Talk:Evolution of lemurs

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Featured article Evolution of lemurs 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 February 22, 2011.
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April 13, 2010 Good article nominee Listed
May 4, 2010 Featured article candidate Promoted
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Current status: Featured article

Lemuria (continent)[edit]

Great article. But should one also mention Lemuria (continent) somewhere - under the "weird early hypotheses" rubric, maybe? -- Vmenkov (talk) 13:25, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, missed this comment. Anyway, the Lemuria idea was never an accepted scientific theory (that I've seen), and therefore does not merit much discussion. I'm afraid that adding it might equate to adding trivia to the article. – VisionHolder « talk » 05:42, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
I defer to your editorial decisions on what to include and what not to include, since you have some expert knowledge on the topic, and an "average reader" like me does not. However, a lot of people who don't know much about lemurs' paleontology and evolution have heard (or misheard) something along the lines of, "a while back, some scientists studying the ancestry of the lemurs deduced that there must have been a sunk continent..., etc." - for me, at least that was the only "fact[oid]" concerning the topic that I could remember before I first saw this article. While you know better than an average reader that the Lemuria hypothesis never became "an accepted scientific theory", I think that its sufficiently notable to be worth mentioning, even if just to contrast modern level of evolutionary and geological knowledge to that of Ernst Haeckel's and Philip Sclater's generation. (And, by the way, thanks for your great lemur photos on Wiki Commons!) Vmenkov (talk) 10:10, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
Upon further review, I decided to add a brief mention of Lemuria. Thank you for the suggestion. – VisionHolder « talk » 01:41, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Talk:Evolution of lemurs/GA1


How on earth do you know it was a raft, esp of vegetation, when it's 56 million years ago? Maybe logs, maybe a land bridge... RlevseTalk 00:49, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

This is the popular theory that dominates the academic literature. The idea goes back to the late 19th century and is based on sightings reported from sailors. All we know is that oceanic dispersal does happen, but it's a random event. Given enough time (i.e. millions of years), unlikely events like these become possible. A log is another possibility, but is less stable in the open ocean since it can roll. The land bridge idea has largely been ruled out due to low representation of mammalian orders on the island. In other words, since very few mammal groups appear to have colonized at different times across approximately 20–30 million years, then why didn't other types of mammals just walk over during that long stretch of time. There's also the issue that deep ocean separates Madagascar for Africa and that the other continents had already separated by that point, so even low sea levels wouldn't have allowed for a land bridge. Hope this helps... – VisionHolder « talk » 05:39, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
Hmm. Okay. Thanks. Maybe it should be changed to "most likely by a vegetation raft", but I'll leave that to you to decide. RlevseTalk 10:02, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
Land bridges are considered less likely in cases like this because they leave more geological traces than rafts do. I think rafts (floating mats of vegetation, generally) would be more likely than logs because they are more likely to sustain small mammals for a considerable time (months) than rafts are. Ucucha 12:06, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
The land bridge idea has now been mentioned in the article. Thanks for bringing this topic to my attention. I somehow missed it when I tried to summarize everything. – VisionHolder « talk » 01:42, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Propithecus holomelas[edit]

If it's a synonym, it can hardly have gone extinct—don't you have a contradiction there? Ucucha 23:17, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

You are right—I made a mistake in my recent edit. However, this issue is trickier than it appears. It involves some emails that have gone back and forth between Colin Groves and me. Once you send me a copy of the article I requested, I'll try to clarify the statement. In short, an extinction likely occurred, but we just don't know because no one's done the necessary research to find out. – VisionHolder « talk » 01:57, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Distinct in mtDNA but not nDNA[edit]

Didn't the authors consider incomplete lineage sorting (see here) as an alternative explanation? Ucucha 03:07, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Honestly, this is getting into a realm of genetics that is getting a little above my head. I see where my source references the paper you linked to, but I don't see how to address it in this article. And honestly, I was planning to address my source in more detail someday when I re-write the Mouse lemur article. If you understand it enough explain it in this article, you're entitled to make the changes. – VisionHolder « talk » 03:37, 20 April 2010 (UTC)


Shouldn't the title of this article be Evolutionary history of the lemur? The current title isn't even grammatical. – ukexpat (talk) 14:00, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Looking at Category:Evolution by taxon, I'd have to say yes, or evolution and history of lemurs, or something along those lines. - UtherSRG (talk) 14:44, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
This was discussed at the FAC in some depth. I don't see why the current title would be ungrammatical, and the other titles are not directly comparable because they cover different subjects. Ucucha 15:32, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

It appears there is some disput over the new name of this article. I have agree with Ucucha that "Evolutionary history of the lemur" makes less sense than "Evolutionary history of lemurs". Either way, the title of the article should match the wording of the lead sentence. – VisionHolder « talk » 21:42, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Evolutionary history of lemurs is fine with me. If no one objects, I'll move it. Raul654 (talk) 07:07, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
Support "Evolutionary history of lemurs" (cf. Evolutionary history of plants, Evolutionary history of cephalopods). mgiganteus1 (talk) 07:36, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Um, why in the world not just Evolution of lemurs? μηδείς (talk) 04:56, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

That's another possibility. However, there seems to be a lack of consistency in the naming of related articles, so it's not just a matter of correcting this article. Instead, it's an issue standardizing many. – VisionHolder « talk » 05:37, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Article to be split[edit]

Due to the article's size and dual topics (evolutionary history & taxonomy), I will be splitting off the taxonomy section into its own article, Taxonomic history of lemurs, following the TFA honor. If anyone has any comments or concerns, please voice them here. If the TFA managers feel this is reason enough to delay the the appearance of the article on the main page, I am fine with that. – VisionHolder « talk » 18:58, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Pedantics on et al.[edit]

There are two forms of et al. used in the article/references: et al. and et al. I've read that the former is correct per e.g., etc., n.b., and i.e.: it is well-known. However, some style guidelines still require it to be italicised. I'll leave it up to others to decide whether that is the case. Cheers, Jack (talk) 21:39, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

The article itself uses the italicized version consistently. The differences are in the references. Unfortunately, the references use the standard citations templates and {{Sfn}}, therefore it's an issue with the templates. – VisionHolder « talk » 00:09, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
Specifically, {{cite journal}} does not appear to italicize et al. for editor lists, and {{Sfn}} does not appear to italicize it at all. I will raise the question on both templates' talk pages. – VisionHolder « talk » 00:14, 21 February 2011 (UTC)


Make up your minds! Is this the History of the lemur or the Evolution of the lemur? It isn't the Evolutionary history of the lemur unless what you are documenting is "how the history of the lemur evolved" (which would be about how people over time wrote the lemur's history) or "how the evolution of the lemur was studied by historians". Which is it? Amandajm (talk) 10:22, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

So what exactly are you suggesting? The article has already been renamed "Evolutionary history of lemurs". People seem to content with that. We could do Evolution of lemurs, which is a redirect. – VisionHolder « talk » 13:30, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
"Evolutionary history" is a standard and completely appropriate term. Ucucha 01:45, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
The evolutionary history of lemurs occurred in isolation from other primates, on the island of Madagascar, for at least 40 million years.
This is the first sentence of the article, and it is just plain wrong! It was the evolution of lemurs that occurred in isolation from other primates, not the "history" of the species, evolutionary or otherwise. "History" is a subject. It is a field of study.
I have just looked at several wiki articles that use this form "evolutionary history". In each case there appears to be within the article a good deal of descriptive and explanatory material that is not "history" as such. This prompts me to suggest that the writers of such articles consider looking at all who use this term and revising it.
The word "history" is superfluous because the word "evolution" implies that a time factor is involved. Amandajm (talk) 13:42, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
Please tell that to the scores of biologists who routinely use this term. Ucucha 14:49, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
They use it. But in what sense, precisely, do they use it? Correctly? Or is it simply one of those terms which has "caught on" regardless of whether it is correct or not? The inappropriate use of redundancies! Put two similar words together and they will breed.... Amandajm (talk) 02:53, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
Most likely, people speak about the "evolutionary history" of the group to distinguish it from the simple "evolution" of the group (which occurred when the group evolved from its ancestors) and from other kinds of "history"—like the history of human interactions with the group. Ucucha 03:39, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
I don't think there's anything wrong with the phrase, personally, and several highly reliable sources use this exact terminology. Firsfron of Ronchester 06:35, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Discussion on title of taxon evolution pages[edit]

Hi, There is a thread here you may be interested in, about a consistent naming for articles dealing with evolution of taxa. Thanks! --Cyclopiatalk 17:07, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

References, and Literature cited?[edit]

I think this is a greatly written article, but the format of the citations/references seems unnecessarily complex, with inline citations referring to abbreviations referring to full citations. Is this is a common format? Why not just skip the abbreviations and link the sources directly? Animalparty (talk) 08:22, 16 October 2013 (UTC)