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Featured articleKoala 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 August 16, 2013.
Article milestones
April 5, 2013Good article nomineeListed
July 30, 2013Featured article candidatePromoted
Current status: Featured article

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Koala/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Chiswick Chap (talk · contribs) 09:05, 5 April 2013 (UTC)[]

Rate Attribute Review Comment
1. Well written:
1a. the prose is clear, concise, and understandable to an appropriately broad audience; spelling and grammar are correct. OK
1b. it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation. Lead: ok; Layout: ok; weasel: ok; fiction: n/a; lists: n/a
2. Verifiable with no original research:
2a. it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline. OK
2b. all inline citations are from reliable sources, including those for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines.

"The koala's small brain size is possibly due to the lack of sufficient energy to sustain a larger brain." needs to be cited. Cite 31 is the citation. All the information in the article is sourcedto the very next cite. I've learned it is redundant to cite the same thing twice in a row. LittleJerry (talk) 17:17, 5 April 2013 (UTC)[]

Hm. The "next cite" is actually 32. Could you please cite the sentence with 31 or 32 as appropriate - this actually illustrates the reason: things quickly move about or get separated by editing, often by many hands, that's just how it is.
Done. LittleJerry (talk) 17:44, 5 April 2013 (UTC)[]

2c. it contains no original research. OK
3. Broad in its coverage:
3a. it addresses the main aspects of the topic. Taxonomy and evolution section is very brief. Could there be a cladogram or other diagram of the place of the current Koala among the fossil species? There could be a timeline or set of (overlapping) horizontal bars, for instance, to show when the other Koalas lived (and went extinct). The relationships with marsupial tapirs etc, and the possums and kangaroos would be much easier to visualize with a simple cladogram (could have just one branch for all the Koalas).


I'll check and see if the papers have have contain phylogenies but I don't know how to do a cladgram. LittleJerry (talk) 17:30, 5 April 2013 (UTC)[]

Either clarify the text or add a diagram such as a timeline.

Clarify what? It states that the koala branch was the earliest to branches, I don't think we need to get into detail on the branches of the other families. LittleJerry (talk) 18:16, 5 April 2013 (UTC)[]

Article should discuss the distinctly inedible diet - see e.g. Moore B, Foley WJ. Tree use by koalas in a chemically complex landscape]. Nature 2005;435:488-490. And why are Koalas so apparently defenceless themselves - often, such slow "prey" are aposematic - dangerous or poisonous? Perhaps the literature discusses this.

It is discussed in the "description" section. As for defences, the literature I have does not seem to discuss this, but I'll look further. LittleJerry (talk) 17:27, 5 April 2013 (UTC)[]

Description doesn't address the question.

I added that koala have few predators and birds of prey are threats only to the young. LittleJerry (talk) 18:16, 5 April 2013 (UTC)[]

This works better.

3b. it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style). Not sure the list of people photographed with koalas is really relevant, and it's almost uncited. Perhaps the whole "Cultural significance" section needs gentle pruning and attention to being "encyclopedic".

I removed Jackie Chan and Janet Jackson but left the others. It is notable that so many powerful leaders have their pictures taken with the animal and it illustrates its international appeal. LittleJerry (talk) 17:40, 5 April 2013 (UTC)[]


4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without editorial bias, giving due weight to each. OK
5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute. No sign of recent editwarring.
6. Illustrated, if possible, by media such as images, video, or audio:
6a. media are tagged with their copyright statuses, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content. Not sure if Platinum Koala is validly licensed.

Replaced. LittleJerry (talk) 17:27, 5 April 2013 (UTC)[]

Thanks, that's better.

6b. media are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions. Seem to be too many images of Koala "portrait", "On Kangaroo Island", "Resting" -- are these images adding anything to the article?

Yes, the Kangaroo Island picture is next to the paragraph that talks about invasive populations and the "portrait" give the reader a good view of the animal when reading the description section. LittleJerry (talk) 17:27, 5 April 2013 (UTC)[]

The main thing the Kangaroo Island picture adds is the caption, otherwise it's just a Koala in a tree; same for Portrait. I think "portrait" should go, it's redundant with the lead image, which does the same thing better.

Did some replacing and rearranging. LittleJerry (talk) 18:45, 5 April 2013 (UTC)[]

I wonder if it would be helpful to include an image of e.g. Eucalyptus tereticornis to show a major food plant?

Already have one of the animal eating. LittleJerry (talk) 17:31, 5 April 2013 (UTC)[]

I saw. But since the Eucalyptuses are so important it could be good to show the food plant more clearly.
I don't think theres enough room. LittleJerry (talk) 18:17, 5 April 2013 (UTC)[]

It's linked, I guess - seemed there was room for multiple images... but it does look and read better, and I think the GA threshold has been reached.

Picture of 'Koala Rock Art' isn't actually of a koala. It is the lighting man painting at Norlangie Rock in Kakadu, Northern Territory (see below link).,or.r_qf.&bih=853&safe=active&q=Lighting+man+kakadu&bvm=bv.48705608,d.aGc&biw=1680&wrapid=tlif137386711625110&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=64zjUfHtLITziAfhxoDIDA

Concerns verified - the photo has now been replaced - see discussion Talk:Koala#Questionable rock art image - File:Koala_rupestre.jpg. Bahudhara (talk) 01:14, 27 June 2014 (UTC)[]
7. Overall assessment. A readable and informative article on a popular topic.

Koala bear "inaccurate"[edit]

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
This is a very odd RfC to evaluate and defies simple analysis by counting. Fortunately for everyone's sanity, discussions and RfC's are both determined by the consensus of discussion participants and ...consensus is determined by the quality of arguments (not by a simple counted majority)... A very great portion of the discussion below is discarded per policy as irrelevant arguments. Indeed, it is rare to see this much off-topic disruption from an RfC that does not involve, say, the Balkans. Once stripped of disruption, the discussion comes down to one side expressing personal preferences backed by popular and/or campaigner websites and invocations of local usage versus another side linking policy and manual of style concerns to international usage backed by reference works. This renders a great deal of clarity via the "quality of arguments" but is not entirely a sufficient analysis. In contentious RfC's it is especially vital that the closer consider if there are policy or guidelines that would contradict the opinions of editors. There is no policy or guideline, however, that would invalidate the consensus reached in the discussion below. ArbCom principles ([t]he English language Wikipedia site is an international site which welcomes and expects participation by editors from all countries.) and the Wikipedia:Article titles policy ("Common name" in the context of article naming means a commonly or frequently used name, and not necessarily a common (vernacular) name, as opposed to scientific name, as used in some disciplines.) are relevant in this regard. There is a rough consensus to include "koala bear" in the lead and to include some indication that "bear" is not biologically exact as a name. There is no consensus as to exactly how that indication should phrased. The normal editing cycle can refine such indication but in the meantime, WP:NOCONSENSUS applies: In discussions of proposals to add, modify or remove material in articles, a lack of consensus commonly results in retaining the version of the article as it was prior to the proposal or bold edit. As near as can be determined, the "proposal to modify material" stems from this edit removing "inaccurately". (non-admin closure) Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 18:15, 20 November 2020 (UTC)[]

Should we mention "koala bear" in the lead section? If so, should we claim it is inaccurate as a koala is not a bear? - Chris.sherlock (talk) 13:28, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]

I removed the claim that koala bear is "inaccurate". There is no evidence that the people who give it that name actually thought they were bears, they just give then that name due to the resemblance to them. This is not unheard of in biology. See also: horny toad, sea lion, guinea pig. LittleJerry (talk) 01:16, 3 September 2020 (UTC)[]

Well, testing the comparison...sea lions, guinea pigs, sea horses etc are never mistaken for actually being lions, pigs, or horses because of their names. Can we say the same for Koala "bears"? There's a different sensitivity there. --Merbabu (talk) 23:09, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]

Nick Thorne, Bahudhara defend your position. LittleJerry (talk) 12:26, 3 September 2020 (UTC)[]

  • Agree with LittleJerry; good examples given above. Neither is the Tasmanian devil a devil, or the dragonfly a dragon or a fly. If we pointed out all "inaccurate" common names, there'd be no end in sight. This is not needed. --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 13:36, 3 September 2020 (UTC)[]
But koala bear is not the common name of the koala. No one in Australia calls it that, I don't care what people elsewhere call it. This is an Australian animal and we should not pander to ignorance. In that same way that Wikipedia calls pseudoscience exactly that early in article about those subjects, we should be explaining to those readers here that are calling this animal by the wrong name that they are in error. Koalas are not even placental mammals ffs, nothing like bears. - Nick Thorne talk 00:32, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Mentioning other cultures/nations' colloquialisms is not "pander(ing) to ignorance."--Mr Fink (talk) 00:44, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
I disagree. It is because of ignorance (ie lack of knowledge) that people call them koala bears and it is plainly wrong, leaving that term uncomment on is indeed pandering. Saying that it is inaccurate is entirely appropriate. The comments about the Tassie devil and dragonfly are false analogies. - Nick Thorne talk 00:54, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
They are called koala bears because they look like bears, not because people thought they were bears. Same reason sea horses got their name. LittleJerry (talk) 01:09, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
People outside of Australia refer to koalas as "bears" due to a superficial resemblance between them and members of Ursidae. Or, would you agree that we should make a comment in Kangaroo or the Chinese wiki counterpart that the Chinese word for "kangaroo," "袋鼠," which literally translates as "bag mouse," was coined out of ignorance and is plainly wrong, too?--Mr Fink (talk) 01:12, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
"No one in Australia calls it that" is factually untrue. I'm Australian-born and raised and the term "koala bear" was in use in Australia in my childhood. As evidence, I offer this search of Trove where you can see the term "koala bear" in use in Australian newspapers, research articles from Australian universities etc. I would agree that current Australian English favours "koala" which is, and should be, the title of this article, reflecting current Australian usage. However, it is normal to include other common names for things at the start of an article so readers know if they are at the right article or not. So it is appropriate to mention "koala bear" in some way at the start of the article, as readers might expect to see that name. But equally it can and should be explained (as it is in note [a] but it could be taken out of the note and made more visible) that the koala is a marsupial and not a bear. So if the ignorant reader arrives at this article, they can realise they are in the right place and learn that "koala" is more accurate than "koala bear". This would not be "pandering" but "educating". I note that the Macquarie Dictionary has the term "koala" but says "Also, koala bear ... Although the koala is superficially similar to a small bear, there is no zoological justification for the expression koala bear." [Macquarie Dictionary, accessdate 5 September 2020] so it would appear they have taken a similar approach. Kerry (talk) 01:24, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
I wish to point out that this may have been the case, but in my childhood over three decades ago we were expressly told not to call it a "koala bear". And I suspect you know that it is frowned on in today's society to call it a bear. If you want to discuss that it was called a bear, then do so in the article, but not in the lead. - Chris.sherlock (talk) 12:09, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
But the article already makes it clear that they aren't bears, the first sentence: "....arboreal herbivorous marsupial native to Australia." and the following "It is the only extant representative of the family Phascolarctidae and its closest living relatives are the wombats,..." LittleJerry (talk) 01:34, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
And just how many average readers (considering where most of our readers come from) would have the slightest idea what arboreal herbivorous marsupial even means let alone family Phascolarctidae? Why are you so against simply making the straightforward statement that koala bear is incorrect? - Nick Thorne talk 02:38, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
They know what a marsupial is and by saying their closest relatives are wombats (also known) that makes it clear they are not actual bears. LittleJerry (talk) 02:45, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
I am amazed and disappointed that the erroneous term "koala bear" appears in the first sentence of the article. By all means, mention the error in the article, but please not in the lead. This unwarranted status merely justifies the term in the eyes of the uneducated. We don't mention "tuna fish" in the lead of Tuna, nor do we mention "lead pencil" in the lead of Pencil, despite these being common names in parts of the world. Frankly, it's unAustralian to give any credibility to "koala bear". WWGB (talk) 04:46, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
There is no real need to discuss this. It is covered in the Manual of Style. As per MOS:LEADALT "significant alternative names for the topic should be mentioned in the article, usually in the first sentence or paragraph. These may include alternative spellings, longer or shorter forms, historical names, and significant names in other languages." So we should include "koala bear" in the lede para and I propose we get rid of note [a] with an explict statement along the lines of "Although sometimes used, koala bear is inaccurate as the koala is a marsupial and not a bear." Kerry (talk) 07:30, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
I still doubt that many reliable sources of the modern era refer to "koala bear". I don't mean tourist or tabloid sources, but WP:RS. I'm also leaving aside joke phrases like "how much can a koala bear". I have had a look online, and frankly they just are not there. WWGB (talk) 07:54, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Reliable sources are not the issue. It's what the reader thinks it is called. Many of our readers do not write reliable sources. We can see what Google searches show, which confirms that koala is the more popular term (for searches) but show that "koala bear" is still in use.
Wrong. It is indeed not an accurate name, it is not what the Koala is called in Australia and as WWGB says, it is not what it should be called in the lead section. As he suggests, discuss this in the article, but do not add this to the lead section. - Chris.sherlock (talk) 12:03, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
It is inappropriate to edit the article in relation to this matter while there is a discussion going on. Please revert your edit. Kerry (talk) 12:56, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
The discussion so far shows that it is largely consensus to remove this from the lead. I know you aren't happy with this, but you cannot go against consensus. - Chris.sherlock (talk) 13:25, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
No it doesn't. There's four people for keep, three people for removal. LittleJerry (talk) 13:27, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
That count is a little out I'm afraid. - Chris.sherlock (talk) 13:31, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]

I have raised an RFC. - Chris.sherlock (talk) 13:30, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]

It doesn't matter what the count is. We don't make decisions based on numbers. We use consensus. --AussieLegend () 15:14, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]
I'm willing to compromise by stating in the lede "Despite not being a bear, the species is popularly called the koala bear due to its superficial resemblance to them." I object, however, to claiming that people "miscalled" them, since it implies that they actually thought they were bears. LittleJerry (talk) 13:43, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
So are you saying they accurately called them bears? - Chris.sherlock (talk) 13:57, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Read what I said again. Especially the last part. Were members of the genus Hippocampus "miscalled" sea horses? LittleJerry (talk) 14:32, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]

Can I suggest people read WP:CONSENSUS so everyone understands the process. It requires us to consider relevant guidelines or policies. I have identified one relevant guideline MOS:LEADALT. Are there any others that people want to draw attention to?

Next what do we agree on? I think we are agreed that "koala" is the preferred term and that "koala bear" is not because marsupials aren't bears. If so, how do we reflect that in the article?

Question 1. Do we

  • A: include "koala bear" in the lede
  • B: include "koala bear" elsewhere in the article
  • C: don't include "koala bear" in the article

Question 2. If we include "koala bear" in the article (lede or elsewhere), how do we describe it?

  • A: as an alternative name?
  • B: as an historical name?
  • C: as a deprecated name?
  • D: as an inaccurate name?
  • E: something else
  • F: some combination of the above

Question 3. If we include "koala bear" in the article (lede or elsewhere)

  • A: do we make the point about marsupials not being bears
  • B: do we offer some explanation of why the "koala bear" term came about (e.g. "look like bears")
  • C: anything else we want to say about the "koala bear" term (e.g. historic use)

I think we might make more progress if we establish consensus on this one question at time. How do we feel about Q1? Kerry (talk) 16:19, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]

Question 1A, Question 2A, Quesion3A and B. LittleJerry (talk) 17:31, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
  • There are some very silly examples above. Horny toad, sea lion, dolphin, guinea pig, Tasmanian devil and dragonfly are all examples of creatures that are called by their names. A horny toad is not a horny toad frog, even though it looks like a frog, a sea lion is not called a sea lion seal even though it looks like one, a dolphin is not called a dolphin shark even though they are often mistaken for sharks, so why then do people think calling a koala a koala bear is not innacurate? It doesn't matter who uses "koala bear", it's as wrong as calling an "eem-you" an "eemoo"! Emus are not cows! --AussieLegend () 16:30, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Distinctions without differences. LittleJerry (talk) 17:31, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Not to most Australians, unless you say that our opinions don’t count. Which seems to happen quite a bit. - Chris.sherlock (talk) 23:32, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
(summoned via bot)
Question 1A, Question 2A, Question 3A and B, per LittleJerry. This is basically the approach taken by Encyclopedia Britannica:
  • (first sentence:) Koala, (Phascolarctos cinereus), also called koala bear, tree-dwelling marsupial of coastal eastern Australia classified in the family Phascolarctidae (suborder Vombatiformes).
  • (further down in their article:) Because of the animal’s superficial resemblance to a small bear, the koala is sometimes called, albeit erroneously, the koala bear.
In general, this discussion would benefit by distinguishing more clearly between the mere mentioning of a name and factual statements about biological classifications. Our article Prince (musician) doesn't dwell on how the subject's given name is factually wrong because he was not actually a prince.
Also, it's surprising and disappointing that some arguments in this discussion seem to be guided more by nationalistic sentiments than by Wikipedia policy (e.g. "It's unAustralian to give any credibility to 'koala bear'").
Regards, HaeB (talk) 18:54, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Agreed that was a very silly argument (mind you, it's not the first time I've seen Australian editors get dismissed completely out of hand for things they feel strongly about, so nice work there). However, the argument that we can compare this to a "sea horse" would only work if the animal was a "sea", and a "horny toad" is a "horny", a "guinea pig" is a "guinea", a "Tasmanian devil" a "devil" and a "dragonfly" a "dragon". The common name of a koala is "koala", not "koala bear". - Chris.sherlock (talk) 20:12, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
There is, however, the case of a starfish which is not, in fact, a fish, and yet is known as such despite there being a perfectly valid alternative name of "sea star" that's often preferred because of its greater accuracy. That article cites both names, without trying to make a ruling that one or the other is "wrong" in our editorial voice. From my perspective, this is similar. Anaxial (talk) 18:48, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]
  • As per LittleJerry and HaeB; give "koala bear" as a legitimate common name (without any qualifiers), then further down clarify that these are not bears. We don't have to save civilization by cramming that into the first sentence. --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 20:01, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
    • Except its not a legitimate common name in modern English usage. - Chris.sherlock (talk) 20:12, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
You have a reliable WP:SOURCE that explicitly states "koala bear" is an illegitimate common name in modern English usage?--Mr Fink (talk) 20:39, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Save the Koalas has it in their FAQ: [1], same without National Geographic [2], World Widlife Foundation [3]. Over the last thirty year’s or so, Australian children are almost universally told not to call them bears. Given the animal is native to Australia, it does count for something. And in fact, it is a strongly held view by the majority of Australians. - Chris.sherlock (talk) 23:08, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Neither source explicitly states that referring to koalas as "bears" is illegitimate, the latter doesn't even make any attempt to discourage people from referring to them as "bears."--Mr Fink (talk) 23:15, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
They each day it is inaccurate. One day I hope you come to Australia and make this faux pas, I would personally enjoy being a fly on the wall as you are corrected. Frequently. However, the issue is that we should t put the inaccurate name in the lead. At the very least, it needs to be explained that it is inaccurate. Even the EB says this. - Chris.sherlock (talk) 23:21, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Are you aware of the rank hypocrisy of your scolding Elmidae for making "highly personal, vaguely insulting comments," yet, also voicing your desire to watch me be scolded in person for illegitimately calling koalas "bears" and your accusing Elmidae of being unhinged?--Mr Fink (talk) 02:25, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]
I was told that I am mentally ill and “Phantasizing”, and that I would “run off to AN/I”. It seems you are fine with my known mental illness (PTSD and anxiety) being introduced into a discussion. That wasn’t initiated by me. But if you are ok with discrimination, that reveals more about your character than my own. I am not Phantasizing. I am trying to keep my arguments about the subject. So forgive me if I react adversely against discrimination. You clearly don’t care if someone targets my mental illness. - Chris.sherlock (talk) 15:39, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]
If that’s the way you feel, fine, but i was more responding to the personal nature of his remarks. I do consider personal way of describing my points as “Phantasizing” to be unhinged, I’m not sure how else to take it. Anyway, this is a discussion about naming koalas so it’s irrelevant. Though amusing in many ways how outraged he is getting over the points in making. I’m happy to compromise and even bow to consensus. Name calling and dredging up old disputes, well, I’m not doing that and I won’t be starting now. I will characterise an argument as “unhinged”, but I haven’t said he is unhinged. There is a difference. - 04:06, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
Save the Koals states:
Please don’t call me a ‘Koala bear’!
When Europeans first came to Australia, they thought that Koalas looked like bears and in fact that they were bears so they were often called ‘Koala bears’. Koalas are not bears – they are marsupials and their correct name is ‘Koalas’.
- Chris.sherlock (talk) 23:27, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
That seems to be an advocacy organization advocating against an existing widespread usage. It's certainly in their remit to work on changing language and society, but not in Wikipedia's, cf. WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS. Regards, HaeB (talk) 03:29, 7 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Sorry, what were you phantasizing? Off the top of the heap - [4], [5], [6], [7] - four journal articles that use "koala bear" either as a synonym for "koala" or as the only common name. Looks like it got by the journal editors alright... --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 20:45, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Phantasizing? Calm down, the argument doesn’t need highly personal, vaguely insulting comments. All of those are U.S. based journal entries. Seems extraordinarily biased. Does the opinions of only those in the U.S. count? - Chris.sherlock (talk) 23:21, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Oh, do I perceive the dulcet sound of goalposts shifting? No one is claiming that this is the most common usage, only that it is in common use. I have shown you that even scientific journals use it - an intentionally more narrow target to hit. Otherwise, a simple basic web search demonstrates tens of thousands of instances. You don't have a leg to stand on here. --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 00:23, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]
”The dulcet sounds of goalposts shifting”. You’re unhinged. - Chris.sherlock (talk) 00:29, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]
I guess you are lucky I'm not you, otherwise I'd be running to AN/I now, screaming loudly about harrassment... --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 01:41, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Not sure why you are talking about AN/I, I’m finding your outrage over this issue strange, but also a bit amusing at the same time! Please, do go on. - Chris.sherlock (talk) 02:03, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Short memory? I mean, if you absolutely insist we can keep trading barbs until someone feels so "humiliated" that they have to call for adult supervision, but I'd suggest we better stop here. --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 03:17, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]
This is very childish, and I won’t be following down an old and presumably resolved link to AN/I. I think it would be better to stick to the matter at hand, not raise past disputes that have no relevance to this discussion. Up to you, but I won’t be participating in irrelevancies. If your goal to humiliate me, then I would politely ask you not to do this, it’s not very nice. - Chris.sherlock (talk) 03:59, 6 September 2020(UTC)
Fine by me; then let's stop the bilateral needling. --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 04:23, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]
You going to apologise over you’re claim I am mentally unwell? - Chris.sherlock (talk) 12:01, 8 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Matters of tone aside (I agree both "phantasizing" and "unhinged" were inappropriate), Elmidae did us all a favor here by fact-checking an argument by Chris and showing that it was based on wrong assumptions.
Chris, it would be more productive to acknowledge that and to try be more diligent in your contributions to this debate, instead of pivoting into "extraordinarily biased" accusations against Stem Cells (journal), the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Current Medical Mycology and the ANS Research Symposium.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 03:29, 7 September 2020 (UTC)[]
That’s a personal aspersion. I have been diligent in my assertions. And yes, I do consider it to be extremely biased to completely discount something a large number of Australian feel strongly about. I didn’t cast any personal aspersions against any editors, though I think I did react badly when someone tried to tell me I was mentally unwell. The fact that they then admitted they were needling me, well that said it all, and I’ve taken a break for a while from such vicious personal attacks. The fact that I was then accused of putting aspersions in their mental health when I was reacting to them calling me mentally ill, and then targeting me for the temerity of complaining to AN/I... funny, you said nothing about that. Disgusting behaviour. - Chris.sherlock (talk) 11:59, 8 September 2020 (UTC)[]
For question 1, I would prefer it not to be in the lead section, but definitely discuss it in the body. - Chris.sherlock (talk) 20:14, 5 September 2020 (UTC)[]
The expression "koala bear" is not unknown in Australia, else explain its appearance in the VERY popular Australiana (song). Doug butler (talk) 01:13, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
You REALLY don’t understand that, do you? The phrase from Australiana is “ I mean how much can a koala bear?” Bear is NOT part of a name, it’s an expression meaning “carry” or “put up with”. It is a play on words. It uses the misnomer for comedic effect. WWGB (talk) 01:47, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]
If "koala bear" isn't a term in Australia, why is it being used as a pun? LittleJerry (talk) 02:52, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Because that’s the joke. - Chris.sherlock (talk) 03:00, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]
No the joke is a pun. They are not making fun of people calling a koala a bear. LittleJerry (talk) 12:02, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]
There's a song in Australia with lyrics "Please don't call me a koala bear, 'cause I'm not a bear at all". It's commonly known in Australia that koalas are not bears and to say so is a mistake. Deus et lex (talk) 02:52, 8 September 2020 (UTC)[]

Once again, this is really silly. There is absolutely no need to mention "koala bear" at all in the lead. In Australia, it's quite common to see Metre abbreviated as "mt." or "mtr." but these abbreviations are clearly incorrect and the article doesn't mention these invalid abbreviations. Similarly, Australia is often referred to jokingly as "straya" but that isn't included in the article. Certainly, somewhere down in the article it can be mentioned that bear is wrong, and it already is, but there is no need to perpetuate an innacuracy in the lead. As it stands now, that is the case because of some edit-warring while the status quo is "The koala or, inaccurately, koala bear" and that is what the article should say while this is under discussion. --AussieLegend () 08:09, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]

The goalposts keep moving. Now that we've shown that "koala bear" is a valid common name in Australia and in scientific papers the argument as been reduced to "its inaccurate". LittleJerry (talk) 12:07, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]
no, the goal posts are not moving. It is not at all a common name in Australia, and none of the sources listed here show that it is a common name in Australia. The goal posts have never moved. We got some examples of U.S.-centric scientific articles using an inaccurate name, but you most certainly haven’t given us any evidence at all that in Australia - the home of the koala I less! - that we use “koala bear”. In fact I have given sources that show the direct opposite. Unless Wikipedia is for U.S. readers only, it’s not common usage. - Chris.sherlock (talk) 13:48, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]
It's not a valid common name, it's an inaccuracy. Saying something a lot doesn't mean that it is valid, any more than "mt" or "mtr" are valid abbreviations for metre. --AussieLegend () 12:29, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Yes it is. It's no less a valid name then sea horse or guinea pig. LittleJerry (talk) 13:35, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]
There seems a lot of WP:IDHT here. Seahorse and guinea pig are the names of the creatures. There are articles at both locations. There is NOT an article at koala bear because that's not the name of the creature. What is it that you just don't seem to get? I'm sorry but I just don't understand why you are having problems understanding. --AussieLegend () 15:10, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Distinctions without a difference. Just because koala bear is not the "official" common name, doesn't mean it isn't a common enough name to be in the lead. LittleJerry (talk) 15:39, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]
It's only common among people who don't know that it's wrong. Wikipedia must not further mislead readers. HiLo48 (talk) 03:38, 8 September 2020 (UTC)[]

Hello, sorry if I have not read the entire thread. But it seems to me that there are at least readers (including me) who have once heard the wording "Koala bear". Those readers might wonder whether a Koala is actually a bear. So I don't see any reason why the article cannot have a sentence like: "Although some people call the Koala also Koala bear, it is actually not a bear but..."

Interesting question: how to deal with trivial names? E.g., a raccoon is a "Waschbär" in German, and a whale is a "walvis" in Dutch. No bear, no fish. The articles in German and Dutch explain about the names and tell what thoses animals actually are, but they don't say explicitly "THE NAME IS WRONG". :-) Ziko (talk) 15:25, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]

Usage in article space is governed by policy, which refers to common English usage. This is the English Wikipedia. In English, "Koala bear" is commonly used. I understand from what others have written that it has fallen out of use in Australia in recent years, however it remains in common use throughout the English speaking world. This is not "US-centric bias" - its a reflection of the fact that there are well over a billion English speakers in the world, and only about 25 million of them live in Australia. Since the article name is at "koala" and not "koala bear" it's really hard to grasp why using the term koala bear at all is considered insulting, or anti-Australian, or a reflection of poor education, or even somehow 'racist against Australians.' Nathan T 16:34, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]

  • Mention in etymology section but remove from lead. The lead section should be a succinct introduction for what we want our readers to learn. It is undue prominence to put the incorrect and largely deprecated name in the lead, especially given the unanimous scholarly consensus that koalas aren't bears. Deryck C. 17:20, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]

In my opinion, it's legitimate to refer to the common alternative name in the lede, and to explain why it's not technically accurate in the text. A section on why it might be considered offensive to Australians (as it seems to be, judging from some of the comments above) could be a useful addition, assuming we can find suitable references to support that. But I see no reason to censor its mention or to claim that it shouldn't be used, since that isn't our call to make - and it clearly is used by a number of non-Australians, whether it should be or not. Anaxial (talk) 18:48, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]

I think the current wording, "The koala or, inaccurately, koala bear..." (with footnote) is perfect. It acknowledges both that "koala bear" is used and that said name is also incorrect. Then later we explain why that's inaccurate. There's no need to change it. howcheng {chat} 22:39, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]

I agree. I recognise that koala bear is indeed commonly used, albeit primarily outside Australia, and so it is justified to be in the lead. However, since koalas are not bears it is also entirely appropriate to add just one word, inaccurate, without explanation in the lead to help educate readers not aware of the inappropriateness of the term. Explanations can, and do, appear later in the article. Perhaps we should substitute inaccurate with inappropriate. - Nick Thorne talk 03:46, 7 September 2020 (UTC)[]
I'm good with any such adverb that indicates that "koala bear" is an incorrect name. However, I disagree that (as suggested above) a reader would be led into thinking that the people who originally came up with that name had a particular reason for doing so. howcheng {chat} 04:45, 10 September 2020 (UTC)[]
  • As a note to the closing admin, there has been CANVASING on facebook about this --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 22:52, 6 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Unless you are prepared to provide diffs of this, please strike your comment. Even if you have some, this is probably not the correct forum to raise the issue. - Nick Thorne talk 00:57, 7 September 2020 (UTC)[]
"Diffs" for off-wiki content? Strike because of what policy? It appears that Guerillero is referring to a post on a large (1.9k users) public Facebook group, and that several commenters indeed found their way here via that post. Regards, HaeB (talk) 03:10, 7 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Casting aspersions is considered to be a violation of NPA. Making such accusations without evidence is indeed a PA. - Nick Thorne talk 03:19, 7 September 2020 (UTC)[]
How is this a "personal attack" when no "person" has been identified? WWGB (talk) 03:48, 7 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Facebook doesn't let you link to posts anymore, but HaeB verified what I was talking about --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 04:32, 7 September 2020 (UTC)[]
  • Per WP:BRD and WP:STATUSQUO the contentious part of the article shouldn't really be edited until the RfC closes as this promotes edit-warring, which has unfortunately happened. I have now opened a WP:AN3 report as a result. Anyone who cares to is invited to look/comment. --AussieLegend () 04:45, 8 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Where is the RfC? HiLo48 (talk) 21:58, 8 September 2020 (UTC)[]
The RfC is here. The AN3 report can be accessed by clicking "WP:AN3 report" both here and in my post above. --AussieLegend () 08:11, 9 September 2020 (UTC)[]
  • Remove from lead Deryck's compromise sounded quite sensible to me. Remove "koala bear" from the lead, but discuss the use of the term in the appropriate section. ErinRC (talk) 18:44, 14 September 2020 (UTC)[]
  • Remove from lead and mention in Etymology or mention as an alternative name in lead or endnote in lead, but definitely not "inaccurately". It draws unnecessary attention to the fact that the koala is not a bear and is inconsistent with other articles with misnomer common names or alternative names. Either mention it as an alternative name with an endnote, place it as just an endnote in the lead. Either way, mentioning it in the Etymology section is useful. < Atom (Anomalies) 00:46, 18 September 2020 (UTC)[]

  • Right ho, it's been a month. Anyone want to put on their Uninvolved hat and draw a conclusion? --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 21:10, 7 October 2020 (UTC)[]
  • It was also historically called the "Native Bear" - e.g. see the 1903 postcard in this recent article, which also links to Koala: The Story of Australia's Native Bear, originally published in 1937. While no-one would mistake a Woolly bear or a Water bear for an actual bear, the koala's resemblance to one does, IMHO, deserve mentioning the inaccuracy in the lede, especially bearing in mind the diverse readership of the English WP. Bahudhara (talk) 05:16, 8 October 2020 (UTC)[]
  • If I were writing this article I'd have the first sentence "The Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), often "koala bear" or "native bear", is an arboreal herbivorous marsupial native to Australia." — and leave discussion as to the imprecise nature of those historical names (thanks Bahudhara) for the etymology section, as many have sensibly suggested. Doug butler (talk) 06:21, 8 October 2020 (UTC)[]
  • I don't think I've ever heard or seen anyone refer to a koala as a "native bear". Granted, I wasn't alive 117 years ago... --AussieLegend () 06:40, 8 October 2020 (UTC)[]
How about 90 years ago? HiLo48 (talk) 07:30, 8 ;October 2020 (UTC)
Or 25 ? Doug butler (talk) 12:17, 8 October 2020 (UTC)[]
The lead should be correct and contemporary. No erroneous or archaic names please. WWGB (talk) 10:27, 8 October 2020 (UTC)[]
  • "Koala bear" is clearly the incorrect name of the thing, and some unknown fraction of the world population believe it's the correct name. That's hardly disputable. I wouldn't presume to guess that fraction, but it's significant and I can attest that I thought it was the correct name until I was grown (even though I knew it isn't actually a bear; I could tell that by looking at it). It should be identified as incorrect (or colloquial) in the first paragraph precisely to dispel the widespread misuse. Tomorrow's kids should be better informed than I was; that is the purpose of Wikipedia. ―Mandruss  01:19, 16 November 2020 (UTC)[]

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
  • So if I'm parsing that close correctly, we stick with the current The koala or, inaccurately, koala bear but should feel free to carry on the squabble about synonyms/rephrasings of "inaccurately"? Fair enough. Not touching that one though. --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 20:15, 20 November 2020 (UTC)[]


The word Coast suppose to have capital letter C because it is a name. Tommyto20031705 (talk) 00:18, 12 December 2020 (UTC)[]

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