Talk:Cockatoo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Cockatoo:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Other : The first paragraph of Cockatoo#Taxonomy still refers to the Strigopidae as the earliest offshoot, and then refers to the Psittacoidea radiation as the Psittacidae. This doesn't fit with the new taxonomy
    Done. December 2013.Sbalfour (talk) 21:00, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Featured article Cockatoo 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.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on May 16, 2012.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
December 8, 2009 Good article nominee Listed
December 19, 2009 Featured article candidate Promoted
Current status: Featured article

cladogram & description (2nd para of Taxonomy) is awkward[edit]

This reflects the difficulty of describing a cladogram in accurate technical diction, while keeping the text understandable to the ordinary reader. Here's the issues:

  • It appears that the cladogram is copied almost verbatim from White, et.al (2011) Fig. 2, interpolating the 3 species not included in the study and two others not included in their diagram, yet the cladogram cites 5 references, some of which differ in notable respects from the phylogeny presented. These differences are deprecated by the opening statement of the associated text: "The relationships among various cockatoo genera are largely resolved,...". While the text addresses the intractible Nymphicus hollandicus, it fails to address the differing alliances of especially Probosciger aterrimus (e.g. Brown & Toft, 1999), as well as the outlier genera/species Callocephalon fimbriatum, Eolophus roseicapilla and Lophocroa leadbeateri.
  • The opening sentence says, "...21 species belonging to the bird family Cacatuidae..." but family Cacatuidae isn't shown on the cladogram. Maybe it's a nit, since Cacatuoidea is monophyletic, but certainly worth at least a footnote below the diagram. Subfamily and tribe names have also been elided, and I don't think that's very appropriate when the taxons aren't monotypic (e.g. tribe Cacatuini). Whenever a clade in the diagram represents a defined taxon, the taxon name should appear in the diagram.
  • The cladogram appears 'squished' horizontally, and it's 11 clade nesting levels deep. Conceptually, what we really have here (from top down) is {Cacatuoidea, everything else}; Cacatuoidea is 4 items: {clade/genus Cacatua, clade/genus Calyptorhynchus, genus Nymphicus, (4)misc genera}. I'd tentatively suggest splitting the cladogram into two pieces: a Cacatuoidea/Cacatuidae cladogram, and a root tree cladogram of everything else (with a terminal node Cacatuoidea). The squished look can be alleviated by setting a width of 360 to 425, but it's kind of a pastiche. The real problem is complexity of layout, not geometry. See inset, right for suggested improvement.
  • "The remaining species are within two main clades, the first consisting of the black species...": but in the cladogram, the clade of black species (genus Calyptorhynchus) follows, i.e., is further down in the diagram, than the other clade. Ordinarily, we enumerate items horizontally from left to right, and vertically from top to bottom. I would call Calyptorhynchus the second clade so I know to look for it in the latter (bottom) portion of the diagram.
  • "The first species in this second clade is the majestic black Palm Cockatoo...": 'first' in terms of what? It looks like it's last (i.e. bottom-most within the diagram of the clade). (And I think 'majestic' should be omitted - editorializing.)
  • "...followed first by a small clade consisting of the gray and reddish Galah and the Gang-gang Cockatoo and then the pinkish Major Mitchell's Cockatoo.": these three species don't form any kind of clade; two are sister species. There's also the problem of translating from the common names to the binomial names, in order to locate the species in the cladogram.
  • "Confusingly, the term "white cockatoo" has also been applied to the whole genus, and even the whole clade.": the whole clade including what? The reference is from Cayley and Lendon 1973, and there were no phylogenetic clades as we know them then. We should probably call it a 'group' and specify what the group contained. In any case, the term 'white cockatoo' could mean any of four things: the species Cacatua alba, the subgenus Cacatua (Cacatua), the genus Cacatua, or Cayley and Lendon's white cockatoo 'group'.
  • "Calyptorhynchus and Zanda": it's interesting what characterizes the Zanda subgenus, but it's not mentioned.
  • I think overall, the companion text describing the cladogram should succinctly summarize the structure of the cladogram, not try to transliterate it clade-by-clade.

Sbalfour (talk) 23:14, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

species and subspecies names w/(Subgenus) taxon?[edit]

In the Species and subspecies section under Taxonomy, we list subspecies as Genus (Subgenus) species subspecies authority. That's a lot of text that doesn't contribute any additional info beyond the traditional abbreviation of the genus and species names when listing subspecies (subgenus, if any, is omitted). e.g. C.b. banksii Latham 1790 instead of Calyptorhynchus (Calyptorhynchus) banksii banksii Latham 1790. Especially in a taxonomic listing, where we list subspecies directly under the subgenus name, we don't need the subgenus taxon in the names of the species and subspecies.

many subspecies missing in Species and subspecies subsection of Taxonomy[edit]

I added a few before I realized that more are missing than enumerated. It appears that including subspecies in the Taxonomy was an afterthought. It certainly bloats the presentation, and I'm considering whether they properly out be enumerated here. Maybe we ought to deal with sub-generic taxons in the generic articles; this is a Family taxon level article - isn't three levels of taxons (subfamily/tribe/genus) enough?