Talk:Elephant

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Featured articleElephant 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 trophyThis article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on May 5, 2013.
Article milestones
DateProcessResult
April 5, 2006Good article nomineeListed
September 28, 2006Featured article candidateNot promoted
October 28, 2006Peer reviewReviewed
December 31, 2007Good article reassessmentDelisted
February 20, 2008Good article nomineeNot listed
August 11, 2008Good article nomineeNot listed
November 5, 2012Good article nomineeListed
December 8, 2012Peer reviewReviewed
January 30, 2013Featured article candidatePromoted
Current status: Featured article

Sri Lankan elephant[edit]

  • From Sri Lankan elephant: Only 107% of males bear tusks.Elephants can reach a maximum height of 4 feet(ref= Jayewardene, J. (1994) The elephant in Sri Lanka. Wildlife Heritage Trust of Sri Lanka, Colombo) However, according to the elephant census conducted in 2011 by the Wildlife Conservation Department of Sri Lanka, only 2% of the total population are tuskers.
  • From Asian elephant Some males may also lack tusks... and are especially common among the Sri Lankan elephant population... (ref= Clutton-Brock, J. (1987). A Natural History of Domesticated Mammals. London: British Museum (Natural History). p. 208. ISBN 0-521-34697-5.)
  • BBC
  • Sunday Times

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Elephantidae confusion in hatnote/intro[edit]

i don't think the hatnote or intro are inaccurate, but i think there are two sentences a reader might easily mistake for a contradiction (like i did). Here's the mistake i made:

if

A = B

and

B = C

then

A = C


if

A ≈ {{about}} extinct relatives also known as elephants

and

B ≈ [[link]] to Elephantidae

and

C ≈ the only surviving family of the order Proboscidea

then

the article seems to say
For extinct relatives also known as elephants, see the only surviving family of the order Proboscidea.



i'm going to be bold and change the hatnote to

For extinct relatives also known as elephants, see List of elephant species.

That page's first sentence links to the link i'm removing.

i'll link my edit summary to this Talk page.

--71.121.143.102 (talk) 00:15, 19 August 2018 (UTC)

...oh yeah, this page is protected. Do i need to post a formal edit request here? --71.121.143.102 (talk) 00:16, 19 August 2018 (UTC)

I see a bit of difference in the trees in Elephantidae and List of elephant species. I think we need someone who knows more than I do about the subject to sort it out. - Donald Albury 02:10, 19 August 2018 (UTC)

What's an elephant?[edit]

This is a semi-protected feature article, so we don't want any dibble-dabbling.

However, after reading the lead paragraph, I don't know what an elephant is, other than it's large and found on about half the land mass of the world. "Large" is ambiguous - large versus what? My neighbor has a 160lb rottweiler that's also a large animal - it's larger than any cat, dog, muscrat, beaver, squirrel, possum, etc that I might see in the woods near my home. It weighs more than me, and human beings themselves are large animals. A buck deer, which I might also see in the woods, is a QUITE large animal, easily weighing several hundred pounds. Could it be an elephant? I don't know anything about family, order, etc names. That tells me nothing. There are extinct animals like elephants just like there are extinct animals related to any extant animal - it's not significant. The opening paragraph should enable me to identify, i.e. with my senses, with some certainty, that an animal I'm looking at is an elephant. The description of common things should reflect our ordinary experience of the world.

Consider this:

Elephant: The largest living land mammal with a prehensile trunk, long curved ivory tusks, and large ears, native to Africa and southern Asia. It can stand 10 feet tall and weigh 7 tons and is exclusively herbivorous.

Could I possibly mistake a large dog or deer for an elephant, given this description? We can quibble about the numbers, but the overall definition is very informative. If we give that definition to a 3-year-old, do you think he could recognize an elephant (we'd say "long grasping" and "plant-eating" rather than "prehensile" and "herbivorous")?

The lead paragraph/sentence should be the most important things to know about the topic, and I think almost nothing in the current paragraph is important. It's not important that it's found in Africa or Asia, because most animals are. If it were found only on a tiny island, that'd be notable.

A lot of animal articles have strayed like this, and include exotic cladistic or biological terms in the lead. We need to refocus.

Sbalfour (talk) 15:48, 2 December 2018 (UTC)

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. It is not written as a child's first reader, not is it written for aliens who know nothing about Earth, but can somehow read English. It is also not a guidebook or textbook. It is written for people who can read English at least somewhat fluently. (See the Simple English Wikipedia] for a version of Wikipedia for people with a less fluent command of English.) We can safely assume that almost every person who can read this encyclopedia already has a grasp of the concept of "Elephant". Our target audience is people who can read English and are looking for additional information about elephants. - Donald Albury 16:58, 2 December 2018 (UTC)
Then there's the fact that problems arise when you attempt to cram the totality of the article into the lede. I mean, the article, itself, explains what elephants are, the lede simply introduces the topic.--Mr Fink (talk) 18:09, 2 December 2018 (UTC)
The article seeks to fork itself away from articles with accepted and clear definitions to one based on 'common sense' and 'gut feelings', "they are just types of elephants", then awkwardly align itself to tangentially related sources to justify its existence and confound any AfD. This is how you make these assemblages of content that is, or ought to be, in other clearly defined articles; everything after these introductions is like a school project that copy pastes chunks of wikipedia content without constraint. Mention the sciencey-sounding paraphyletic for the bonus, lump in some images and tree diagrams, bingo, a good article that you had better not touch until it is featured and locked. cygnis insignis 18:52, 2 December 2018 (UTC)
I have no quarrel with wanting to redefine the lede to be more informative or descriptive in a reasonably concise manner, it's the Stephen Colbert mishugaas is what I have the blood feud with.--Mr Fink (talk) 05:25, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
@Apokryltaros: I don't know why I put my comment at what appears to be a reply to your own, it is just my general complaint about these articles. cygnis insignis 14:51, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
Understood. Plus, since we're here, there's also the problem of how much "defining what an elephant is" we need to juggle between Elephant and Elephantidae.--Mr Fink (talk) 21:57, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
That is an abiding concern of mine. A simple statement proposed above, that an 'elephant' is "[t]he largest living land mammal", is only superficially correct and doesn't bear examination. The largest living land mammal, currently, is the largest individual of the largest species of the largest genus of Elephantidae. "Look, an elephant" is effective communication, but only in that specific context and there is no other inherent information. "Look out! an elephant" is likely to be helpful, but aligning what is known about these animals to that first reader, "E is for elephant" with a cartoon image of 'elephant', is not helpful and wikipedia is beyond these rudimentary notions and gut-feeling typifications. cygnis insignis 04:13, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 8 January 2019[edit]

The article begins "The elephants are" and continues plural through the end of the sentence. Could this be changed to "The elephant is" or "An elephant is" and the rest of the sentence made singular? Tiger, Lion, Woolly mammoth, and Giraffe all begin with "The" and are singular ("The giraffe (Giraffa) is a genus"), and Rhinoceros, reflecting the existence of several species, begins with "A rhinoceros is one of any five extant species." 208.95.51.53 (talk) 19:02, 8 January 2019 (UTC)

 Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. – Jonesey95 (talk) 20:25, 8 January 2019 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 15 January 2019[edit]

I want to edit the article elephant I 1!WOW (talk) 14:00, 15 January 2019 (UTC)

Not done: It is not possible for individual users to be granted permission to edit a semi-protected article. You can do one of the following:
  • You will be able to edit this article without restriction four days after account registration if you make at least 10 constructive edits to other articles.
  • You can request the article be unprotected at this page. To do this, you need to provide a valid rationale that refutes the original reason for protection.
  • You can provide a specific request to edit the article in "change X to Y" format on this talk page and an editor who is not blocked from editing the article will determine if the requested edit is appropriate.
Thanks, ‑‑ElHef (Meep?) 14:57, 15 January 2019 (UTC)