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Conflicting information[edit]

This is leaving me very confused. Any thoughts? Airplaneman 21:20, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

I had the same problem. I think unless we have sight of a map of the find-spot, we ought to leave out any linking: after all, we are guessing that this is the 'right' Cerro Colorado. It seems likely that the Pisco-Ica desert is in the Pisco Province of the Ica Regions (which would cover the Paracas Peninsula), but until we have confirmation, best not to put the link in, I reckon. Stronach (talk) 07:12, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
This ref [1] says Cerro Colorado was 35km SSW of the city of Ica, so it was not on the Paracas Peninsula. Someone has separately linked Pisco Province and Ica Region which I guess gives some idea of location in the absence of an article specifically on the Pisco-Ica desert. Stronach (talk) 17:50, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Genus name appears to be preoccupied[edit]

The scientific name "Leviathan" was published back in the 1840's, for a mammoth fossil from Missouri. The authors of "Leviathan melvillei" are apparently aware of this, and presumably will publish a new name; this article will then need to be renamed and moved. Dyanega (talk) 23:02, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Leviathan Koch, 1841 (Koch 1841: Description of missourium, or Missouri leviathan [first edition]), type species by monotypy Leviathan missourii Koch, 1841, Mammalia. The name seems to have been used in the spelling Leviathan occasionally in a few historical publications after 1900, and more frequently before 1900. Zoologists consider it today as a synonym of Mammuthus. The entry in Sherborn's Index Animalium (1922-1931) suggests that it had been spelled Levathan in the original source, probably an inadvertent error for Leviathan. The name Leviathan Koch, 1841 was listed both in Sherborn's Index Animalium (there as an emendation for Levathan, an emendation is an available name) and in Neave's Nomenclator Zoologicus. It is unclear to me why these important sources were not consulted before the new generic name was proposed, neither by the authors nor by Nature's reviewers. Painful for Nature. --FranciscoWelterSchultes (talk) 10:37, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Names of genera may be changed over time, though that seems to happen through deliberation between zoologists and (as here) paleonthologists who are familiar with the relevant taxa. The fact that a genus name has once been stated doesn't, by itself, mean that it's invariably seen as "taken" for all time. It's not quite like registering an all-time patent. In this case, it's effectively been replaced by Mammothus, and that seems to have happened a hundred years ago, so the risk of confusion is probably seen as nil. Strausszek (talk) 10:20, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps this could be an example of a nomen oblitum?--Mr Fink (talk) 17:17, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Even if it is, it's still been taken. Once a genus name has been validly coined, it's unavailable for all time. This is practical for subjective synonyms, as there's always the (however slim) possibility that the genus could turn out to be valid at some point in the future. The only way to overturn priority is with an official ruling from the ICZN, but this is only done when an obscure older name threatens the validity of a well-known newer name (see Tyrannosaurus]] vs. Manospondylus). This is only done when the newer name is in widespread usage. Leviathan the whale hasn't even been described for a week yet, so it's obviously not in widespread use. This is simply a case where the authors should have done more research. As many commenters noted, it seemed too good to be true that the name Leviathan had never been used before in the history of taxonomy, and it was. MMartyniuk (talk) 04:12, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

I have put a 'citation needed' tag by this in the article. It appears so far to be original research (see WP:OR) and so should not be in the article unless a ref can be provided in a reliable third party source with other commentators making this point. Stronach (talk) 07:50, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

To clarify for User:Stho002: please familiarise yourself with WP:OR, specifically WP:SYNTH. The sources you provide do not specifically say that "the name Leviathan applied to this whale is an invalid junior homonym of Leviathan Koch, 1841 (see Leviathan), and so the whale will require a new replacement name (ICZN 1999 Article 60, unless the Commission intervenes)" - my italics on your synthesis. If you can find a reliable, third party source that states this explicitly, referring to Leviathan melvillei in particular, then please add it. That is why I have added a citation needed tag. If no citation can be provided then the sentence must be removed (or at least refactored to remove the unsourced speculation). I hope this clarifies matters. Stronach (talk) 12:33, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
What a load of rubbish! I have provided links to sources which demonstrate that the name has been used before, plus a link to the very published rule of the ICZN which says that names that have been used before need to be replaced, what more do you want for God's sake? We have to be able to take two bits of sourced information and put them together to draw consequences without the likes of you yelling "OR!". Otherwise, if we sourced info A and sourced info B, we would not be able to say 'A and B' without having another source which explicitly stated 'A and B'! And since listing a sequence of statements A, B, C, ... is equivalent to the logical conjunction A and B and C ..., we wouldn't be able to make more than one statement per article! Grow up! Stho002 (talk) 21:54, 6 July 2010 (UTC) At any rate, I have reworded it in such a way that it says the same thing, but avoids your objection, by making two statements, one saying that the name has been used before, and the other making the general point that names which have been used before need to be replaced. Stho002 (talk) 22:12, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
Sigh. We get there at last. What I wrote was not twaddle, nor rubbish, nor do I need to grow up. Here it is for you again, the first paragraph of WP:SYNTH: Do not combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources. If one reliable source says A, and another reliable source says B, do not join A and B together to imply a conclusion C that is not mentioned by either of the sources. This would be a synthesis of published material to advance a new position, which is original research. "A and B, therefore C" is acceptable only if a reliable source has published the same argument in relation to the topic of the article. Which is exactly what you were doing and what I was objecting to. But I am glad the situation is now resolved. Thank you. Stronach (talk) 18:48, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Sigh. Your view on OR is nuts! So, lets see how it applies in another hypothetical case: I can cite a good dictionary to state that all kings are male. I can cite another source to establish the existence of the King of Thailand. But I cannot state in a Wikipedia article that the King of Thailand is male, unless I can find an explicit further source to cite!!! No wonder so few scientists take Wikipedia seriously! What a joke ... Stho002 (talk) 05:08, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Wow... the authors are aware of the issue and certainly will be publishing a note with a new name in the next month or so. Is it really that important to jump on this immediately and not wait for the paper? Simply noting that the name was also used by Koch should be a good enough placeholder. In the mean time I wonder if it would be appropriate to simply not italicize "Leviathan" and place it in quotes, as is done for "Ingenia" yanshini, a dinosaur genus which has been recognized as preoccupied for over a decade with no replacement name in sight. MMartyniuk (talk) 23:33, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

I don't think that your "interim solution" is necessary, and such notation isn't completely standard, so it could cause more confusion. My intention here was only to flag the problem, which I have done. No other action is necessary until the name is formally replaced. Stho002 (talk) 05:25, 9 July 2010 (UTC)


I've modified the Physeteroidea cladogram from the German article on L. melvillei (see below). I was going to include it here but noticed that it differed somewhat from the one in the supplementary info from Nature, where many of the nodes are unresolved. Is the German version incorrect or is there another cladogram it's based on? mgiganteus1 (talk) 17:23, 2 July 2010 (UTC)



















  • Better to make a new one. I've also copied stuff from German Wikipedia that turned out to be OR. FunkMonk (talk) 16:46, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

Article content[edit]

The main article badly needed a re-write and I did it. The early writing felt more like a press release material rather than a description of an animal.-LeGenD (talk) 18:07, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

This article needs a realistic picture, why it has a cartoon picture. A fossil skeleton or skull would look better.Also its blowhole is in the wrong position

The picture is fine as it is: I drew it as according to other established reconstructions, which have the blowhole where it is. If you don't like it, please feel free to construct a better one.
As for a picture of the skull, as soon as we get ahold of a free-use picture of the skull, we will use it.--Mr Fink (talk) 16:20, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

News and articles section[edit]

Im wondering if this is a necessary section? If the links lead to RS information that is not in this page then shouldn't the info be incorporated in with the linked page as a reference. If they do not add new information should they be linked at all? That the genus has gotten a fair amount of press is notable but wouldn't it be best to write in a sentence or two noting that and not having the external links?. just some thoughts --Kevmin § 07:02, 8 July 2010 (UTC)


Per the general guidelines and practices for the naming of articles on monotypic genera and extinct genera, shouldn't this page be located at the genus name Livyatan rather then the binomial Livyatan malvillei? --Kevmin § 04:23, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Livyatan currently redirects to Leviathan. Whether that should remain so depends on whether the monster or this whale is considered the primary topic for the term "Livyatan". Ucucha 11:40, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
Well, it should probably be Livyatan (genus) or something, I agree. Just to quote the relevant guideline here: "for monotypic genera (i.e., where the genus has only one known species), use the genus name for the article title." from Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(fauna). ErikHaugen (talk) 19:47, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
I recently raised this at WT:TOL#Disambiguator for monotypic genera; most seemed to agree that the binomial is preferable. Ucucha 19:49, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough, good point about "(genus)" in the article title being unfortunate. ErikHaugen (talk) 19:55, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Yes, it should be moved. And since the redirect Livyatan isn't a primary spelling of the legendary animal, people who search for that won't spell it like that. Anyone who searches for Livyatan will most likely be looking for this genus. FunkMonk (talk) 16:45, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
I was about to make a formal move request, but then it occurred to me that I'm not sure what it should be moved to. Livyatan (genus) is too generic (hehe) compared to what we have done elsewhere, so perhaps Livyatan (cetacean) or Livyatan (whale)? FunkMonk (talk) 12:08, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
Looking again, it seems disambig isn't needed, since Livyatan redirects here... FunkMonk (talk) 23:14, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
So just swap?--Mr Fink (talk) 23:18, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
Has to be done by an admin (can't move it for some reason), requesting now... FunkMonk (talk) 23:24, 29 December 2016 (UTC)

I feel that perhaps a bit of disambig between "Leviathan" and Livyatan at the top of the article would be helpful. Thoughts? Lythronaxargestes (talk) 22:36, 30 December 2016 (UTC)

At least the etymology should be mentioned in the intro. FunkMonk (talk) 14:45, 31 December 2016 (UTC)