Talk:Geoffroy's spider monkey

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Good article Geoffroy's spider monkey has been listed as one of the Natural sciences good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
October 18, 2009 Good article nominee Listed
December 9, 2009 Good topic candidate Not promoted
Did You Know A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on September 3, 2008.
Current status: Good article

Geoffroy?[edit]

Who was the Geoffroy after whom the monkey is named? What is the history of the monkey's discovery ie when was it first described scientifically? 81.156.124.251 (talk) 14:14, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Geoffroy's Spider Monkey/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Hi, I will be reviewing this article. I will be adding specific comments here as I read through the article and then look at the whole article to assess whether the GA criteria are met. Ucucha 23:43, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

  • In the lead you cite Groves' MSW 3 account for its occurrence in Colombia, but Groves only says that it occurs from S Mexico to Panama. Please use a cite that supports that fact.
    • I removed the ref from the lede, since the situation is covered in the "Distribution" section below (using a more comprehensive reference).Rlendog (talk) 00:50, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
      • OK. Ucucha 12:22, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • The third paragraph in the lead contains a lot of short sentences. Could you try to merge them a little?
    • Merged 2 of the 4 sentences. Not sure the rest is amenable to more merging. Rlendog (talk) 01:05, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
      • It's fine now. Ucucha 12:22, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • The lead says the thumb is "vestigial", the taxonomy section says it is "lacking" in Ateles. Which is it?
    • Vestigial seems to be a better term, although lacking an external thumb may also be appropriate. But since there is at least a metacarpal, "lacking" is probably too strong. Rlendog (talk) 01:17, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
      • OK. I also changed that in the reference under "Taxonomy" to the etymology of Ateles. Ucucha 12:22, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Do you have reliable sources for the common names of the subspecies?
    • Added. Rlendog (talk) 00:55, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
      • Great. Any reason you're not using "Nicaraguan spider monkey" for the nominate subspecies? Ucucha 01:02, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
        • No. I suspect that when I originally worked on this section I was using a different source that did not have a common name for A. g. geoffroyi. But I added it now. Thanks. Rlendog (talk) 01:26, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
          • OK. Ucucha 12:22, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • In the second paragraph of the description section, could you specify what the "usually" in the second and third sentence refers to? Is this individual or interpopulational variation?
    • I am not sure. Both sources cited use the term "usually" without specifying when the exceptions occur. Unfortunately, since the species description is so variable, many sources gloss over the details of the coloration. Garber notes that A. g. geoffroyi "always" has black hands and feet, but is not as explicit about the hand a foot color of the other subspecies. Rlendog (talk) 01:39, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
      • I found a source that stated that the species has black hands and feet without qualification. I used that since that is one of the features that differentiates the species. The original sources (one of which may have actually used the other) could easily just be hedging against an oddball individual. Rlendog (talk) 02:59, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
        • OK. Ucucha 12:22, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • The description section mentioned twice that the tail is prehensile. I deleted the first mention, because it seemed more relevant in the context of the second, which talks about the tail's function. If you think this can be arranged better, please change it.
  • I deleted the "by collecting vaginal fluids" part in the clitoris paragraph because it seemed redundant with the phrase following it. Please reinstate it if you think it contains essential information, but do rephrase the sentence in that case.
  • You shouldn't mention its occurrence in Colombia twice in the same section (distribution). Also, the two sentences seem to conflict: has it actually been seen or collected in Colombia, is its occurrence plausible on biogeographical grounds, or is the situation something different? Please clarify.
    • I attempted to clarify. The sources indicate that occurance in Colombia is possible, based on observations from local inhabitant (rather than scientists). Rlendog (talk) 00:50, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
      • OK. Ucucha 12:22, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Can you merge the two sentences in the behavior section about groups? It might be formulated as something like "it lives in fission--fusion societies with an average group size of 20 to 42 animals, which split into smaller groups...". Also, it's a bit odd to report "average" group size when you are reporting a range as broad as 20 to 42. Is this really an average (mean)?
    • OK. Ucucha 23:23, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • In the paragraph on intelligence (under communication and intelligence), does this intelligence refer to A. geoffroyi or to spider monkeys in general? The first sentence suggests the former, the other two sentences suggest the latter.
    • The first paragraph is specific to the species, the 2nd paragraph is general to spider monkeys. At least I haven't found a source specifying a particular species that intelligence study referred to. I can remove that paragraph if it is a problem, but since the study refers to "spider monkeys" in general, it seems that it encompasses this species. Rlendog (talk) 00:58, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
      • The first sentence of this paragraph suggests (to me at least) that Geoffroy's is more intelligent than spider monkeys in general. How about rephrasing it as "Although they do not use tools, spider monkeys, including Geoffroy's Spider Monkey, are regarded as intelligent primates."? Ucucha 01:02, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
        • I like that. Done. Rlendog (talk) 01:28, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
          • OK. Ucucha 12:22, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • In reference to its eating insects, is there any information on whether it consciously eats them or just accidentally ingests them together with fruit? I know that the latter happens in several fruit-eating rodents. Also, what are the "small animals"? Insects are also small animals, after all.
    • I removed the "small animal" reference, since the source is no more specific, and this could just cover insects, which are already noted. Rlendog (talk) 02:56, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
      • OK. Ucucha 12:22, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • In the first paragraph of the reproduction section, I don't completely understand the final two sentences. Does this mean that we know that dominant males mate more often, but not whether that also results in them fathering more offspring?
    • Your interpretation is correct. The most relevant sentences from the source are "Nevertheless, dominant males appear to copulate more often than lower-ranking males," and "Even though mating success may be skewed towards a dominant male in spider monkeys this may not translate into higher paternity success." Rlendog (talk) 00:21, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Can you be more specific than "mid-1960s" for the date it was reintroduced to B.C. or is this all the sources have to offer?
    • Added the reintroduction years. Rlendog (talk) 02:50, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
      • OK. Ucucha 12:22, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • In the external links, in what way is the link to Infonatura useful? It does not appear to contain any information not already in the article.
    • Removed. Rlendog (talk) 02:50, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
      • OK. Ucucha 12:22, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

The article is generally broad in its coverage, but I miss the following information:

  • Several phylogenetic studies of Ateles ([1], for example). I think it would be appropriate to include some key findings from those studies on relations among species of Ateles.
    • Thank you for the link. I'll have to read through that. In the meantime, there is a phylogenetic tree based on Collins and Dubach (including some later studies than this) in the Campbell Spider Monkey book. I added information from that tree in the article, in addition to the suggestion by Collins and Dubach (and others) that A. fusciceps is synonymous with A. geoffroyi. Rlendog (talk) 02:17, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
      • I saw you added a paragraph on this. That's good enough, although you should specify what the evidence comes from (presumably DNA, but which genes?). Ucucha 12:22, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
        • OK. Ucucha 23:23, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
          • I noted mitochondrial DNA. My source (I haven't read through the link you sent me yet) notes that it is "based on parsimony and neighbor-joining analysis of the two combined mitochondrial regions, Cytochrome c Oxidase Subunit II and the control region." But this seems a bit overly technical for this article, and I myself am not sure exactly what it means. Rlendog (talk) 00:41, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
            • Those are two distinct parts of the mitochondrial genome of the monkey which they sequenced: some part of the cytochrome c protein and the D-loop or control region (see File:Mitochondrial DNA en.svg). But I agree that we don't really need that in the article. Ucucha 01:04, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
  • How does A. geoffroyi differ from other species? What are its diagnostic traits relative to other Ateles?
    • I added some material on this, but none of my sources are all that specific, which I think is due to the lack of agreement on how many spider monkey species there are in general, or how to define them. This issue transcends Geoffroy's Spider Monkey - A. geoffroyi is one of the cleanest. Rlendog (talk) 00:41, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
      • Fair enough. I know that primate taxonomy is not always very specific about this. You might want to try Colin Groves's book, Primate Taxonomy, on this, however. If I recall correctly, it does include some of this kind of information. Ucucha 01:04, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

GA criteria:

  • Well-written: generally good, a few improvements suggested above
  • Verifiable: good, I will look at some of the sources later, but that'll probably be fine.
  • Broad in coverage: good, with improvements suggested above
  • Neutral: that's not generally a problem for species articles. Good.
  • Stable: good.
  • Images: good.

Overall, there are some problems, but none that can't be fixed. I'm putting the article on hold for now; good luck improving the article.

I edited the article to make some small changes; please revert any edits I made that didn't improve the article in your view. Ucucha 00:33, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for resolving the Colombia issue; I've got no problems with that now. You might want to consider whether this is enough evidence to place it in the Colombia mammals category; I have no opinion on that. Two more small sourcing concerns:
  • There is no source provided for the alternative common name, Black-handed Spider Monkey.
    • Added. Rlendog (talk) 02:20, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
      • OK. Ucucha 12:22, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • In the lead, you say that its reliance on ripe fruits causes it to require a lot of primary forest to survive. Both elements (reliance on ripe fruit and need for primary forest) are sourced in the body of the article, but the connection between the two is not. Ucucha 00:55, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
    • I reworded the lead, since it does not seem to be proven that the reliance on fresh fruit is a cause of the need for large area of primary forest. Rlendog (talk) 02:45, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
      • OK. Ucucha 12:22, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for all the changes you made. There's a few more to go and then it'll be ready for GA. Ucucha 12:22, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
With the changes you carried out today, I think this article is good to go now. Congratulations. I do recommend you include a little on diagnostic characters, though. Ucucha 23:23, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
Thank you very much for all the great suggestions to improve this article and make it worthy of GA! Rlendog (talk) 00:41, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
You're welcome. It was great to learn about this animal and help improve the article. Ucucha 01:04, 19 October 2009 (UTC)