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Benjamin (talk) 14:45, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

Revisiting the edit request made on 30 July 2017 concerning the claim that dolphins maturate with live eels[edit]

The previous edit request was closed and denied, but I feel that it is worth revisiting and either removing entirely or editing heavily.

This concerns the claim that:

"Male dolphins have been known to masturbate by wrapping a live eel around their penis." Made by Linden, David J in his 2011 book "Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Junk Food, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, and Gambling Feel So Good".

Dr. Linden may be recognized in the field of neuroscience, but he is not an ethologist nor a zoologist, nor is his specialty anything to do with animals. The claim made in his book is unsourced, unverified, and not related in any of the other dolphin literature I have been able to find. I dug up a copy of his book and it is full of behavioral claims that have no references and is very sensationalist in its presentation. I would not count the book to be a reliable source for any article on animal behavior.

All of the references I have been able to fins to the eel masturbation behavior stem from this book primarily via Wikipedia.

Dolphins are known to masturbate with many things, but they simply don't have the capacity to wrap a live eel around their penis. Dolphins are not flexible enough to bed and use their snouts to manipulate the eel into position and the eel, being alive, is not going to stay in place and wait like the dead fish-head in the infamous video. Logistically the claim of masturbating with a live eel is implausible.

I do not think that Dr. Linden was intentionally misleading anyone. He may have misunderstood or misheard what someone told him and he included that in the book without properly confirming it.

Given that it is an unsourced and unverified claim this reference should be either removed or at least edited to include a caveat that the behavior reported has not been verified.

Sargias Corvath (talk) 01:18, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

I also disagree with the conclusion in the previous edit request discussion that this unverified claim is worth including in the article. David Linden may be an extremely component neuroscientist, but his unsourced claim—alongside other statements that do have footnotes here—in this popsci book is just a claim without any sort of account of dolphins using a live animal to help them masturbate. Is it likely that he himself witnessed this? If one is found that is not connected to this book, I may agree the statement can be included but more generally as "live fish" or something… but, like Sargias Corvath, I didn't find anything with a general search & on Scholar related to dolphin masturbatory equipment. Just an article with that YouTube video mentioned last time. The Voices in the Ocean line also mentioned by Fshafique says "tried to mount", not that one did actually masturbate with a live eel, so hopefully that isn't Linden's source. It's also not in situ so that should warrant clarification, and the source has a very clear emotionally-driven bias.
This article has a very considerable readership and I'm not comfortable with this being included, especially using "have been known to". I believe it would be appropriate to state it's an unverified account or may not have actually occurred, but has a basis in the intriguing nature of male dolphin sexual behavior. Would rather this article not be the basis of most (if not all) related claims on the internet, though, without a good source. Can't help but wonder if the last user that requested this came here because of this Reddit thread, since they occurred on the same day. Pinging Rivertorch and Benjaminikuta. – Rhinopias (talk) 04:52, 14 November 2017 (UTC) Also, even if this book is acceptable as a reliable source for this information, I still think it's a WP:WEIGHT issue in its current form in the article. – Rhinopias (talk) 05:05, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
I originally added the material without being familiar with the source. I think it's problematic how much credence Wikipedia lends "experts" who shouldn't really be considered all that authoritative, and I'm frankly disappointed that this content has remained so long, especially after being challenged. Benjamin (talk) 05:11, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
I have no objection to its removal. RivertorchFIREWATER 17:02, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
@Benjaminikuta: it seemed to me there was a consensus for the content to remain a few months ago so I thought this would be more appropriate than boldly removing. I've removed the line now. – Rhinopias (talk) 23:22, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

List of species[edit]

Does anybody know why there's a table for dolphin species directly after the bulleted list for dolphin species that has a very similar style (albeit far less detailed) to list of cetacean species?   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  04:53, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

It seems this was added last month by Couiros22. I don't think there's a benefit to the tables with the list above showing more taxonomic information. It'd make more sense to appropriately link to List of cetacean species somewhere? – Rhinopias (talk) 15:53, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
I can just add {{Main|List of cetacean species}} under the Taxonomy header   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  23:17, 15 November 2017 (UTC)