Talk:Canis

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Canis is the Genus name of a group of animals that includes the dog the wolf. So it is wrong to redirect.

Merge proposal[edit]

Hello all. We appear to be maintaining both a Canis page and a Canidae page, both with much the same material. Perhaps we could concentrate our efforts and maintain just Canidae with a redirect from Canis. Regards, William Harristalk • 20:18, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

Why? One is about just this genus, only, and the other is about the entire dog family of carnivorans. Chrisrus (talk) 20:20, 1 April 2015 (UTC
Clearly, but that was not my point. William Harristalk • 20:33, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
You want to merge all the genera into the family or just this one? Only that family, or all families? Chrisrus (talk) 20:56, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't want anything, I am proposing so that greater minds than mine can ponder. The Canidae page lists the entire family but fails to provide a chapter on each of the genera. Under the species and taxonomy chapter there is a link to the pages for Canis, Lycaon, Lycalopex but no page for Cuon, Atelocynus, Cerdocyon, Chrysocyon, and Speothos, with Dusicyon being extinct. One could argue that there are a number of members for Canis and Lycalopex, but that is not the case for Lycaon (one alive, one extinct). So my query is what is this page for, what information is it imparting that could not be found elsewhere, what does it do (apart from calling for citations to support its conjecture), and what is the rule that is being applied? If it were to compare some variable across the species making up the genus in some way then it would have a purpose, but it does not do that. (Thanks for being cognizant that this is not a joke and replying seriously Chrisrus - I never joke on Wikipedia.) Regards, William Harristalk • 20:46, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
Your suggestion won't happen, but it may lead us to take a look at the situation with a WP:TOL perspective and see what we can learn about how well our Wikipedian systemics seem to be working: Canis, Lycaon, Lycalopex, Cuon, Atelocynus, Cerdocyon, Chrysocyon, Speothos, Dusicyon. Chrisrus (talk) 03:17, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
User:Editor abcdef is right, our rules state that in general, if a genus (or family, and so on) only has one species, there should be no article about the genus itself, but it should be an article primarily about that one species with any information about the genus merged into it. In this family, only the articles Canis and Lycalopex have more than one extant species, so they of course are articles about genera. Dusicyon, Lycaon, and Speothos are also articles about genuses, too, because they contain multiple species, although all but one is extinct in each. The rest redirect to the article about the only known species, alive or dead, and are not really articles about genera. In these, each redirect (See for example https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Atelocynus&redirect=no) has a note saying "This is a redirect from the scientific name of an organism to the vernacular ("common") name. For more information follow the category link" and each belongs to Category:Monotypic_mammal_genera and Category:Canines.
So it seems that all is as it should be.
But wait: any reader of these words, if you would like to please imagine with me another way of doing things.
What would be wrong with turning the monotypic genera into genus articles as well? Imagine what each of these said (X) is a monotypic genus of canid, consisting of just one known species, (link). It could also have a hatnote sending them to the monotypic species article. Then, everyone interested in that species would just click on that and that would be all. The article should say (in other, more appropriate language of course) that, although there is only one species as far as we know, reason dictates that there might have or must have been others, although no fossils have yet been found, and may never be, but nevertheless it could well happen that more may be found tomorrow and so it's not exactly correct to say that, for example Cerdocyon = Cerdocyon thous. It could then go on to say such things about the genus such as others do, but that's ok, because if little known little should be said.
This idea, or something like it, may not be absolutely necessary and entail some work, but note that it would conform better to WP:PRECISION and at least in my estimation would be a fine improvement to the system, because it's not really true that a monotypic genus is the same thing as it's only species, and we don't want to leave the reader with that false impression. So even if we don't embark on such a project, we should reconsider whether our rules should prohibit such a thing as they apparently do. Chrisrus (talk) 04:31, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose, not helpful for a genus page to be merged into a family page, unless the genus is the only one in the family, which is not the case here, and how are these 2 articles have the same material? They are very different, and all Canidae genuses have an article. Editor abcdef (talk) 00:11, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose, - eh, no. Guess is just a 1 April joke. Remove tag. Hafspajen (talk) 08:57, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose, - thanks for the explanation, Hafspajen. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 13:35, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
There appears to be one Oppose based on an unwritten business rule, two Oppose because a serious proposal was regarded as some sort of joke, and two uncommitted so I will let this matter rest. The only joke here is a page of uncited statements that has been around since at least 2004 and has not progressed beyond Start class, and possibly never will. I stumbled upon this quiet backwater of Wikipedia completely by accident, stated my perceptions - that are neither right nor wrong - and will now return to the pages of my interest and not return here again. Thanks for your time. William Harristalk • 23:34, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
Comment - In that case take it as a serious taxonomic oppose. We do not merge genus with family. Also Wikipedia is built on WP:Consensus, that is good to remember. You said you stumbled upon this quiet backwater of Wikipedia completely by accident. It is not quite a Wikipedia backwater, and many of your changes, proposals and edits were watched and noticed, and some were ... were a bit controversial. Hafspajen (talk) 09:16, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Also serious taxonomic oppose - it is useful, very useful to have a page that talks about the family, and a separate one that talks about the Canis genus. If I understand your cryptic "that was not my point", you are suggesting that nobody wants to know about the genus Canis who doesn't also want to know about the family Canidae. I dispute that. Pet dogs are familiar. Someone is likely to want to know about the close relatives of domestic dogs, who doesn't necessarily want to know about more distant relatives such as foxes and raccoon dogs. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 14:38, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Comment - I think the problem here is that although the Canidae article has the "good article" template, it has become rather a mess. I've made some changes to try to clarify. I also think that the section about the results of DNA analysis doesn't belong at the start, separating the lead from the more general information in the following sections. I think that article needs to go through the "good article" nomination process again, with a number of people working to make it more readable. (Getting the required people involved may be difficult however, because far from being a "quiet backwater" of wikipedia, anything related to dogs is such a battleground that many interested persons have removed all such pages from their watchlists.) Sminthopsis84 (talk) 14:38, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

Sentence slightly inaccurate[edit]

"Canis species too small to attract the word "wolf" are called coyotes in the Americas and jackals elsewhere." Since coyotes and golden jackals are slightly larger or at least the same size as Ethiopian wolves, this is slightly inaccurate, furthermore, coyotes and G. jackals also look more "wolf-like" than E. "wolves". Editor abcdef (talk) 05:30, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

That sentence looks like someone's personal interpretation, i.e., WP:OR. I'd vote to remove it and some subsequent material. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 14:41, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
You have to be a big Canis species for English-speakers to call you "wolf". C. simensis is long-legged and taller than those the language call "jackal", but smaller-bodied than those we call "wolf", so the language has been confused about whether to call it a jackal or a wolf. Experts recently have decided to go with "wolf" because it's genetically closer to the wolf than to anything we call a jackal. Chrisrus (talk) 16:56, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Needs a citation. Actually, I think common name comes into that, that it isn't just the "experts" who decide what something is called (except in ornithology, of course). Sminthopsis84 (talk) 18:10, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Experts recently have decided to go with "wolf" because it's genetically closer to the wolf than to anything we call a jackal. How about golden jackals, they are closer to C. lupus, both physically and genetically. Editor abcdef (talk) 00:26, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
How about "...than to other African jackals....." Chrisrus (talk) 17:56, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

Should dhole and African wild dog be included?[edit]

Based on figure 10 of phylogeny of canid species (2005), dholes and AWDs are in the same greater branch with grey wolves, coyotes, golden jackals, and Ethiopian wolves, while black backed and side striped jackals are in a separate branch, shouldn't the primitive jackals be excluded and the "wild dogs" be included? Editor abcdef (talk) 05:44, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

Hmmm. Well, wikipedia has to follow sources which define what is included in the genus Canis, but that cladogram needs to be redrawn with a superimposed shape showing what parts are included within the genus Canis, and needs another citation to a source that gives the circumscription. If dhole and African wild dog are removed, the diagram wouldn't be a cladogram. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 14:50, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
This taxonomy is much older than Darwin and based on teeth and such, not on how they are related on the evolutionary tree. Some clades match up with taxonomy, but this one doesn't. Check out the felids, for example. Chrisrus (talk) 16:49, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
I've drawn a replacement diagram. Perhaps someone with artistic skills would like to polish it? Sminthopsis84 (talk) 00:22, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

definition of litter[edit]

  • A group of related pups is a litter.

That's either a broader sense of litter or a narrower sense of related than I'm used to! —Tamfang (talk) 18:30, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

Do you mean that it should read something like "A group of related pups of the same generation (or gestation period, or born approximately at the same time, etc.) is a litter"? If so, feel free to change it as I wrote that. You may want to update the Dog page as well. Jtrevor99 (talk) 03:03, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
The most accurate definition could be something like, "a group of related puppies given birth to at the same time by the same mother/female dog." It's possible for puppies in the same litter to have different fathers, so that's not a given. White Arabian Filly Neigh 20:31, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
Agreed. Even "at the same time" could be a bit misleading since labor sometimes is quite lengthy. But something along the lines of what you suggest would be better than how it currently reads! I'd ask Tamfang to make the edit but will if it doesn't happen in 24 hours.
While we're examining the terminology section, are there any other apparent problems? Jtrevor99 (talk) 21:26, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
I went ahead and fixed it, since it clearly was a mistake. Are there any other terminology issues? Jtrevor99 (talk) 00:55, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
I don't see any other problems with the section. White Arabian Filly Neigh 21:56, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

Quality of this article[edit]

Regarding the section above, apart from the fact that we refer to a group of wolves as a pack, which consists of only 2 adults and their offspring and not 3 adults. There is no cited source for this made-up number. Also, are we to refer to an adult male Black-backed jackal capable of reproduction as a stud? These are the problems that arise when you try to stamp dog-breeding info as canid info. I note that nobody has dared to post this stuff on Gray wolf, Coyote nor the Jackal pages.  William Harris |talk  07:15, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Removal of the section is not the answer, per the discussion and consensus on Dog. Feel free to modify as you see fit, including addition of citations. These are NOT made-up definitions, however; it was an attempt at greater precision that Miriam-Webster, e.g. "a group of wild animals, especially wolves, that live and hunt together". I agree that the breeding terms should be removed as those generally only apply to domestic animals, so will delete them. As for them not appearing on other pages - they probably should. Jtrevor99 (talk) 15:58, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
This is not another form of the domestic dog page, this is genus Canis and the application of domestic dog material to wild Canis species is fraught with error. You have placed here contentious material, I have challenged it, and under WP:CITE you are required to support it with citation. The policy is clear. You have now shifted position from what you originally posted here, so it is being remanufactured as we go along. You have not responded to my wolf-pack comment above regarding 2 adult wolves forming a pack. Three dogs in a group does not make a pack, it makes three dogs in a group - a pack needs to be formed as a pack i.e. working together in cooperation. (I have been to a dog park and have observed 16 dogs in a "group" all circling each other but not one pack was formed from any of them.) Note also that the term canid includes foxes, and a group of foxes is referred to as a skulk, leash, or earth, so at least change your definition to read "canine" (a member of genus Canis) rather than "canid". Preferably, this line should be removed altogether. Either provide a citation supporting this stuff or modify it to some form of basic accuracy, else it will be removed as original research, and given that you are reluctant to provide a citation and it is being amended as we progress that is very much what it is looking like. (Acid test - the Gray Wolf is a canine, try posting this stuff on Gray wolf and see what happens.)
This article has been around since 2004, is an important topic, and yet has not progressed above Start class on the quality scale. It will not make C class unless citation if provided for its content, among other things. Until then, it remains like a ghost town with very few watchers and only the odd person passing through every now and then, as I have just done and you did a few months ago. It deserves better treatment.  William Harris |talk  20:46, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
Sorry I didn't reply sooner; I have been away for the holidays. I agree wholeheartedly with your comments regarding quality here, but wouldn't even know where to begin with cleanup of improvement. After some thought, I've decided not to continue watching this page; while I do think my edits made some modest improvement, I don't want to fall into the trap of WP:OWN, nor do I feel particularly strongly about them. In short, if you still believe the entire terminology section should be deleted, I won't revert this time, and will wish you the best on your efforts to improve this article as I'll be moving to other sections. Jtrevor99 (talk) 18:41, 4 January 2017 (UTC) (added ping: User:William Harris)