From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Featured article Bat is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
November 4, 2017 Good article nominee Listed
January 19, 2018 Featured article candidate Promoted
Did You Know
A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on November 25, 2017.
The text of the entry was: Did you know ... that the diets of different species of bat include frogs, fish, other bats, nectar, and blood?
Current status: Featured article

Getting ready for FAC[edit]

LittleJerry asked me to take a look at it and I've been through a first pass of the prose without anything serious coming up. I have a slight worry about the two separate but overlapping accounts of the different evolutionary theories. I'd like to see alt text for images (though I know it's no longer a FAC requirement). Anything else? User:Chiswick Chap? --John (talk) 14:10, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

Here's what I'm talking about:

Under Phylogeny

The phylogenetic relationships of the different groups of bats have been the subject of much debate. The traditional subdivision into Megachiroptera and Microchiroptera reflected the view that these groups of bats had evolved independently of each other for a long time, from a common ancestor already capable of flight. This hypothesis recognised differences between microbats and megabats and acknowledged that flight has only evolved once in mammals. Most molecular biological evidence supports the view that bats form a single or monophyletic group. In the 1980s, a hypothesis based on morphological evidence stated the Megachiroptera evolved flight separately from the Microchiroptera. The so-called flying primate hypothesis proposed that, when adaptations to flight are removed, the Megachiroptera are allied to primates by anatomical features not shared with Microchiroptera. For example, the brains of megabats have advanced characteristics. Although recent genetic studies strongly support the monophyly of bats, debate continues as to the meaning of the genetic and morphological evidence.

Then under Fossil record we get

The 2003 discovery of an intermediate fossil bat from the 52 million year old Green River Formation, Onychonycteris finneyi, indicates that flight evolved before echolocative abilities. Onychonycteris had claws on all five of its fingers, whereas modern bats have at most two claws appearing on two digits of each hand. It also had longer hind legs and shorter forearms, similar to climbing mammals that hang under branches, such as sloths and gibbons. This palm-sized bat had short, broad wings, suggesting that it could not fly as fast or as far as later bat species. Instead of flapping its wings continuously while flying, Onychonycteris likely alternated between flaps and glides in the air. This suggests that this bat did not fly as much as modern bats, rather flying from tree to tree and spending most of its time climbing or hanging on the branches of trees. The distinctive features noted on the Onychonycteris fossil also support the claim that mammalian flight most likely evolved in arboreal locomotors, rather than terrestrial runners. This model of flight development, commonly known as the "trees-down" theory, implies that bats attained powered flight by taking advantage of height and gravity to drop down on to prey, rather than relying on running speeds fast enough for a ground-level take off

Now, I think I understand this, having read it over three or four times. But is it the best it can be? --John (talk) 21:54, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

Not mine, actually, but I can see why the matter has been addressed in separate sections. It might be possible to regroup it but there is logic in the present structure. Regrouping would only be a benefit if it ends up less rather than more contorted. Chiswick Chap (talk) 10:15, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
My initial feeling is that splitting it like this is clumsy. I think we could have the evolutionary theories together in one coherent narrative, integrating the fossil-based research with the molecular stuff. I can see why the current approach was chosen, but I don't think it makes for an easy read and it may make an already-complex story harder to understand. --John (talk) 15:11, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
Dunkleosteus77, we may need you for this. LittleJerry (talk) 19:35, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
Morphology (fossil record that is) and phylogeny are two very different things that often tell different things in different ways. I say keep it as is, but if you really want to merge it, I'm not quite too sure how this'd be done with grace. What could be done is have the Phylogeny and Fossil record sections be under a subheading of Evolution, which would be a subheading under Taxonomy, so the two seem more related to each other   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  20:08, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
Support that, let's have'em both under Evolution (as is not unusual in articles), though not sure that can really come under taxonomy. The topic is unsurprisingly important in bats, so it's entirely reasonable to have more than one take on it in the article. Chiswick Chap (talk) 20:49, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
Philosophically, my feeling is that evolution should come first as it is the phenomenon we are describing. Then should come taxonomy, with its historical fluctuations and various methods, as that is the human effort to analyse and describe it. --John (talk) 16:58, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
And Dunkleosteus77, I don't disagree with anything that you say. I just think the current model is quite difficult to understand and could potentially be smoothed out. --John (talk) 20:54, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
  • And a further thought; what sense does it make to have a section called Taxonomy, with a subsection Classification? Taxonomy means[1] classification (incidentally, could anyone fix the irritating template error in the lead of classification (biology)?). I think what we are describing here is Evolution, perhaps with subsections on the Taxonomy and how it's evolved, and the methods which have been used to elucidate the evolution, and the uncertainties that remain. --John (talk) 21:41, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Maybe something like this. --John (talk) 22:56, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
Done. Expect I don't think taxomony can be considered a subset of evolution. Classifying organisms was around before the modern theory of evolution. LittleJerry (talk) 23:22, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
I did both History and Philosophy of Science as part of my degree, and I could have an interesting discussion with you there, but I won't for now. I think this opens up a better flow, though it's still not perfect. I think it's a lot better. --John (talk) 23:59, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
So are there any other problems? LittleJerry (talk) 18:24, 22 November 2017 (UTC)
Does anyone else think the Distribution section is a little lacking? I'm not sure by what specifically given it's got its hands in a lot of subjects. I see it touching upon the Behaviour section and the Interactions section and there's a little bit of overlap with Adaptations. In fact, the only part that isn't delved into elsewhere is the second sentence and the first part of the third sentence, so maybe if it can't be expanded it can be merged into somewhere else. Also, biological systems; as of now there's circulatory, but there's a lot more than that in a bat. The section on White nose syndrome could be expanded with info on how it spreads and what's being done to combat it. The first paragraph of the Behaviour section just seems like a collection of random trivia (it starts with activity, then migration, then hibernation, then flying in the rain, then agility on the ground). Why is Threats a subsection of Conservation, and why aren't they both subheadings of the Interactions section?   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  02:59, 23 November 2017 (UTC)

I've sorted out the Conservation and Threats section - the latter was not bad where it was, as it contained both human-related and natural threats, but I've divided it for you.

Disease coverage[edit]

A separate issue that we'd be picked up on is the pair of Diseases sections, very different indeed, but still a bit untidy. Ideas? Chiswick Chap (talk) 09:03, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

In the Parasites section I don't see how the second and third sentences relate back to bats, and I feel White nose syndrome and Parasites should be merged under Diseases. Also there's a lot of articles discussing what hunts bats, but I'm not sure which're entirely notable for this article, but it's worth a look (like this). The rest kinda say the usual owls and snakes and so forth, I wonder if those are entirely relevant for specific examples. As for parasites there's this and this and for some reason there's Category:Parasites of bats which may be worth a look   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  16:11, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
Well, people rarely call fleas, bugs and lice "diseases". The current disease section is about transmission to humans, so we can't put white nose there either. I'm all for having a general diseases section but was wondering about the overlap. Raptors are a definite threat to bats, as are the tropical snakes which have a remarkable set of bat-hunting behaviours, not like anything else in the animal kingdom, so these items are more than well justified. I've reworded the end of 'Parasites' to make the meaning clearer, it certainly pertains to bats. Chiswick Chap (talk) 16:38, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
Right yeah but I was wondering if it'd relevant to add specific examples from certain bat species or not (like what snake species A does against bat species B)   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  23:04, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
I think that is too specific for this article. Personally, I don't think we should have a section on predators of bats. Bats may be preyed on by anything that's bigger than them which is a whole lot of animals. We didn't have one for rodents, and we shouldn't. LittleJerry (talk) 04:22, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
seems relevant enough to at the very least keep it as is, people’d wanna know what generally hunts bats   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  04:40, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
We frequently (usually?) have a "Predators, parasites and diseases" section in natural history articles whether on groups or individual species, actually. The organisms that have major ecological relationships with a group are clearly relevant to it, as Dunkleosteus77 says. I can't see the benefit of naming such a section "Mortality" which would imply actuarial talk of rates of death from various conditions, which we aren't attempting to do here. Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:47, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
Chiswick Chap it doesn't make sense to have a section called "Predators, parasites and diseases" and then have subsections with each of the names. I don't recall making sections this way. Grasshopper has a "Predators, parasites and pathogens" with an "Anti-predator defences" subsection. LittleJerry (talk) 17:29, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
On the principle, I beg to differ, but on the article, it's fine without the subsections as they weren't terribly long. Chiswick Chap (talk) 17:40, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
The "Predators, parasites, and diseases" subsection seems to have some overlap with the "Disease transmission" subsection. I propose shortening the former section to "Predators and parasites" (as white nose syndrome is caused by a parasite). If we are to include "diseases" then surely rabies and SARS (caused by viruses which are technically not parasites) would count? LittleJerry (talk) 01:31, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
Indeed, I asked that question at the head of this section but it was temporarily lost in the lengthy discussion. White Nose Syndrome is undoubtedly a (deadly) disease, so there's no easy 'badge engineering' solution. We have appropriate mentions of disease both in the biology and the humans sections, so handling the overlap is a challenge. We could move the whole Disease transmission text into the biology section: probably best, I'll do it now and we can see what we think of it. I note that Food and feeding, and the PP&D section, are about bat Ecology: PP&D fits poorly into 'Behaviour and life history' so perhaps we should reorganise there. Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:43, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
I feel like the paragraphs about them being reservoirs has more to do with transmission to humans more than it has to do with the effects on bats. I say revert it and put those last three paragraphs under Interactions with humans under As a disease reservoir or Disease reservoir   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  15:02, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
The problem with that is that we then have 2 sections on the same theme, and worse we have a section on the impact of certain diseases without coverage anywhere of the fact that bats had and carried those diseases. Better would be to edit the paragraphs to be more about bats. - I've just done this, actually quite a small change, leaving a simple story with a clear focus on bat disease. Hope everyone finds that better. Chiswick Chap (talk) 15:24, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
Okay, we can split up the "Behavior and life history section". LittleJerry (talk) 21:34, 26 November 2017 (UTC)

Adaptations section[edit]

I think the "Adaptations" and "Behavior" sections should be split again. The current section is too big. We can rename adaptions as "Anatomy and physiology". LittleJerry (talk) 00:26, 27 November 2017 (UTC)

The question is not section size but coherence. Behaviour is certainly an adaptation, and it's actually a short section so splitting it out won't make a lot of difference to the length anyway. I note that in Grasshopper we just called it "Biology" which isn't totally correct either (gold * or no), so the matter crops up repeatedly. "Adaptations" is pretty good overall. Perhaps we should try to standardize on a table of contents for groups. Chiswick Chap (talk) 07:49, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
I disagree. "Adaptations" is to broad a category. Feeding and diet could also be an "adaption". We tried a general "Biology" section for Octopus and the reviewers asked us to slit them. I'm suggesting we bring back the "Behaviour and life history" which included communications, reproduction and lifespan. LittleJerry (talk) 21:32, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
Eh? You just asked to get rid of it, correctly in my view. There's no particular reason to group those two things. Chiswick Chap (talk) 22:39, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
I said we could split it up. Which we did when I created the ecology section. Sorry for the confusion. LittleJerry (talk) 04:19, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
I split it up further, if you think "life history" is too general. LittleJerry (talk) 04:42, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
I feel like it's getting split a little too much now. I say Behaviour --> [(the two paragraphs about random things) --> Communication --> Breeding --> Rearing --> Lifespan]. Breeding and Rearing could also just be one section Reproduction   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  04:49, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
Indeed. The 'Anatomy and physiology' just means "Systems" - functional and adaptive systems that necessarily include structures - into which Reproduction fits perfectly. It makes no sense to say (as in an edit comment) that "anatomy desires its own section" - the anatomical structures co-evolved with the physiological functions (such as circulation, reproduction) that they serve. They belong together as working systems, "greater than the sum of their parts". Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:20, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
I meant that anatomy needs its own section from things like behavior, communication and reproduction which it was looped in with. The reproduction text deals little with actual systems. Topics like Strategies, Parenting and Timing of mating have more to do with behavior than anatomy. We've done numerous other vertebrae FAs; like Teleost, Crocodilia and Pinniped, were reproduction is separate from anatomy. LittleJerry (talk) 15:17, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
The reproductive anatomy, physiology and behaviour are all part of an evolved system. Chiswick Chap (talk) 16:14, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
The reproduction section is not about the actual reproductive system. So we should just loop everything under a hoj poj section? That's not how FA vertebrate article work. I would like @John: to comment. LittleJerry (talk) 17:48, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

Canvassing now, are we. Chiswick Chap (talk) 17:59, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

John was a copyeditor and made suggestions on how to structure the article with the evolution/taxonomy. He is not an outside party. LittleJerry (talk) 18:26, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
I’m seeing this as having a section under Anatomy labelled as Reproductive systems, and then a separate section under Behaviour labelled as Breeding and rearing or something or the other   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  20:39, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
John, is the copyediting finished? LittleJerry (talk) 18:01, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
Not necessarily. I stood off for a while as it looked like there was major work going on. I will take at least one further look. --John (talk) 18:08, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
Anything else need to be done? Chiswick Chap you mentioned something about the sources. LittleJerry (talk) 03:13, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
There's a sentence in Classification that isn't explicitly sourced. Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:29, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 01:47, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
John, you may continue. I think your copyedits are all that is needed. LittleJerry (talk) 01:41, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
Ok, I'm looking. Could we put (/kˈrɒptərə/; from the Ancient Greek: χείρcheir, "hand" and πτερόν – pteron, "wing")[1] into a footnote rather than cluttering the lead? --John (talk) 15:53, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
Sure. LittleJerry (talk) 17:16, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
Thank you. This relates to this discussion; a lot of articles have grotesque levels of metadata obscuring the lead and this is an example where we can enhance the utility to the reader by moving it to a note. Still looking. --John (talk) 20:24, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
  • The coverage of vision could be streamlined, I think. It's looking good otherwise. --John (talk) 22:07, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
Okay, guys are we ready? LittleJerry (talk) 17:28, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
I should think so. Chiswick Chap (talk) 17:42, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
I've taken a final pass through it, and (I think) sorted out the apparent contradiction in the Vision section that I highlighted on the 8th. Nothing else leaps out at me. --John (talk) 20:49, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
I didn’t realize I was co-nominating this for FA, but since I am, I’m gonna expand the Anatomy section to include biological systems   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  22:18, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
Dunkleosteus77, if there is anymore you thin is missing, you should probably wait until a reviewer points it out. Adding any more information will make them feel like we are not ready and delay the review. LittleJerry (talk) 01:20, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
alright, I'll stop at digestive systems until further notice   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  02:21, 13 December 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Bat. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 10:04, 21 December 2017 (UTC)

  1. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Chiroptera". Encyclopædia Britannica. 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 239–247.