Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Palaeontology

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WikiProject Palaeontology (Rated NA-class)
WikiProject icon This page is within the scope of WikiProject Palaeontology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of palaeontology-related topics and create a standardized, informative, comprehensive and easy-to-use resource 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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Francevillian Group Fossil and Gabonionta[edit]

Hello, sorry if I am not to the right place to talk about that. I am not an expert in paleontology but I think that Francevillian Group Fossil and Gabonionta refer to the same thing. Do you think the same? If so, could you do what is needed to merge both articles? Thank you :D (talk) 08:51, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

I just noticed the former article and merged it to Gabonionta. The proper title of the article is still up for debate : "Gabonionta" was apparently invented by a museum and is not widely used while "Francevillian Group Fossil" can refer to other fossils in the formation, I believe. --Animalparty-- (talk) 07:33, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Proposal to use recently coined vernacular names instead of scientific names for fossil species[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere

Those familiar with how we name articles (and why) on species only identified in the fossil record may be interested in this discussion: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Birds#English name vs. Scientific name,  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  00:23, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

Sourcing for restorations, again[edit]

A relevant discussion, which may be of interest. FunkMonk (talk) 10:42, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Images of fossils preferred in the taxobox?[edit]

In light of the above discussion, and lack of responses in this old one[1], I was thinking of whether we should make it a sort of written project policy that images of fossils or skeletal reconstructions should be preferred in the taxobox over life restorations? Restorations are always hypothetical, and therefore a great deal more contentious, and therefore less factual in a way. This should of course only be done when we have good images of fossils, and skeletons that are mounted correctly. Fossils/skeletons can of course also be restored in incorrect ways, but even then, there is much less speculation involved. FunkMonk (talk) 16:09, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

I agree, I prefer that in the taxobox the images have the real organism, or in this case, what remains of the such organism. On another hand, the recosntructed images of fossils are less abstract for an casual reader...--Rextron (talk) 07:29, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, they are probably more "presentable" than photos of a fragmentary skull or some such. But the skull is the "evidence", and for Wikipedia purposes, therefore more "verifiable". FunkMonk (talk) 10:35, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
I think the choice of image type (restoration vs fossil photograph) should be made on a case-by-case basis, using the highest quality image available. I don't think the image type should be as strict as a policy, but perhaps more of a loose guideline or recommendation, with a good deal of room for common sense. Otherwise a strict interpretation means eschewing high-quality CC-licensed restorations that have been published in primary literature (see for instance Ocepeia and Ocepechelon). The controversy above appears to concern only user-submitted illustrations falling under original research, which certainly doesn't apply to published illustrations.--Animalparty-- (talk) 04:21, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
Agreed on loose guideline and case-by-case basis. I'd prefer an excellent, peer-reviewed reconstruction over a grainy or inaccurately mounted skeletal. -Ferahgo the Assassin (talk) 07:05, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree, and I think I mentioned this caveat in my first post. Bad photos and incorrectly restored fossils/mounts should of course not take precedence. And the latter should perhaps not be used at all, unless they can serve some purpose in a historically oriented section of an article. And yeah, a recommendation rather than a policy is probably better. Also, restorations published in journals are actually not always correct, see these[2] for example, where the hands are definitely wrong, and the rest of the anatomy seems ill defined. FunkMonk (talk) 14:03, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Some examples of my own thoughts, the Massospondylus article has a restoration in the taxobox, and we don't really have an appropriate fossil image to replace it with. Much of the animal's skeleton is known, so it seems a bit weird to put a photo of only the skull there, for example, and our only image of a mount shows it inaccurately bipedal. On the other hand, Ziapelta is only known from a skull and some cervical half rings, so I think putting in the full body restoration in the taxobox would be quite misleading. The skull may not be too interesting for regular readers to look at, but it is more "verifiable". FunkMonk (talk) 17:06, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

Comment on the WikiProject X proposal[edit]

Hello there! As you may already know, most WikiProjects here on Wikipedia struggle to stay active after they've been founded. I believe there is a lot of potential for WikiProjects to facilitate collaboration across subject areas, so I have submitted a grant proposal with the Wikimedia Foundation for the "WikiProject X" project. WikiProject X will study what makes WikiProjects succeed in retaining editors and then design a prototype WikiProject system that will recruit contributors to WikiProjects and help them run effectively. Please review the proposal here and leave feedback. If you have any questions, you can ask on the proposal page or leave a message on my talk page. Thank you for your time! (Also, sorry about the posting mistake earlier. If someone already moved my message to the talk page, feel free to remove this posting.) Harej (talk) 22:47, 1 October 2014 (UTC)