Talk:Marine mammal

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Good article Marine mammal 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 6, 2016 Good article nominee Not listed
December 30, 2016 Good article nominee Listed
Current status: Good article
WikiProject Mammals (Rated GA-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Mammals, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of mammal-related subjects on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
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WikiProject Marine life (Rated GA-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is part of WikiProject Marine life, an attempt at creating a standardized, informative, comprehensive and easy-to-use resource on marine life. If you would like to participate, you can choose to edit this article, or visit the project page where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion. This project is an offshoot of the WikiProject Tree of Life.
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do whales have hair? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:48, 14 November 2006‎ (UTC)

  • No, whales don't have hair. - Mgm|(talk) 12:45, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

First off, they do have hair but it is very small and fine; all mammals have hair. Second, evolution is only a theory and I think putting it as fact is not befitting of an encyclopedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:12, 18 December 2006‎ (UTC)

LOL "only a theory"? This phrase again; what a joke. Don't be a troll. - M0rphzone (talk) 01:10, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Well, they do have some hair, but lambasting evolution is not a method of commenting about marine mammals. Evolution is a widely accepted theory, and this article is about making changes to the article on marine mammals, not about ones beliefs.—Ryūlóng (竜龍) 03:24, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
Could you guys please sign your posts? --The High Fin Sperm Whale (talk) 23:20, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Evolution is a theory[edit]

Because something is widely accepted does not make it true. I was widely accepted, before Pasture, that microorganisms spontaneously generated. Evolution is a theory and should be stated as such, this is why I changed it on the page.Ssmith165 18:21, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Please leave creationist trolling on Talk:EvolutionRyūlóng (竜龍) 20:25, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
One who writes Pasteur as Pasture disqualifies him/herself from even coming close to a biology topic. Seriously. Arminden (talk) 08:15, 8 January 2017 (UTC)

River Otter Picture[edit]

A river otter picture is featured on this page. As far as I know river otters aren't marine mammals. If someone with more authority agrees, please remove the river otter picture and replace with a sea otter picture.

Very perceptive. I have replaced it with a photograph of Enhydra lutrisRyūlóng (竜龍) 01:11, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

polar bears and blubbers[edit]

Why does it say that polar bears do not rely on blubber to stay warm? They have a thick blubber. 01:27, 25 May 2007 (UTC)Maureen

Their fur traps warm air. That's how they keep warm.—Ryūlóng (竜龍) 03:05, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Aquatic mammal[edit]

Aquatic mammal redirects to this article, but this article doesn't discuss the platypus, any species of river otter, etc. I think that either this article should be renamed "aquatic mammal" and extended to cover other aquatic mammals besides just marine ones, or the redirect should be removed and a separate "aquatic mammal" article begun. What do y'all think? —RuakhTALK 16:40, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

New article definitely! Marine mammals, as presented in this article, refers very specifically to cetaceans, pinnipeds, sirenians, the sea otter, marine otter and the polar bear. These are mostly associated with saltwater with the exception of freshwater seals and dolphins. It's a slightly ad-hocy category and definitely not taxonomic, but for historical/management reasons these organisms are grouped together as an object of study (see:, despite the obvious closer relationships between sea otters and river otters and polar bears and brown bears for example. I don't believe there is a similar combined study of freshwater aquatic mammals, but there are quite a few that should at least be listed in a separate articles. Platypus and many species of otter, of course, but also beaver, hippopotamus, nutria, muskrat, others? I just don't know what other generalizations can be made about them. Eliezg (talk) 21:01, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
I've started the article. I don't really know anything about the topic, so it's a tiny stub so far. But fortunately, we have articles on lots of aquatic and semi-aquatic mammals, so it took me less than five minutes to put together a small image gallery, at least. :-P   —RuakhTALK 14:54, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

I added more details about polar bear's existence with climate change Cassology (talk) 10:45, 8 December 2015 (UTC)Cassady Ross

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Marine mammal/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

;Rating: start-class This article gives a pretty superficial overview of Marine Mammals as a body of research or study. For example, it seems that a comparison of marine mammals to other mammals is of more interest than one that compared it with other marine life. Live births, fur and breathing air are all de facto mammal features that probably don't need more than one sentence as a reminder to the reader. The number and variety of unique adaptations for surviving in the aquatic environment, however, are truly fascinating. Also, there is so incredibly much more to marine mammal research than disease, and so many more research institutions worldwide than the Marine Mammal Center. As it stands, the article is almost better off without the Research section entirely - until it gets expanded. Perhaps I'll come back later and contribute more content. Cheers! Eliezg (talk) 12:25, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Last edited at 19:44, 5 July 2012 (UTC). Substituted at 23:10, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

Wrong scope[edit]

This article is on Marine mammals; mammals that live in the ocean. Yet is also includes freshwater mammals. Marine is strictly ocean related. We already have an Aquatic mammal article. LittleJerry (talk) 17:46, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

Should I just move everything to the Aquatic mammal article and revert Marine mammal to the May 29 version (before I added freshwater mammals)? The Aquatic mammal article includes both freshwater and saltwater mammals.  User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  23:51, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
Go ahead. LittleJerry (talk) 01:40, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
Wait actually, what's the point of having an article that just talks about saltwater mammals and having another one that talks about both saltwater and freshwater mammals?   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  02:27, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
Because there are plenty of books written on marine mammals alone. Clearly marine mammals are a notable enough topic. LittleJerry (talk) 16:55, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
Yes, but Aquatic mammal includes both marine mammals and freshwater mammals, so it includes everything from this article and then some.   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  16:58, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
Nothing wrong with that. The aquatic mammal article doesn't need to include two much information on marine mammals. LittleJerry (talk) 21:18, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
That's basically all there is though, almost all aquatic mammals are in the ocean (it's like 130 species vs 30, and 20 are shrews and otters)   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  23:23, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
We should probably continue this to the Proposed merger discussion   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  23:28, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

Some comments for the GAR[edit]

I don't have the time to review this article, but I have some suggestions to help:

  • The level of dependence on the ocean is repeated in the intro in paragraph 1 and 2
fixed   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  16:26, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
  • They do not represent a distinct biological grouping, I think it would be clearer to say they don't represent a taxonomic or systematic group
fixed   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  16:26, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Commercial hunting lead to the extinction of Steller's sea cow I think it would be more accurate to say it was the final nail in the coffin of the species, which had declined across most of its range due to subsistance hunting
added   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  16:26, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
  • In contrast, both otters and the polar bear are much less adapted to aquatic living. Sea-otters are pretty hopeless on land I think
they can walk on land pretty well, they just prefer not to   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  16:26, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
  • The article is specifically about marine mammals but includes the boto which is not marine
removed   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  16:26, 3 August 2016 (UTC)

Sabine's Sunbird talk 03:32, 3 August 2016 (UTC)

Allow me to add that I admire anyone working on articles like this, I remember getting seabird through FA status and it's hard, so I'm just being nitpicky. Sabine's Sunbird talk 03:35, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment from another unaffiliated editor: I have removed pixel based sizes from thumbnails per WP:IMAGESIZE. Where displaying images larger than normal is preferable, (e.g. diagrams and maps) please use the upright factor instead. One may also want to look at MOS:IMAGELOCATION and chose to alter images to align left only when there are elements that "look" left (e.g. not the dolphin diagram). Thanks and good luck with the GAR! – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 04:37, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
@Finnusertop: Actually I just included the thumb parameter and pixel based sizes to keep the caption. If I just did pixel based sizes and excluded thumb, there wouldn't be a caption. Also I put the dolphin diagram on the left because it's eye is pointing to the right. I hope it's okay if I undo your edit?   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  16:26, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
@Dunkleosteus77: feel free to undo it. Upright is preferable to pixel size, but it doesn't always work as desired. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 18:42, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Perhaps in the distribution section a paragraph or even subsection on migration would be good. Whales in particular are highly migratory. Also, it might be nice to have a section on conservation (threats is important, but people are working to save them too!) Sabine's Sunbird talk 06:00, 4 August 2016 (UTC)
added paragraph on migration   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  18:01, 4 August 2016 (UTC)
added section on the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  18:20, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Maybe we should do a joint GA review or something, it is a pretty massive article... One thing that looks off is "Mammals have returned to the water in many separate evolutionary lineages". This is too vague, many mammals have "returned to the water", but this article is specifically about marine mammals. Otherwise the list would be huge, and you would have to mention stuff like Castorocauda. Also, doesn't seem clear from the article which group of mammals were the first to return to the ocean? Also, since when has the polar bear, which is at best semi-aquatic, been considered a "marine mammal"? FunkMonk (talk) 19:58, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
For the polar bears, you can see why here. Also the article says " In comparison to cetaceans, sirenians, and pinnipeds, which entered the water approximately 50, 40, and 20 mya, respectively, the sea otter..." and before that it said sea otters entered the ocean 2 mya. Now that I'm writing this I realised I forgot to write about polar bears and pinnipeds...   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  20:37, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
Replaced "returned to the water" with "returned to the ocean" and added paragraphs on polar bear and pinniped evolution   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  21:29, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

Back to GAN[edit]

@Chiswick Chap: A little while back, you were reviewing the article for GA, but I went inactive and you had to close it. Well, I'm back and I think I've hit all the points that were missed back in September. Did I miss any before I renominate it?   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  00:56, 24 December 2016 (UTC)

It should pass easily. Chiswick Chap (talk) 06:52, 26 December 2016 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Marine mammal/GA2. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Chiswick Chap (talk · contribs) 14:21, 30 December 2016 (UTC)

I think this interrupted review can be completed quickly, given the good state of the article at that time and the work done on it to attend to items noted in the earlier review, so I will confine myself largely to checking that the repairs have been completed. Chiswick Chap (talk) 14:21, 30 December 2016 (UTC)


1. Well written (prose ok, lead ok, layout ok, weasel ok, fiction n/a, lists n/a)

2. Verifiable (list of refs ok, sources ok, OR no sign of it, copyright spot checks ok, plagiarism no sign of it)

3. Breadth (coverage easily more than 'main points', focus excellent)

4. Neutrality ok

5. Stability ok

6. Images (status ok (all commons but for fair-use IWC logo), relevance ok, captions ok)

Concluding remarks[edit]

This is a fine article, well up to GA standard. I have fixed a couple of minor issues.

The cladogram would benefit from small images of representatives of the groups concerned - in fact, the images in the column above would be more useful in the cladogram than scattered alongside the text. You might also illustrate the non-marine groups in the cladogram for comparison.

I find the military coverage still somewhat long for the topic, and hinting at a regional viewpoint, but within the guidelines. I would advise trimming it before attempting FAC. Chiswick Chap (talk) 14:46, 30 December 2016 (UTC)


@Chiswick Chap: The caption for the cladogram seems a bit too vague, but I can't figure out how to fix it. It currently reads "Groups in bold contain marine mammals", but if that's the case then Mammalia and Placentia should also be in bold, which seems excessive and undermines the point of bolding text. Any ideas?   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  01:38, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

Guess we want to say simply 'Families' really, though I see that the idea of Clades is hovering nearby. It seems well worth bolding the leaf nodes that contain (and in most cases are exclusively) MMs; having the Order Pinnipedia which is a clade of MMs bolded also seems very sensible. The visual meaning, here be whales, is clear enough, and certainly useful. Chiswick Chap (talk) 09:29, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
Mysticeti and Odontoceti wouldn't be bolded in that case since they're parvorders   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  16:24, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
I think we need to be sensible here, rather than micropicky. Chiswick Chap (talk) 16:26, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
Just looking for the right word here. "Families" and "taxon" would be inaccurate in this case. Maybe "orders and subordinate taxa"?   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  16:30, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
Makes it worse. Either relax, or we need to change it so we only have clades and leaf nodes. I'll think about it. 16:38, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
"Families in bold contain at least on extant marine mammal. Other taxa in bold are composed entirely of marine mammals."   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  16:40, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
No good. "The taxa in bold are marine." I've redrawn the tree accordingly. Chiswick Chap (talk) 16:52, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

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