.
And that is basically it: the bird's shape can be deduced, and the bird's color can be inferred inductively.
The giant pigeon of Fiji is a tough nut to crack, reconstruction-wise: what scant material is known to date does not allow to go beyond very tentative inference, and indeed the known elements suggest it was a bird unlike any other. That the binomial contains "Goura" is obviously misleading - although its leg bones are indeed most similar to Goura, precisely the same was noted as early as 1848 by Melville and Strickland to hold true for the Dodo too, and as the latter is apparently another member, albeit only distantly, of the Wallacean-Pacific columbiform radiation, the underlying reason for the similarity of bones cannot be assumed to be more than this being the shape into which the feet of this group of columbiforms will evolve into as lineages adopt a terrestrial lifestyle. With as much justification, the bird would have been called "pseudidus" (for "pseudo-dodo") because this is what it was: something like the dodo or more likely Rodriguez Solitaire which evolved from another but not all too distantly related ancestor. Sure, it may have shared an ancestor with the Goura pigeons at some time in the past, but for all that can be said given the weird phylogeny (which stinks to high heavens of LBA) in the (in)famous "Flight of the dodo" paper, so did the dodo and solitaire not that much earlier. The presumed similarity to Goura is certainly an autapomorphy in the Goura and the Fiji pigeons and the result of parallel evolution. As for the crest, this has a dedicated social function in Goura (as does the wing spot, apparently; did a small paper on their behavioral ecology once) and this cannot be assumed to have been paralleled by the Fijian bird. And so on. As for color, it is more likely to have been white all over than to have shown such a combination as in your image - green-and-yellow are permissible color combination in living Wallacean-Pacific pigeons at least, but blue-grey and yellow are not at least in such a pattern (This is not to say that the bird was white all over; if it had been, this would almost certainly have been preserved in folk memory as it is most unusual. But judging only from what is known or can reasonably be inferred, the odds that it was all-white are nearly zero, whereas the odds that it had a color pattern as in the image are zero).
FWIW, I try to do all this the scientific way. So if my present opinion is overturned by new evidence some day in the future, this shall not stand against what I say now - it would indeed if I did not change my opinion when presented with new and better evidence. Maybe the new book by Steadman will have something to say on that matter (but I doubt so; else I would fairly certainly have heard about it by now); I shall be getting it in a few weeks. Dysmorodrepanis 11:15, 7 November 2006 (UTC)


Hey, I came across your name when dealing with User:Elmo12456 and saw that you left him a message. I have rewritten the entry for Valenticarbo as well as for Proornis. Looks as if this Elmo guy is creating entries based on a list of fossil birds which appeared on the Dinosauricon and tagged all of them as being some "dinobird" from the cretaceous and related to dromaesaurs! For Valenticarbo, the guess fell really short since it was a Cormorant from the Pliocene and Pleistocene of Asia. If you have some expertise in fossil birds, would you mind checking the entries he created (there is quite a bunch)? I will try to do a few of them myself but is a lot of work and I'd like to share the load. ArthurWeasley 20:20, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Yes. I have found a reference (it was tough work). Read all about it, well, if not tonight, then on Monday! Dysmorodrepanis 11:26, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
All done, there you go. Basically all that can be said about it as long as the original fossil has not turned up again is now said. Maybe reading the original description will reveal whether the bone itself was lost in WW2 or somesuch, and the collection number, but that's not of such high importance to me to go and order me the paper ;-) Dysmorodrepanis 18:15, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
Thank you very much for sorting out and correcting the many "dinobird" stubs. ArthurWeasley 18:11, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
No problem at all! In fact, I am sort of thankful for Elmo doing these stubs, I am far too lazy myself ;-) and luckily for me, the Mesozoic record of birds is limited enough (as opposed to non-avian dinos) to make it well manageable. Currently I am stuck on Zhylgaia which I strongly suppose to be an OCR misreading of Wyleyia; it is the only thing that makes halfway sense. My bad, I put it in the list in the first place... ;-) Apart from that, there's some 5 left to go and I will do these tonight. Dysmorodrepanis 19:02, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Zhylgaia is listed as a Charadriomorphae in Mikko's Phylogeny Archive [2], so this might still be a valid genus of fossil neornithes bird (Otherwise how did it get there?). Thanks again for all your hard work. ArthurWeasley 20:17, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, that's where I got it from. But I found it in Nomenclator Zoologicus! It's a possibly presbyornithid described by Nessov in 1988. If I'm lucky, I will find the type species also, which seems to be hard wirk if not even Mikko could do it... :( Dysmorodrepanis 21:11, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Dinosaur and "dinobird" stubs

Hi - i noticed your comments at WP:SFD about the (horrible) Dinobird-stub, and it prompted me to look in the dinosaur and paleontology stub categories and propose some potential splits. You might like to have a look at Wikipedia:WikiProject Stub sorting/Proposals/2006/November#Splits of dinosaur-stub and paleo-stub and make some comments... Grutness...wha? 05:36, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Dedrobatid taxonomy


I noticed your comment on List of Anuran families. I don't currently have the time to go through the paper, but if you have gone through it, you can implement the neccesary changes. I won't have time for a while as I have exams this week, and am out in the field next week. If you are willing to wait that long, I can do it. Otherwise, feel free to update it. Thanks. --liquidGhoul 05:47, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

The paper is huuuuge! It is a complete reworking of all dendros they could lay a hand on. Theck out the Poison dart frog page where they have already started to adapt the taxobox. Odds are they'll do it soon. Happy hunting on your field trip (I have to wait til N hemisphere spring at least)! Dysmorodrepanis 06:01, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, it has just started to be frog season, so I am looking forward to the next couple months. Try to get as much as you can done. I will join in helping in a couple weeks. Thanks --liquidGhoul 09:33, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Please see my comments on the List of Anuran families discussion page. While I'm excited by the new ordering, I know there is substantial disagreement with the paper in some areas, having to do with taking a strict cladistics approach, and I do not want anyone to make a great effort only to have to reverse it in short order... nor do I wish to confuse someone who come looking for, say, Phyllobates silverstonei, and can't find it (because now it is Ameerega silverstonei). --Leperflesh 22:42, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

My drawing

You've removed my drawing of the "Baptornis", and I should like to know why. It is most certainly not cartoony! If you wanted a better image, all you had to do was ask. I wasn't implying any joke, all right? I was seriously contributing to the page, no malice intended. So, why did you do it? Hmm?KnowledgeLord 05:57, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Oh, no problem! It's just that
-Baptornis could probably not stand upright (it is questionable that it spent time out of the water at all except in dire need and to breed, and then it probably dragged itself along the ground like some lame-o seal)
-its feet (what looks like "lower legs" - the "feet" are only the foes of course) were locked in a position pointing fairly straight sideways (it could not stand upright because of than. It would immediately lose balance and topple over if it tried). It could not walk at all; its legs and feet could only flap very powerfully back and forth... as if you move your arms in a semicircle until they meet above the head and then back again - only it did this with its legs!
-The legs were firmly incorporated in the body sides
-Feet were not webbed but lobe-finned (though many pics show them webbed - IIRC this is not correct, but I'm not 100% on that. Those of Hesperornis weren't webbed)
-It did not have teeth all over the beak
-Eyes are wrong size & position
-Wings are too large and too much flexed; they were just slim flippers and not bent, but maybe with a short movable end-bit (as opposed to Hesperornis)
-Color pattern is conjectural of coure but even so very improbable.
Here is a skeleton of Baptornis. This reconstruction of its relative Hesperornis, or this one, or this one agree with current scientific knowledge (the 1929 one is perhaps too slim with too large feet, but its general stance is excellent considering it is nearly 80 years old!)
Altogether, the pic is simply too much like a modern bird. It is important to understand that the hesperornithids were very unique and peculiar critters; like a penguin but much much more so! This and this Baptornis image probably have the wrong (webbed) feet, but they give a very good account of swimming postures. Though I'd say that if anything, the upper side of the legs was also light, not the lower side also dark (leg plumage is like belly plumage, not like back plumage, in birds as a rule). Note the position of the feet and "wings" of the left bird in the first pic. The wings were probably used for changing depth like a submarine's rudders do (thogh there are some upcoming controversial claims that they did more than that in Baptornis I think). The left leg is in "recovery" stroke, meaning that the bird pulls it as far headwards as it can and then spreads his toes and kicks back with all might, which looked like in the second pic.
You might find the fantastic "Oceans of Kansas" website a valuable resource for your work. They have a Hesperornis/Baptornis article here.Dysmorodrepanis 06:55, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

I still think that you should give me a chance to let me give a better image. At any rate, you don't know for sure that the Baptornis stood on no legs. But I still have got a much better image which (somewhat) matches the appropriate criteria for the appropriate image. KnowledgeLord 02:54, 10 November 2006 (UTC)


Hey Dys (there is no way I'm going to try to spell out your whole name)!

You know, I am consistently seeing your name pop up on my watchlist when it concerns articles along the theropod/bird line. Your constant work to improve these articles is really an inspiration, for me and (I assume) other folks. You've been working to improve these articles for months. I'd like to, then, hereby award you this barnstar!

mv here Dysmorodrepanis 03:50, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Thank You!

Thanks for the barnstar! You might be able to help me with a question of Laornis (which is still stub-class, but I have improved it a fair bit and added some info). First, you might know whether the material described in 1870 was indeed collected that year, or earlier. Second, the binomen edvardsianus puzzles me - Cope comes to mind, but he and Marsh apparently hated each other in 1870. Dysmorodrepanis 04:34, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Good questions. There doesn't seem to be much published on Laornis. However, this pdf file from Auk indicates Marsh described Laornis twice: in 1870 and 1872. The first time may have just been a brief mention of the discovery, with the full description appearing in 1872; there wasn't much to describe, with so little material, so I can't imagine two full descriptions. However, this is conjecture for now. I will check if I can find anything more, but probably not until tomorrow. The article you have fleshed out is really shaping up, Dys, and is certainly better than most of our our dinosaur stubs! On the chance of Marsh honoring Cope with a specific name... Heh. It definitely does not seem likely! However, I'll see what I can "dig up" this weekend. ;) Thanks again for everything, Firsfron of Ronchester 05:09, 10 November 2006 (UTC)


Categories cannot be renamed in the same way pages can. To request a category renaming, see WP:CFD. Thanks. —Mets501 (talk) 16:40, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Surfbirds links on peep articles

Hi. So I don't make a similar error in futuer, can you let me know what I did wrong in adding the link to the recent Surfbirds ID article to the various peep pages. I added it on the basis that it would act as interesting further reading for anyone interested in the species, extending the material in the Wikipedia articles (seems logical?), but I guess there must be some other aspect of policy or guidance which I'm not aware of, on which you based your decision to remove it - can you bring me up to speed. Thanks. SP-KP 19:01, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

You did nothing wrong at all as far as this here user is concerned! I just got the message that was blacklisted and so I had to outcomment the link. Which is a shame, as the website is good and I'd have liked to see it in the articles myself. Maybe you added the same Web host (i.e. too often in too short a time and some bot "thought" you might be a spammer. You might want to try to remove the commenting marks and the space and see whether the link is accepted now. Dysmorodrepanis 19:05, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Thanks - I'll see what happens when I add the link back in. SP-KP 19:08, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Conservation status graphics

Thanks for alerting me to this. I believe long ago the conservation statuses here used to have similar colour codings but they were removed because they were somehow considered not to be NPOV. Anyway, my main goal was to make a conservation status make sense without prior knowledge of all the different categories, and i'm not sure the colour coding helps that much when it goes outside of the threatened taxa (VU/EN/CR), e.g. pale green on green doesn't mean much by itself. But perhaps the colours could be used anyway together with the graphic? What would you colourize? the text below, or the "selected" item (yellow box)? I'll try making a mock up maybe tomorrow (it's 3am) —Pengo talk · contribs 16:23, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

"I believe long ago the conservation statuses here used to have similar colour codings" - yes, they were still in some vintage guideline page, I remember. The "green on green" is because they used 2.x criteria still for the Threatened Birds of the World, and so they had to distinguish between 3 categories of lesser threat. One could use different shades of green for the lesser threat categories to get a gradient from neutral green = LC to dark red = CR. The yellow-orange-red gradient for the 3 more severe categories seems fairly obvious. Basically, using a green-to-dark red gradient should be intellegible to everyone, and black background for EW/EX is also obvious in its meaning.
I would color the now-yellow box, and as appropriate to preserve legibility the letters behind it too (e.g. white for EW and possibly CR/orangey-red for EX, but leave black for the others).
The non-IUCN category which in WP shorthand is PE - "Critical (possibly extinct)" - should get the same image as CR. It's used by BirdLife only at present, because the data for birds is better than for other major groups, but it appears that it will eventually be adopted by the IUCN too. It addresses the problem with DD (DD = no real indications of severe threat, but nobody knows for sure) and basically applies to severely threatened taxa lacking the necessary data for conservation action. Very useful in practice, because as opposed to DD it indicates most urgent need for research. The St. Helena earwig for example would be a prime candidate, or some Lake Victoria cichlids, or the Cozumel fox (for which DD is more like the final nail in its coffin than anything else).

Again, thanks for the work - the images just popped up out of nowhere when I was editing, and I was like "hey, what's this... WOW! COOL!" Dysmorodrepanis 16:43, 18 November 2006 (UTC) ADD: I would crop the colored box at the level where the downward-pointing lines end (i.e., above the "Least Concern" etc). Makes it easier to read. Dysmorodrepanis 17:02, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

OK I've finally gotten around to making a mock up. Let me know what you think. They're PNG files for now because the SVG versions aren't working on Wikipedia for some reason. Let me know what you think (on my talk page please)... —Pengo talk · contribs 07:37, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
Marsh Deer
Marsh deer.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
All colours shown.
Old IUCN categories (v2.3)

The Buller's Shearwater image

The shape isn't very gadfly petrel to my eye, but I suppose it isn't a great image. I know of a good, closer one on Flikr but the bird is in the water, so this one is worth keeping just to show the distinctive back plumage, along with the other one.

Yes, that would be great, so it could eventually be ddirectly comparable to images of the M-patterned gadfly petrels. Dysmorodrepanis 05:14, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

I'll look at your edits later (maybe next weekend), I am swamped this month with work, nanowrimo and not having the interwebat home. I miss wikipedia and writing about birds, but what can you do? Sabine's Sunbird talk 04:55, 20 November 2006 (UTC)


I get only one ghit for this name, outside of Wikipedia and its mirrors: the Dinosauricon, which is no longer on-line. The cached version calls the binomial "Gallunoides wyomingensis", which confirms it is a misspelling for Gallinuloides wyomingensis. Firsfron of Ronchester 06:12, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Thanks! It fits - the Grand Project of Elmo, if you will, is/was to put the Dinosauricon content on WP in stub form (most Dinosauricon entries didn't have any more data in any case) Dysmorodrepanis 18:52, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

OK. I've killed the buzzard, jimfbleak 15:44, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Puerto Rican Bullfinch

I have added your requested citation for the Puerto Rican Bullfinch article. Take care. Joelito (talk) 04:50, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the quick response! Dysmorodrepanis 04:51, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Great work

Thanks for the information on the work of Wink et al. Glad to find the full text of the references. Shyamal 05:12, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Stay tuned for more. The man has heaps of literature; I found the Sea Eagle paper a pleasing read, especially considering it's like 10 years old. Dysmorodrepanis 06:25, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Wow ! I hadn't thought of looking at the directory [3]. It's amazing. Thanks. Shyamal 07:14, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Good god, I screwed up BIG TIME

Hello. Thank you for posting on my talk page. I sincerely apologize, I really can not explain what has happened. I am using buggy beta software, which will not tell me if there was an edit after the one i tried to revert; this is the only explanation I can offer.

Sorry, Bezking 01:36, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

No problem at all, no harm done, and in fact it served fot a good end - I catched a typo I overlooked :) Dysmorodrepanis 01:41, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Removed the warning I posted . --Bezking 02:17, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Hodgkin-Huxley edits

Hi. Just thought I'd let you know that I edited the page on the Hodgkin-Huxley model. The Naundorf et al. result really is most likely an artifact, and I don't think recent, unproven results belong there on the main page. I'm new to this whole wikipedia thing, so I'm not sure if I'm doing this whole talk page thing correctly... Evilrobotxoxo 19:10, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Very interesting! "I don't think recent, unproven results belong there on the main page." - not without discussion at least (in bird phylogeny, which is much of whatI do, everything is currently very much provisional, so it's more discussion than anything else). Can you add a reference; that would be perfect (I'm only loosely following the issue, but I'd love to read the discussion paper).
"I'm not sure if I'm doing this whole talk page thing correctly" - yes, you did. Dysmorodrepanis 19:38, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
I posted the link to the McCormick group's rebuttal ( on the other discussion page. Basically, McCormick caught Naundorf et al. in an embarrassing mistake. They were proposing a very surprising result on indirect data. McCormick et al. showed that the anomaly in the data can be explained through other means, and no one has directly observed Na+ channel cooperativity in biophysical experiments, so as of right now, I think it's a lot more likely that McCormick is right. Evilrobotxoxo 19:58, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the link! But I guess it's OK to briefly mention both articles and give a short discussion of the controversy on the main page, for those who have read the original paper because they'll now miss the follow-up (I would have if you hadn't notified me). Furthermore, if it's not in there, odds are that someone who knows only one side of the debate (usually the older paper) will put it up, and then one is back at start; this happened time and again in avian evolution articles so now I prefer to put emerging science stuff in main articles accompanied with a brief discussion and a note advising caution, but not (usually) dwell upon it at length. Ah, you decide. Dysmorodrepanis 20:02, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
I did link to the McCormick group's PDF on the discussion page, so that's there for people to see. Honestly, I think McCormick et al's rebuttal to Naundorf et al. is utterly convincing. I do have some claim to expertise in this area, having done my PhD on a related subject, but I'm not an expert on how wikipedia is supposed to work. Personally, I don't believe that the Naundorf et al. result deserves to be mentioned. The page is about the HH model, which is essentially the founding insight of computational neuroscience and has stood the test of time for over 50 years. Not some random paper that came out this year purporting to discredit it, only to be convincingly rebutted almost immediately after it came out. I think a more fruitful use of time would be to extend this article to talk more about the mathematical structure of the HH equations and how they relate to general theory of nonlinear oscillators, etc. The thing is, the Naundorf et al. result isn't the first time the HH model has been shown to be incorrect. There is some detail of how H and H treated the voltage dependence of the Na+ current inactivation that turned out to be close, but not quite correct, and that's established fact, and it isn't in the main article. Also, there's what I mentioned before about the original HH model being a type II oscillator, while most mammalian neurons are type I oscillators, requiring a modification to the model. I think both of these things are more worthy of mention than the Naundorf result, and when I have time, I hope to extend the article to mention them. If you have time to write a short blurb about the Naundorf-McCormick controversy, it certainly wouldn't hurt, but in the mean time I'll work on what I see to be the more serious deficiencies of the article.Evilrobotxoxo 03:30, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
Sounds like a good idea! I will watchlist the discussion and when things are more fleshed out (say 2007) I will see to that I'll whip up a few lines. Good luck with your edits! Dysmorodrepanis 03:37, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
BTW you might want to check out my userpage's quick links; the syntax and templates always come in handy and they are occasionally hard to find in a pinch. See the page code for how to make yourself such a quicklink box.
For example, you might want to add an "Expert Attention" template to the HH model article so that others are recruited to the task. Dysmorodrepanis 03:42, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Refererence Concerning the Cuban Ground Owl

The link to the pdf reference you put up on that page is nonexistant... Do you have a living link?--Mr Fink 00:37, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Dang, thanks for pointing that out! (I have put the odd link or two from the series on other pages :( )
Anyways, check [4] which should work. Click below "Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology (1969 - present)" no matter that it says "abstracts only" (You might find this series useful in general BTW). The volume in question is Number 27, "Collected Papers in Avian Paleontology Honoring the 90th Birthday of Alexander Wetmore". Tell me if it works, k? Dysmorodrepanis 00:42, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

C.elegans edits

Hi there - you wrote a paragraph in the C.elegans article stating that C. elegans is closer to sponges than it is to humans, but your reference states that sponges are closer to C.elegans than they are to humans - this doesn't say anything about how far humans and C.elegans are from each other. Could you change the statement in the article? David 21:15, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

No, the reference states, "Sponge proteins are more similar to those of Homo sapiens than to Caenorhabditis elegans". But I see the point - I have added some info to clarify the findings. I have looked for a pithy quote, but found none concise enough. Dysmorodrepanis 21:48, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Whoops, you're right, humans are closer than C.elegans. Thanks for getting back to it so quick! David 21:10, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

In Addition To...

You hear anything about Paratyto?--Mr Fink 04:37, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

This seems presently a synoynm of Necrobyas avernensis and was originally established as a genus for "Bubo" arvernensis. Mlikovsky in 1998 wrote:

"Necrobyas arvernensis was described by Milne-Edwards (1863) on the basis of a tarsometatarsus and a tibiotarsus from the early Miocene (MN 2) of Saint-Gérand-le-Puy in France. Most fossil owls were based on tarsometatarsi, while tibiotarsi are much less abundant. Hence, I select here the tarsometatarsus MNHN Av. 2834b as the lectotype of Necrobyas arvernensis. Herewith, the tibiotarsus MNHN Av. 2834a becomes the paralectotype of the species."

He gives the following taxonomic history:
Necrobyas arvernensis (Milne-Edwards)
  • Bubo arvernensis Milne-Edwards, 1863: 458.
  • Necrobyas Edwardsi Gaillard, 1939:8 (here synonymized).
  • Paratyto arvernensis (Milne-Edwards): Brodkorb 1970:159 (new combination).
  • Necrobyas edwardsi Gaillard: Brodkorb 1971: 220 (spelling emended) [This is available online here]
  • Necrobyas arvernensis (Milne-Edwards): Mourer-Chauviré 1987:91 (new combination).
There also exists another tarsometatarsus MNHN QU-16294 from the Quercy phosphorites (Eocene/Oligocene boundary) which was described as Necrobyas edwardsi (not "Strix" edwardsi, which is disputed as to which genus it belongs to but may indeed be a genuine Strix). According to Mlikovsky, this is the precedessor population which evolved into avernensis. One may either consider them separate species, or, as Mlikovsky (who is somewhat of a lumper) did, make them one chronospecies, with the earlier N. a. edwardsi and the later N. a. avernensis as subspecies.
A brief summary can be found here (page 209/210); this book should be taken with a grain of salt as regards lumping of species but that does not apply to the bird in question.
The genus Necrobyas is among the earliest known undisputed barn-owls. It is interesting that as late as 1971, N. edwardsi was placed with the Bubo group of true owls (as was N. avernensis initially)! It seems that these owls were not ancestral to Tyto. However, unlike other genera, their placement with the barn-owl family is nowadays certain it seems. Brodkorb in 1971 placed what then was Paratyto into the Phodilinae.
It all fits in line: Necrobyas was a very early barn-owl which was still very basic (for modern owl standards - it was certainly advanced for its time). Possibly, it was a member of the lineage that led to Phodilus. In any case, its legs were unlike barn-owls but more similar to horned owls.
As regards reconstructing it, this is of course very tentative since only a few leg fragments are known. Lambrecht's Handbuch gives a length of 77.9 mm for the tibiotarsus and 43.5 mm for the tarsometatarsus of avernensis and says they are very much like in Bubo. He adds that the bird must have been half the length of the Eurasian Eagle-owl and as its legs (and thus proportions) were apparently those of a tree-living owl, this seems reasonable enough.
The color pattern is very conserved in the Tytonidae. What varies is the hues, but even Pholidus is patterned just like Tyto, only a bit less banded on the wings; but the banding is the plesiomorphy in owls versus the apomorph loss of wing bands.
Gloger's Rule suggests a strongly-colored bird. Probably not dissimilar to the Tasmanian Masked-owl here or the Congo Bay-owl here. The facial disk was probably of the barn-owl type already, but not as characteristically heart-shaped as in Tyto, more probably like the "fat U" of the Congo Bay-owl but not like the "infinity symbol" or "eyeglass" pattern in Strix, Bubo etc.
Altogether, mixing the Tasmanian Masked-owl's coloration, a mix between the Tawny Owl and a mini Eurasian Eagle-owl for body shape, and the Congo Bay-owl for the head is as close as one could get these days. Of couse, the bird could have had a different head entirely, or whatnot, but since better material is not known and it appears much of the looks of the Tytonidae has little changed since the Oligocene, the above seems reasonable enough for the time being. Dysmorodrepanis 07:44, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Removed merge from Spotted Owl and Northern Spotted Owl

The Northern Spotted Owl is a distinct subspecies of the Spotted Owl and merits a separate article. The Northern Spotted Owl is still listed by the as an endangered species by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service[5] while some of the other Spotted Owls are not. Notice that the Myrtle Warbler and the Audubon's Warbler which are subspecies of the Yellow-rumped Warbler have their own articles. I realize this last is not definitive but all thing being considered I think having the separate article hurts nothing and might help drawn attention to an important matter. --Droll 07:17, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

No problem, thanks for notifying me. I was going to beef up these articles the next days anyway and remove the tag while I'd be at that. Dysmorodrepanis 09:56, 28 December 2006 (UTC)