Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Dinosaurs

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WikiProject Dinosaurs (Rated NA-class)
WikiProject icon This page is within the scope of WikiProject Dinosaurs, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of dinosaurs and dinosaur-related topics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
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WikiProject cleanup listing[edit]

I have created together with Smallman12q a toolserver tool that shows a weekly-updated list of cleanup categories for WikiProjects, that can be used as a replacement for WolterBot and this WikiProject is among those that are already included (because it is a member of Category:WolterBot cleanup listing subscriptions). See the tool's wiki page, this project's listing in one big table or by categories and the index of WikiProjects. Svick (talk) 19:42, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Jurassic Fight Club RfC[edit]

I have proposed that the Inaccuracies section of Jurassic Fight Club be removed. Anyone interested is free to participate in the discussion at Talk:Jurassic Fight Club. Chris the Paleontologist (talk | contribs) 20:35, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Archaeopteryx specimen list[edit]

I have started a discussion about whether or not we should create a new article or multiple articles from the specimen list in the Archaeopteryx article. Please feel free to offer any input here. (I've cross-posted this section to WP:PAL in order to get more input.) -Ferahgo the Assassin (talk) 22:28, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Help re: hoaxes on Spanish wiki[edit]

It has come to my attention that there are at least five hoax dinosaur articles on the Spanish wiki: Acceraptor, Adaphaumas, Antarctohadros, Glacialivenator, and Lycovenator. Could someone with better Spanish skills than I inform the proper authorities over on WP:ES?

Additionally, these five hoaxes are the work of a persistent user based out of Madrid who also attempts to install hoax material here. You may recognize the pattern of inserting wishful thinking into articles such as 2011 in paleontology and 2012 in paleontology (the user is apparently obsessed with Canadian formations from the Triassic-Jurassic boundary), or the following IPs:

Their contributions can be safely deleted on site, as they have an abysmal record for accuracy. Given the stability, I'm considering asking for a rangeblock on the 212.170.92 IPs J. Spencer (talk) 01:01, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

I'll copy this to their version of WP:ANI. Surely they have a bilingual admin. Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 02:25, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Not much to be proud of, but with the help of Google Translate to locate their ANI, I managed to do this much: es:Wikipedia:Tablón de anuncios de los bibliotecarios/Portal/Archivo/Violaciones de etiqueta/Actual#Dinosauria. Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 03:52, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Wow. That was fast, it got accomplished within minutes. Yes check.svg Done Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 03:56, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Thank you! I assumed the articles would have to go through something like the involved process here, and I don't have enough Spanish to set up that. J. Spencer (talk) 00:18, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't know much Spanish aside from food names. Aside from saying "I hablo no espanol" and "gracias mucho", the rest was a matter of opening two tabs-- one with the Spanish Wikipedia, and the other with Google Translate. I navigated to a policy page that I knew would reference the place to contact administrators (thankfully, the Spanish word for "block" is a cognate, so that was easy to find). I also learned, interestingly, that the Spanish administrators are referred to as librarians. Go figure. Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 04:48, 20 January 2012 (UTC)


WikiBook Discussion[edit]

Any chance of a Wiki-book? Would give me something to read on the train. (talk) 01:33, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Hey, good idea! Anyone know about WikiBooks? We should probably get some idea of what goes into one. I'm putting a list on this page of dinosaurs that are absolutely essential for any dinosaur lover; feel free to add to it. Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 20:59, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
If we come up with a large enough list and the right budget, we might actually consider an "essentials" book for starters and a separate book for experts that omits the essential dinosaurs. Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 22:03, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
"Dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles in this list are the ones that are covered heavily in pop culture." Why does that make them "essential"? Wouldn't their scientific significance have more to say? FunkMonk (talk) 14:27, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Biota in fossil localities[edit]

IP user has recently been editing articles on some of the famous fossiliferous formations. I initially thought he was a vandal as he was blanking and deleting table entries without explanation (and breaking the format). Now I don't think so. He seems to know his stuff and have the sources for his removal of certain taxa, but not the expertise with Wikipedia to deal with the way the tables are coded. See for example Kimmeridge Clay and Talk:Kimmeridge Clay.

As I am not really a dinosaur-guy can anyone please attempt to communicate with him? -- Obsidin Soul 05:00, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

The taxa shouldn't be removed anyway since the tables catalogue reports of taxa. If the report is false it should be noted in the table itself. Abyssal (talk) 13:11, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

John R Horner video about multiple dinosaurs being the same?[edit]

I came across this video by John R. Horner and I thought it would be of interest to you guys for the articles that you make: [1]. Not sure if his views are mainstream or generally accepted (his Wiki page seems to indicate he is of some importance in dinosaur community?) or POV on such things? Cheers!Calaka (talk) 06:59, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Grammar problem in Sauropoda[edit]

Sauropoda says:

"The proximal caudal vertebrae is extremely diagnostic for sauropods."

I think that this should read either

"The proximal caudal vertebrae are extremely diagnostic"


"The proximal caudal vertebra is extremely diagnostic"

-- (talk) 04:52, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Fixed - Thank you! J. Spencer (talk) 23:41, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Transitional Fossil peer-review[edit]

It is a very important subject, and I wish to take it to GA/FA status in the future. A large section of the article discusses Archaeopteryx and the origin of birds. Input from members of this wikiproject would be highly valued. --Harizotoh9 (talk) 00:58, 23 February 2012 (UTC)


Shouldn't this project also be a descendant of WikiProject Paleontology? RockMagnetist (talk) 15:36, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Yes, definitely. Abyssal (talk) 02:35, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
Since the changes are trivial, I went ahead with them. I modified Wikipedia:WikiProject_Dinosaurs#Parentage and made Category:WikiProject Palaeontology a parent cat of Category:WikiProject Dinosaurs. RockMagnetist (talk) 04:50, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Transitional Fossil GA review[edit]

I've nominated transitional fossil for GA review. Article spends a large section discussing Archeopteryx. --Harizotoh9 (talk) 02:21, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Alan J. Charig contains some odd redlinks[edit]

Can anybody please take a look at Alan J. Charig? It contains a number of odd redlinks that should be redirected, changed to more-standard phrasing, or simply made non-links.

-- (talk) 00:25, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Iguanodon Main Page April 23rd[edit]

Iguanodon will be on the main page on April 23rd. I recommend giving the article a look over before it runs. --Harizotoh9 (talk) 03:18, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Missing articles for taxonomic levels[edit]

Currently, Avetheropoda redirects to Tetanurae, but the terms are clearly not synonymous. Should there not be a separate article? --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:23, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Another problem: Coelophysoidea has Neotheropoda in its taxobox, as a subclass of Theropoda, but Neotheropoda simply redirects to Theropoda – that's rather unfortunate, too. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:45, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

The issue is that some of these groups may not have enough relevant content to form a whole article around them. That being said, it may be useful to make stub articles for them just in case some editors *can* find something substantive to write about Avetheropoda that can't be written about Tetanurae in general. MMartyniuk (talk) 18:48, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
I figured that (and that's why I didn't complain about your treatment of Ornithodira, either), but the redirects can be confusing and the information about the group in the merged article is often a bit hidden. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:28, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Making some short articles is a good idea if there are inaccurate redirects. Don't forget that material from who described them and when and alternate views can also be discussed. Casliber (talk · contribs) 21:26, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Returning Editor[edit]

Just to say that I'm back... and wondering if I can call dibs on Elaltitan for expansion as I've got the paper. ETA: and update Argyrosaurus while I'm at it. Dracontes (talk) 13:25, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Absolutely - go for it. The dino wikiproject is a bit quiet so I don't think you'll be jostling for editing space. Casliber (talk · contribs) 14:14, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Welcome back! :) Abyssal (talk) 14:28, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Hoax articles being added as talk pages[edit]

Something to look out for:

The ever-persistent long-term vandal Edward J. Ostroski, whose editing history is followed in tedious detail here, here, here, and here, has lately taken to "creating" articles about nonexistent Paleocene hadrosaurs as orphan talk pages (his particular favorite is Talk:Ojoaushadrosaurus, a towering, nearly 15 kb monument to wishful thinking). The most reliable way to scan for these pages (when he hasn't helpfully attempted to install links to them from legitimate pages) is to check "What links here" on Dinosaur, switch to the Talk namespace, go to the end of the list, and investigate any names you are unfamiliar with (the names tend to straddle the line between odd but legitimate-sounding, like Ojoaushadrosaurus and Toltecatlus, and letter salad, like Parccalcitraripariotherium, Croatoacaptodynameosaurus, and Agricalyterodontosaur). J. Spencer (talk) 14:42, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Renaming of Category:Dinosaurs_by_continent[edit]

See Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2012_May_24#Category:Dinosaurs_by_continent -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 20:46, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

Dino video donations from Children's Museum[edit]

Hello all. The Children's Museum of Indianapolis just donated some videos of the camera panning various parts of our Tyrannosaurus Rex and Dracorex Hogwartsia, as well as panning part of our Dinosphere exhibit. They can be found at Commons:Category:Videos from The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. I'm happy for these to be dispersed wherever they may be helpful. If you have specific requests of any of our dinosaurs or other taxidermy, let me know. Thanks so much! LoriLee (talk) 20:35, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Very nice! I'll see where they can be used. As for other media, any photos of specimens would be great. In particular Prenoceratops and Didelphodon, since we don't have any usable images for these. FunkMonk (talk) 21:35, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
The curators are on it and I received our Prenoceratops images today; they'll be uploaded this afternoon. Our Dipelphodon is more difficult to photograph, but we just had our paleontologists offer to create a new cast of the mandible that will be easier to photograph. So that's rather exciting! We'll be completing that soon and touch base then. LoriLee (talk) 13:58, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
Wow, thanks! That sure is very exciting! Do we know which of the three species of Didelphodon it belongs to? I can also see we lack any images of the Hypacrosaurus stebingeri species (we only have photos of H. altispinus), which is present in the Dinosphere. There are also nice specimens of Maiasaura I see, we could use those. And our Bambiraptor images aren't particularly good. FunkMonk (talk) 14:06, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks FunkMonk! I've shared these requests with our paleontologists. You can now find the Prenoceratops on Commons (1, 2, 3). If it's useful, I also have the pdf journal article/scientific description for the Prenoceratops, if you think you would need any additional information (though doubtful : ) I can email it to you. We'll be making the cast for the Dipelphodon on Monday and should have some photos early next week. HstryQT (talk) 20:18, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
Nice! Yes, I'd like the PDF actually, I could add some info to the Preno article, which is kind of stubby at the moment... FunkMonk (talk) 20:37, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

List of dinosaur parks[edit]

In the wake of translating the Dinosaur Land (Rügen) article from, I've also created a List of dinosaur parks which may be of interest here. Bermicourt (talk) 16:48, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Aublysodon up for Good Article review[edit]

Might have been a premature nomination: FunkMonk (talk) 11:01, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Hmmm... first GA ever about a single fossil tooth that was lucky enough to get a name? :) MMartyniuk (talk) 20:50, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Question re style for nomen nudum[edit]

Nomen nudum says that such names

may or may not be written in italics, depending on style.

All well and good, however, Gojirasaurus says

In early, unpublished studies which included this specimen, the dinosaur was referred to by the name "Revueltoraptor lucasi", a nomen nudum.

I suspect that the style there should be tweaked, but I'm not sure what would be best.

-- (talk) 02:45, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure where that nomina nuda page got it, but I've never, ever seen nomena nuda written in italics (unless it's referring to the phrase nomen nudum itself which often is). A nomen nudum is always written in quotes to distinguish it from valid scientific names. MMartyniuk (talk) 13:45, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Growth rings: New study and a suggestion for a standalone article[edit]

BBC reports:

"Dinosaur cold-blood theory in doubt" (sic)

Prior studies of dinosaur bones uncovered what are known as "lines of arrested growth".
The creatures were presumed to be cold-blooded because modern cold-blooded animals show these same lines.
But scientists reporting in Nature have studied the bones of 41 modern mammal species from around the world, finding every one had these lines as well.

"Seasonal bone growth and physiology in endotherms shed light on dinosaur physiology"

If you search for "growth rings" on Wikipedia, it redirects to Dendrochronology - dating the age of trees by their rings.

The article Bone (IMHO surprisingly) appears not to mention growth rings in bone.

In short, Wikipedia appears not to really have anything on this topic.

Since bone rings are found in many different taxa - and since this topic is of interest in dinosaurological studies - I suggest that we create an article addressing this topic.

-- (talk) 14:22, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

(Other discussion at ) -- (talk) 14:30, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

List of feathered dinosaurs[edit]

Just noticed this, it's a bit problematic, isn't it? FunkMonk (talk) 13:35, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Merge it into feathered dinosaur? which already has a (better documented) list. Lavateraguy (talk) 14:28, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, seems to have been done already. FunkMonk (talk) 00:02, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Dinosaurs for identification[edit]

It seems to be a reoccurring feature on the bird project to identify images of birds. I've had some success with identifying unlabelled dinosaur images on Flickr and Commons, but there's still a bunch I'm unable to crack, see the following Commons category:

Some of them are undescribed and have never been named of course, so they'll probably stay in the category for years. FunkMonk (talk) 00:11, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Can anybody come up with a better cite for a seminal paper by Bakker?[edit]

Dinosaur says:

The idea of dinosaurs as ectothermic and sluggish remained a prevalent view until Robert T. "Bob" Bakker, an early proponent of dinosaur endothermy, published an influential paper on the topic in 1968.

- I.e., "The Superiority of Dinosaurs", and the cite given is - a page at the site of the University of California Museum of Paleontology.

The UCMP is obviously a respectable source, but for an article, I think that we should provide a cite to the original publication.


-- (talk) 22:56, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Temporal paradox (paleontology). It's back. Need to re-AFD?[edit]

In Nov 2007 I AFD'd Temporal_paradox_(paleontology) --

The result was Delete.

I'm surprised and disturbed to see that the article has been re-instituted.

Could people please take a look at this and see if it is keep-worthy or whether we should AFD it again?

(The article's Talk page -- )


-- Writtenonsand (talk) 14:00, 10 September 2012 (UTC)


Xenoceratops is a recently described dinosaur species, and may earn a ITN or DYK spot if it can be expanded (WP:ITN/C#New dinosaur species). Anyone here interested in helping? Chris857 (talk) 21:02, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Hadrosaurs unable to pronate[edit]

Interesting open access paper that raises a couple of questions.[2] First, does this have any impact on how hadrosaurs are to be life reconstructed and the restorations we have already (not as far as I could see)? Should it impact use of pictures showing wrongly mounted skeletons (I think not, it is not obvious at a glance)? Are there any dinosaurs at all that could pronate their hands (sauropods?)? Also, it shows some good pictures of the Trachodon mummy's hands, and they show the unguals completely encased in skin as far as I can see, what is the reason for hadrosaurs often being shown with visible claws anyway? FunkMonk (talk) 10:10, 20 November 2012 (UTC)


Nyasasaurus has been outed in the lay media as "the oldest known dinosaur." At present the article doesn't even have an infobox. Please help. Abductive (reasoning) 01:59, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

The article has existed since 2006 (I created it), but we couldn't put a taxobox/species box on it until now, when it was formally published. I've no doubt the article will fill out nicely once the paper is out. Meanwhile, I've added a bit, based on the abstract. Firsfron of Ronchester 03:21, 5 December 2012 (UTC)
Maybe this article could be nominated for a DYK? Seeing as we recently had Xenoceratops in the news, which IMHO is not as significant an announcement as Nyasasaurus, does anyone think this might have a chance for ITN? Smokeybjb (talk) 00:28, 7 December 2012 (UTC)
Absolutely, Smokey... The ITN submission should stress the age of the fossil: "...oldest known dinosaur". The DYK nomination could work the "fossils sitting neglected in a museum for 8 decades" angle. Firsfron of Ronchester 02:18, 7 December 2012 (UTC)
Sounds good... I nominated it at WP:ITN/C#Possible oldest known dinosaur announced. Smokeybjb (talk) 03:04, 7 December 2012 (UTC)
Sweet! :) Firsfron of Ronchester 03:25, 7 December 2012 (UTC)


Hi everyone! The German wikipedians were able to get a few sponsored accounts for Bioone, that means full access to several biological journals (see list here), including the Journal of Vertebrae Paleontology. So, if you need something from there for wikipedia work, please just send me a wiki-mail, I would be happy to download it. Regards, --Jens Lallensack (talk) 08:50, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. I will definitely take you up on that offer, Jens. In a few weeks, when I've finished with the last batch you sent me. :) Firsfron of Ronchester 15:42, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedian in Residence: Natural History Museum, London[edit]

Hi all,

Just to let you know that the Natural History Museum in London is advertising for a Wikipedian in Residence, working jointly there and at the Science Museum next door; it's a paid post for four months, and applications are open until 10th February. I've worked with Ed Baker at the NHM to define the scope of the program, and it looks really promising - there's some real opportunities for interesting projects here. Details are available on the National Museums site, and there's some details about other upcoming UK residency programs here.

Please pass this on to anyone who might be interested, and feel free to get in touch with me if you've any questions. Thanks, Andrew Gray (talk) 11:37, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Aww how interesting! If only I was out of school and old enough to work then I would love to apply for a job there. Rainbow Shifter (talk) 18:10, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Teresa Maryańska[edit]

There is a debate about whether Teresa Maryańska is sufficiently notable for an article. I thought I would mention this here in case anyone has any useful contribution to make to the debate. (Msrasnw (talk) 09:51, 11 March 2013 (UTC))

Can we please clarify: "Brachiosaurus" nougaredi? Brachiosaurus nougaredi? Other?[edit]

Breviparopus says:

... "Brachiosaurus" nougaredi, another giant brachioaur of near-mythic proportions known from a colossal sacrum, was discovered not too far from Morocco ..."

We have an article at Brachiosaurus nougaredi, which says

Brachiosaurus nougaredi [sic] is a giant sauropod dinosaur from the family Brachiosauridae. It was originally assigned to the genus Brachiosaurus in 1960, though it almost certainly represents a different genus.

Should we use the style with Brachiosaurus in quotes or not in quotes?

Do we want a standalone article "Brachiosaurus" nougaredi, or should we sink this into Brachiosaurus, or what?

-- (talk) 04:52, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

The way I've usually seen species that don't belong to a genus formatted is "XXXXsaurus" species, genus in quotes and without italics, species in italics. J. Spencer (talk) 02:28, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Article concerns[edit]

Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards is currently FA, but I have my concerns over its quality. Please read this discussion for more info. Ten Pound Hammer(What did I screw up now?) 06:34, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Vulcanodon – need help[edit]

I'm planning to nominate Vulcanodon as a GA. Would be great if someone could look over it beforehand. I would be very grateful for grammar fixes, improvements, and criticism. --Jens Lallensack (talk) 13:55, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

Well, it needs some references for the first section. It has none right now. I can help with finding stuff on other wikis to make sure it has them on it. I'll also try to find images, refs, additional info, etc. Reid,iain james (talk) 20:04, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
The way of citing pages seems non-standard. And you don't have to cite specific pages in scientific articles. FunkMonk (talk) 20:35, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
Great, thank you, Reid,iain and FunkMonk. You are right, I have removed the rp template for citing pages, those may irritate readers to much. I have not put citations into the lead, because according to wp:lead, this section should only be a summary of the article and redundant citations should be avoided. --Jens Lallensack (talk) 21:17, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, but it still says Encyclopedic content must be verifiable on wp:lead. Reid,iain james (talk) 03:57, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
No problem. I'll start off making sure everything is grammatically correct and I'll check other wikis. Reid,iain james (talk) 23:42, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
I just had a thought. Why does Vulcanodon have a taxobox and not an automatic one. That way, it doesn't need to have Vulcanodontidae in it but it will still say it is a Gravisaurian instead of just a sauropod. Reid,iain james (talk) 23:50, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
I couldn't find any information in the lead that isn't in the body as well. An automatic taxobox would be fine, but how to do that? --Jens Lallensack (talk) 05:44, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
I can add one. Should I? Reid,iain james (talk) 14:57, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, please, add one. And thank you for all the grammar fixes. I'm German and still have to become familiar with this language … --Jens Lallensack (talk) 18:17, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
No prob. I sometimes edit the Netherlands wiki and I know what it's like. Reid,iain james (talk) 18:29, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
If you want to edit the automatic taxobox or add to it see Template:Taxonomy/Vulcanodon. Reid,iain james (talk) 20:38, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
It could have a speciesbox or an automatic taxobox. Reid,iain james (talk) 16:34, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
Is Poznan Plaza in Poland? Reid,iain james (talk) 03:57, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
I will help too, it seems like a nice little Community Collaboration. Rainbow Shifter (talk) 08:31, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
Great! --Jens Lallensack (talk) 18:17, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

Hi all! Fortunately, the coordinates of the site of discovery are published. I consider asking our map workshop if a nice location map is possible. What do you think? The location is interesting, since it is a small island in an artificial lake; and I think we could do well with another image. --Jens Lallensack (talk) 18:17, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

I think that would be great! Reid,iain james (talk) 18:29, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

I have just nominated our article for GA; I think its ready now. Thank you everyone for all your improvements! --Jens Lallensack (talk) 17:22, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

Megapnosaurus/Coelophysis problem[edit]

I have an issue. It is regarding the Megapnosaurus/Coelophysis problem. Here [3] is the evidence that would make Coelophysis and Megapnosaurus rhodesiensis synonomous. I would like opinions on what to do with Megapnosaurus.

  • Possibility One - We could merge Megapnosaurus into Coelophysis
    • Support -
    • Reason -
  • Possibility Two - We could split Megapnosaurus into "M". kayentakae (I think I spelt it wrong) and M. rhodesiensis and then merge M. rhodesiensis into Coelophysis
    • Support -
    • Reason -
  • Possibility Three - We could leave it as it is until further evidence is found
    • Support -
    • Reason -

Any other possibilities and evidence are accepted. Reid,iain james (talk) 01:40, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

I would support reason three for now. One or two researchers have proposed sinking rhodesiensis into bauri but there is yet no consensus and it will take until a thorough re-evaluation of Megapnosaurus for this to happen. Nobody currently thinks kayentakae is either genus, though I've seen it proposed that it may be the same thing as Kayentavenator. MMartyniuk (talk) 11:15, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't think it is such a pressing issue, there are many situations like this, it is just the best known one. Since there is no actual edit war about it or anything, we can easily just wait it out. FunkMonk (talk) 14:38, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
Ok sure. I guess its been waited on for a while now. Reid,iain james (talk) 21:24, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm going to use this section to hold information I find. I have info from a website entirely for Coelophysis:, it has [4], [5], [6] and [7] on comparing Coelophysis and Megapnosaurus. The first one is on the possible synonymy of Megapnosaurus and Rioaribbosaurus. Here is info on "Syntarsus" (I found alot of info on its original name): [8], [9], [10], [11]. Reid,iain james (talk) 02:32, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
I like Possibility Three as well. The idea of using this section to hold information is also a good one. Evangelos Giakoumatos (talk) 16:46, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Ok. If you have anything to add then please add it. Do you? Reid,iain james (talk) 23:49, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

Fore-aft basal length (FABL)[edit]

I'm trying to get Dromaeosauroides to GA, but since it is only a tooth taxon, it will have to go into quite some subtle detail. But I've run into a problem, it uses a measurement of "fore-aft basal length", which seems to be jargon used in theropod tooth papers. I'm not sure how to translate this into lay-speak. Same with "basal mediolateral width". The full sentence: "The preserved crown height is 21.7 mm, the fore and aft basal length is 9.7 mm and the basal mediolateral width is 6.6 mm." FunkMonk (talk) 19:40, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

It measures "9.7mm from front to back and 6.6mm from the inside of the mouth to the outside"? de Bivort 19:53, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
I think it is only relative to the tooth itself, not the mouth or anything else. But these terms seem to be often used in theropod papers, or only in theropod papers for that matter, judged on a Google search. FunkMonk (talk) 19:56, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
I was providing lay person definitions of the body axis jargon. de Bivort 00:01, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Here's an image[12] from a paper [13] I found, which explains the first measurement. Still not sure about the second one, though. Is it the same as CST? FunkMonk (talk) 00:31, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
  • I think it means "9.7 mm from front to back at the base, and 6.6 mm wide at the base", anyone can confirm this? FunkMonk (talk) 22:52, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
That's exactly what it means.--MWAK (talk) 18:30, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

Megalosaurus - going for GA[edit]

Hi, I've noticed that Megalosaurus, the dinosaur with the most historical importance is being treated as though it has no historical importance at all (well actually MWAK and I both did) for Iguanodon is a FA and Megalosaurus isn't even a GA. I am trying to see who will help me bring it to GA. If anyone would like to collaborate it would be appreciated for I'm trying to make it as good as possible. Iainstein (talk) 15:02, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

Great, I will help you to improve it. The topic seems very important but difficult, I'm looking forward to read it. --Jens Lallensack (talk) 18:37, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
I still see a lot of unsourced paragraphs, so not quite there yet in terms of GA. FunkMonk (talk) 21:40, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the help. I'm going to try to find refs for the unsourced paragraphs. Iainstein (talk) 22:59, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
I'm thinking the casual reader would perhaps be turned off by the article beginning with really complicated taxonomic history stuff, rather than biology? FunkMonk (talk) 13:28, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks again for pointing out thing that might be wrong. I'll tell MWAK as he was the one that expanded it. I'll also try to make it less complicated. Iainstein (talk) 14:15, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
I think the writing is clear enough, I was thinking more of the sequence of the sections. FunkMonk (talk) 14:36, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
I told that to MWAK. I'll also see if I can change it around. Iainstein (talk) 14:42, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
I have the strong feeling the opposite is true. People are interested in history stuff — which they can easily understand — and much less interested in the natural science part, which is far more arcane. This is especially so in the case of Megalosaurus, of which the description as such is of little interest — it is just a rather standard basal theropod, with limited known remains — whereas the story of its discovery, naming and interpretation, as one of the first known dinosaurs, is of the utmost importance and, obviously, gets the most attention in popular-science books.
More in general, with paleontological articles, the discovery and naming sections should precede the description. Logically so: you first indicate what you have found and where — and only then you describe it. Accordingly, in all scientific articles this order is adhered to. We, whose task it is to reflect the secondary literature, had best follow this. Any other order would be most confusing as this forces you to constantly refer to specimens and concepts that are new to the reader. The reader should have been introduced to them first — and that's where the discovery section is for! The motive behind the misguided urge to put the description section first — apart from the wish to give a very general "picture book" idea of the morphology, which the lead and taxobox can provide — is the false analogy with extant animals. With these you can begin with a description because the still living population is the obvious source of our knowledge and any particular specimens and their collectors, are of very secondary importance. This is not so with fossil species, especially not with dinosaurs, the fossils of which are always rather limited in number, about half of them known from a single specimen.
The most fundamental point, however, is that it is utterly irrelevant whether the reader is scared away :o). We are not in the business of providing infotainment, nor is it our holy duty to educate the ignorant masses: we simply have the humble task to summarise the dry facts as they can be gleaned from the boring secondary literature. Whether the reader chooses to be enticed or scared by these facts, is no concern of ours.--MWAK (talk) 16:49, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
Heheh, as I've stated before, I personally enjoy the history stuff, so if we assume the average layman is able to follow it too, there should be no problem. FunkMonk (talk) 16:54, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
Hey, it's about giant testicles. That will get everyone's attention! But I'll explain the technical aspect better.--MWAK (talk) 18:39, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
Anyone up for drawing a hypothetical life restoration of Scrotum humanum? FunkMonk (talk) 18:44, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
I can. I'm still working on the other images though. I completely forgot about them. How should it look and do you have a ref for me to base it on? Iainstein (talk) 19:00, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
Heheh, it was just a lame joke. I guess it would be a partial self-portrait if any one of us were going to do it... FunkMonk (talk) 19:04, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
Would be very relevant in view of the latest studies on the relation with parenting: ;o).
I was a bit distracted there is an american black bears across the road in a neighbours tree. Iainstein (talk) 19:13, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
Watch out! And now we're talking dangerous animals, we're beginning to get pacus here... FunkMonk (talk) 19:19, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

Sinosauropteryx for FA[edit]

I haven't been active as a writer/nominator of dinosaur articles yet, but I'm aiming to get Dromaeosauroides to FAC soon, and if that succeeds, I feel more ready to tackle taxa with much more to go by. Getting quite a few articles to FAC within a short time has also made me more confident in my writing here, so I feel ready to contribute with more than just images. Sinosauropteryx seems pretty close already, and is important, so I think it would be a good contender, and we don't get many dino FACs these days anyway. Also because it was found so recently, we don't have to dig up all sorts of century old papers, and the amount of articles are also limited in number, which is good for overview. Anyone up for this? FunkMonk (talk) 22:56, 23 September 2013 (UTC) FunkMonk (talk) 22:56, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

  • Main problem now is that the entire second paragraph under history is unsourced. Also, was the unnamed specimen form the same formation? Also, I think we could have a better headline than "controversy", something more specific, like "nature/identity of filament". FunkMonk (talk) 23:29, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
What about Apatosaurus? LittleJerry (talk) 02:25, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
To me, that's quite a bit more complicated. We have dozens of papers spanning over a century on that one, so it'll be much harder to get an overview of what's what... I think even Spinosaurus would be easier, since little new was learned about it until at least the 1990s.. FunkMonk (talk) 12:46, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
I don't think that would be a problem since FA reviewers prefer that articles rely mostly on recent sources so there's less of a chance that they're outdated. LittleJerry (talk) 13:03, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
Well, not in my experience at least. Maybe so with extant animals, but with extinct animals, much of the key information (not only historical) is mainly found in old sources. Also, reviewers have often asked me to include old articles they found during source searches. FunkMonk (talk) 13:14, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps for animals that were made extinct by humans post-1500. Maybe prehistoric animals are different? LittleJerry (talk) 13:22, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
For woolly mammoth (may even have been during the GAN) I was asked to add some old texts mentioned in the article, but in the end I wasn't able to locate them all or cite them, but many are used. And if you look at FACS about dinosaurs discovered in the 19th century, all of them cite very old papers. FunkMonk (talk) 13:28, 24 September 2013 (U:::TC)
Okay then. LittleJerry (talk) 13:41, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
This is not meant as discouragement, we could try to fix it up, you got Smilodon to GA with few old sources after all. It's on the short side, though. FunkMonk (talk) 13:42, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
How about Euoplocephalus? I started expanding the article a while back and you took it further. It seems to be in good enough shape. LittleJerry (talk) 14:06, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
To me, Sino and Apato win for significance. Euoplocephalus is iffy, because it has recently been split into many different genera, so it is now unclear whether the specimens and elements referred to in even relatively new papers actually belong to it. Therefore, hard to write and keep track of. As an example of this, no complete tail club is known for Euoplocephalus any more, due to reassignments. This means that even recent biomechanical studies of tail clubs and such are useless here, and it is a minefield to determine what can be used and not. Perhaps MWAK can be helpful with that, he has vast knowledge on specimens. FunkMonk (talk) 15:16, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
Take a look at the Apato article now. Do you think it has enough historical sources? LittleJerry (talk) 15:37, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
I think it could easily become a GA, once the several unsourced paragraphs are fixed. As for FA, I think it could certainly be expanded, both in the history and other sections. FunkMonk (talk) 15:40, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
Okay, I might look into it someday and perhaps ask for some sauropod books for Christmas. Were you a significant contributor to the article? I think spotchecking would be a problem. LittleJerry (talk) 16:24, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
Back then I mainly added images, I think folks like Dinogouy and JSpencer have done most of the work. FunkMonk (talk) 17:03, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

Having university access is good - I also have a few books (Dinosauria etc.) - if folks are feeling a bit rusty on dino FAC, then best is to start off easy with one that looks closest to being ready. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 15:33, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

  • Dromaeosauroides is now up for FAC, and Nigersaurus will be too, probably by next week. And by the way, it would be nice if all featured dinosaur articles had a size comparison and a cladogram. FunkMonk (talk) 22:20, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
Do any refs for dromaeosauroides have a cladogram, I've already asked this but it might have changed. I can add one to each FA if they don't have one yet. Is that good? Iainstein (talk) 23:25, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
No, too little of it (therefore too few features) is known for that to be possible. But if you can find some for the other ones, such as Parasaurolophus, that would be nice. For example this: FunkMonk (talk) 23:27, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
Also seems many older articles have way outdated cladograms, with very few genera included. These could also be replaced with newer ones. Especially in the tyrannosaur articles, after that new study with Lythronax. FunkMonk (talk) 13:23, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

FAs missing citations[edit]

Most dinosaur FAs have sentences or paragraphs without citations, which could threaten their status as such. How should this be indicated? Here, or with citation needed tags? I remember someone was against the latter. I'll attempt to add citations myself, if I know of any, but for the most part I don't. FunkMonk (talk) 11:21, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

Would be great to have a list of those sentences that need citations; I think we are able to resolve most of these issues. --Jens Lallensack (talk) 12:29, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
For a start, check dinosaur itself, it is in pretty bad shape, certainly wouldn't pass a FA review right now... FunkMonk (talk) 12:38, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Herrerasaurus was on the main page yesterday, but I noticed it has unsourced statements. If anyone knows proper citations, please fill it out! Specifically, the first paragraph under skull needs a citation. Several lines under "Distinguishing anatomical features" need citations. And finally, the last line under "Provenance and occurrence" needs a citation. FunkMonk (talk) 11:16, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
I just created a page that you can list FAs or GAs needing additional citations: here. Iainstein (talk) 23:37, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
Heh, at this point, they could all be there... FunkMonk (talk) 16:05, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Indeed - must be an orderly way to do this.....Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 19:32, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
  • FWIW, This report (warning - takes about 10s seconds to run, be patient) will give you everything (probably) that is a) an article about dinosaurs; b) is a FA; c) has {{fact}} on it. There's four right now. This one does the same for GAs (there currently aren't any). Andrew Gray (talk) 22:11, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Most of the missing citations have not been tagged, so they wouldn't show up. I'm thinking ends of paragraphs with no citations. You'll only notice them when you skim through the articles. FunkMonk (talk) 22:41, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Nice work on the refs so far, Reid! FunkMonk (talk) 19:43, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm working on identifying images like this. If you look closely you'll see a hatchet-like cnemial crest, characteristic of Pycnonemosaurus. Iainstein (talk) 00:29, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
Can't find other pictures of the mount when searching for the name, though. FunkMonk (talk) 16:46, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
Be careful, especially when "Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs" is the source. According to Novas (2009), the large hatched shaped cnemial crest is a characteristic of the whole Ablisauroidea, not only of Pycnonemosaurus (for example, its mentioned in the Quilmesaurus article. --Jens Lallensack (talk) 17:56, 30 October 2013 (UTC)


I am having a discussion of whether or not to split Nedoceratops from Triceratops here. Since there have only been two comments about it I decided to try to get more people that it involves involved on the topic of the split. Iainstein (talk) 13:48, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Lambeosaurus seems to be a FA for November 19th.[edit],_2013 says Lambeosaurus is set to be the Daily Featured Article on that date. Heightened attention to evade the edit war we had with Thescelosaurus may be a good idea, considering dinosaur articles seem to be vandalized more often then others (from my view, at least, my dinosaur-dominated view) seem to be. Just going to post this here to make sure it's noticed. Dromaeosaurus is best dinosaur (talk) 13:35, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

    • It wasn't an edit war per se, it was just one user displeased that other users weren't going along with his/her work on free will, and using a front page article to advertise their displeasure via multiple socks. Either that, or TileJoin. J. Spencer (talk) 00:55, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
  • On this note, the sentence "The crest of the lesser-known species L. paucidens is not currently known" needs a source there. FunkMonk (talk) 16:31, 4 November 2013 (UTC)
The ideal solution would of course be to just add a source. Anyone know where to look? FunkMonk (talk) 21:24, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Potential future FACs[edit]

The dino project has been stagnant for several years in this regard, but since the two current nominees seem to be going well, I think it could be nice to keep it going. So I'll try to compile a list of possible future dinosaur articles here, that I at least would be interested in improving for FAC, based on how well studied they are and so on. FunkMonk (talk) 19:16, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

  • Sinosauropteryx - Historically important, and almost there.
  • Spinosaurus - Same as above.
  • Cryolophosaurus - Needs some more work, but it seems not much more will be known about it until further remains are found, so it can be rounded off well.
  • Carnotaurus - Recently became GA, could become FA with some expansion.
  • Megalosaurus - It's history is a huge mess, but MWAk seems to be sorting it out.
  • Scipionyx - Recently got its monograph published, much more will probably not be known about it until other specimens are found.
  • Brachiosaurus - Recently had to be painfully split, but may be salvaged.
  • Giraffatitan - Same as above.
  • Dilophosaurus - Seems to be in good shape, and it seems not much new is being published on it.
  • Eoraptor - Just got a monograph, so could be expanded a lot.
  • Coelophysis - Well known, lots of information, main problem would be whether Megapnosaurus is sunk within it, but that'll only mean expansion, not cutting.
  • Protoceratops - Much seems to be known about it, so surprising that it is so short.
  • Kentrosaurus - Got pretty close recently.
  • Corythosaurus - Seems to be pretty well known.
  • Maiasaura - Same as above.
  • I've left out articls like Pachycephalosaurus, Scelidosaurus, Euoplocephalus, and Hypacrosaurus, since these will probably have to be substantially split and rewritten in coming years, due to taxonomic revisions and the description of new speciemsn that have been lying around for a while. Brontosaurus may be revived according toone SVP talk, which would make it a bad idea to get Apatosaurus featured until afterwards. Troodon has the same problem. Microraptor seems to be the subject of a constant stream of studies, so may be too early to get it to FAC. FunkMonk (talk) 19:22, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
Should we try to get the ones that aren't even GAs yet in shape before we spruce up the ones that are already GAs or vice versa? Iainstein (talk) 19:41, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
The best criterion is enthusiasm of the editors driving it. What works best is when someone really wants to take it all the way, and that the subject is pretty stable. Also there are some editors who know alot about a certain area, such as J.Spencer on ornithopods. So the question would be, what does anyone feel like "driving". In which case, I (or anyone really) can reopen the collaboration if folks are keen, or we can just choose one or more now. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:20, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
I feel like we should not reopen the collaboration, but have people working on what they want to improve. How about one of us makes a subpage or just a subsection with the list of articles to improve and who wants to work on them. It would help people know who else is trying to improve the article so we can get more done sooner. Iainstein (talk) 23:07, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
I think I'll work on a couple of these soon in any case, so anyone who wants to join is welcome. FunkMonk (talk) 02:59, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Subsection is better - just posting a note here is fine. Then discussion specific to that article can take place on the article talk page. Articles generally go better when there is 1-2 folks really keen to drive it all the way to FAC, and the others can chip in with comments. It's been several years since I've done one as well...hmmmm....Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 04:19, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
I'll focus on theropods, mostly Sinosauropteryx, Cryolophosaurus, Dilophosaurus, and Spinosaurus. Anyone else working on one of these? Iainstein (talk) 04:55, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
I think the two first ones will be the easiest, since it is easy to get an overview of the literature. FunkMonk (talk) 05:14, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Just start with whichever one you're most enthusiastic about, and we can offer comments etc. - let us know here. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 05:15, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
I think I'll start with Cryolophosaurus, as it could use a little expansion. Iainstein (talk) 14:46, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Cool. I'd also add that whether a genus has a nice selection of good, free images affects whether I find it worth working on as well. Long articles with no or few images make me sad... FunkMonk (talk) 17:02, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
After looking for sources, it seems some very important papers[14][15] (new specimens, brain scan) will be published on Cryo in hopefully the near future, so I think a FAC would be premature. Sino seems more stable, though there is still the whole thing about the specimen that could belong to a new genus, which will remove a lot of material in that case. Damn you, science! FunkMonk (talk) 22:42, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Coelophysis looks pretty nice, actually, and it's not even GA status. Dromaeosaurus is best dinosaur (talk) 12:38, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, would just need to get a good overview of the literature, which seems to be pretty extensive... FunkMonk (talk) 16:28, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
I find Sinosauropteryx and Spinosaurus have made FAC, anyone else agree? If so, which shoudl be nominated first? Iainstein (talk) 00:14, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
I think the latter is a bit more messy (a Megaupload link to a source!). The former has less (and more easily obtainable) literature to worry about! Isn't the original description of Spino in German? Both need work done before a nomination. FunkMonk (talk) 00:17, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
  • What about Vulcanodon. It is GA and it seems to be close to the FAC? Iainstein (talk) 01:53, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
I've been improving Coelophysis while I'm at it. Anyone have references for its etymology? Iainstein (talk) 14:48, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
It depends on whether you have the literature in handy, otherwise it is not a good idea to nominate. FunkMonk (talk) 23:42, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Carnotaurus is ready for FAC now I think, but could need a copyedit. Any good wordsmiths on the project? The request page is ultra slow. FunkMonk (talk) 23:39, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
Copyedited lead. Will do the rest soon. How does it look? Iainstein (talk) 00:08, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Looks nice to me! FunkMonk (talk) 00:14, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
What's a "left tight bone". Iainstein (talk) 00:15, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Now worked down to the vertebra section. Iainstein (talk) 00:24, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Most likely "thigh".FunkMonk (talk) 01:01, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Who's going to nominate it? I would like to be one of them for it is my first work on getting an article to FAC but it is not necessary. I think Jens should definitely be one of the nominators since he has done the most. Does FunkMonk want to be one also? Iainstein (talk) 03:11, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Carnotaurus is ready for FAC!!! Iainstein (talk) 03:06, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Definitely Jens, copyeditors usually aren't nominators, but I'd talk to jens about that, because you've shown to be quick at fixing FAC feedback. I've only done reviewing, so I won't. FunkMonk (talk) 06:11, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
There's also Ankylosaurus and Stegoceras, to look at. LittleJerry (talk) 04:22, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
I think those two are pretty safe (mostly taxonomically stable, few new specimens) actually. You wanted to work on Euoplopcephalus, so I'd say Ankylosaurus would be a good substitute! FunkMonk (talk) 04:36, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
  • When I get the time, I'll work on Sinosauropteryx. Main obstacle is the "Sinosauropteryx sp." specimen, since once that's split off, quite some stuff will have to be removed. Anyone have an idea if a redescription is in the works? FunkMonk (talk) 20:27, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
From what I can tell, it'll be published in the new year (no sign of it now, although even that is a broad guess). Iainstein (talk) 00:56, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
I think there might be another, although it might get a bit more attention. Ampelosaurus. Btw, does anyone have access to Barroso-Barcenilla, F.; Cambra-Moo, O.; Escaso, F.; Ortega, F.; Pascual, A.; Pérez-García, A.; Rodríguez-Lázaro, J.; Sanz, J. L.; Segura, M.; Torices, A. (2009). "New and exceptional discovery in the Upper Cretaceous of the Iberian Peninsula: The palaeontological site of "Lo Hueco", Cuenca, Spain". Cretaceous Research 30 (5): 1268. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2009.07.010.  edit? If so, could they please contact me? Thanks. Iainstein (talk) 00:56, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
I have temporary uploaded this paper into my dropbox: PDF. --Jens Lallensack (talk) 09:41, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
I also have additional Ampelosaurus images, see [16]. Just say what you need, I will upload it. Does anyone know if we can use the pictures of the skull model? I'm not sure because its art (the pictures where taken inside a French museum)? --Jens Lallensack (talk) 12:25, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. It seems like they might be but then again, like with Flikr, it all might depend on who took them. Iainstein (talk) 14:50, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
You mean the image in the paper? If it doesn't have a free license, we can't use it. As for Ampelo, try to expandit, I'll oversee it if you want to. If I were you, I'd find a list of all papers[17] concerning the genus, then request them here: [18] FunkMonk (talk) 18:14, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
No, I mean these images: Link to Dropbox Folder. These are my own, I have taken them this summer. But I'm not sure if I can upload the life reconstruction of the skull to Wikimedia Commons, since the picture was taken inside a museum in France. Freedom of panorama in France seems to be a bit more restricted, but I don't know. --Jens Lallensack (talk) 19:19, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Ah,you man the life restoration? Yeah, you're right, that would not work, because of FOP issues in France. But the bones and casts of them are ok. Your images are better than those in the article! In any case, it seems the nostril placement on the model is outdated, according to the Witmer nostril study. FunkMonk (talk) 19:48, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Another ref needed doi:10.1080/08912963.2010.499168. This one's for the same article, but a different topic. Thanks. Iainstein (talk) 23:20, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Anyone have access to the journal Cretaceous Research. If so, could you get doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2012.05.004. Thanks. Iainstein (talk) 01:03, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

Discussion regarding WikiSpecies[edit]

There is a discussion currently taking place at WikiProject:Plants (here) regarding the status of WikiSpecies. All comments are welcomed and requested.--Kevmin § 04:12, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Potential merge of Stegosauridae[edit]

Hi Dino-folks! I'd like to draw your attention to Stegosauridae (Talk), which has some very good content, and some confusing/redundant/extraneous content, but all of which I feel can be better merged into (or is already covered by) Stegosaurus and/or Stegosauria. The dueling phylogenies on Stegosauridae need context and correction, many parts directly reference Stegosaurus, and from what I can tell Stegosauria =Stegosuridae plus a couple of basal genera, so why not put them on the same article and describe them in concert? --Animalparty-- (talk) 08:37, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

The trend for dinosaur clade articles seems to be separation. FunkMonk (talk) 16:23, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
I feel content should dictate articles, not taxonomic node. An article could in theory be made for every clade and subclade, but unless the text has relevent info to that clade, (and not higher or lower clades), it would be more efficient to merge with redirects.--Animalparty-- (talk) 18:25, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
I think before anything it needs a bit of an adjustment regarding style from the quick look I gave it. I'm up for the challenge. As for the merge, perhaps what is needed first is to find that distinguishing content. I'd generally think the merge would be with Stegosauria and not Stegosaurus though. Dracontes (talk) 23:58, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Well, Huayangosauridae is already a redirect to Stegosauria so there's that precedent. Also a cursory search on Google shows FWIW:
Taxon Google hits (unique) Google scholar hits
stegosauria 476 000-336 000 (348) 712
stegosauridae 10 800-10 400 (308) 195
stegosauria stegosauridae 22 100 (294) 119
One quibble is that these terms have a taxonomic history which is something that can always be described under the pertinent heading. While my Scholar searches show that for some time Stegosauria and Stegosauridae were indeed synonyms-in-practice they are no longer so. True this doesn't necessarily preclude a merger since that differentiating content I mentioned before seems thin on the ground. Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs (1999) has only an entry on Stegosauria. The Dinosauria (2nd Ed.) (2004) as well. I'll see what more recent literature has to say on this later. Dracontes (talk) 02:57, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
It's also worth mentioning that Stegosaurinae redirects to Stegosauria rather than Stegosauridae. In short, Stegosauridae as it is needs a face lift (is Holtz' Dinosaur Encyclopedia and its classification a "good" source despite intended for young readers?). The tone is a bit amateurish, and the cladograms are flat-out misleading, and should be double checked and converted to the more informative and aesthetic Template:Clade format. If you get to it first, my hat is off to you Dracontes. I'm now leaning more towards a bit of improvement and content re-allocation rather than full on merging.--Animalparty-- (talk) 05:00, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Here we go more for the technical literature than such secondary sources. Unfortunately books can't quite keep up with developments in the area. You'll surely note that there's a quick reaction time to the announcement of new finds, as the objective is mostly to report what the papers say. Yeah, at least one of the cladograms is poorly constructed. Fair enough then regarding improvement and content reallocation: let's see what comes out of it. Dracontes (talk) 07:54, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
My bit is done... so far. The bits I marked as dubious:
  • "She proved that Stegosaurus had rhamphotheca."
This is part paywall and part "that's not quite how science works". The Dinosauria (2nd Ed.) has a few paragraphs on stegosaur rhamphothecae. What Míriam did was reciprocally illuminate the issue making the inference that Stego' has a beak more likely to be true. Not entirely sure how that was done so I'm waiting until I obtain the paper.
  • "However, Thomas Holtz has proposed that Hypsirophus, Stegosaurus, Hesperosaurus and Wuerhosaurus form a subfamily-Stegosaurinae"
I find that rather unlikely: Thomas Holtz works on tyrannosaurs. Since that was apparently done on his layperson encyclopedia I'm not sure it includes the recent developments in stegosaur phylogeny namely those by Susannah Maidment.
  • "Many also have intermediate spines, called 'splates'."
Cursorily, I only find one paper using this nomenclature and it's for Polacanthus.[1] Here's a DML post for further enlightenment.[2] I'm not sure that it's that commonly used.
Also, I think that the phylogeny found in Stegosauria since it is the same as that in Stegosauridae should be removed and substituted by a more pertinent one. I believe, though, that this requires obtaining more recent literature. Dracontes (talk) 16:59, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Taxobox proposal[edit]

Hello! When I was a child I had a collectible dinosaur cards game. In this game the main features where height, head-to-tail lenght, comparison with a "normal man" and stimated weight. I'm thinking on making this data appear on dinosaurs taxoboxes on basque Wikipedia, but now we have very few dinosaurs there. So I suggest this "feature" what could be added to the "notes" section of the taxobox with a new template. -Theklan (talk) 10:58, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

I've made one text on eu:Velociraptor calling eu:Template:Dinosauro/Velociraptor. #ifexist then it is displayed. For now I can only put the size, but this can be very useful for other features. -Theklan (talk) 11:41, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Something similar was suggested for bird articles, but was voted down. It is basically redundant since the same info is preferably given in both the intro and the description section. FunkMonk (talk) 23:49, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't know how information on a infobox could be redundant. The range map is also explained in the article, or the family and ordo. In biographies the birth and death are in the infobox an in the article... Well, on eu:wp I will work with this, it was only a suggestion. -Theklan (talk) 08:43, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
It's redundant since if the person viewing clicked on the article, chances are they're going to want to read it all the way through to gain more info on the article's topic. Say, for example, I made an article on a dromaeosaurine (hypothetically, let's go with "Tyrannoraptor" as a generic name and "canadensis" as a specific name, thus giving us "Tyrannoraptor canadensis" as a full binomal). Going for a factcard looks rather....amateurish. It's like something you'd see on some dinosaur fansite for kids or something; it doesn't look professional.

For example; here's a "fact card":

Name: Tyrannoraptor

Meaning: "Tyrant Plunderer"

Height: 5 metres

Length: 11 metres

Weight: 7000 lbs

Diet: Primarilly meat

Speed: 10 mph

And here's a taxobox.

Balaur bondoc foot.jpg
Cast of the holotype's foot
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Order: Dinosauria
Family: Dromaeosaurinae
Genus: Tyrannoraptor
Species: canadensis
Binomial name
Tyrannoraptor canadensis
St Jean et. al (2013)

Why have a factcard replace (or become a mutant addon to) a taxobox when the taxobox looks much more proffesional? Wikipedia isn't to pander to the laymen; it's to give scientific information to everyone. Even if we use terms like, say, "zygapophyses", we can wikilink said terms to their own articles, put the common term for these anatomical terms in brackets, or both.


"Velociraptor, like other dromaeosaurids, had a large manus ('hand') with three strongly curved claws, which were similar in construction and flexibility to the wing bones of modern birds. The second digit was the longest of the three digits present, while the first was shortest. The structure of the carpal (wrist) bones prevented pronation of the wrist and forced the 'hands' to be held with the palmar surface facing inwards (medially), not inwards."

The average reader can understand this via simple logical connecting (ie: "manus" = "hand", "carpal" = "wrist", "medial" = "palm pointing towards other palm", etc.), so a dumbed down version of the same thing doesn't seem really needed. People are smarter then we like to think; even if the Internet can draw out some real goofballs now an' again.

So, really, tell us why this is so vital. I'll echo what FunkMonk said, we give out the vital, absolutely required statsistics in the lead and the Description section, it's relations generally being shown in the taxobox. Having the same thing drilled three times into the skull is going to make the article repetitious and dull.

The diet, meaning of the name, pronounciation of the name and all that jazz are also already shown in the lead, so again, like Funk said, it'd be totally and utterly reduntant to have the same information come practically right after it's told. Granted, this is probably more for Basque!Wikipedia, but since it's brought up here I'll reply here. Dromaeosaurus is best dinosaur (talk) 14:44, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Size and overbite of Spinosaurus[edit]

Recently, paleontologist Andrea Cau has published two blog posts regarding the size and the possible overbite of Spinosaurus:

Would these be worthwhile sources on which to expand the pertinent article? -Thorosaurus (talk) 14:54, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Blogs are not considered to be verifiable, and with Spino nearing FAC it would not be good to have blogs as sources. Iainstein (talk) 15:24, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
I somehow get the impression that you're reacting to the medium and not the content or the one who publishes it. From Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources: Self-published sources (online and paper):
"Self-published material may sometimes be acceptable when its author is an established expert whose work in the relevant field has been published by reliable third-party publications."
Cau has several published scientific names under his belt: Kemkemia, Aurornis, Tataouinea, Sauroniops. Considering the objective of those posts is to correct misapprehensions about specimens he has worked with I'd say his utterances are pertinent. Dracontes (talk) 19:19, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Maybe pertinent, but are they really science yet? They'd need to be systematically compared with the results of other mass estimates for reliability before they can really be used to refute them. We can use them as an other competing set of mass estimates among many, but that's probably about it. Historically, while Cau's blog material seems to be reliable, we've waited for it to be published before including it (see also lots of various results of his phylogenetic "Megamatrix", which he's been trickling out for years on his blog but only started to publish in the Aurornis paper). MMartyniuk (talk) 20:32, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
The overbite thing, I could go either way on. It would be interesting to include, but should be noted it's speculation based on the assumption that the posterior skull is similar in morphology to Irritator. This is slightly more speculative than Jaime Headden's blog series about a revised, highly elongated profile for the dorsal "sail, which is not mentioned in this article... MMartyniuk (talk) 20:35, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Considering what has been said in the DML posts linked as critique to the Therrien and Henderson paper I don't think Cau's statements on these size estimates are particularly controversial: seems that the main trust is that with such sparse remains there is a large margin of error when using linear dimensions.
Yet basing the skull reconstruction in part on Irritator is speculation that has been published. In any case mentioning it has an overbite shouldn't be undue since it's apparent if more subdued on the Dal Sasso et al paper and they do mention the end of the lower jaw would fit in the space behind the premaxillary rosette on print page 889. Dracontes (talk) 09:19, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Indeed, even if it's speculation; as long as it's published it's viable for inclusion; as long as it follows WP:DINO's guidelines, if I'm recalling right. The guidelines (as well as WP:FRINGE, I think) are also why David Peters isn't brought up in the pterosaur articles, as well as his reconstructions being smattered on those articles (though I'm not partaking in the pterosaur articles, so I can't say. ;)). This is also why BANDits aren't given equal footing on articles like Archaeopteryx; they are fringe ideas held by a select few individuals, rather then a rigorously supported and tested ideal held by many credible scientists. And I know this has already been said, but indeed blogs can be reliable sources; if they're published by well-recieved experts in their field (ie: Tetrapod Zoology might be a viable source, as Naish is a well-respected palaeontologist (he's published or co-published a few papers, specifically on Eotyrannus and Vectidraco), but Pterosaur Heresies not so, unless discussing Peters' ideals, as Peters' beliefs are not held by the majority of palaeontology, if I'm remembering the policies correctly). Dromaeosaurus is best dinosaur (talk) 19:21, 4 December 2013 (UTC)


I found the use of footnotes at Jesus especially accomplished: I like the {{efn}} template and I especially like it that the thing that bugged me about footnote-citing references that are already explicit an article's bibliography has been satisfactorily resolved.[a] More info here. Dracontes (talk) 11:15, 10 December 2013 (UTC)


  1. ^ Click on the link at the second citation footnote ("Rahner 2004, p. 732."). It should have you jump to the full reference.

Any (more) dinosaur articles without taxoboxes?[edit]

I've been adding taxoboxes to dinosaur articles lately, and if there's a species that you feel needs a taxobox, let me know and I'll try to get one done for it. Dromaeosaurus is best dinosaur (talk) 17:32, 11 December 2013 (UTC)


Have we lost Dinodata? The addresses aren't working. Also, the University of Bristol's Dinobase seems to have been lost as well. J. Spencer (talk) 01:42, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Walking with Dinosaurs[edit]

Hello, I am working on the article Walking with Dinosaurs (film), and the film comes out this Friday. While I have referenced numerous secondary sources for the topic, I would like to ask editors here if they could help provide paleontology-related sources independent of the film when the time comes. Currently, most paleontology-related commentary comes from those involved with the film, so I am hoping there will be some from outside that, especially what may not show up in Google News. (Also, on a side note, I noticed that Jurassic Park (film) does not have the WikiProject Dinosaurs banner. Should dinosaur films not have them at all?) Thanks in advance, Erik (talk | contribs) 16:29, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Unfortunately, I think using external sources for paleo would classify as original research or synthesis, or are not verifiable. for example, most pro paleonotologists on the Facebook paleo group including those who consulted on the film agree that the Gorgosaurus should have feathers (this was reportedly left out despite science advisors' urging due to some combination of marketing reasons and Yutyrannus being discovered too late in production); however, this isn't something we'd be able to cite. I bet we could find some blog posts talking about the scientific issues, which might be acceptable as commentary on a movie? MMartyniuk (talk) 20:31, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, that last part is exactly what I mean. :) Per WP:FILMSCI, we adhere to requiring a direct connection to the media. I will keep a lookout for palaeontologists' thoughts in mainstream media, but if there are lesser-known and reliable sources that comment on the film too, these would be much welcomed. Erik (talk | contribs) 20:37, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
@Dinoguy2: Check this out! Erik (talk | contribs) 01:19, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
I added details from that article. If anyone could improve the wording of it based on the article, that would be great. Erik (talk | contribs) 01:36, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Double images in node-based taxoboxes[edit]

I noticed some users have been tweaking a lot of taxoboxes tend to use two images - one for a fossil species and one for a living species of the same clade (e.g. Ornithurae). I actually kind of like this practice, especially for node-based clades, to help illustrate the "concept" of the clade using some of the internal specifiers. I've been going around adding a few extra images this way but wanted to bring it up here for discussion once it's a little outside usual practice. What does everyone think? MMartyniuk (talk) 12:32, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

Sounds fine, if someone wants to do it. One problem I've noticed already is that inaccurate images are often used, and if an image in such a compilation becomes outdated, people usually don't fix it (probably because they don't notice), even if the source image has been fixed. FunkMonk (talk) 12:57, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, using two images solves the compilation problem since they're two separate images, though it wouldn't work on pages were people want to feature a ton of diversity (e.g. Bird, Dinosaur, Avemetatarsalia) as the taxobox would be a mile long. MMartyniuk (talk) 13:04, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
In that case, I would hazard a shot that just contains members of the clade being described might work (like what Sauropsida has). Dromaeosaurus is best dinosaur (talk) 15:29, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

My old "colored table" formatting should be phased out[edit]

A long time ago I invented a table format (example) meant to standardize the presentation of information on animals preserved in specific geologic units. At the time I had very little actual knowledge about geology or its interaction with paleontology. I honestly thought a geologic formation in the formal sense was the same as a rock formation in the colloquial sense. I thought it would be very simple to design a table format that showed all the significant information about every taxon ever reported from any given geologic unit. I made a prototype table and implemented it across dozens of articles, but the more I learned about the fossils of different rock units, the more revisions I had to make to the original format. By the time I was finished the standardized table format was very complex and involved elaborate use of color.

About five years has elapsed since then and I've concluded that my experiment was, for the most part, a failure. Very few users have contributed to the faunal tables in the rock unit articles. Many of the users who have have misused colors, messed up the table formatting, had difficulty with the image column, etc. These users have also tended to remove deprecated taxa from the tables, so many are no longer complete lists of every taxon reported from the formation. Also I've noticed that in the five years or so since I first started employing tables to list taxa from geologic units literally none of the tables are anywhere close to being filled in. I first joined around the time Wikipedia was experiencing peak activity and I assumed that there was a large pool of active and potential contributors who would be willing to take up the slack. Time has proven me wrong as WP:DINO's pool of active contributors seems to have dwindled and few seem to have joined. In light of what I've learned over the past few years regarding the inadequacy of the table formatting I'm making the following proposals:

  1. Articles on fossiliferous straitgraphic units should only list taxa widely regarded as legitimate and the color formatting retired.
  2. Articles on fossiliferous straitgraphic units with sizable faunas should have a "Timeline of [Name] Formation research" article. This article can list the discovery of now-deprecated taxa that have been removed from the tables among the other notable events in the history of research on that rock unit.
  3. Faunal tables in articles on fossiliferous straitgraphic units should be replaced with plain text lists.
  4. The faunal tables from articles on fossiliferous straitgraphic units should be archived on their respective talk pages so that if anyone actually wants to fill them out, they can resurrect them, but they won't be acting as page-cluttering eye sores before then.

Abyssal (talk) 18:23, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Hmm, generally listing things as prose is good. Also better way to capture nuances and issues rather than reducing items to yes/no status. There is a bit of a revival at present, so...not sure. I must say I don't have a strong opinion either way. I wouldn't remove them if the only issue is no-one else joining in though, but only for some intrinsic problem.Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:11, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, I see the lack of user-friendliness as an intrinsic problem. I think we should at least get rid of the color-coded rows and use separate timeline articles to discuss a rock unit's deprecated taxa that are only of historical interest. Abyssal (talk) 16:40, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

A semi-kind of really unrelated note...[edit]

I'm having some IP-related issues over at the Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis article; some IP's keep inserting a unneeded section that lacks in reliable sources and vandalism into the article. I've reverted the changes twice, but it's constantly reverted back to the poorer-quality version.

For reference; here's the Fan-modification section; which is sourced pretty much exclusively to JPL; which I'm unsure if that site fits the "reliable sources" thing, as well as Modding Genesis:

"Thanks to the PC version's modular file structure, the game is very easy to modify with nothing more than a regular text editor. It is possible to create almost completely new missions, exercises, dinosaurs, and play options. The TML and DDS files are also editable to create different skins for the dinosaurs and visitors, with a popular modification being a Tyrannosaurus Rex skin used to create a "super" T. Rex known as Crusher. Thanks to the open ended design, a small community of fans have come together to work to improve realism, unlock unreleased features, and design new features to be included. A group of people have formed the Community Expansion Project and the Genesis Expansion Project, which takes previous modifications and designs new ones for release in a patch for the overall community. The team's main aim is to recreate the dinosaurs to be as realistic as possible, mainly expanding and creating new behavior.[2] Two other modification sets are Jurassic Park Legacy's the Film-Canon Mod and Novel-Canon Mod. The "NCM" includes novel-based dinosaur skins and islands. The "FCM" includes film-based dinosaur skins, music, sounds, and islands.[3] From the release of the first expansions, which already contain a fair amount of changes, many others have appeared, more sophisticated, that make the game more realistic: one of the newest around is the "PMEP" (which fuses together excellent skins, new behaviors and a substantial improvement in the graphics, especially with the environment)."

That, and there's vandalism in the Gameplay section to credit the entire game to someone named "Dakota HoHomo Tatroe", who I never recalled seeing in the game's credits. Just in case someone here cares, since it's technically dinosaur-related. --Dromaeosaurus is best dinosaur (Talk page) 02:11, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

  • I think this i smore relevant in the computer game project talk page. FunkMonk (talk) 17:27, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Unidentified dinosaurs[edit]

Found some more images that I'm unable to identify, some of them may be yet unnamed, though. By the way, also check out this Commons category I made for fossils that have not received scientific names yet:[19] Spoilers! FunkMonk (talk) 14:54, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

I think I've identified the "Iguanodon". It looks strangely like Probactrosaurus, and lived in Asia, which is were the museum is located. Iainstein (talk) 15:33, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
Another reason that might be valid is that Probactrosaurus is sometimes known as the Asian Iguanodon. Iainstein (talk) 15:35, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
Could very well be, I've thought the same before. But I can't find images of the mount when I Google search on the name. The skull also looks somewhat different from other mounts[20], could be a sculpt. But the skeleton behind it is actually Bactrosaurus, so could be some kind of juxtaposition. FunkMonk (talk) 15:42, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
Well, the image in the taxobox looks alot alike it, and seems to be in the same pose. Could you compare that one to it? If it lacks a skull than the skull of this one is probably a sculpt. Iainstein (talk) 15:51, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
I've translated the caption of the stegosaur image, which states it is a Stegosaurus mount in the Gansu Provincial Museum. Do you think that is correct? If not, it is likely it is an asian stegosaur closely related to Stegosaurus. Iainstein (talk) 15:51, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
Certainly isn't Stegosaurus. There was a picture of another dinosaur in the same museum (labelled "Iguanodon"), of a yet unnamed species: Gongpoquansaurus. I could only identify it as such because someone had previously mentioned that informal name on the dinosaur mailing list. Hmmm, perhaps the "Iguanodon" I posted before could be that one too? FunkMonk (talk) 16:03, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
Laika ac Dino Kingdom 2012 (7882288828).jpg
Here's a picture of some theropods, Chinese I think, posed similar to the Leaping Laelaps painting. Not sure what they are, though. FunkMonk (talk) 22:44, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
They're definitely Allosaurus, I can tell by the skull (comparing it to this, and my mental image of Science North's mounted Allosaurus skull). Dromaeosaurus is best dinosaur (talk) 17:17, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
No Allosaurus skull look exactly like these, and you can see they're basically a copy of the same, likely sculpted skulls. The long neural spines, and the fact that most of the other animals of the exhibition are Asian, leads me to suspect metriacanthosaurid of some sort. Would also explain the Allosaurus like skull. FunkMonk (talk) 22:49, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes the skull does not look like Allosaurus, but it also is unlike any metriacanthosaurids I can find. The ilia resemble Siamotyrannus, but are much more concave at the posterior end. The ilia looks quite different from what I can find on Shidaisaurus, Sinraptor, Yangchuanosaurus and Metriacanthosaurus. The skull most resembles ?S. hepingensis, although no skull is known from M., Siamotyrannus, or Shidaisaurus. On the "generic theropod", I found an image online of Ornitholestes here that looks like the skull of the theropod. Could that be the genus? IJReid (talk) 23:49, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I have compared the ilia to ?Sinraptor hepinensis, and they look very similar if the mounts ilia are reversed. I was wondering if it is likely that the mount accidentally had the ilia switch, which would explain the weird concave face and the fact that the anterior end is thinner that the posterior. IJReid (talk) 23:57, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, so I'm suspecting the leaping ones have completely made up skulls, and depict a headless taxon, but I guess we'll not know until we find another correctly labelled photo of the mounts. As for Ornitholestes, if you look at other photos of the whole animal, not just the snout, they don't look much alike. And the "generic" thing looks completely fake/sculpted, look at the ribs and hands. FunkMonk (talk) 00:01, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
I might have identified one of the images above. The hypsilophodont, which is also shown here, associated with Tenontosaurus, might represent Zephyrosaurus. The two mounts look almost identical, and most of the skeletons mounted in the museum together come from the same region. Zephyrosaurus is one of many "hypsilophodont" genera, so the label of the image is not that off. In the wikipedia article I cannot find any information describing features that are not present in the skeleton, so I suspect the smaller skeleton is the holotype of Zephyrosaurus reconstructed similar to Hypsilophodon. IJReid (talk) 03:36, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
Certainly the same mount, but I'd expect that there would be pictures of it on Google when searching "Zephyrosaurus" and "Perot"? I thought it could maybe be this: FunkMonk (talk) 03:41, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
Regarding the abelisaur skeleton, I found this article: [21] where it is used to illustrate to Pycnonemosaurus.--Rextron (talk) 07:38, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
Heheh, that is our fault, it was briefly used in that article here, but not on solid grounds. Over at the dinotoy forum, a Brazilian user said he had talked to a paleontologist at the museum about it, and that it was apparently just a generic abelisaur not based on anything specific. FunkMonk (talk) 17:07, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
I see... having in account that Pycnonemosaurus is known from fragmentary remains: [22], any reconstruction would be a generic abelisaurid anyways. Although of course would be desirable having another confirmation, but it seems that this skeleton is or was part of a temporary exposition.--Rextron (talk) 05:54, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
  • The Leaping Laelaps mount could also be a total reconstruction.[23] FunkMonk (talk) 16:34, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Popular pages tool update[edit]

As of January, the popular pages tool has moved from the Toolserver to Wikimedia Tool Labs. The code has changed significantly from the Toolserver version, but users should notice few differences. Please take a moment to look over your project's list for any anomalies, such as pages that you expect to see that are missing or pages that seem to have more views than expected. Note that unlike other tools, this tool aggregates all views from redirects, which means it will typically have higher numbers. (For January 2014 specifically, 35 hours of data is missing from the WMF data, which was approximated from other dates. For most articles, this should yield a more accurate number. However, a few articles, like ones featured on the Main Page, may be off).

Web tools, to replace the ones at tools:~alexz/pop, will become available over the next few weeks at toollabs:popularpages. All of the historical data (back to July 2009 for some projects) has been copied over. The tool to view historical data is currently partially available (assessment data and a few projects may not be available at the moment). The tool to add new projects to the bot's list is also available now (editing the configuration of current projects coming soon). Unlike the previous tool, all changes will be effective immediately. OAuth is used to authenticate users, allowing only regular users to make changes to prevent abuse. A visible history of configuration additions and changes is coming soon. Once tools become fully available, their toolserver versions will redirect to Labs.

If you have any questions, want to report any bugs, or there are any features you would like to see that aren't currently available on the Toolserver tools, see the updated FAQ or contact me on my talk page. Mr.Z-bot (talk) (for Mr.Z-man) 05:03, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

Invitation to User Study[edit]

Would you be interested in participating in a user study? We are a team at University of Washington studying methods for finding collaborators within a Wikipedia community. We are looking for volunteers to evaluate a new visualization tool. All you need to do is to prepare for your laptop/desktop, web camera, and speaker for video communication with Google Hangout. We will provide you with a Amazon gift card in appreciation of your time and participation. For more information about this study, please visit our wiki page ( If you would like to participate in our user study, please send me a message at Wkmaster (talk) 22:34, 24 February 2014 (UTC).

Either J. Spence or Dinoguy2 would be the best candidates for that. FunkMonk (talk) 22:51, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Rhabdodontidae expansion[edit]

I'm currently working on vastly improving the Rhabdodontidae article, and would appreciate any help doing so. I haven't changed anything yet, but am working on a classification section in OpenOffice. Thanks in advance for any help given. (talk) 02:07, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Just go for it live - it's a quiet page so it is not as if you accidentally stuff someone else's edit. I have placed it on my watchlist. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 12:45, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
Is there a template for under construction? Also, a few more questions. 1. Can you make a section without adding any text, except To be added, or Under construction? This would give an idea of what the final product would look like. It would only be like this for a week or two. 2. What section would Evolutionary History go in? 3. Should the "Nanism vs. Gigantism" go in Biology or Description? 4. Where they falculative quadrupeds, or Bipeds? Going by phylogenetic bracketing they should be the latter, thought most reconstructions show the former. Obviously life reconstructions aren't a good source for info, but I thought I'd ask none the less. (Note I'm the same guy; using different computer.) (talk) 16:47, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
Yep - I added the template here. Blank sections can be done all sorts of ways. Incidentally, making an account might help us know you're you if editing from different computers and will make it less likely someone will revert you. There is ways of doing commented out sections. Just add the info and see how it flows and it can be subdivided a bit later. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 19:18, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
Added classification section, needs multiple refs (I'm under the impression there is a template for that as well?), what do you think of it? Has few broken links, but you can tell where they're supposed to go. Now that I look at them the individual articles could use dome work as well, mostly Rhabdodon, and the other languages need to be as well. I will think about the account thing; thought I don't actually have an email address, does Wikipedia happen to have an age limit in terms of accounts? (talk) 21:05, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

More specific categories[edit]

I think that cateogries going to the "family" level would be a good idea. Brachiosaurs and Megalosaurs need categories anyway. (talk) 14:18, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

I agree. Abyssal (talk) 15:04, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Dinosaur mummy[edit]

J. Spencer proposed years ago[24][25] that we should have an article about dinosaur mummies, wherein the Trachodon mummy article could be merged into, along with info about all the other mummies known. I could go ahead and do it, but I'm not sure I have enough knowledge to do so, so could be a collaborative effort. If I recall correctly, JSpencer may already have laid the ground work for it in his sandbox? FunkMonk (talk) 19:28, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

I have written de:Trachodon-Mumie last year for the German Wikipedia (its a featured article there) and want to translate it when I have the time. Some of these mummies are so well known and have such a big and interesting, well documented history that they may can become featured articles of their own. The article dinosaur mummies would have one problem: There is no real definition. In the strict sense, articulated skeletons with extensive skin impressions are sometimes called "dinosaur mummies". But the term is used almost exclusively for hadrosaurid skeletons, although a lot of the Jehol specimens (for example Microraptor and so on) would also meet these criteria. There is one single person who has suggested that only three-dimensional skeletons can qualify as a "mummy", thus excluding the Jehol specimens, but there is no consensus. So there are big disagreements about "What is a dinosaur mummy?". Therefore I would argue against lumping all the "mummies" into one single article. Nevertheless I would agree that we need a article dinosaur mummies, at least to explain the problems with the definition and to mention the most prominent examples. --Jens Lallensack (talk) 20:40, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
I see, but has anyone ever labelled the flat fossils as "mummies"? Because if not, we at least have no problem with discrepancy across references. So in a sense, this article would just be about specimens that have been referred to as "dinosaur mummies", not necessarily the "concept" of dinosaur mummies (which doesn't seem to exist). FunkMonk (talk) 21:03, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
I don't think I've ever heard of a flattened specimen with carbonized soft tissue traces referred to as a "mummy" and there's really nothing mummy-like about them. The "Trachodon" mummy etc. are actually specimens that appear to have become mummified prior to fossilization, so they're literal fossil mummies. Dinoguy2 (talk) 19:54, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
Well, the only real natural mummy seems to be the Trachodon mummy, with skin tightly wrapped around its bones. The other mummies are not; their skin has been found well away from the bones, indicating that the relatively fresh carcass was burried very rapidly. The main hypothesis for the Senckenberg mummy was that it died in quicksand; nonetheless it was called a mummy. The Corythosaurus mummy ([[26]]) actually is a flattened specimen. The problem I see is just that the term mummy was rather arbitrarily applied to North American Hadrosaur fossils only. I thought I had a source about these problems, but I'm not able to find it anymore. But you are absolutely right that the term is not used for fossils of other groups (albeit they may also would qualify as mummies regarding their state of preservation). So an article like "dinosaur mummies" just reviewing the hadrosaur mummies would be ok. These mummies (The Trachodon mummy, the Senckenberg mummy, the holotype of Trachodon mirabilis were the skin impressions have been destroyed during preparation, Barnum Brown's Corythosaur mummy, the "lost mummy", the Leonardo Brachylophosaurus mummy, and the Dakota Edmontosaurus mummy) have been reviewed in Phil Mannings "Grave Secrets of Dinosaurs", we may can use this as a starting point. --Jens Lallensack (talk) 05:30, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
Have those new Siberian specimens been called mummies? FunkMonk (talk) 10:49, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
I probably have missed this; do you have a link? --Jens Lallensack (talk) 20:59, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
This: FunkMonk (talk) 22:19, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm happy to provide copies of any publications I have, but I don't foresee being able to spend a lot of time on writing. J. Spencer (talk) 22:24, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
@User:J. Spencer: Do you, or anybody, know a citable source with some general information on the topic "dinosaur mummies"? Accounts and comparisons of known mummies, definition of the term, or anything that could be useful as general information for the article "dinosaur mummies"? I could not find anything to be honest, except Manning (2009) "Grave Secrets of Dinosaurs", which is not as comprehensive as it could be. --Jens Lallensack (talk) 19:38, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
Bakker covered some of the same territory in "The Dinosaur Heresies." Because of the rarity of such specimens, synthetic publications haven't really been common. There's a fair amount of information in Lull & Wright (1942) (their big monograph on North American hadrosaurs). Have you seen Ken Carpenter's "How to Make a Fossil: Part 2 – Dinosaur Mummies and Other Soft Tissue"? J. Spencer (talk) 20:10, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, using the name "dinosaur mummies" might be a bit problematic, especially since the only true mummies, as DG pointed out, were the hadrosaurids. Something more along the lines of Exceptionally preserved fossil specimens might be a far better idea; would allow it to cover any exquisitely-preserved specimen rather than having to make other fossil "mummy" articles to cover other exceptionally-preserved fossils. Dromaeosaurus is best dinosaur (talk) 17:08, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Wing-assisted incline running (WAIR) article?[edit]

I'm of the opinion that Wing-assisted incline running (WAIR) should have its own article, and not just a one-paragraph mention in the Origin of avian flight article. I created an article on this topic a few hours ago, but it was tagged for speedy deletion on the grounds of already being covered in the Origin of avian flight article, and was redirected shortly thereafter. I defended my rationale for creating this article in more depth on the talk page: Talk:Wing-assisted_incline_running but received no response there. I'm posting here for more input from people familiar with the literature on this topic and its relative notability. -Ferahgo the Assassin (talk) 19:05, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Well, if you make the article large enough before publishing it, they shouldn't merge it again when you do. FunkMonk (talk) 21:21, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't think Wing-assisted incline running deserves its own article, and believe the proper place to expand coverage of the WAIR (and other models) is Origin of avian flight. None of the models currently have content long enough nor divergent enough in scope to warrant a separate article. Per WP:SPLIT guidelines, an article less than 40kb doesn't warrant a length-related split, and Origin of avian flight is less than 18kb. Furthermore, a split requires a reader to refer to two different articles to get adequate context and background information, and someone reading Wing-assisted incline running might falsely assume WAIR and the cursorial model are the only proposed models. Lastly, the fact that both the Wing-assisted incline running lead and DYK nomination mention Kenneth Dial by name suggest the possibility or appearance of undue coverage or promotion of a particular person's views (although I am not accusing anyone of such, merely recognizing the possibility in interest of WP:NPOV and WP:UNDUE). In the interest of balanced, comprehensive, centralized coverage, I think flight models should be discussed in a single article, and only split if their size and/or content radically necessitates it. --Animalparty-- (talk) 18:22, 10 April 2014 (UTC) I no longer oppose merging (see below).
WAIR is part of avian flight evolution, yes; but then I also split Tyrannosaurus and Feeding behaviour of Tyrannosaurus, which is arguably even more out there; why split the feeding of a genus from it's article? (Well, it was enormous and slowing down the page loading, but you know what I mean.) The coverage of Kenneth Dial in the article and DYK makes sense since he was the one who discovered it; Senter just applied it to the deinonychosaurs, as well. The reason that the PPM and arboreal models aren't covered is probably that they have little to do with the cursorial or WAIR models asides from both being hypothesi for the origin of modern avian flight; and WAIR also affects deinonychosaurs, so putting it in such a bird-centric article seems...odd. Maybe the article's name is the issue; it seems more like it's covering "birds" as in crown Aves, and not the taxonomic grouping Avialae, which would make a lot more sense if we're going to include WAIR, since WAIR affects crown birds and deinonychosaurs... Dromaeosaurus is best dinosaur (talk) 17:04, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
The split of Feeding behaviour of Tyrannosaurus is certainly warranted per WP:SIZESPLIT. After doing some reading, I now support WAIR as a separate article, not due to size but to nature of content: "Wing-assisted incline running" actually represents two distinct things: 1) a real behavior documented in extant birds ("WAIR"), and 2) a hypothesis or model for the evolution of flight (the "WAIR hypothesis"). If anything, the wiki article dwells too heavily on the dinosaurian (i.e. hypothetical) aspect and gives disproportionately less focus to the actual, real behavior in chukars, that has been directly studied experimentally, something that can not be said of the paleontolgoical aspect. WAIR and WAIR hypothesis should be clearly distinguished, but should be discussed in the same article since the hypothesis is based primarily on the behavior.--Animalparty-- (talk) 04:34, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

There are five useful models for the origin of flight: WAIR, Cursorial,Pouncing, Arboreal and Dismount. Arguments over how much text to devote to any particular model will never be resolved because popularity will fluctuate, but none of the theories will ever be proven to the exclusion of the others (see also arguments under Journal of Paleontological Sciences below). I think each model should have its own article. The articles could be linked by an index which merely lists the various models, without any editorial as to which one is more credible. The judgement about credibility is far to subjective, and there are far too many vested interests for a consensus on this topic. The acrimony has reached a point where the models and their advocates need to be separated. Cookiecutteramaru (talk) 21:27, April 2014 (UTC)

Category:Dinosaur taxa with documented paleopathologies up for deletion[edit]

I created a category for dinosaur taxa whose fossils preserve evidence of ancient illness or disease so that interested readers could browse through different taxa preserved with such conditions, as information on what taxa have paleopathologies is difficult to come by for the layman. However, a user has contested the appropriateness of this category and has nominated it for deletion. I was seeking feedback from interested contributors as to whether or not this category should be kept. Abyssal (talk) 13:10, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

"The Journal of Paleontological Sciences"[edit]

A user[27] is inserting questionable information from a questionable journal[28] (affiliated with commercial fossil collectors) into several[29] articles. He has been reverted[30], but has reverted back. Not sure what to do. The author (who seems to have studied medicine not palaeontology) claims the paper was peer reviewed, yet at first glance I noticed an illustration that shows Velociraptor attacking Amargasaurus, which is pretty laughable, since these animals didn't live the same place or at the same time! FunkMonk (talk) 04:10, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

The following is a summary of my response to FunkMonk: Before publication in the Journal of Paleontological Sciences, the paper [31]was reviewed by Ken Carpenter and Peter Larson. Before passing judgment, please read the paper, which relates Paleontology to wildlife biology, sand dune geology, and bony pathological reaction to injury. My MD training is relevant to the sections of the paper that deal with bony pathology and comparisons to the injection of a combative subject. I have more than a decade of significant experience with dinosaur trackways on two continents, and published work in other biological sciences. In a long effort to reach consensus [32]three Wikipedians claimed to have read parts of the paper. They managed to come up with one valid criticism, relating to the caption of a single illustration. The body of the paper made no suggestion that Velociraptor interacted with Amargasaurus, referring more generally to Avialans, dromaeosaurs, and their small theropod ancestors in that context. Velociraptor was chosen for the sake giving simple instructions to a professional artist. It is not radical to suggest that dromaeosaurs rode the backs of large dinosaurs. [33] Fowler (2011) also theorized that flight originated in dromaeosaurs riding the backs of large prey.[34] Padian & Horner [35] refuted all previous explanations for "bizarre structures," except for species differentiation, which is used as a default explanation for whatever external structure defies explanation. Dinoguy2 initially dismissed the theory but later read the paper, and gave me the chance to respond to his questions, leading him to propose a compromise that I would restrict the dismount theory to the Origin of Avian Flight article. I accepted the proposal from Dinoguy2 and waited for him to confirm his approval. Because an agreement seemed imminent, the referral for comment appears to be an effort to subvert those who were working towards a consensus. Cookiecutteramaru (talk) 14:54, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

The paper was reviewed by Ken Carpenter and Peter Larson. A certain amount of ridicule was anticipated, as with all new scientific paradigms, but the arguments are cogent and based on multiple forms of well-documented evidence. The paper draws on research and expertise from a variety of fields, including extant wildlife biology, sand dune geology, and bony pathological reaction to injury. My medical training is relevant to the section of the paper that deals with bony pathology. I have more than a decade of significant experience with dinosaur trackways on two continents. I am dedicated to science and I do not collect or harm fossils. All of the Wikipedia contributions based on this article have been identified as alternative, theoretical, hypothetical, new or controversial, so that none of the entries could possibly be taken out of context by a reader. All of the contributions have been entered in sections of articles that present equally theoretical material.
The illustration of Velociraptor attacking Amargasauruswas meant to illustrate an interaction between Amargasaurus and a dromaeosaur. Rather than referring specifically to Velociraptor, the caption should refer to a Velociraptorinae. The temporal range for velociraptorines is 151-70 Ma, which spans the entire temporal range of Amargasaurus (130-125Ma). Velociraptorines were geographically widespread. The distinction between the genus and the subfamily in the illustration is irrelevant to the argument presented in the paper, and the illustration is not contained in any of the contributions to Wikipedia.

There have so far been no reasons given for any of the deletions of my contributions to Wikipedia. Criticism has been entirely focused on the credibility of the journal, and the alternative nature of the theory, and seems to be coming from a single editor using two different usernames. Some of my edits on the Anchiornis page had nothing to do with my paper or the Journal of Paleontological Sciences, but were referenced to other papers, and appear to have been deleted only because of my identity. I have responded to derogatory terms like "fringe", "radical", and "amateur", with expressions of willingness to listen to constructive criticism. I remain willing to modify my edits in response to meaningful criticism and I welcome efforts to refute the specifics of my theory, but I also believe that intolerance for divergent views leads to stagnation. It is my sincere intention to work within the rules of Wikipedia and I hope that some sort of mediated solution can be reached, presumably with the help of an administrator. Cookiecutteramaru (talk) 07:09, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Not sure what is meant by "a single editor using two different usernames", I and Dinoguy are not the same, if that's what you're referring to. FunkMonk (talk) 13:51, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Speaking of which, pluschgreen is awfully convenient. J. Spencer (talk) 04:08, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
I find it offensive that my opinion is being disregarded, I am not a puppet, I have read Fraser's paper, and I began watching the progress of this discussion which prompted me to post. The lack of common courtesy is disappointing and as I previously stated the arguments as posited by Fraser should deserve appropriate academic discussion, not censorship, and deletion should only occur when there is a reasonable argument for doing so.pluschgreen (talk) 12:40, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I can confirm Ken Carpenter's involvement with the journal. But something still doesn't feel quite right. I dunno what to think. Abyssal (talk) 10:07, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Regardless of the authority of the article or reviewers, we also have to follow the polity of undue weight. I don't think it's out of line to call this new hypothesis "radical" compared to conventional hypotheses on the origin of flight. One paper published in a commercial journal does fit the definition of "fringe" for now, just as we try not to give undue eight to other minority hypothesis, e.g. Birds Came First or Birds are not Dinosaurs, both of which have been published and reviewed but have not gained nay kind of scientific backing or consensus. Dinoguy2 (talk) 12:54, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
I am getting the impression that Cookeicutteramaru is the author of the paper in question, which makes me a little squeamish over conflict of interest. I don't know of any policy saying you can't add material and cite yourself, but surely the fact that nobody else is doing so should be telling. Dinoguy2 (talk) 12:59, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
WP:COI is a "behavioral guideline" rather than a hard and fast rule, but COI together with WP:Fringe and WP:Undue should be more than enough to require the research to be discussed in more sources before considering it worthwhile to add to any article imo. Someone could always post about it on WP:COIN though -Ferahgo the Assassin (talk) 13:58, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm more concerned with the fringe nature of the additions than COI. I don't think we should set a precedent of discouraging researchers from writing about their research so long as their additions fit Wikipedia's other policies. Which is dubious in this instance. Abyssal (talk) 13:28, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Since the author of the edits (and apparently the paper) requested constructive comments, I've had a chance to read most of the paper, and I have to say it almost comes across as pseudoscience. The paper makes several testable predictions but hand waves away and overly complicates itself any time a roadblock to the hypothesis arises. Take the example of lambeosaurine crests. Any sound hypothesis would suggest that if the purpose of the crest was to defend the neck, then lambeosaurines should have backward-pointing crests. Some do, some don't. So the hypothesis invokes another level of novel behavior, running and stopping to basically bonk the dromaeosaur against the back of the head! How about crestless saurolophines? They don't need crests because they have dorsal ridges and thick back scales. (Why wasn't this a good enough solution for the various lambeosaurines then?) So to actually test this hypothesis, we would need to examine negative correlation between thick back scales and crests, which the paper does not even attempt. An additional way off the top of my head to test this hypothesis would be to look for correlation in crest/other structure shape and size based on presence or absence of small dromaeosaurids in an formation, which is not done, and the author seems to assume dromaeosaurids were omnipresent and all occupied a single niche throughout the Mesozoic. At no point in this paper is there any attempt to test this hypothesis, just an effort to wildly speculate and interpret each and every bizarre dinosaur feature from seemingly all clades in some way, no matter how implausible, evidence for the hypothesis. This is pseudoscience by definition, trying to prove a hypothesis rather than disprove it. The paper does not cite relevant counter-arguments to things like the assertion that lack of sexual dimorphism is evidence against display function (mutual sexual selection anyone?), which is either cherry picking or ignorance of the current literature. I'm baffled that Carpenter and Larson were involved in this and that it managed to pass review with practically zero actual science present in the paper. It reads like a Dougal Dixon speculative zoology book. Dinoguy2 (talk) 13:35, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

I spent the last 11 years trying to disprove this hypothesis. I thought I had dis-proven it a few years ago at a field station in Argentina, when a paleontologist pulled the front leg of a Megaraptor out of a case and passed it to me. The Megaraptor claw is sharply keeled on the ventral edge, implying a cutting/slashing function. I briefly gave up on the theory, until I learned that Megaraptor carried the large cutting claw on the front limb and is now assigned to Allosauridae. I have shared my crazy theory with everyone who will listen, and so far nobody has given me a reason to doubt its plausibility.Cookiecutteramaru (talk) 01:51, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Speaking of velociraptorines, you claim "The temporal range for velociraptorines is 151-70 Ma, which spans the entire temporal range of Amargasaurus (130-125Ma). Velociraptorines were geographically widespread." Widespread =/= cosmopolitan. LK Gondwana seems to have been inhabited exclusively by piscivorous-adapted unenlagiine dromaeosaurids. The paper assumes all dromaeosaurids were the same, and lived in all times and places. You could easily plug any modern animal into this hypothesis without missing a beat (maybe the upright horns of a giraffe evolved as velociraptorine deterrent too, just as with Tsintaosaurus...). Dinoguy2 (talk) 13:42, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

The paper does makes no assumption that all dromaeosaurids were the same. My work in Bolivia and Argentina focused mainly on dinosaur tracks, but I was fortunate to meet with Juan Porfiri and visit Lago Barreales to view specimens of Unenlagia and Megaraptor (which had a very different claw and was not a dromaeosaurid). I accept your point that Unenlagia would have fit better into the illustration, but that would make no difference to the substance presented in the paper. I should also point out that the fossil record is incomplete with respect to dromaeosaurs in South America. Probable dromaeosaur tracks were described in Bolivia,[36] with no nearby body fossils for correlation. Those tracks were Campanian, but they illustrate the fossil record reflects snapshots in a longer sequence. It is entirely possible that Unenlagia or other dromaeosaurs existed earlier in the company of Amargasaurus. The paper does not assume that all dromaeosaurids lived in all times and places. It assumes only that some droaeosaurid, small theropod or avialan exposed Amargasaurus to dorsal attack at some point in its evolution.Cookiecutteramaru (talk) 19:00, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

In my brief skim over it, it reminded me a lot of that terrible "Psittacosaurus was aquatic" paper from that 2010 anthology on ceratopsians. Abyssal (talk) 13:50, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

I very much appreciate Dinoguy2 for having read some of the paper in question, and moving the discussion beyond the "authority of the article or reviewers." I accept his point that this new theory should not receive undue weight, which is why it was entered after the list of other models in a relatively brief description. I would further shorten the text, if we could reach a consensus that the dismount theory should receive some brief mention in the article. I could easily have concealed the fact that I am the author, but I prefer to be completely honest and transparent. It is hard to say if other participants in this discussion have conflicts of interest, because we don't know who they are. The article was only just published April 6, so it is not surprising that nobody else has cited it yet. There have been positive comments from respected experts, but it takes courage for those who make their living in Paleontology to confront so many entrenched ideas. Fear of intellectual censorship keeps professionals in line with the dogma of the day. It doesn't sound like Dinoguy2 read the sections of the paper dealing with extant models, or paleopathology, where evidence is presented to test the hypothesis of parasitic feeding by dromaeosaurs. None of the other models for flight origin or bizarre sturctures can be tested in any more direct or definitive way, so are they all pseudoscience? see: The hypothesis for use of a head-rearing maneuver, in combination with a running stop, is entirely plausible. Try riding an angry horse bareback and see how you like the collision with the back of its head or the ride to ground over the top of head. Then put horns, spikes or a frill anywhere on the top or back of the horses head and see if that increases your chance of injury. There is a reason why we don't ride antelope, see Packer (1983) It is not radical to suggest that dromaeosaurs rode the backs of large dinosaurs. see Manning (2006,2009) Fowler (2011) also theorized that flight originated in dromaeosaurs riding the backs of large prey. The lack of sexual dimorphism is often accepted as evidence against the use of bizarre structures. see Padian & Horner (2011) They refute all previous explanations for "bizarre structures," except for species differentiation, which is used as a default explanation for whatever external structure defies explanation. Species recognition is to the Paleontologist, what the virus is to an MD, an alternative to admitting that you don't yet have an adequate diagnosis. Padian & Horner are not pseudoscientists, they are merely doing their best to explain what was enigmatic. If Dinoguy2 or anybody else would agree to identify themselves for a moderated public debate at a Paleontology conference, I would be willing to travel to defend my theory against any other.[[User:Cookiecutteramaru|Cookiecutteramaru] (talk) 21:00, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

I have read the article by Fraser, and followed the discussions about deleting his contributions. This page should be more open to entertain and debating new theories to encourage academic discussion. pluschgreen (talk) 22:54, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

The only problem is that you don't prove or even defend a hypothesis or scientific theory through debate: you prove and defend a hypothesis/theory by doing research.--Mr Fink (talk) 23:16, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Just to comment WP:Identifying reliable sources states "Reliable sources must be strong enough to support the claim. A lightweight source may sometimes be acceptable for a lightweight claim, but never for an extraordinary claim." This claim about dromaeosaurs being parasitic is definitely a unique claim, and the journal might not the strong enough to support it. Also, basing these claims on mammals, such as wolverines, is a big problem, as many animals (eg. crocodiles, birds) are more closely related to dromaeosaurs than any mammals. Question to Fraser, have you published any other articles, on your own or with other people? If so, which journals are they published in? I am currently neutral in this debate, because I find the claim unlikely, but I like to find multiple sources about something, published by different authors, before making a finalized decision.IJReid (talk) 23:28, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Oh yea, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence", and this paper presents no evidence or even testing at all. Also, wolverines are not "parasites", and horned mammals did not evolve antlers to protect themselves from "riders". So many ridiculous claims here. FunkMonk (talk) 03:24, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Wolverines are not parasites but the paper provides multiple sources to show that they repeatedly mount and dismount large prey, eating flesh during each attack, and then attacking again over periods up to several days. Horns and antlers are not the same thing. There is evidence that horns of female African antelope did evolve to protect against predators.[37] The large cats often straddle (ride) the backs of those antelope and focus their attacks on the back of the neck. For female African antelope, sharp rear-facing horns point to feline "riders".[[User:Cookiecutteramaru|Cookiecutteramaru] (talk) 01:13, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

In all politeness, the paper is trying to do too much by trying to explain every dinosaurian quirk by tying them to a postulated mode of predation. Maybe I've hung around too many taphonomists, or maybe it's my own unhappy adventures in paleobiology, but I'm getting wary of "if", "may", "could", "might", and their friends in my old age. As far as I'm concerned, it's more likely that if dromaeosaurid parasitism was enough of an issue to warrant practically every group of herbivorous dinosaurs to come up with elaborate skeletal defenses, selection would have favored more maneuverable prey to knock, toss, bash, or otherwise dislodge them: less investment of resources, faster results. I also suspect that fast lateral attacks on the flanks, similar to the "flesh grazing" proposed by Bakker, would have been just as efficacious as trying to ride a much larger animal that does not want to be ridden, and would have made these structures useless. Note also that titanosaur armor may actually have been for mineral storage and exchange, Agustinia probably didn't have armor, as described in Mannion et al. 2013, stegosaurs stuck around at least through the Early Cretaceous and don't appear to have ever been particularly diverse (in fact, they seem to have been at their most diverse in the Middle Jurassic, before the dromaeosaurid record really expands), and absence of sexual dimorphism does not mean that visually obvious features could not have been used for visual purposes among animals possessing at least average vision. J. Spencer (talk) 05:26, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

On The Journal of Paleontological Sciences: Wikipedia:Notability (academic journals) offers guidleines on notability, which may be informative to discussions of reliability. JPS is apparently indexed by Thomson Reuters (#10048) and the Zoological Record, but appears to lack an ISSN number, yet does not appear to be indexed by the Science Citation Index, also maintained by Thomson Reuters. I currently lack access to Web of Science or other Academic databases to further investigate. The credibility and reliability of JPS may be indicated by coverage from reliable third-party sources. A news item in Science (paywall) discusses the premier of the journal. A news item in Nature(paywall) appears to cast the journal in a negative light, as indicated by this response(paywall) and this letter.

On Fraser 2014: I've read the article and believe the Dismount Hypothesis currently represents WP:FRINGE, and WP:UNDUE weight, if for no other reason than its recency (forgive me if I'm wrong) has not allowed time for the hypothesis to be assimilated into proper context. Given time, it may be developed into a respected theory, or may be blown out of the water by follow-up articles and commentary, or may be completely ignored by the majority of professional paleontologists. It is not the role of an encyclopedia to encourage academic debates nor choose sides in them, nor cover every new idea or study published, but to represent "fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without bias, all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic" (WP:NPOV), which I take to mean proportionally conveying the consensus view(s) even if the consensus is later proved wrong. True, many wiki articles across disciplines suffer from recentism and a hodge podge of factoids, as new studies are often heavily promoted in news releases and social media, but what wiki editors should strive for (especially in science articles) is a balanced approach, and ideally draw heavily from review articles and other secondary or tertiary academic syntheses. A single paper with a bold claim does not establish any measure of consensus, no matter who the reviewers are: notable professionals are certainly not exempt from harboring or promoting fringe theories, and the fact that both reviewers are also JPS Journal Publications Committee members should be mentioned. In time, the inclusion of Dismount Hypothesis may have merit in Origin of avian flight or even Dromaeosauridae, but its present insertion into other taxon articles may constitute WP:UNDUE and possibly trivia. It would be interesting to see any recent or future articles that directly address the Fraser article. --Animalparty-- (talk) 03:56, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

I have read Fraser's article and I agree that the theory is extraordinary. To me it seems plausible and I think it should be mentioned in the origin of flight article --sarasauropod-- (talk) 04:35, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Extraordinary, perhaps. Plausibility is not the same as well-supported, and the plausibility needs to be determined by experts. It really doesn't matter if you or I or any Wikipedian find a theory plausible or not, or think it should be advanced to facilitate discussion, unless you publish a peer-reviewed article advocating support (in which case it would be a welcome contribution). Wikipedia summarizes existing knowledge in proportion to its importance in the field as assessed by other experts. Until the theory is discussed in any form by other scholars, it remains a blip in the academic landscape, advocated by one person (the opinions of the editors are unknown), but the opinions necessary to determine the due weight and credibility of the theory have yet to be published. --Animalparty-- (talk) 06:47, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

It is acknowledged in the paper that wolverines, vampire bats, and cookiecutter sharks are not part of the extant phylogenic bracket for dinosaurs, but they do still demonstrate the plausibility of behaviors that could have been used by dinosaurs. Eagles and the vampire finch are also discussed and do fit into the EPB. Aside from my observations of cattle receiving injections, and some correspondence with biologists and dune geologists, the bulk of the evidence presented in the paper comes from references to more than a hundred published papers. A literature review is a perfectly reasonable source of evidence for a theoretical paper. I am not asking anybody to take my word for anything, so my credibility should be irrelevant and the theory should be judged on its own merits.

When he initially deleted my contribution, Dinoguy2 suggested a brief mention of the dismount theory would be more appropriate. I welcome constructive comments about the substance of this proposed contribution, but I am frankly tired of the debate over who should be allowed a voice in the Royal Society. I therefore propose the following shorter version in which the “radical” newness is clearly spelled out so that nobody could possibly think that it represents a widely accepted belief:

Dismount model (draft for comments)[edit]

This radical new hypothesis suggests that some small Jurassic theropods engaged in parasitic feeding on the backs of large herbivores, and that parachuting and gliding evolved to reduce the risk of injury from the jump to the ground after feeding. Supporters of this model have suggested that birds diverged from gliding theropods, while dromaeosaurs maintained the parasitic riding strategy and various abilities to perform a gliding or parachuting dismount. [1] The need to perform such a dismount has been proposed as a hypothetical explanation for quill knobs on the forelimbs of Velociraptor,[2] and long feathers on the long hind legs of Anchiornis.[3] This model may also offer a new explanation for some of the “bizarre structures” on herbivores. [1] [[User:Cookiecutteramaru|Cookiecutteramaru](talk) 05:22, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

References are not evidence. There is no actual evidence or even research presented in the paper, only speculation. FunkMonk (talk) 05:25, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
There is no real evidence for any of the other models. The whole origin of flight debate is all about speculation. Credentials and popularity don't amount to evidence either. I think the draft is fine, but I would not describe the theory as radical. I understand you are just trying to get the masked armchair wiki-police of your back but it will only invite future deletions to describe the theory as radical. You are not claiming to have seen a UFO or raised the dead. The theory may be revolutionary but it is not necessary to call it radical. Keep the word "new" and consider substituting "theoretical" in place of "hypothetical". The general reader understands new and theoretical, especially on a page that is all about theories. Sarasauropod (talk) 06:27, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Radical according to whom? Given the discussion above, it may be prudent to wait until more papers address the issue to accurately convey the level of 'radicalness' and credibility. You should also clarify how many supporters of the Dismount model there actually are, to avoid misrepresentation. Neither Turner et al 2007 nor Hu et al 2009 mention parasitic feeding or jumping off of the backs of dinosaurs, but the paragraph may be misconstrued to imply that they support the theory. If it is in fact a view held by only one person, then its extreme minority view may preclude its inclusion into articles for now. I think waiting may be the best choice.--Animalparty-- (talk) 06:47, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

More important than the supporters are the many more who keep an open mind and consider this new paradigm as a possible explanation for the many enigmas in paleontology. There is also now starting to be a discussion of a dismount theory for the origin flight in of bats. You make a good point about the references to Turner et al. and Hu et al.. Those articles were published before publication of the dismount theory and could therefore not have considered it. It would be misleading to represent those papers as direct support for the theory, just as it would be misleading to deny the existence of the theory. Here is a redraft to address your comment and the suggestion from Sarasauropod:

Dismount model (draft 2 for comments)

This very new theory suggests that some small Jurassic theropods engaged in parasitic feeding on the backs of large herbivores, and that parachuting and gliding evolved to reduce the risk of injury from the jump to the ground after feeding. Supporters of this model have suggested that birds diverged from gliding theropods, while dromaeosaurs maintained the parasitic riding strategy and various abilities to perform a gliding or parachuting dismount. [1] Quill knobs on the forelimbs of Velociraptor,[4] and long feathers on the long hind legs of Anchiornis,[5] could be explained by the need to perform such a dismount.[1] This model may also offer a new explanation for some of the “bizarre structures” on herbivores. [1] [[User:Cookiecutteramaru|Cookiecutteramaru](talk) 16:03, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

I have read Fraser's paper and agree that he does not present definitive evidence, but he does present an impressive body of indirect evidence and suggestions for further research. The dismount theory is premised on the idea that dromeaosaurs rode the backs of other dinosaurs, which seems to be drawing some skepticism. I can confirm that Manning et al. (2006) did theorize that dromaeosaurs used the hypertrophied curved ungal claw of pes digit II to grip the flesh and ride the "hinds" of dinosaurs many times larger than themselves. Manning used a mechanical model of a dromaeosaur leg and applied forces equivalent to a running ostrich to show that the claw was capable of making small puncture wounds in a pig carcass, but not slashing injuries. Manning coined the term "climbing crampon" to describe his interpretation of the claw for riding and climbing prey. The Manning (2006) article did not theorize parasitic riding but it does show that Fraser is not alone in suggesting that dromaeosaurs rode large dinosaurs. Fowler (2011) took it a step farther by specifically theorizing that dromaeosaurs rode the backs of large prey. Fowler did not theorize parasitic riding, but he did theorize that flight originated from flapping of feathered forelimbs to stabilize the theropod on the back of the large prey. Fowler too pointed to quill knobs on forelimbs of Velociraptor and Rahonavis as strong evidence of functional wing feathers, probably not merely vestigial. I can understand why Fraser feels pressured to keep the article short, but I think the Fowler and Manning references should be included, to support the premise that dromaeosaurs may have rode on the backs of large dinosaurs. Previous comments have focused on the need for multiple credible references to lend support to the idea that dromaeosaurs rode other dinosuars, which can be achieved by adding the references from Fowler and Manning. I don't hear so much skepticism about the utility of a wing for jumping off, so much as the skepticism of the riding. --Oviraptorbill-- (talk) 00:31, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Harry Morrison is not a Wikipedian, but he spoke to me today in support of the dismount theory and made the suggestion that small theropods or Avialans like Anchiornis may have removed parasites from the skin of dinosaurs. It is an interesting suggestion and demonstrates the value of an inclusive discussion. In response to Harry Morrison and Oviraptorbill, I offer the following revision, with the intention of adding it soon on to the Origin of Flight Article:

Dismount model (draft 3 for comments)

This very new theory suggests that some small Jurassic theropods fed on the backs of large herbivores, and that parachuting and gliding evolved to reduce the risk of injury from the jump to the ground after feeding.[1] Mechanical modeling and comparison to birds of prey suggest that the dromaeosaur claws may have been used to climb the flanks[6] and ride the backs of large dinosaurs.[7] Supporters of this model have suggested that birds diverged from gliding theropods, while dromaeosaurs maintained the parasitic riding strategy and various abilities to perform a gliding or parachuting dismount.[1] Quill knobs on the forelimbs of Velociraptor,[8] and long feathers on the long hind legs of Anchiornis,[9] could be explained by the need to perform such a dismount.[1] This model may also offer a new explanation for some of the “bizarre structures” on herbivores. [1] [[User:Cookiecutteramaru|Cookiecutteramaru](talk) 04:16, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

  • Seems there has been some meatpuppeteering[38], now three new users[39][40][41] appear out of nowhere to defend Cookiecutteramaru, that is just too convenient, and is not allowed. FunkMonk (talk) 05:42, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
  • agreed - the proliferation of single purpose accounts is far too coincidental. Now, whether it's meat or sock puppetry might require an IP check. de Bivort 13:48, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
  • I find it offensive that my opinion is being disregarded, I am not a puppet, I have read Fraser's paper, and I began watching the progress of this discussion which prompted me to post. The lack of common courtesy is disappointing and as I previously stated the arguments as posited by Fraser should deserve appropriate academic discussion, not censorship, and deletion should only occur when there is a reasonable argument for doing so.pluschgreen (talk) 12:40, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

The link provided by FunkMonk [42]leads to a failed proposal, but I am a new user and I do appreciate the opportunity to learn more about Wikipedia policy. "The term meatpuppet is derogatory and should be used with care, in keeping with Wikipedia's civility policy. Because of the processes above, it may be counterproductive to directly accuse someone of being a "meatpuppet", and doing so will often only inflame the dispute."[43] "New editors sometimes engage in meatpuppetry unwittingly, on the assumption that it is an acceptable practice. Editors should assume good faith, especially for new users, before making meat puppet accusations...Consensus in many debates and discussions should ideally not be based upon number of votes, but upon policy-related points made by editors."[44] I voluntarily revealed my identity in this discussion, which demonstrates good faith. As you can see from the number of people acknowledged in my paper, a great many people have anticipated this sort of public discussion even before the paper was published. I remind you that my paper was only just published on April 6, resulting in a flurry of correspondence to and from cited authors and other interested parties. Several people suggested that I contribute to Wikipedia, which has not so far been a pleasant experience. The issues of academic censorship and lack of civility [45] in this debate has caused some outrage which may have motivated new editors. I have not actively or intentionally solicited any such involvement. This should not be a vote or a mud-slinging battle. I believe that draft 3 has addressed all of the substantive comments. Please remember the ultimate goal, which is the creation of the best possible Wikipedia article.[[User:Cookiecutteramaru|Cookiecutteramaru](talk) 18:07, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Uhm, so how do you explain that three new users, with no past edits, suddenly turn up to do nothing but defend you? This is unprecedented, in cases where recruiting hasn't happened. No, random people do not read this talk page, so it is highly unlikely THREE uninvolved bystanders would. FunkMonk (talk) 05:59, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

If any of this were to be included, I suggest it be restricted to the page Origin of Birds alongside other minority hypotheses until some other reliable source addresses it in print. Including it on pages for individual animals misleadingly implies that it is widely accepted with little context, context that would be provided by the larger discussion of the controversial aspect of many flight origin models on that dedicated page. Including it as a possible interpretation for the bizarre structures of Anchiornis, Corythosaurus, etc. is jumping the gun. Adding a note like "However, this hypothesis has yet to be sicentifically tested or examined by other researchers." may also be appropriate if it's not too OR or editorial. Dinoguy2 (talk) 11:52, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

  • Wait a minute... WP:RS states that articles need to be based on reliable secondary sources (WP:WPNOTRS). I can't find any evidence of secondary sources supporting this theory linked in this discussion. That alone means we should not include it. WP:FRINGE, WP:UNDUE, WP:COI, and WP:SOCK provide the copious nails in the coffin. de Bivort 12:46, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

I have already admitted some initial ignorance of the rules with regards to inadvertent recruiting. SaraSauropod posted a message on my Wikipedia user page to ask if I had received any reason for the deletion of my contribution. I responded openly on her Wikipedia page with a link to this page, for her to see the reasons for the deletion. The initial tone of this discussion was unnecessarily inflammatory. It is difficult to remain silent in the face of blatant disrespect, and difficult to tell others to stay out of what appeared to be a public forum.[[User:Cookiecutteramaru|Cookiecutteramaru](talk) 22:25, 21 April 2014 (UTC) I approached Fraser. If he knew recruiting wasn't allowed, he wouldn't have responded on my user page with the link to this page. This will be my last post on this page, but I want to remind everyone that these theories are not hockey teams. We will never know the whole story on the origin of birds, so it is a bit silly to be a "supporter" of any one theory.Sarasauropod (talk) 12:31, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

  • Are there reliable, independent secondary sources, such as a review article or piece in the popular press about this theory? de Bivort 01:13, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
That has got to be a rhetorical question. The point has been made repeatedly that this is a newly-published theory, which is why it is described that way in the draft contribution.[[User:Cookiecutteramaru|Cookiecutteramaru](talk) 02:04, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
All right, then it should not be added, per the clear policy at WP:RS and WP:WPNOTRS. Let scientific discourse do its thing. If this is a significant hypothesis, then there will be positive, neutral, reliable, secondary coverage in the near future. At that point it will merit inclusion. de Bivort 02:49, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
  • I appreciate that Dinoguy2 made an effort to read the paper and that he seems interested in building consensus. My contributions to other pages were carefully worded to prevent any assumption of widespread acceptance. There were statements on other pages that incorrectly implied consensus over "bizarre" structures. I hope to continue with minor edits to those articles, and talk with other editors. If it will allow us to reach consensus on the Origin of Birds article, I would be willing to refrain from inserting the dismount theory into any other articles. All of the theories have been "Examined by other researchers,” but none of them has been "Scientifically tested." I could insert the wording "New minority hypothesis" in the first sentence as follows:

Dismount model (draft 4 for comments)[edit]

This very new minority hypothesis suggests that some small Jurassic theropods fed on the backs of large herbivores, and that parachuting and gliding evolved to reduce the risk of injury from the jump to the ground after feeding.[1] Mechanical modeling and comparison to birds of prey suggest that the dromaeosaur claws may have been used to climb the flanks[10] and ride the backs of large dinosaurs.[11] Supporters of this model have suggested that birds diverged from gliding theropods, while dromaeosaurs maintained the parasitic riding strategy and various abilities to perform a gliding or parachuting dismount.[1] Quill knobs on the forelimbs of Velociraptor,[12] and long feathers on the long hind legs of Anchiornis,[13] could be explained by the need to perform such a dismount.[1] This model may also offer a new explanation for some of the “bizarre structures” on herbivores. [1]

If we were to reach such a consensus, how would we keep someone else from arbitrarily deleting it again? I wonder if someone other than me could move the agreed text into the article, with an edit summary referring new comments this ongoing discussion?[[User:Cookiecutteramaru|Cookiecutteramaru](talk) 03:05, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

By providing secondary sources that discuss this new hypothesis, as well as more papers that address the evidence that suggest this mode of evolution.--Mr Fink (talk) 03:42, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

The clear policy at WP:RS states: "Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published sources, making sure that all majority and significant minority views." Fraser's JPS article falls clearly under the Wikipedia definition of a reliable secondary source. "Editing from a neutral point of view (NPOV) means representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without bias, all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic."[46] This can only be resolved by those working towards consensus.[[User:Cookiecutteramaru|Cookiecutteramaru](talk) 04:00, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

On what basis do you think that article is a secondary source? In the very abstract: "I propose that bizarre structures may ..." That's prima facie evidence of it being a primary source. de Bivort 07:40, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

  • It was I who recruited Fraser to this debate. After reading his paper, I suggested that the dismount theory should be included in Wikipedia. I got directly involved when I realized I had thrown Fraser to the wolves.
  • I detect multiple biases in this debate, including the advocacy of at least one participant for a competing theory. Sadly, they do compete, with funding and careers on the line, so that likely none of us can speak without bias. Malicious and misleading statements directed at a respected scientific journal, and its directors, could easily be taken as defamation. I remind all participants that their identities would likely not be protected in case of a legal proceeding. It is indeed surprising that Carpenter would allow Fraser’s paper to pass the peer review process, not because of any deficiency, but because the paper directly challenges one of Carpenter’s papers attributing an injury to the bite of a tyrannosaur. Carpenter’s willingness to put Science ahead of personal ambition is remarkable.
  • If we are to place the theories in a hierarchy of credibility, Longrich et al. (2012) [48] provides strong evidence against WAIR, cursorial and pouncing theories. For birds to take flight from the ground, the primary wing feathers need to separate during the upstroke, to allow air to pass between feathers [49]. Separation of primary feathers is necessary for low-speed flapping flight, hovering, and wing-assisted incline running. [50] Longrich et al., 2012 showed that overlapping feathers of Anchiornis and Archaeopteryx were not able to separate which would have made it difficult to take off from the ground, without hindering the ability to glide from an elevated position.[51] Flight must have evolved from an elevated perch, which means that only the arboreal and dismount theory remain credible. The Longrich paper is supported by Xu (2012)[52] The pouncing theory is supported by only one reference from 1999.Oviraptorbill (talk) 19:33, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
The primary objection that at least I have is not to the hypothesis of an elevated dismount, but to the blanket co-option of many highly disparate and anatomically unrelated bizarre structures in prey species across tens of millions of years and nearly all clades being suggested to all have evolved due to selective pressure from a single predation strategy. The claim that the crests of corythosaurs, parasaurolophus, frills of ceratopsians, scales of hadrosaurids, tails of diplodocids, etc., which are about as different structures as you can hope to find, all evolved to solve the same problem in different ways, is an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary evidence. The paper does not provide evidence, only speculation that strives to fit these structures into the hypothesis with no empirical testing as I suggested above. The paper offers an analogy to a single species of mammal that exhibits slightly similar behavior, but not really analogous behavior, and a better analogy would be if somebody used this example to suggest all the horns of cervids and tough skin of rhinos, elephants, etc. all evolved to fend off mustelid attack. Dinoguy2 (talk) 15:29, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

The paper does not refer to "A single species of mammal that exhibits a similar behavior," but also to the eagle, vampire finch, vampire bat and the cookiecutter shark. If you are going to critic the paper, you really should read the whole thing.[[User:Cookiecutteramaru|Cookiecutteramaru](talk) 06:55, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

My mistake, I had read the paper but neglected those other examples when writing the post above. Still, this qualifies as baseless speculation unless there is some scientific attempt to find an anatomical correlate between wolvarines, eagles, vampire finches, vampire bats and cookiecutter sharks that can then also be demonstrated in dromaeosaurids of various sizes, and a correlation between bizarre structures in herbivores with presence/size of dromaeosaurid species in an ecosystem, and a correlation between lack of bizarre structures in herbivores with lack of dromaeosaurid species in an ecosystem. This is what would be required to even start qualifying the bizarre structure component of the paper as an hypothesis to begin with and to begin making testable predictions with it. Dinoguy2 (talk) 11:39, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, a million times yes. The paper comes across as an extended riff on "when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." I cannot prove a negative, but suggesting that practically every dinosaurian anatomical feature that juts out from the body evolved as protection from small theropods riding them does not make sense to me. I offered a number of specific objections higher up, but they just keep coming to mind. How feasible would it have been for a dromaeosaur to have climbed the side of another dinosaur and then make the necessary turn to straddle it? (Remember, dinosaurian ankles, knees, and hips mostly do motion in a single plane, and the palms cannot be rotated to face downward unless you abduct the entire arm at the shoulder.) The ankylosaurian model does not seem to have been that detrimental, because ankylosaurians outlived the stegosaurians and if anything were larger and more tabular by the end of the Cretaceous. If any group should have had both the "means" and the "motive" to go all out with pointy things and away from a tabular build, it should have been ankylosaurs, but by the end of the Cretaceous we've got Edmontonia, which had spines but they faced forward and down, and various ankylosaurids which had plenty of scutes, like their Jurassic brethren, but little in the way of points. Ankylosaurids should have been mobile buffets. Pachycephalosaurians and "hypsilophodonts" were generally of comparable size, yet hypsils got along just fine without anything (it certainly wasn't plain old agility; thescelosaur bones and pachycephalosaur bones are often confused, and Thescelosaurus itself had very stocky legs and short feet). Pachycephalosaurians were also fairly close to the same size as dromaeosaurs, so is it likely that a dromaeosaur would try to ride it? And why would adult Pachycephalosaurus gain any advantage from losing the spikes but keeping the dome? Why wouldn't it have been the other way around? How likely is it that structures would evolve for the chance that a riding theropod would be thrown onto or across them, rather than off to the side? It's certainly a higher-percentage move to dash the predator off to the side and then stomp on it, than to set it up to ride down the midline of the back toward the head; there's a lot more side than midline. How often can we expect a dromaeosaur to have ridden the "banister", instead of falling off to the side? Finally, to repeat the most puzzling point, what selection pressures would be responsible for evolving large and sometimes quite complex structures across Dinosauria, when selection for greater agility would seem like a faster route? Crested hadrosaurs didn't start with crests, after all, and stegosaurs started off with more armor plating (and from the looks of how they fared compared to ankylosaurs, they would have been better off staying that way). If dromaeosaurs are climbing iguanodonts, why would selection favor the iguanodont with a knob on its head and some bumps on its back, instead of the iguanodont who's a little better at juking? I can go on and on like this, and I'd be curious to know if the reviewers brought up any of it. J. Spencer (talk) 03:16, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

Manning et al. (2006) and Fowler et al. (2011) didn't think it was implausible for dromaeosaurs to climb and ride large herbivores. The paper [53] discusses a number of dromaeosaur physical characteristics that may have been just as well suited for climbing dinosaurs as for climbing trees. I don't know if dinosaurs slept, but Darren Tanke(in press) has suggested that they may have been vulnerable to injury while resting in the prone position. Dromaeosaurs may have overlooked the ethics of mounting their victims during sleep or when resting prone. Ankylosaurs are more often compared to walking tanks that buffets. Surely, you are not suggesting that an ankylosaur would have been vulnerable to unethical dromaeosaur advances? Thyreophoran osteoderms were not so confluent as those on late Cretaceous ankylosaurs. The paper provides an explanation for the evolution of stegosaurs from thyreophorans, and the subsequent extinction of stegosaurs. The dome on the adult pachycephalosaur head retained rear-facing knobs, perhaps augmented by the weight of the dome to augment the force of collision with a dorsal rider. Small body size may have necessitated the extra weight of the head, so as to cause a meaningful impact. The dome is further explained as a means to shelter delicate facial features (like eyes and nose) from the point of impact in the rear-facing head-but. The paper suggests that the subadult form (Stygimoloch) lacked the strength and metabolic reserves to grow and carry the heavy dome, using the rear-facing head spikes as an interim defense.[[User:Cookiecutteramaru|Cookiecutteramaru](talk) 07:36, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

I ought not to continue on this, especially after Debivort's point, but... there is some stuff here that could be evaluated in more concrete, quantifiable terms, via studies of range of motion, for example, or in the case of ankylosaurians the characteristics of the armor distribution over time. J. Spencer (talk) 00:55, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Put another way, to suggest that some species of proto-birds used prey climbing and RPR of large prey as a starting point to flight rather than trees is a reasonable starting point for exploring a potentially useful hypothesis. To then, in the same paper and without even trying to gain consensus on this critical first step, to extend this to say that nearly all strange dinosaur structures can be explained by this hypothesis is such a radical over-reach that it comes across as ridiculous to most non-biased readers. Dinoguy2 (talk) 15:32, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

A paradigm shift is not accomplished by incremental steps, or without resistance.[[User:Cookiecutteramaru|Cookiecutteramaru](talk) 09:17, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

I think if you look closely enough this is not true in most cases. Major scientific paradigm shifts have never really been whole cloth the work of one researcher, it only appears so in hindsight after our view of history has been blurred by "famous" accomplishments. The work of Einstein, Darwin, and Newton would have been impossible if they were not building onto research done by others. And the days where a lone researcher could publish decades worth of work all at once without publishing in steps with teams and the scientific community at large giving input have been gone for a hundred years. Dinoguy2 (talk) 17:42, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
Of note: The multi-layered, elongate coverts in Archaeopteryx are not without dispute. Albertonykus (talk) 16:07, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Cervids have antlers, not horns. There is an abductive argument that "bizarre structures" can tell us something about the challenges faced by herbivores. If those structures are best explained by dorsal riding, they can be taken as indirect evidence of dorsal riding. It is like fitting together pieces of a puzzle - the more pieces fit the more likely the solution. It is a bit like saying that armor on a vehicle implies the existence of high-velocity projectiles. That said, it appears that cookiecutteramaru is willing to address your objections to insertion of his theories into other articles, which seems a reasonable compromise.Oviraptorbill (talk) 20:02, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

I have been watching this disagreement from the sidelines for most of it, but now is seems most people are now giving more understandable reasons. I have one big question to the "pro-dismount theory" crew, if centrosaurines evolved big horns on the back of the frill, then why are at least the two derived Pachyrhinosaurus species - P. lakustai and P. perotorum - often shown with horns curving to the side, when backward pointing spines would be much more effective? Why would this genus, almost always shown as derived to Achelousaurus, Styracosaurus, Centrosaurus, Diabloceratops and such with backward-oriented frill spines, evolutionarily lose such an adaptation that would have protected them from dromaeosaurs feeding off there necks, even when dromaeosaurs readily lived in the same area as them at the same time? IJReid (talk) 23:45, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

With lateral head movements, the rim of the frill would have followed a rotational arc. Horns curving to the side in that axis may been used to hook attackers and throw them to the ground. This is explained in the paper. [54] [[User:Cookiecutteramaru|Cookiecutteramaru](talk) 01:28, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

Yes, but then why does P. canadensis, a species classified between P. lakustai and P. perotorum, have straight frill spines, and why do no other derived centrosaurines have such an adaptation. Also, why do chasmosaurines like Triceratops, Nedoceratops, and other derived triceratopsins have shortened frills with no spines, as these would have greatly exposed the neck to predation by "parasites". IJReid (talk) 03:45, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

Be it military or biological, the hallmark of an arms race it the never-ending cycle of defensive adaptation in response to offensive countermeasures. It would be easier for the dromaeosaur to adapt to one pattern of spikes arranged to optimize the defensive effect of one instinctive head movement. Rear-facing spikes might have best augmented the effect of neck extension, whereas hooked spikes might have been paired with instinctive rotational head maneuvers. Much like the tubular structure of a lambeosaurine crest, fenestration of neck frills may have optimized length for an acceptable trade-off in weight, without compromising strength. Considering the metabolic cost of building and carrying a large bony structure, there would have been trade-offs between such variables. Organisms respond with diversity when forced to compromise between opposing factors. There are numerous examples of fish and dinosaurs evolving smaller body size when constrained to small isolated habitats, where nutritional factors outweighed the benefits of size. You can tell a frigate from a destroyer by the size and shape of the guns on the deck, but the diversity of appearance is not for decoration.[[User:Cookiecutteramaru|Cookiecutteramaru](talk) 04:54, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

This is biggest issue that I think users like IJReid are getting at: For dismount proponents, what evidence would you expect to find if your hypothesis were wrong? The answers to questions like the above suggest that any and all features or lack of features can be used to support the hypothesis. Scientifically, that means the hypothesis is worthless. There must be a null hypothesis to test it against. Dinoguy2 (talk) 11:44, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

By that same logic, the species-recognition hypothesis is worthless, as an explanation for "bizarre structures". The presence or absence of any external structure, could be explained as a means by which to tell one dinosaur apart from another. That "worthless" hypothesis is widely accepted only because of the credibility of Padian & Horner.

1. If the pes digit II ungal claw had a sharp ventral keel, like that of the allosaur Megaraptor, that would invalidate Manning's interpretation of the claw as a "climbing crampon."

2. The discovery of quill knobs on ornithomimids would undermine the assertion that such knobs imply mechanically-functional feathers in Velociraptor and Rahonavis. Large wing feathers have been found with ornithomimids which lack quill knobs. If quill knobs were to be discovered in ornithomimids, one might question the association between mechanically-functional feathers and the "climbing crampon."

3. If the South American record became so complete as to rule the presence of an Early Cretaceous candidate for dorsal riding, that would undermine the defensive hypothesis for neck spikes in Amargasaurus. Isolate teeth with dromaosaur features were discovered this year from the Early Cretaceous in South America (not yet published).

4. If Eosinopteryx turned out to be a fraud and anchiornis or Xiaotingia had short legs, that would favor an arboreal habit for Avialae.[[User:Cookiecutteramaru|Cookiecutteramaru](talk) 06:00, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

5. If Longrich et al.(2012)and Xu (2012)[55] turn out to be wrong about those overlapping feathers of Anchiornis and Archaeopteryx, then WAIR, pouncing and cursorial models may reclaim some validity.

One more question for dismount proponents - Why do we see such drastic back and forth evolution of bizarre "defense" structures in herbivores but no corresponsing adaptations in dromaeosaurids, which by and large are all morphologically very, very similar, differing only in minor traits? This would appear to be a very one-sided arms race, with herbivores adapting both behaviorally and morphologically, and dromaeosaurids only behaviorally if at all. Wouldn't this hypothesis predict more variation in the claws, hindlimb anatomy, dentition and snout shape of dromaeosaurs? The modern analogues cited in the paper, as well as David Peters similar hypothesis about "vampire" anurognathids", all involve selection for short and broad jaws, better for gripping the flanks of large prey. Dromaeosaurids, if anything, trend towards long and extremely laterally slender jaws (ex. unenlagiines). This hypothesis would also predict strong selective pressure for climbing adaptations, e.g. splayable hind limbs. Dinoguy2 (talk) 11:56, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

Dromaeosaurs vary significantly in size. Unelagia was different in the shoulder girdle. The victim of an extant vampire bat is unaware of the attack and therefore not struggling. The elongated beak of the vampire finch is considered to be an adaptation for drinking blood through a thick layer of feathers. Wolves have elongated muzzles to accommodate relative movements of the ungulate hamstring. The muzzles of wolverines and large cats are short but they have "splayable hind limbs", allowing them to ride in close contact with prey, thereby reducing relative movement between rider and mount. Scutes, plates, spikes, and large scales would have prevented dromaeosaurs from riding in close contact with many of their victims. The long slender dromaeosaur muzzle may have allowed a range of motion to accommodate a greater distance of separation between dromaeosaur and victim. The long slender muzzle may have improved the reach between scutes and other dorsal armor, perhaps also reaching soft tissue under thick skin at the bottom of an ulcer. (see the paper for details) Chatterjee and Templin (2004) point to a powerful shoulder girdle, biceps tubercle, elongated and laterally facing coracoid, ossification of the sternum and furcula, elongated forelimbs, swivel wrist joint and opisthopubic pelvis as climbing adaptations in dromaeosaurs.[[User:Cookiecutteramaru|Cookiecutteramaru](talk) 06:45, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

Though none of this really addresses the criticism above (more hand waving speculation, no proposals for testing), I only have time to specifically address this - "The long slender dromaeosaur muzzle may have allowed a range of motion to accommodate a greater distance of separation between dromaeosaur and victim." Why would a riding animal want to move its center of gravity farther away from the thing it's riding? If this is to allow for "bucking", why would the muzzle be so laterally narrow, posing a greater risk of injury on the downward "buck" of the herbivore? "Chatterjee and Templin (2004) point to a powerful shoulder girdle, biceps tubercle, elongated and laterally facing coracoid, ossification of the sternum and furcula, elongated forelimbs, swivel wrist joint and opisthopubic pelvis as climbing adaptations in dromaeosaurs." This is a problem in the paper too--selectively citing evidence which supports your hypothesis while practically ignoring the wealth of criticism of this work. The idea that dromaeosaurids were arboreal or could climb trees at all, let alone moving prey, is far, far away from being consensus. Dinoguy2 (talk) 11:54, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Another quite important problem with this hypothesis is the relationship of dromaeosaurids and birds. The hypothesis is based upon dromaeosaurids and there relationship to prey, but in recent phylogenies, troodontids are named as the closest relatives to birds. For the dismount theory to evolve into flight, it would have to be troodontids riding on the backs of animals. There is a problem with this, as troodontids show reduced sickle-claws, which would make it harder to be on the back of dinosaurs. Troodontids also show a mostly more-gracile skeletal anatomy, and a change in the skull shape which would change the needed feeding features. Dinoguy2 also has a good point about the adaptations of dromaeosaurids, which, do not exist in a sense. If prey changes, the predator adapts with it, why does this not happen in the "dismount hypothesis"? IJReid (talk) 15:00, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

See above for answer to adaptations of droamaeosaurids. Xu et al(2011)[56] show marked similarities between Anchiornis, Xiaotingia, toodontids and some basal dromaeosaurids, suggesting a rapid divergence in the early second half of the Jurassic. A divergence at that time can be explained by the dawn of dorsal riding, coinciding also with the evolution of taller stature and osteoderms in stegosaurs.[[User:Cookiecutteramaru|Cookiecutteramaru](talk) 07:18, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

This conversation seems to be drifting rapidly away from a proposal on what to do with the article to a debate on the validity of the theory, which is not our place. Still waiting on secondary sources I believe. de Bivort 23:07, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

Much to my delight, this conversation has drifted into something intellectual. I have waited more than a decade for this discussion. A book for the mass public is nearly ready for publication. The dismount theory is not going to go away. You don't have to believe it, but you're not going to be able to ignore it.[[User:Cookiecutteramaru|Cookiecutteramaru](talk) 07:26, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

Therefore it should end. Wikipedia is not the place to vet new ideas or refine hypothesis. We report relative consensus as published in the secondary literature. Cookiecutteramaru, I would seriously suggest actually addressing the issue of test-ability before carpet-bombing the media with an unscientific hypothesis and becoming the next David Peters. Dinoguy2 (talk) 11:54, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

A question for Debivort: If someone other than Fraser was to edit the article with a reference to Fraser's paper, that would make Fraser's paper a secondary source? Nobody has found any scientific weakness in Fraser's paper, and it clearly was published in a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. The article is represented as a list of possible theories for the origin of flight, and includes three theories that have been discredited by recent work, one of which (pouncing) is supported only by a single reference from 1999. The dismount theory is a scientifically plausible published model for the origin of flight. To exclude it from a list of such models would be blatantly misleading, and a violation of Wikipedia policy. "(NPOV) means representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without bias, all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources."[57]. This discussion started with blatant expressions of prejudice against the Journal of Paleontological Sciences, and one of the peer reviewers for private collection of fossils. One of the opponents to the dismount theory (Animalparty) edited the Wikipedia page of that reviewer (Peter Larson), within 24 hours of speaking against Fraser, leaving the Pete Larson article in its current state of misrepresentation. Prejudices against private collectors, and Peter Larson in particular, are widespread among professional academic vertebrate paleontologists. I think the real issue here is politics, the same politics that sent a man to jail for two years over technicalities of paperwork relating to movement of traveler's cheques. Fraser denies collecting fossils, but he has unwittingly blundered into a war over private collection, just by publishing his paper in the JPS. If this is not settled appropriately, I will request mediation from an administrator.[[User:|Oviraptorbill](talk) 20:24, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

Cookiecutteramaru blocked for sockpuppetry[edit]

As shown at SPI, Cookiecutteramaru was shown to have created accounts and deceptively used them to show consensus for his proposed changes. This was in an attempt to push poorly-sourced fringe theories onto articles. The other blocked sockpuppets are below:

I wanted to make a note of this, as I'm sure it will have an impact on the discussion above. -- Atama 20:43, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

Are you sure that an indef block for the original account is necessary? He was a new user and not yet accustomed to Wikipedia rules, but could possibly learn to contribute more appropriately after a cool-down period. -Ferahgo the Assassin (talk) 21:32, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
agree with Ferahgo. This discussion and behavior were disruptive, but the silver lining was that he was using the talk page. Could grow into a cooperative contributor. de Bivort 22:20, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
I agree that the ban should be temporary. Abyssal (talk) 22:28, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
The ban on Cookiecutteramaru should definitely be temporary, however, I think Pluschgreen, Sarasauropod, and Oviraptorbill should remain blocked indefinitely. IJReid (talk) 03:34, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

Sarasauropod and Plushgreen are family members. They voluntarily expressed their own opinions and do not consider themselves to be puppets. None of us were aware of the policy on recruiting, until informed on the talk page. I admitted the mistake, "I am a new user and I do appreciate the opportunity to learn more about Wikipedia policy 18:07, 20 April 2014 (UTC)...I have already admitted some initial ignorance of the rules with regards to inadvertent recruiting. It is difficult to remain silent in the face of blatant disrespect, and difficult to tell others to stay out of what appeared to be a public forum 22:25, 21 April 2014." Sarasauropod said, "This will be my last post on this page" 12:31, 22 April 2014 (UTC). Plushgreen is now in Europe and will confirm her identity if necessary. I revealed my identity on the talk page, as the author of a peer-reviewed scientific paper. I suspect that Oviraptorbill is a member of a local Paleontology group, "It was I who recruited Fraser to this debate. After reading his paper, I suggested that the dismount theory should be included in Wikipedia..Oviraptorbill (talk) 19:33, 22 April 2014 (UTC)" Many of my friends have followed the debate, so the sock puppet label is very embarrassing. I only once reverted the deletion of my contribution, and only then after improving the contribution, and adding an edit summary with the names of the professional paleontologists who peer-reviewed my paper. The deletion had been done with no explanation, except for an edit summary labelling the theory as "radical" and the journal as "amateur". That edit summary (attached to the deletion) was changed after I complained about the personal attacks against the journal and peer-reviewers. I did not realize there was another way to respond until Funkmonk sent me the link to the talk page. I have since confined my comments to this talk page, except for uncontroversial contributions to other articles (Bird and Amaru). It was a mistake to allow family members to get involved, but there was no attempt to deceive. All of my contributions have been civil and conscientious. Speaking of deception, many inflammatory comments have been deleted from the early stages of the debate on this talk page, presumably to hide the mistakes of other editors. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:17, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

As I understand the rules, when blocked your edits are your supposed to restricted to appealing the ban on your talk page. Editing as an anonymous IP is evading the block, and is frowned upon. (Creating a new account would be worse.) Lavateraguy (talk) 08:44, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, block evasion is bad. I retract my enthusiasm for a shortening of the block. de Bivort 12:12, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
That could be naivity. I'd give him a pass on that provided he doesn't repeat the offence. On the other hand he needs to own his sock/meat puppetry. Lavateraguy (talk) 12:42, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
Persistent block evasion. User seems to have no interest in the norms of the wikipedia editing community. de Bivort 22:53, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
If you want to appeal your block, I'd suggest you do so with your original account on your talk page as per the usual venue with reassurance that new accounts/recruitment won't happen again. Since no one here particularly wants to see you indefed, hopefully the admin will be amenable. -Ferahgo the Assassin (talk) 13:36, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
One comment on the block of Sarasauropod. Sarasauropod is most likely Cookiecutteramaru in a different account. In the creation of the page User:Cookiecutteramaru, Cookiecutteramaru himself added a comment about being sorry on his page, and signed it as Sarasauropod. See here for the history of his user page. IJReid (talk) 14:41, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

Here is the first contribution of Sarasauropod: 23:40, 18 April 2014 (diff | hist) . . (+567)‎ . . User talk:Cookiecutteramaru ‎ (why the deletion) It proves that she made that first comment on the page of Cookiecutteramaru. What appears on the contribution list of Cookiecutteramaru does not correlate with the date of the comment, and is probably a notice that his page was started. Please bring this to the attention of IJReid and addministration. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

  • The paper was just linked on the Dinosaur Mailing List, first reaction: "Does anyone remember a paper suggesting that Archaeopteryx wings were used to help the birds steer when they rode around on large sauropods? It was published in the Journal of Irreproducible Results, and a chief difference between that one and the new paper is that the Archie one was supposed to be funny… Seriously, though, how could you possibly test this?" FunkMonk (talk) 21:21, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Two dinosaur genera named in 2007 and 2008[edit]

I have found two questionable dinosaur genera online. The genera are the titanosaur Malakhelisaurus and the abelisaur Samanadrinda. The type and only species of Samanadrinda is S. surghari. The only species of Malakhelisaurus is M. mianwali. The original publication they were named in is:

  • Malkani, M.S. (2008f). "Marisaurus (Balochisauridae, Titanosauria) remains from the latest Cretaceous of Pakistan". Sindh University Research Journal (Science Series) 40 (2): 55–78. 

I cannot find this ref online anywhere, but it is cited in:

The ref mentions the species, M. mianwali being a "wide-gauge titanosaur sauropod", and having confronted "S. surghari", a "running narrow-gauge abelisaur theropod" in the Indus Basin. The first genus is also mentioned here, and the second here. The first genus (Malakhelisaurus) was named in the first mentioned publication above in 2008, and the second was named in the 2007 publication:

  • Malkani, M.S. (2007). "Trackways evidence of a sauropod dinosaurs confronted by a theropod found from Middle Jurassic Samana Suk Limestone of Pakistan". Sindh University Research Journal (Science Series) 39 (1): 1–14. 

Apparently Malakhelisaurus was originally named as a species in the genus Malasaurus, which was preoccupied by a crocodile. Does anyone else have any record of these genera, or why else would I have never heard of them again. Thanks for any feedback - IJReid (talk) 19:30, 27 April 2014 (UTC) They are also mentioned quite a bit online on this website stating they are named for footprints. Can anyone verify whether these are ichnogenera or regular dinosaur genera? IJReid (talk) 19:36, 27 April 2014 (UTC) This pdf also says the same thing as the 2009 ref, but is from 2012. IJReid (talk) 19:37, 27 April 2014 (UTC)

Apparently they're ichnotaxa, per the end of Jerry Harris's message to the DML from the time the article was published. J. Spencer (talk) 19:42, 27 April 2014 (UTC)

Strange new feature[edit]

On the dutch wikipedia, I came across this feature, which I show here with images of Anzu. It gives a larger view of images on a certain page, and at east on the dutch wiki, when you select an image, it gives you this feature. Does anyone on the wikiproject know about the implementation of such a feature, and any thoughts about if we should use it or not? IJReid (talk) 13:40, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

It is just a Commons feature, Dutch Wikipedia links directly to the Commons page of images, unlike the English Wiki, which has some kind of buffer page. Just click on "Expand view" after clicking on an image then you get the same. FunkMonk (talk) 13:48, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

"Category" assessment class[edit]

Can we create a "Category" assessment class so that we can tag relevant category talk pages with the WP:Dinosaurs template, but still distinguish them from the "NA-class" pages like the Wikiproject pages that they're currently lumped with? Abyssal (talk) 16:54, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

So I was thinking about the BANDits/MANIACs...[edit]

..and I remembered them saying the project's avialan/avian articles being "POV pushing of the BAD cabal". Enter the Super-Secret BAD Cabal. :P In all seriousness, it's really just a joke cat that I wanted to make for the hell of it. It's more for userpages than actual articles (obviously), but I thought it'd be a funny little thing to do, at least in jest. It's probably redundant to the evolution cats, but what the hey. Dromaeosaurus is best dinosaur (talk) 15:41, 30 May 2014 (UTC)-

User talk:Moldovan0731[edit]

I have blocked Moldovan0731 (talk · contribs) for reasons outlined on their talkpage. Not sure if all edits have been checked or reverted though. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 21:25, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

Automatedly adding fossil taxa described in year categories[edit]

I was considering making a bot request to automatically add Category: Fossil taxa described in 2014 (or whatever year) to all of our relevant articles based on the years listed under the genus authority heading of the article infoboxes. Do you support this initiative? Abyssal (talk) 14:16, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Sounds nice. FunkMonk (talk) 14:53, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Portal:Paleozoic renominated for featured portal status[edit]

Today I renominated the Paleozoic Portal for featured portal status. The last nomination failed because no one, apparently, could be arsed to comment on it. :( Your comments and criticism are welcome at the new nomination page. Abyssal (talk) 03:07, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Leaflet For Wikiproject Dinosaurs At Wikimania 2014[edit]

Hi all,

My name is Adi Khajuria and I am helping out with Wikimania 2014 in London.

One of our initiatives is to create leaflets to increase the discoverability of various wikimedia projects, and showcase the breadth of activity within wikimedia. Any kind of project can have a physical paper leaflet designed - for free - as a tool to help recruit new contributors. These leaflets will be printed at Wikimania 2014, and the designs can be re-used in the future at other events and locations.

This is particularly aimed at highlighting less discoverable but successful projects, e.g:

• Active Wikiprojects: Wikiproject Medicine, WikiProject Video Games, Wikiproject Film

• Tech projects/Tools, which may be looking for either users or developers.

• Less known major projects: Wikinews, Wikidata, Wikivoyage, etc.

• Wiki Loves Parliaments, Wiki Loves Monuments, Wiki Loves ____

• Wikimedia thematic organisations, Wikiwomen’s Collaborative, The Signpost

For more information or to sign up for one for your project, go to: Project leaflets Adikhajuria (talk) 16:22, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

We should categorize dinosaur articles by stratigraphic source[edit]

Our current categorization scheme for articles on dinosaur genera (and prehistoric animals generally) is difficult to use and profoundly misleading. Apart from taxonomic categories, we tend to categorize taxa by their continental landmass of origin and their age to the period level. However, this categorization scheme lumps taxa with little in common together in overpopulated categories that are hard to navigate and serve little purpose. Categorizing dinosaurs by continent (example) is not especially useful because the dinosaurs in question may have lived hundreds of miles from each other and be separated by millions of years in time. Also, there are so many taxa in these categories that no one can be expected to read them all, so from a reader's perspective the category is useless. Categorizing taxa by time period (example) has similar problems. Since a period is tens of millions of years long, most of the animals that lived during a given period would not be contemporaries. This makes categorizing them together misleading as many readers probably don't understand the full scale of a geologic period and will come away thinking they lived side-by-side.

I think we can capture the benefits and avoid the pitfalls of the broad geographic and chronological categories by categorizing taxa by the formations in which they are found (eg creating categories like "Morrison Formation", "Yixian Formation", etc). This system would group chronologically contemporary or nearly contemporary taxa with taxa of similar geographic ranges in categories that are manageable in size for the reader. I'm okay with us keeping the geographic and chronological categories in addition to stratigraphic categories, but if we do so I really think they need to be much more specific, like categorizing taxa by country or age instead of continent and period. Abyssal (talk) 18:39, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

Sounds good, at least initially as an additional category. Though this would be slightly redundant with "Paleobiota of..." articles. Dinoguy2 (talk) 11:22, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

New photos from Patagonian dinosaurs[edit]

Hi, I want to share here this photos that have been taken for a user from the es:Wiki, Gastón Cuello, who lives in Argentina. These are from the Egidio Feruglio Museum in Trelew, and includes photos from the recently discovered giant titanosaur from Patagonia. So, here is the images of Tyrannotitan:

And the titanosaur fossils:

I hope that some of these will be useful. --Rextron (talk) 20:50, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Nice, I'll add some of it! He has other interesting images too, many of them uncategorised, not sure what this is: FunkMonk (talk) 20:54, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
I added the teeth of Tyrannotitan, these are from the same site of the titanosaur. I'll ask him about the identity of this sauropod.--Rextron (talk) 21:18, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
The mounted skeleton of the sauropod is Epachthosaurus.--Rextron (talk) 23:18, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Awesome book![edit]

Yesterday, I got Paleoart of Julius Csotonyi and this book is AWESOME!!:) There is not much text in this baby, but the pictures are just stellar!! Julius Csotonyi is one of the world greatest paleoartist, whose skill is rivalled by very few. We have some of his images on wikipedia, namely his Linhenykus and Dinosaur Park Formation fauna. If anyone who does not own this would like to see his glory, I can email them some scans of the images, once I get to scanning them. Some articles, such as Guanlong, Spinops, Ornithomimus and Utahraptor, are given an overview in it, and are illustrated amazingly. A recommendation to all dinosaur lovers who just love to see them restored to their fullest, Paleoart of Julius Csotonyi is just irreplaceable. IJReid (talk) 04:18, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

  • "Dinosaur Art" was pretty good. I kind of prefer Raul Martin, I'm not too fond of the photoshopped plant photographs and that stuff... FunkMonk (talk) 19:21, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Commons template for inaccurate models[edit]

I see on commons we have a large number of the inaccurate restorations category filled up by models. I was wondering if someone with more template experience than I could create a new template, or just a new parameter for inaccurate models, that categorizes them in a category for inaccurate models. The new category would be images that are almost impossible to correct, unless the inaccuracies can be cropped out. This would greatly clear up the inaccurate restorations cat, which would make it quicker and easier to find and correct errors in illustrations. IJReid (talk) 23:37, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

I don't think any of the regulars can do it, try to ask the creator of the template. FunkMonk (talk) 23:42, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Just a question: Inaccurate according to whom? Do restorations change often over time? What about, hypothetically, species for which there is modern debate about "accurate restorations" The template in question: Template:Inaccurate paleoart, would be improved if there was a requirement to justify the claim of inaccuracy (e.g. "Inaccurate as per Smith, 2005, Journal of Paleontology". Otherwise, this could be construed as original research (e.g. some wikipedian thinks this is inaccurate but doesn't explain why.) It might be better just to clearly specify the date the restoration was created or published, and include relevant alternate restorations in any articles (e.g. "restoration1 from 1905." "Restoration 2 from 2005"). --Animalparty-- (talk) 00:06, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
There is already a parameter for outdated/historical restorations.[58] As for citations, yes, some of them already have them, would be nice if they all did. But in some cases with newer restorations, with for example unfeathered maniraptorans or pronated hands, there is really no discussion at this point. And some Commons images are also just so badly drawn as to be unusable. FunkMonk (talk) 00:11, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
I have requested to User:Calliopejen1, the creator, that both a references and a model parameter be added to the template, so we'll see what happens. IJReid (talk) 00:30, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
References can already be cited with links or just text referneces[59], not sure what parameter you would add. For a list of dinosaurs restoration guidelines with sources, see: FunkMonk (talk) 00:58, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
I think that the "reason=" parameter is fine as it is -- references can be added within that parameter. I guess I'm not sure what you mean by a "model" category -- do you mean 3D models? Calliopejen1 (talk) 01:54, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
Calliopejen1 By that I mean a category that contains inaccurate dinosaur models, such as images in commons:Category:Dinosaur models, so yes, 3D models. IJReid (talk) 01:59, 1 August 2014 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Fraser, G. (2014). ""Bizarre structures" point to dromaeosaurs as parasites and a new theory for the origin of avian flight." (Automatic PDF download). Journal of Paleontological Sciences 6: 1–27. 
  2. ^ Turner, A., Makovicky, P. & Norell, M. (2007) "Feather quill knobs in the dinosaur Velociraptor". Science, 317: 1721.
  3. ^ Hu, D., Hou, L., Zhang, L. & Xu, X. (2009). "A pre-Archaeopteryx troodontid theropod from China with long feathers on the metatarsus". Nature Letters, 461:640-643.
  4. ^ Turner, A., Makovicky, P. & Norell, M. (2007) "Feather quill knobs in the dinosaur Velociraptor". Science, 317: 1721.
  5. ^ Hu, D., Hou, L., Zhang, L. & Xu, X. (2009) "A pre-Archaeopteryx troodontid theropod from China with long feathers on the metatarsus". Nature Letters, 461:640-643.
  6. ^ Manning, P., Payne, D., Pennicott, J., Barrett, P. & Ennos R (2006) "Dinosaur killer claws or climbing crampons?". Biology Letters, 2(1): 110-112.
  7. ^ Fowler, D., Freedman, E., Scannella, J. & Kambic, R (2011). "The Predatory Ecology of Deinonychus and the Origin of Flapping in Birds." (Automatic PDF download). PLoS ONE 6 (12): 1–12. 
  8. ^ Turner, A., Makovicky, P. & Norell, M. (2007) "Feather quill knobs in the dinosaur Velociraptor". Science, 317: 1721.
  9. ^ Hu, D., Hou, L., Zhang, L. & Xu, X. (2009) "A pre-Archaeopteryx troodontid theropod from China with long feathers on the metatarsus". Nature Letters, 461:640-643.
  10. ^ Manning, P., Payne, D., Pennicott, J., Barrett, P. & Ennos R (2006) "Dinosaur killer claws or climbing crampons?". Biology Letters, 2(1): 110-112.
  11. ^ Fowler, D., Freedman, E., Scannella, J. & Kambic, R (2011). "The Predatory Ecology of Deinonychus and the Origin of Flapping in Birds." (Automatic PDF download). PLoS ONE 6 (12): 1–12. 
  12. ^ Turner, A., Makovicky, P. & Norell, M. (2007) "Feather quill knobs in the dinosaur Velociraptor". Science, 317: 1721.
  13. ^ Hu, D., Hou, L., Zhang, L. & Xu, X. (2009) "A pre-Archaeopteryx troodontid theropod from China with long feathers on the metatarsus". Nature Letters, 461:640-643.

Some images[edit]

I've noted that this user has uploaded some interesting dinosaur images in Commons, but I'm afraid that they have copyright... --Rextron (talk) 15:50, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Considering the uploader's talk page, they were likely lifted from [60] and [61], unfortunately. I'll nominate all three for deletion. jonkerztalk 15:58, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, stuff like that is regularly updated, I have a suspicion that it is done by some kids who don't understand copyright. FunkMonk (talk) 21:48, 26 August 2014 (UTC)