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Good articleBrachiopod has been listed as one of the Natural sciences good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
April 9, 2010Good article nomineeListed
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A note[edit]

As should be obvious, I winged this article based on some knowledge of paleontology and not a whole lot more. Anyone who actually knows something about brachiopods shoud feel free to fix it. Anything that looks not quite right may, in fact, be not quite right.


The big ol' table in the Taxonomy section was compiled using Williams, Carlson, and Brunton (2000). The Treatise is pretty much the definitive source for invertebrate paleontology, so I would only change the table if you have a very good reason (which of course you might!) Gwimpey 22:20, Jul 16, 2004 (UTC)

Added text from article I originally wrote in 1998 and published it on the Web....

Portions of this text are :

"Copyright © 1995-1997 The Fossil Company Ltd. © 1997-1999 The British Fossil Company Inc. and licensed by the owner under the terms of the Wikipedia copyright." Please contact me if you need further clarification on this.

Dlloyd 00:40, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC) (talk) 21:45, 9 August 2008 (UTC)Just to let you know I fixed a little in the first paragraph about brachiopod shells and cited one source71.112.14.160 (talk) 21:45, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Pictures needed[edit]

If anyone has some brachiopod pictures to contribute, that would be great. I can't find any on the net that are obviously not under copyright protection. Drawings or photos of brachiopod fossils, shells, or live animals would all be good. Gwimpey 18:46, Aug 16, 2004 (UTC)

Added two brachiopod photographs. Dlloyd 22:46, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Great fossil pictures! Anyone out there have some good live animal pictures? Gwimpey 19:35, Aug 24, 2004 (UTC)

Ack! I hope that User:Dlloyd does come back. His pictures are marvelous. Gwimpey 22:52, Oct 19, 2004 (UTC)

I found a picture of living brachs! Finally! Thanks to the USGS. Gwimpey 04:33, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

I think the picture of the oil lamp is superfluous and misleading. Is it really relevant that some brachs sort of look like lamps? Does anyone else think it should go? Jim Stuby (talk) 02:59, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree -- the lamp picture should go. We need more brachiopod images for this article. Wilson44691 (talk) 04:06, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Definitely. Wassname (talk) 00:09, 5 April 2011 (UTC)


I removed this category since Brachiopods still exist today. It is just that Brachiopods were exceptionally abundant in Palaezoic times. — Richie 09:45, 4 May 2005 (UTC)

Wren's Nest Silurian Brachipods[edit]

There are lots of brachiopods specimens on Wren's Nest Fossils from the Silurian outcrop in Dudley, England. These are in a series of pdf files because jpegs images are too large for a quick download. --Geoff Broughton 21:24, 3 October 2005 (UTC)


Hi as part of the WP:HOTlist project of missing articles I noticed that Britannica has an article on Resserella ( but we don't mention that extinct species here. Does anyone know why? I expect we call it by a different name? Many thanks, Pcb21 Pete 18:53, 9 April 2006 (UTC).

Request for cleanup[edit]

The sentence "Unlike bivalves, which (if symmetrical) have a plane of symmetry between the left and right shell, brachiopods shells (if symmetrical) have a plane of bilaterally symmetric at right angles to the plane between the top and bottom shells, which usually differ in shape" (in the first paragraph) seems ungrammatical, and may benefit from clarification. 06:15, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

I tried to improve it. See what you think. --Geologyguy 14:50, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
Looks good to me, much more readable; however, as I have no knowledge of the field, I am not qualified to comment about whether the improved version is truly better or not. 04:25, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Start class article[edit]

I've given this article a "start" rating as opposed to a "B" rating due to the lack of references (there are only a few references with no inline citations). Upon improving the citations/references, this article is a candidate for a B rating. Justin chat 18:49, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Brachiopod, vs Brachiopoda[edit]

Why the redirect from a genuine taxon, Brachipoda, to a page with a simple vernacular term, brachiopod. Or was the idea to avoid scientific depth. It's the difference between clam and Bivlavia (= Pelecypoda) or between sea star and Asteroidea.

JM 2/14/07

Furthermore brachiopod is a singular noun as in "this is a brachiopod", "a spirifer is a brachiopod", or "a brachiopod is a sessile bivalved animal with a lophophore. I know that some would find changing back to the phylum Brachiopoda problematical, but that's what this article is about, not some simple brachiopod. JM talk 8/35/09

I think that's just Wikipedia's convention. The article is dinosaur, not Dinosauria; bird, not Aves. Abyssal (talk) 13:43, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree with JM, it should be more accurate. Furthermore, I also support moving Dinosaur to Dinosauria and Bird to Aves, even though it won't happen :) --Spotty 11222 19:31, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Wouldn't bother me either, but it is what it is. Abyssal (talk) 13:43, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

information added[edit]

I've added information on brachiopod valves and articulate shell structure and subsections under general description. I also moved references to the more standard postition just below the main body of the article and put foot notes and see also at the end.

John M 2/15/09

Sources & notes[edit]


Fossil record[edit]

(NB have lots on Cambrian, need more on later record !!)


(See also Evolutionary history of brachiopods --Philcha (talk) 21:09, 16 November 2009 (UTC))

Text "parking" as function not clear[edit]

Brachiopod shells can be classified according to the angle between the cardinal plane and the plane where the shells join (commissure); '''anacline''' shells have an angle of less than 90°, whereas '''aspacline''' shells have a higher angle.<ref>;</ref>

Hiding by HTML comments in main text.

  • Not clear what this shows about how the critters function or develop or evolved.
  • Adds tech techs with explanation. --Philcha (talk) 16:24, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Brachiopod/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: –– Jezhotwells (talk) 13:52, 7 April 2010 (UTC)


I shall be reviewing this article against the Good Article criteria, following its nomination for Good Article status.

Checking against GA criteria[edit]

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
    This has its own cilia, which wash the lumps out through the gape between the valves. Did you mean "gape" or "gap"?  Done OK, just checking. –– Jezhotwells (talk) 21:21, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
    'Circulation and respiration Two instances of "seems to be" here which introduce a note of uncertainty. Is the opinion of biologists. Perhaps it should be more directly attributed?
    ''The smallest living brachiopod, Gwynia, is only about 1 millimetre (0.039 in) long, and lives between in gravel. "lives between in gravel"??  Done
    I don't think that the main division between articulata and inarticulata is introduced early enough. There is mention of the two branches in the Description' section, but I think it might be better to introduce the three classification concepts quite early on.
    The Lead is rather long, should be a maximum of four paragraphs, and should be a succinct summary of the article.
    I made a few minor copy-edits. Please check.[1]
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    This is very well referenced and all sources appear WP:RS
    We do need page numbers for the books and journals however.
    I assume good faith for the sources which I cannot access.
    All accessible (to me) online sources check out fine and support the cited statements.
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
    The article is thorough and focussed on the subject
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:
    OK, some queries about some of the prose and most importantly the lead. On hold for seven days. –– Jezhotwells (talk) 15:10, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
    OK, this is a very interesting article. AS you have mentioned below further informatioin will come to light as studies progress. I was a bit confused by the [[tl|sfn}} template usage, with which I am not overfamiliar. I couldn't see why the page numbers were not appearing, but reading the documentation it seems that one can use either location (loc) or page ( or pp). As loc is used the page numbers do not appear as well. So this is fine, the correct section of the book is shown which is enough for someone to check it out. I am happy to list this a as a good article. –– Jezhotwells (talk) 21:36, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

Thanks! By the way, I'd been think about section number or whatever as an alternative to page number, and Dragon's Egg with its N languages pushed me. --Philcha (talk) 22:16, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

"This has its own cilia, which wash the lumps out through the gape between the valves" - "gape" is OK. --Philcha (talk) 11:57, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Section "Circulation and respiration" correctly say "seems to be" 2 times - 1 for Ruppert & co, 1 by Doherty in Anderson, the 2 books I use for standard textbooks. You might have a laugh at Bryozoa#Evolutionary_family_tree, where an specialist complainted that "minor phyla" "received little scientific study because they are generally tiny, have relatively simple body plans, and have little impact on human economies" - and brachiopods may be more "minor" in our time, although they were important in the Paleozoic Era. There even are gaps in knowing about annelids. Most zoologists study vertebrates, and these are 2 level below the phylum chordates. --Philcha (talk) 11:57, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
"and lives between in gravel" was stuck - I chose "in". --Philcha (talk) 11:57, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm surprised by your "think it might be better to introduce the three classification concepts quite early on", as "Taxonomy" is the next section after "Description". I don't think all of "Taxonomy" can be first, as it needs the part in "Description" to explain it. And divided either "Taxonomy" or "Description" into 2 parts IMO would be as bad. Perhaps the problem is "The major classification of brachiopods is determined by the form of the hinges" in section "Shells and their mechanisms" - if "The major classification of brachiopods is determined by the form of the hinges" is removed, then all 3 classications are first description in "Taxonomy". What do you think? --Philcha (talk) 11:57, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
OK, looking at it again, I take your point. –– Jezhotwells (talk) 21:21, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Edited, thanks! --Philcha (talk) 22:16, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the copy-edits. Can you please me why you removed the 2 / 3 stock from "Notes". I thought it would easier to read, like "References" - but you were right about your other edits ... --Philcha (talk) 12:53, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I seem to have accidentally removed that, reinstated. –– Jezhotwells (talk) 21:21, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks! --Philcha (talk) 22:16, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
You know the lead of Dragon's Egg has only 2 paras, and my other GAs that are not about zoology or paleontology have 3 to 4 paras. The ones more than 4 paras are Evolutionary history of life, Spider, Chelicerata and all phylum except Entoprocta, (the last is a "minor phyla").
Most readers will be more familiar with vertebrates, and may see the similiary with craniates and cephalochordates; few will see urochordates, hemichordates or echinoderms as close relatives. Readers will see protosomes as very different from us and from their protosomes. I think readers will not have the advantage they have with vertebrates, and will want all we can give. That's while "Description" is detailed. I think "Taxonomy" and "Evolutionary history" of brachiopods is still controversial, although in 10 years perhaps it won't be. My own feeling is that this article is own of the most difficulty. I think the lead must tell the reader that this is coming.
I've edited the para about "The lineages that have both fossil and extant members appeared ... bearing two symmetrical plates that might be an early form of brachiopod valves." --Philcha (talk) 18:48, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
OK, I understand your point and see that there is anything really to be trimmed. the guidelines are there for guidance and should not be mindlessly applied. The lead is fine. –– Jezhotwells (talk) 21:21, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks! I don't think the MOS people worked on higher taxa :-) --Philcha (talk) 22:16, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

Lede/body imbalance?[edit]

Having just come to this article for a quick read-up, my initial impression is that the lede is currently far too long, containing much detail that would be better placed in subsequent sections. Am I in a minority of one? (talk) 15:49, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

I wrote the article, and the GA reviewer had no problems with the lead. OTOH it is long, even by the standards of one about a phylum. If you want to make some suggestions in this Talk page (not on the article until we've discussed), I'll listen. --Philcha (talk) 19:05, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Segmentation in brachiopods and phoronids[edit]

Temereva, E. N. (2011). "The evidence of metamery in adult brachiopods and phoronids" (PDF). Invertebrate Zoology. 8 (2): 87–101.  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)

Kuzmina, T. V. (2006). "Metameric Origin of Lateral Mesenteries in Brachiopoda" (PDF). Doklady Biological Sciences. 409: 340–342.  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help) Aleksey (Alnagov (talk) 07:57, 19 February 2012 (UTC))

Extant first?[edit]

The structure of the article seems to emphasize the fossil record. The first image in the upper right shows a fossil brachiopod. The introduction doesn't make it immediately clear that there are any alive today. While they are certainly more prevalent in the past, they are quite extant. Is it proper style to put the living first? Teply (talk) 07:38, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

opaque sentence[edit]

"Lineages of brachiopods that have both fossil and extant taxa appeared in the early Cambrian, Ordovician and Carboniferous periods respectively." How would one parse "respectively" in this context. Can someone clear this in the text.--Wetman (talk) 03:10, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

taxnomy of brachiopoda[edit]

The Taxonomy section is quite big and difficult to digest. Shall we separate it into a new article and summarize the section into shorter paragraphs? --Tomchiukc (talk) 20:20, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

More than that (the section is quite short now, with a table that resumes everything), the actual 5 orders are missing: Obolellata, Kutorginata, Chileata, Strophomenata, and Rhynchonellata. Terebratulida is now a class and shouldn't be mentioned here. --Ruthven (talk) 10:10, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

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