Wikipedia:WikiDragon

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This article is mostly about the English WikiDragon, Wikidraco wikidraco anglica. For other subspecies, use the links in the list of subspecies.
WikiDragon
Temporal range:
Late Nupedian (2003) – Recent
putatively since Middle Nupedian (2001)
Dragon rearing up to reach medieval knight on ledge.jpg
Oil painting of an English WikiDragon rearing up to reach a WikiKnight on a ledge.
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Draconia
Family: Eurodraconidae
Genus: Wikidraco
2F1, 2007
Species: W. wikidraco
Binomial name
Wikidraco wikidraco
2F1, 2007
Subspecies
Wikipedia-logo.png
The known range of the WikiDragon is shown here in white
Synonyms

The WikiDragon (En. wiki, "A collaborative website which can be directly edited by anyone with access to it," fr. Hawai'ian wikiwiki, "quick", + Gr δράκων (drakōn), "a serpent of huge size, python, dragon") (Wikidraco wikidraco) is a mythical WikiCreature typically depicted as a gigantic and powerful serpent or other reptile with magical or spiritual qualities.

Diagnosis[edit]

In order to be a Wikidragon, one must exhibit at least three of the following symptoms:

  • Edits are often dramatic, bold or grandiose.
  • Often does not give close attention to grammatical or spelling details
  • Spends hours after hours (or whatever time is needed) on Google Books or a similar site doing research for an article.
  • Focuses on a single article intensely
  • Taking a single strafing run, making a great number of smaller changes to a vast array and number of articles in short order.
  • Somewhat often thought of by members of other Wikifauna to be rash, overly critical and ungrateful in their edits, at least in their youth.

Behavior[edit]

The WikiDragon contributes through usually dramatic, bold, and often grandiose edits. These enhancements and improvements are often based on their vast knowledge or a long night of googling for references. A WikiDragon may tend to leave trivialities such as correcting grammar, adding wikilinks, and overall wordsmithing to WikiElves, WikiGnomes, and other WikiFey creatures. WikiDragons may focus on a single article intensely or may operate in a WikiDragonish way by taking a single strafing run, making a great number of smaller changes to a vast array and number of articles in short order. As a whole, there's no evidence they consistently fit into either of the two common Wikipedia user realms of battleground or playpen.

WikiDragons are solitary and rarely meet one another in social or collaborative way. Upon meeting, WikiDragons usually acknowledge one another briefly then move along to fresh pastures. But, a WikiDragon will fight fiercely to help another WikiDragon being attacked needlessly by a WikiKnight or a band of WikiGnomes. But, if a WikiDragon thinks the other deserves the attack, it will watch – and possibly give pointers to the attackers.

Ecology[edit]

Commensalism[edit]

When WikiDragons digest information, their natural regurgitation (known colloquially as 'articles') becomes a new home for many types of WikiFauna, including WikiElves and WikiFairies. This relationship is usually symbiotic, but can become parasitic, as when a group of non-WikiDragon fauna take it on themselves to annoy the dragon.

In ancient times (2010), it was thought that WikiDragons were excreting articles, but modern research has shown this to be incorrect. There is no evidence that WikiDragons ever excrete naturally; however, when under significant stress, either in the alternate universes they simultaneously inhabit, or from unpleasant interactions with other fauna, WikiDragons sometimes begin mixing excreta in with their otherwise-nutritious regurgitation-products. In extremely stressful situations, WikiDragons were traditionally believed to have spouted flames, but reliable sources disagree on whether this phenomena is in fact legendary or scientific.

According to the post-2010 ecological consensus among WikiScientists, the biological niche of WikiGnomes and WikiElves is not equivalent to that of the dung beetle, but rather they are the symbiotic species which inevitably colonize the fresh territory that WikiDragons produce, and keep that territory clean, healthy, and free of various types of vermin. The ecological responsibility of the WikiDragon is to vomit up the universe, with little concern for the details, and many rough edges. The biological record seems quite clear that WikiDragons are inherently engines of creation, but whether or not the wikiDragon leaves rough edges purposely, as a means of collaborating with other fauna, or due to genetic pre-disposition, is still undergoing significant research.

The working relationship observed amongst WikiKnights and WikiDragons is controversial, especially when factionalism amongst the WikiGnomes and WikiElves results.

Mutualism[edit]

A German woodcut depicting a Greek WikiDragon from Babylon with seven heads carrying off a happy WikiPrincess.

It was once thought that the WikiDragon kept WikiOtters as pets, but no evidence can be found supporting this hypothesis; it seems the only pets WikiDragons keep are WikiPrincesses. It also is rumored that despite appearances, WikiOtters and WikiDragons share 99.5% of the same behavior genome. The main difference in behavior is that WikiDragons are resourceful in finding work for themselves, whereas WikiOtters are flexible and willing to work for just about anybody on anything. Despite these differences, a WikiDragon and a WikiOtter working in collaboration could potentially form a powerful team that could accomplish nearly any goal. A WikiOtter and WikiDragon Meeting Cave was recently established to test this hypothesis.

To win the support of a WikiPrincess is a vital key when making a controversial edit. WikiDragons are careful to respect them for this reason. WikiDragons often mistake a WikiPrincess as a sort of object to be safeguarded, and thus treat them as a sort of pet, pampering them frequently and even taking them into custody in their lairs.

Predation and predators[edit]

WikiDragons typically feed on smaller organisms such as WikiImps, WikiGremlins, or WikiTrouts. It is rumored that WikiDragons and the legendary WikiKrakens both feed on the other, but no solid evidence surfaced showing WikiKrakens actually exist. WikiDragons typically respect medium-sized creatures such as WikiGnomes and WikiOgres, and they usually stay a safe distance from larger creatures such as WikiGiants.

Aggression and defense[edit]

Most WikiDragons are armed with fiery breath, which is used for defense against predators and foes, as well as for hunting WikiKrakens. This is also an effective mechanism for making a point in a discussion, although usually in such a case its use is accidental. It is believed that many young WikiDragons have not learned how to prevent exhaling fire while talking and that this trait is mastered later in life.

The WikiDragon is built to withstand battle. Its thick hide, powerful tail, and strong bite, when combined with its sharp wit, make for a nearly undefeatable creature. WikiDragon hunting, for this reason, usually involves a small or large party to take the WikiDragon down.

WikiDragons periodically retreat back into their caves after battle or after a long edit streak, as both require massive amounts of energy. The WikiDragon then hibernates for an indefinite period of time and usually comes back out of its cave at a later date to continue editing.

Contrary to popular belief, WikiDragons typically mind their own business and do not pay much attention to other creatures. This relatively low level of interaction with others has been the cause of misunderstanding about them. They are often regarded as trolls due to their bold edits, which has led to their hunting by WikiKnights and WikiGnomes.

WikiKnights[edit]

A German political cartoon by Philipendula of a WikiDragon asking Santa Claus to bring him a nice new WikiKnight since he destroyed the last one.

WikiKnights are the sworn enemy of the WikiDragon. These Pillar defenders keep a close eye on WikiDragons, and many are willing to risk anything to prevent a WikiDragon from making a controversial edit. When WikiDragons and WikiKnights collide, WikiDragons will often defend themselves with fire, but many have grown tired of defending and withdraw to their caves in defeat. Often, a period of hibernation follows such a retreat from battle, and some WikiDragons may never leave their caves again.

However, exceptions have occurred, as proven by the Meeting Cave designated for WikiDragons and WikiOtters, or the Meeting den for WikiDragons and WikiPlatypi.

Theories on the origin of WikiDragons[edit]

At the beginning of WikiTime, WikiDragons were quite common, turning up on every corner of Wikipedia, and at one stage were the dominant species. Long-lived beings, WikiDragons are known to fly above the fray of the short-lived kingdoms of men (or roam the ground or waters when they are wingless), and put their time into making contributions. When confronted or attacked, though, a WikiDragon may respond with vehemence and fire to defend their personal honour or the honor of their closest WikiFriends. WikiDragons typically have a great level of courage (necessary to endure WikiKnights) and faith in their fellow Wikipedians (especially other WikiDragons). The more recent evolution of the WikiGnome and WikiFaeries/WikiZenMasters led to widespread persecution of WikiDragons. Current research, as it is available, suggests that through age and physical and psychological damage from unending attacks, abuses, and persecutions, WikiDragons ultimately lose their ability to fly and may degenerate, often after long spells of inactivity, into WikiOgres. Hope remains though that WikiDragons will find homes away from persecution in other wikis, where their dramatic behaviour in creating new pages quickly from scratch is necessary to bulk those wikis out.

Evolution[edit]

Some Darwinists propose that WikiDragons were perhaps the first species to inhabit Wikipedia. Evidence of this is found by looking at fossil articles dating back as far as 2001 (middle Nupedian). Since no similar fossils have been found elsewhere, it is believed that WikiDragons are highly developed archosaurs which evolved from cave-dwelling dragons of Europe, possibly with the help of a genetic experiment involving a dragon carcass and the brain cells of an intellectual being comparable to the human.

Newer evidence suggests WikiDragons evolved from primitive diapsid preWikimedian life forms. The topic of preWikian life, especially in an older region of cyberspace called Nupedia (which disappeared in 2003), sparks debates about whether there is life outside Wikimedia. Until Wikimedians realized they had to escape Wikimedia in order to attend the Wikimania event in Frankfurt, it was not realized that there were any worlds outside of Wikia. This discovery led to the eventual discovery of virtual worlds as well, including Nupedia, where 28 fossils of Nupediasaurus have been uncovered, dating from the years 2000 to 2003. The first WikiDragon fossils do not appear until November of 2003, but it is believed that Wikidraco diverged from Nupediasaurus at the beginning of 2001.

Nupediasaurus survived for two years following the creation of Wikipedia, and may have been the actual founders and creators of Wikipedia.

Metamorphosis[edit]

A very common theory is that WikiDragons are the adult form following metamorphosis, although no one has been able to identify the larval stage. Metamorphosis is apparently very similar to the better-understood concept of Pokémon evolution, though it involves more time and more logical buildup/breakdown of tissues.

A WikiDragon from Singapore enjoying a drink in a favorite classical setting.

Creationism[edit]

In the writings of St. Patrick, he mentions "certain beasts, which, by means of the blasts of their fiery breath, do impart knowledge upon the Wikiworld." Later in the same scroll, he discusses their origins: "Verily, the Lord did make the WikiDragon, for that vast quantities of knowledge may be rapidly imparted unto them that know not." He further discusses that though their works may produce "curious grammatizations" requiring minor changes by other Wikispecies, their works are "most truly blessed", because "by their boldness, great and needed changes do occur", and "much needed pages do sprout forth as the shamrock after the early spring rains."

Greek mythology[edit]

Greek mythology tells us that the WikiDragons were offspring of Typhon and Echidna, and the WikiSerpents were born of Phorcys and Ceto. These immortal couples were said to have produced all kinds of beasts.

Fantasy[edit]

A more popular consensus is that WikiDragons are entirely fictitious. Most people doubt their existence, and even more doubt they ever did exist. These opinions usually arise from people who do not believe in the existence of other types of dragons as well.

Synonymy[edit]

Some scientists argue that the WikiDragon is simply a misidentification of the common Wikipedian.[who?] This hypothesis serves as a reason for the difficulties posed in locating them.

IUCN Red List status[edit]

Conservation status[edit]

In 2008, WikiDragons were labeled a Critically Endangered Species on the IUCN 3.1 scale per section D., "Population size estimated to number fewer than 50 mature individuals." Only 33 specimens were known to exist at the beginning of that year, and it was believed by most that the numbers were dwindling. However, surveys taken in March and May later that year revealed 36 and 47 specimens, respectively, hinting that there was hope for a comeback. However, in June of 2008, the numbers dropped once again to 33, suggesting that the population was actually stable, but dangerously fragile.

Through improved conservation and awareness efforts, the WikiDragon population began making a tremendous comeback once again, with a count of 63 specimens in November. A surprising total of 94 specimens were tallied in early February of 2009, marking a tremendous success in bringing the species back. The same survey was conducted again in June, and 112 specimens were identified.[1] The increase in WikiDragons without any farming proves the species is not extinct in the wild.

The dramatic growth took a surprising turn in 2010. During the summer and fall, WikiDragons became more and more difficult to find. By the end of the year, the population fell from around 146 to only around 73 – a 50% decline. The red flag serves as a warning that one of the iconic giants of Wikipedia may not be around for our children to see.

If the population can be kept above 50 until November of 2013, the WikiDragon can "graduate" from the Critically Endangered Species to the next rank up, Endangered Species.[2]

Factors contributing to the endangerment of WikiDragons[edit]

A depiction of an English WikiKnight battling an Italian WikiDragon. A young WikiPrincess stands close by to witness the battle. If he slays the WikiDragon, he will win her heart and she will send him WikiLove.

Attention[edit]

WikiDragons most often make bold edits that may attract attention. These edits will at times lead to edit wars, are tagged for deletion by another user—perhaps because that user is attempting to "clean up" – or may be reverted on-sight as POV-pushing (even though the majority of WikiDragons keep their biases well-hidden or subdued). This and other vilification of WikiDragons by angry mobs (sometimes as small as even three or four users banded together—unless one of them finally gets permablocked) has led to a drastic reduction in WikiDragons willing to emerge from their cave homes.

While some may consider this to be a problem, Wikipedia administrators, in large part, hesitate to stop the destruction of these noble WikiFey for reasons of wikipolitics, fear of repercussions, personal hatred of WikiDragons in general, or other motivations. Some administrators have even been known to actively hunt WikiDragons.[citation needed]

Enemies[edit]

WikiKnights, however, are perhaps the biggest threat to the survival of English-speaking WikiDragons. Sworn into the duty of slaying WikiDragons, WikiKnights inhabit all of Wikipedia. The motivation behind these attacks varies. As can be seen in the painting, one such reason is to win the heart of a WikiPrincess.

The social roots of their endangerment are even clearer if one considers that WikiDragons tend to be loners, while WikiKnights organize together to fight WikiDragons. That's why WikiDragons lose so often. Isolated WikiDragons also have a bit of a problem with the fire-breath. 'Hey, I was just breathing. How come you turned black, fell apart, and blew away?'

As WikiKnightdom is an English concept, non-English WikiDragons have other predators. Russian WikiDragons are hunted by "evil conspirators", who work against all of the WikiFey [2], and Portuguese WikiDragons are hunted by WikiGnomes and WikiElves [3]. African WikiDragons, perhaps the rarest of all WikiDragons, are often attacked by fearsome WikiKings, as they tend to settle on the lands of others; which makes them a pesky lot.

For the most part, WikiDragons are not able to become administrators on the English Wikipedia (possibly because they cannot fit inside a cubicle), though a few have managed to successfully integrate.

Because of their intense persecution, WikiDragons are often driven off from Wikipedia, but some others flee to outlying WikiVillages where local law enforcers are more forgiving of their behavior. Such villages can be havens for WikiDragons, although they still face persecution from Wikipedians that visit the WikiVillage and are not used to such peaceful treatment of the beasts.

Focus[edit]

Additionally, WikiDragons have an amazing ability to become preoccupied with a task, making staying focused on their projects much easier. However, some WikiDragons have been known to have a change in preoccupation. This will usually only happen if there is a major change in the WikiDragon's life.

Due to the nature of their preoccupation, WikiDragons are very difficult to distract, and it is very rare that one should succeed in preoccupying a WikiDragon with some other task. However, a few WikiDragons have been known to become preoccupied with other tasks, and the following are a few of the most common examples of activities which have caused such a shift in a WikiDragon's preoccupation:

Attributes, Values, and Powers[edit]

Many WikiDragons can be recognized immediately by particular characteristics. Often, these characteristics are misconstrued negatively. They may include:

Values[edit]

  • Courage – WikiDragons come to Wikipedia already possessing tremendous courage; without it they could not survive, endure, or thrive in this world. With the courage to edit, to challenge dubious claims, and to speak truth no matter how palatable or distasteful that truth may be, the WikiDragon is the champion of courage.
  • Faith – A WikiDragon's faith in the system is absolute, regardless of how many times that same system may assist—intentionally or unintentionally—the WikiDragon's persecution. The WikiDragon keeps unbending faith in the solidarity of WikiDragons, the importance of the total project, and most important, faith that all editors are intending to better Wikipedia (unless and until proven otherwise).
  • Honour – A WikiDragon's sense of honour is of utmost importance and value. Impugning the honour of a WikiDragon is very likely to elicit an aggressive response, possibly including the breathing of fire.
  • Loyalty – The WikiDragon's unswerving resolve toward maintaining neutrality is matched only by their resolve toward defending other WikiDragons and sympathetic users (but only so much as they are in the right). Without loyalty, the WikiDragon is nothing.

Attributes[edit]

  • Battle Scars – From the many battles, whether as an active participant or whilst seeking refuge from unprovoked attacks, the WikiDragon rarely survives beyond infancy without garnering some sort of disfigurement or, at the least, minor scars.
  • Knowledge – Having vast stores of information on subjects of their interest, which may be eclectic and unrelated to pop-culture.
  • Lucidity – Ability to state what they think in clear words, long words, and sometimes archaic or arcane language, which unfortunately can sometimes confuse others or cause others to take the WikiDragon's comments differently from how they were intended.
  • Passion – Possibly the strongest aspect of a WikiDragon, this is very often confused with incivility, but is not meant to be so. Pointing out facts and calling a spade a spade are common WikiDragon behaviors. The WikiDragon's passion derives from the confluence of honour, loyalty, courage, and faith.

Magical Powers[edit]

A statue of an English WikiDragon in London. Many WikiDragons prefer shadows due to the widespread persecution, though when one is as grand and bold as a WikiDragon, subtlety and a low-profile are virtually impossible to achieve.

The highly evolved species is a "sophisticated combined-arsenal editing apparatus", while less evolved forms roam with fewer powers, as if their "philosophy begins in wonder".[3] WikiDragons may have many magical wiki-powers not shared by other creatures such as:

  • Creativity – This trait varies widely, from graph-producing to metaphorical connection-making to writing; this power confounds other creatures.
  • Expertise – Having an elusive ability called "expertise", though many users (of all types) debate as to whether or not this actually exists.
  • Awards—Having large stores of magical treasure gained for their work. Conversely, many WikiDragons have few or no awards due to their hiding in the realm of smaller articles or the lack of recognition from non-WikiDragons. Theorists believe that WikiDragons also do not typically give out such awards (for unknown reasons), thus accounting for the lack of awards to WikiDragons from other WikiDragons. Although there are some exceptions to that general rule.
  • Transmutation – Ability to create entire articles from thin air.

Locating WikiDragons[edit]

Registration[edit]

WikiDragons may be easily located by browsing the WikiDragon and WikiOtter census and its archives. This log also serves as a meeting cave and a networking point for teaming up with WikiOtters, who have been long-thought to be a potentially valuable friend for WikiDragons. The biannual census at the meeting cave helps determine an estimate as to how many WikiDragons are left in the wild.

Self-Identification[edit]

Wikidragons may self-identify on Wikipedia, albeit individually, through userpage proclamations through the use of userboxes. The larger box is hypothesized to potentially draw more hunters and increase individual persecution and attacks, but this hypothesis has not yet been proven. All of them should be seen as both pronouncements and warnings.

The userboxes were recently updated following the discovery of the population increase. The normal userbox can be produced using the code {{User wikipedia/WikiDragon2}}:
Ddraig.svg This user is a WikiDragon: making massive, bold edits everywhere.


The "dragon-sized" userbox can be produced using the code {{User wikipedia/WikiDragon-dragonsized-v2}}:

Ddraig.svg This user is a WikiDragon
making massive, bold edits everywhere.


(The original userboxes may be found at Template:User wikipedia/WikiDragon and Template:User wikipedia/WikiDragon-dragonsized).:
Tiepolo, Giambattista - Die Unbefleckte Empfängnis - 1767 - 1768 - Drachen.jpg This user is a WikiDragon.
...one of the last of a dying breed...


A more discreet method for a WikiDragon to identify himself is to display an icon along the top bar of his userpage: Ddraig.svg. This can be accomplished by adding the following template on one's userpage: {{Wikipedia:WikiDragon/topicon}} (click the link for detailed instructions for adding it to a topicon strip).

Taxonomy[edit]

As of November 2013, nine subspecies of WikiDragon have been formally documented. The easiest way to identify the subspecies of the WikiDragon is to observe the language of the wiki in which he/she/it communicates:

Seven other undescribed species seem to have existed at one time, appearing in artwork. These undescribed species include the Chinese, Greek, German, Japanese, Malay, Slovene, Spanish, and Welsh WikiDragons. Aside from sculptures and images, no other evidence exists of these species.

See also[edit]

Related pages[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "2001 Categories & Criteria (version 3.1)". Iucnredlist.org. 1996-10-23. Retrieved 2013-05-23. 
  3. ^ Plato Quote