Talk:Aquatic mammal

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Swamp Rabbit is a semi-aquatic mammal?

Aquarista brasileio (talk) 17:16, 17 July 2010 (UTC)a


I don't think so. I don't think it swims much. --The High Fin Sperm Whale 18:12, 17 July 2010 (UTC)


Should the walrus also be listed here? Its page states that it is a marine mammal but I don't see it here.Whatthefat (talk) 04:57, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

What is this about?[edit]

The lead specifies that this article talk's about every mammal affiliated with water in some way, but the rest says otherwise. The Taxonomy section, for example, lists only freshwater species. Does this article talk about only freshwater marine mammals?   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  00:56, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

Requested move 12 June 2016[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: speedily closed. This is a merge request, not a request for a page move. As WP:RMNOT states, requested moves are not for page mergers. The correct place to discuss that would be at WP:PM. (non-admin closure) Calidum ¤ 04:40, 14 June 2016 (UTC)

Aquatic mammalMarine mammal – There's no apparent difference between the two articles, other than this article lists freshwater mammals. I see no difference between the words 'marine' and 'aquatic', and I'm pretty sure 'aquatic mammal' is synonymous with 'marine mammal'.   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  01:10, 12 June 2016 (UTC)

  • Speedy close. These are two separate articles, what you appear to be suggesting is a merge rather than a page move. That's not what WP:RM is for. PC78 (talk) 01:40, 12 June 2016 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Proposed merge with Marine mammal[edit]

There seems to be a nontrivial amount of content in Marine animal discussing animals such as beavers, hippos, moose, and rhinoceri, and other freshwater mammals. In my understanding the word "marine" refers to saltwater animals only. Moreover, as aquatic mammal is a broader topic than marine mammal, and as this page is less developed than Marine mammal, perhaps it makes sense to have the more comprehensive article at Aquatic mammal instead Intelligentsium 12:45, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

Pinging Dunkleosteus77 who has made a similar proposal above. I also believe it is a stretch to consider rhinoceri and moose either marine or aquatic. Intelligentsium 12:49, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
I agree on the merger  User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  15:44, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
Indian rhinos spend the day in and around water, so they qualify as marine mammals. Moose might be a stretch, but they do have some adaptations for aquatic living and foraging   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  15:57, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

Oppose: Type in "marine mammal" in google books and you get a wealth of titles dedicated to the topic. That's enough to justify marine mammal being its own article. "Marine" is not synonymous with "aquatic", the former is restricted to oceans and seas. LittleJerry (talk) 01:56, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

  • My intent is not to get rid of the marine mammal article but to make this the main article and merge the content about freshwater mammals from marine mammal to this article. Intelligentsium 02:21, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
Okay, but can we agree that the "merge" tag is not necessary. LittleJerry (talk) 14:25, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I'm still holding on to the idea of the merge. I just think it would be better to talk about all mammals that like to be in, around, and under the water, rather than having an article that talks about those animals that live in a certain environment and having a different copycat article about them and the rest (as the Aquatic mammal article will have info mainly on marine mammals).   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  18:00, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
We have Aquatic ecosystems, Marine ecosystems and Freshwater ecosystem. LittleJerry (talk) 18:02, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Both of those are stubs and the Aquatic ecosystems in only C-class; not high quality articles   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  04:15, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
So will the Aquatic mammal article contain information on only freshwater mammals and marine mammals only on saltwater mammals?   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  17:46, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
I think we should keep marine mammal but limit its scope to animals like whales and dolphins that live in the ocean, and keep aquatic mammal more comprehensive. It actually rather strikes me that the entire content of the article currently titled "Marine mammal" wouldn't be out of place at "aquatic mammal", but I wouldn't recommend a copy-and-paste-move. Intelligentsium 02:00, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
It's not the worst thing in the world to have some temporary duplication between the pages, especially as they cover many common topics. I think the best merger would incorporate a substantial amount of the content from marine mammal to this article (with proper attribution, which may require the assistance of a sysop) and pare down marine mammal to just the saltwater species (which is still a lot). As the articles are edited over time, they will probably organically diverge. Intelligentsium 02:02, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
If this is the case then the only notable difference between the two articles will be the Diet section (even the Freshwater section would stay in the Marine mammal article because it also applies to polar bears and sea otters). The scopes of these two articles are very very similar. It's kind of a waste of time to have an article solely on saltwater but not solely on freshwater. So either have one article on both saltwater and freshwater or one on each.   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  04:56, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
Actually, I don't think it's meaningful to classify animal such as polar bears, beavers, hippos, and moose/rhinoceroses as freshwater or saltwater. Unlike whales and seals (and river dolphins) their physiology doesn't depend on the salt content (or lack thereof) of the water; they live in one or the other out of convenience rather than need. These animal should probably exist solely in the article aquatic mammal; indeed having a strict freshwater/saltwater dichotomy obscures this fact. Intelligentsium 01:50, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
I was thinking more along the lines of having either one article that talks about all aquatic mammals and not have a separate marine mammal article, or have a marine mammal article which includes mammals that live in the ocean and another article that talks about mammals that live in the water but not in the but not in the ocean (like beavers and river dolphins). Also, the term marine mammal is used to described mammals that only live in saltwater (ocean-going mammals), so it's very easy to use freshwater and saltwater as a level of distinction between aquatic mammals. Furthermore, as I've always stated, it is pointless for the wikipedia reader to go to two different articles and read basically the same thing.   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  05:25, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
I agree broadly, but I think an article called Aquatic mammal should still have some treatment of marine mammals (even if abbreviated with a {{main article|Marine mammal}} tag at the top) because marine mammals are aquatic mammals, and readers would probably expect a treatment of all aquatic mammals in an article so titled. With a strict saltwater/non-saltwater dichotomy, I think you'd have difficulty classifying polar bears, which have no pressing biological need to live in saltwater, or manatees, which live in estuaries and can live in both fresh and saltwater. In fact certain species of manatee live primarily in freshwater while others live primarily in saltwater - does that mean one will be covered in Marine mammal and the other will be covered in Marine mammal and the other in Aquatic mammal? Intelligentsium 05:58, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
If this is the case, which animals would be in marine mammal (considering it's defined as aquatic mammals that live in saltwater oceans)? If the term "marine mammal" is used, there's no escaping this saltwater/freshwater classification. If there is going to be two articles – marine mammals and freshwater mammals – then sea otters would be discussed in Marine mammal and river otters would be discussed in Freshwater. Same with cetaceans and sirenians, the saltwater variety are talked about in Marine mammal, and freshwater variety (or brackish for that matter) are defined in the Freshwater mammal. If the wikipedia user wants info on marine mammals, they go to the Marine mammal article, but if they want info on solely freshwater mammals, they'd have to dig through a bunch of marine mammal info (I'm talking about Marine mammal and Aquatic mammal here). However, I'm still in favour of one article that defines both saltwater and freshwater variety, as the wikipedia user would have everything they're looking for in one easy-to-navigate article, rather than having certain details withheld in two different articles that talk about basically the same thing (I'm talking about Marine mammal and Aquatic mammal in this last part). I agree organisation is a problem, but this can be easily fixed (I'm talking about the one big article here).   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  15:49, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
"I think you'd have difficulty classifying polar bears, which have no pressing biological need to live in saltwater.., The literature regards polar bears as marine mammals. LittleJerry (talk) 17:56, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
I propose simply removing information on freshwater animals in the marine mammal article and improvement on this article can start from stretch. LittleJerry (talk) 18:21, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
It's just that I don't think Aquatic mammal and Marine mammal should be different articles, as their scopes are very similar. Also, basically all the info on Aquatic mammal can be found on Marine mammal (without relating to freshwater mammals) with varying degrees of specificity. It's kind of pointless to talk about basically the same thing on two different articles. Aquatic mammal is basically a far less detailed outline of Marine mammal as it stands and talks almost entirely on Marine mammal, which is to be expected considering there are far more marine mammals than freshwater mammals. If the Aquatic mammal article talks about all mammals that live in water, then it will always be like this – a mimic to Marine mammals.   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  22:02, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
We have Aquatic ecosystems, Marine ecosystems and Freshwater ecosystem. LittleJerry (talk) 22:26, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Polar bears were probably a poor example, but the larger point stands that animals which are only semiaquatic and animals which are estuarial do not lend themselves well to a strict freshwater/saltwater distinction. I think the crux of the issue is that there is no widely-used term for freshwater mammal like there is for marine mammal. Marine mammals are discussed as a distinct (informal) grouping in the literature, so having just one article Aquatic mammal to cover both would be too heavily weighted towards marine mammals, or would just be too long.
However, we can't take the editorial decision that aquatic mammal=freshwater and marine=saltwater because aquatic mammal is a superset of marine mammal and a reader coming to aquatic mammal would very reasonably be expecting a treatment of all aquatic mammals. That's why I think a compromise by moving mentions of freshwater mammals from Marine mammal here and developing this article as the main article (with an abbreviated section on marine mammals, to be treated more in depth in that article) is the best solution. That would also allow us to discuss evolutionary lineage and convergent evolution/similar adaptations marine and non-marine mammals here, as well as compare and contrast which under a two-article scheme would have no natural place. Intelligentsium 22:49, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
I don't see how that was a compromise (since that's what you proposed at the beginning of this) but whatever.   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  04:13, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
I'm saying I believe my original proposal is the middle ground between the two other proposals. This also seems to be essentially what LittleJerry is saying. However I believe the most important point is that we can't make an editorial decision to change the commonly accepted meanings of words. Intelligentsium 18:00, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
"Marine" means ocean-going, and the ocean is saltwater   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  18:06, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
Yes, clearly, but my point above was that there is no accepted equivalent for freshwater mammals and we can't decide that aquatic=freshwater. I also think it would be useful to talk explicitly about mammal adaptations for aquatic living in general that would either be significantly duplicated or have no natural place in a freshwater/saltwater dichotomy. Intelligentsium 20:08, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
I wasn't talking about just changing what info is in Aquatic mammal, I was talking about renaming it to Freshwater mammal, as aquatic ≠ freshwater and there's no fancy adjective for freshwater. 'General' aquatic mammal adaptations would appear on both articles in presumably one paragraph with the opening sentence "Much like (marine mammals/freshwater mammals)..." It's 'natural place' would be with more specific or unique traits of either group. With two articles of very similar scopes, duplicate text is unavoidable (but it should not be the bulk of the article, maybe a paragraph at the most). Again, this is why I bring up one big article that talks about both marine mammals and freshwater variety, and a saltwater/freshwater dichotomy would not be necessary (perhaps a brief mention in a Definition section or something), and also avoiding the problem of a similar or copycat article. I honestly like the idea of the merger but seeing as I'm the only one, this marine/freshwater idea is all I've got to say. Anyways, you've gone through with your compromise so I guess there's no use debating this anymore, I just wanted to make sure you knew exactly what I was saying (looking back I wasn't very clear on my ideas).   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  01:15, 24 June 2016 (UTC)
I think I understand what you were saying, but the problem is that freshwater mammal is not a common term in the literature whereas marine mammal and aquatic mammal are, and we can't coin it just because it would make content easier to divide up between the articles. (ex: "marine mammal", 632,000 ghits, 92,000 gscholar; "aquatic mammal", 207,000 ghits, 2,700 gscholar; "freshwater mammal", 5,840 ghits, 63 gscholar). It also seems as if marine mammals are independently the subject of a large number of publications in a way that freshwater mammals are not, so having a separate marine mammal article would allow that research to be treated in-depth, which would be difficult in a single article on all aquatic mammals without placing WP:UNDUE weight. I don't think there should be a copycat article; as I said, I would envision an aquatic mammal article with a section titled "Marine mammal", which would probably be substantially duplicated from but also not nearly as in-depth as the article Marine mammal. If we have that section, I think it would be an acceptable editorial decision to treat mostly freshwater mammals in the rest of the article Intelligentsium 03:41, 25 June 2016 (UTC)
I figured the lack of a common name to be a problem, which was one of the reasons why I favoured the merge more. If the merge happened, the Aquatic mammal article would look similar, if not identical, to the Marine mammal article before the freshwater stuff was removed. The problem of taking an editorial decision on a saltwater/freshwater dichotomy would not be necessary (perhaps a brief mention in a Definition section if at all), and also avoiding the problem of a similar or copycat article. Both general and specific anatomical adaptations of marine mammals and other aquatic mammals could be included without having to separate freshwater from marine mammal. It would also avoid the whole lack of a common name with freshwater variety (the article, at most, would only have to refer to them as "other aquatic mammals" or "non-ocean-going" or simply "freshwater variety"). The merge could've easily avoided many of the problems of having two separate articles.   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  04:07, 25 June 2016 (UTC)

Marine mammal section[edit]

@Intelligentsium: as per the merge, I've filled up this article about freshwater mammals, but I'm not too sure what this section on marine mammals would look like. Would it be a couple paragraphs or would it have a couple subdivisions? Also, I'm not too sure what information needs to be included here.   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  21:46, 26 June 2016 (UTC)