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GA Review[edit]

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

Reviewer: Ucucha 15:19, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

More later, but some quick things:

  • Palmer does not even list Mesopropithecus, so I find it rather dubious to reference him. For dolichobrachion at least, the original paper gives the etymology, so you can just cite them.
I realize that Palmer doesn't list the genus or species, but he does define their roots. I know I'm stretching it. Another option is for me to buy "Bioscientific Terminology" and "Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms" and look the roots up in there. Or would that be consider OR? Depend on what you say, I may buy those books tonight. I really need a source for Greek and Latin roots if I'm going to write Etymology sections for lemur pages (or any other species). In the meantime, I may have to leave the interpretation of "Mesopropithecus" without a citation, at least until the books arrive (if I buy them). – VisionHolder « talk » 00:44, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
The problem with almost anything of the kind is that they are missing the significance of the names. For example, Mesopropithecus means "middle" + "before" + "ape", but just listing the roots is that the -propithecus almost certainly has something to do with the generic name of the sifakas. Any attempt at constructing an etymology for a scientific name from a source that does not explicitly deal with that scientific name is borderline OR to me, but I won't push that. Ucucha 18:26, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Could you recast the list of characters into prose? I think that disrupts the flow of the article less than a list like this. You yourself made the opposite change in Ekbletomys, so I guess this is a conscious choice. Also see the guideline at WP:EMBED.

Ucucha 15:19, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

I will give it a try in a minute. The list was turning into a very long sentence, so I broke it up. But I don't mind converting it back. The lists make it hard to place the cladogram anyway. – VisionHolder « talk » 00:44, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
  • forelimbs but hind limbs?
    • Spellcheckers are just that, and in my experience the scientific literature mostly uses "hindlimb". Purely esthetically I think it looks weird to have "forelimbs" and "hind limbs" right next to each other.
  • Add to lead that three species were allopatric?
    • Sorry for wavering here, but it might be even better to just briefly mention the individual distributions of the three species. What do you think?
  • Probably better to move the sentence saying they are known from subfossils to before the sentence saying they were among the smallest of the subfossil lemurs.
  • Explain sagittal and nuchal crest
  • When was Neopropithecus synonymized under Mesopropithecus.
  • Hasn't the northern Palaeopropithecus been described as a new species?
  • Is there anything about which two species are more closely related to each other than to the third?
  • Probably need to give the alternative dental formula again. Aren't dental homologies fun?
  • Many unexplained technical terms in the skull description.
  • Mandible and folivory—what would a gracile mandible suggest they ate? Something softer?

Ucucha 16:17, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

I have attempted all or most of these changes. However, "hind limbs" is listed as two words on Wiki, my spell checker, and some dictionaries. That's why I went with two words over one. It doesn't matter to me. I also did my best to wikilink all the skull and dental terms. I'm not sure if I could succinctly summarize those technical terms in the article. As for the etymology, I may have diverged into OR, but I have now provided a better explanation of the meaning of the genus name. (It may need grammatical tweaking.) Lastly, I could not find anything about which of the three species are most closely related. Of course, I still have some literature to go through before I submit for FAC. I was going to do that after the GAC (or maybe tomorrow night). – VisionHolder « talk » 02:30, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't have much time right now, so will be continuing on this in a few days. I'll probably go to the library to look at the original descriptions of the genus and M. globiceps; perhaps there's some etymological information in there. Ucucha 23:25, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

I am in the Ernst Mayr Library with the original description of Neopropithecus globiceps now. Lamberton (who I am almost certain is a "she") says she's got a skull of something that looks like Propithecus verreauxi but has a more elongated skull, smaller and more closely set eyes, and a few other differences I don't know enough French to understand. Then she has three skulls which look more like Mesopropithecus than Propithecus, but are intermediate, and she calls them Neopropithecus. Two skulls from "Extrême-Sud" (Neopropithecus platyfrons) and one from Tsirave (N. globiceps). She says there is a series from Archaeoindris through Archaeolemur, Mesopropithecus, Neopropithecus, Propithecus verreauxioides into modern Propithecus. In the article before that there is a description of Prohapalemur gallienii. She does not mention the etymology of Neopropithecus, but says that globiceps is called like that "à cause de son front bombé". Ucucha 22:25, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

I will add the note (and translation) about globiceps. Thank you for looking it up. At this point, I suspect the only way to get to the bottom of the Mesopropithecus etymology is to find the original Standing publication. Let me email Dr. Godfrey and see if she has a definitive answer and a source. – VisionHolder « talk » 01:08, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
I'll probably be able to get it tomorrow. It's in another library here. Ucucha 01:15, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
In case you check here before you check your email, Dr. Godfrey wrote back with the story behind the etymology of Mesopropithecus. Unless you want to double-check her, it may not be necessary to dig up that book. Anyway, check your email and read my note. Otherwise I will get to work on paraphrasing and condensing her story. Some of it will ultimately belong in the Sloth lemur article and other bits in the future Subfossil lemur article. – VisionHolder « talk » 02:43, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
I'll have a look anyway. If he has good pictures, I might scan them. I'd have no problem with redirecting subfossil lemur to the appropriate section of lemur. I wonder though whether subfossil lemur is the most appropriate name for an article dealing with all the giant and somewhat less giant extinct lemurs, since there are also subfossil remains of extant lemurs. Perhaps extinct lemur would be better. Ucucha 02:53, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
That's a good question, which should probably be discussed over email or on my talk page rather than here. The short version of my view is that the phrase "subfossil lemur" is notable (from many sources) and primarily focuses on the extinct species. I have no problem addressing the subfossil, extant species in the article, but it will be brief since that information is rather limited. Unfortunately, no other name, including "giant lemur", comes even close for notability. – VisionHolder « talk » 02:58, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, we're getting off topic. Your explanation is convincing. Ucucha 03:02, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Etymology section has been re-written and Palmer refs removed. Please let me know if you approve and if there are any other lingering issues. – VisionHolder « talk » 04:02, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Standing announced Mesopropithecus in the 28 September 1905 session of the Academie Malgache. M. pithecoides is called like that "par sa forme robuste et sa conformation generale qui rappellent plutot un singe du sous-ordre des anthropoides". The name is actually spelled "Pilhecoides" there once. There is no etymology for the generic name, but he notes similarities with both Propithecus and Palaeopropithecus. Ucucha 19:45, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Hmmm... Maybe we need to track down the 1832 Bennett article that defines Propithecus. Messy... I'm guessing Dr. Godfrey is planning to include this history in a book she's working on, but I doubt she'll finish it anytime soon. Maybe in a couple of years if we're lucky. So in your opinion, is the Etymology section insufficiently sourced? – VisionHolder « talk » 20:57, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Mention that Tattersall and Schwartz (1974) considered Mesopropithecus to be sister to Propithecus (mentioned by Hartwig)?
  • It looks like the Ankarana Palaeopropithecus is not actually P. kelyus; the description of that species doesn't mention it. I remember seeing it as P. cf. maximus somewhere, but can't find the ref. The Simons et al. 1995 paper actually lists P. ingens.
  • The skull measured between 83.3–94.4 mm (3.28–3.72 in) - according to Simons et al. 1995 p. 673, the lower value is based on a misattribution by Tattersall.
  • "like most indriids and sloth lemurs" - not all?
  • The sagittal crests or temporal lines join together anteriorly - I tried to rephrase this piece into separate sentences to make it more readable, but am not sure about this part. Is the sagittal crest the result of the fusion of the temporal lines? Hartwig p. 108 seems to suggest so.
  • Although Godfrey is undoubtedly correct in her account of the etymology, we can't cite a private e-mail in Wikipedia and we don't seem to have an actual reference for the etymology. Thus, I have just inserted a statement that Standing saw characters of both Palaeopropithecus and sifakas in M.; the astute reader should be able to work out the etymology for himself from that. I also moved the etymologies into the classification section, to keep the material related to each species together. Please revert that if you prefer.

Ucucha 23:23, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

I think I've made the fixes you requested. You were right about the P. keylus—when I made the range maps for Palaeopropithecus, I was going to update it, but forgot. Thanks for the extra thorough review to catch the errors in the skull lengths! (Talk about going above and FAR beyond!) As for the crests on the skull... you would know better than I. I know what those ridges are for, but as for details beyond that, I have a difficult time interpreting. If you want me to, I will email Dr. Godfrey about it. Ultimately, it may not matter because she promises me every week that she'll stop by and *THOROUGHLY* review all the subfossil lemur articles I've written so far. (She'll make this review seems like a quick pass.) If there are any errors, I'm sure she'll catch it and direct me on how to correct it. All in all, I'm content with the rewording on the etymology. I like to standardize the lemur articles, but in this case you're right. The material belonged in the following section. Otherwise, anything else? – VisionHolder « talk » 00:49, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
I put in a few more things in the earlier list above, which you may have missed. There's also one in the new list you don't seem to have addressed.
It would be great if Dr. Godfrey would review your articles; I know it's easy to get lost in details of anatomy and she surely knows those details well. But in the meantime I can catch things like misattributed skull lengths. :) Ucucha 01:06, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
"Hind limb" has been converted to "hindlimb" (and the page has been moved). General distributions have been added to the lead as well. The crests were addressed earlier by the addition of the following text: "(ridges on the skull for muscle attachments)". (This was added where the ridges were first mentioned, outside of the Anatomy section, unfortunately. The "like most indriids and sloth lemurs" comment refers to information in the Chapter 7 PDF which states that the larger sloth lemurs lacked a toothcomb. (It had evolved back to function as normal teeth.) I did not go into it here because it does not relate to this genera. It will, however, be included on the future sloth lemur page, since that is the most appropriate place for the material. – VisionHolder « talk » 02:12, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Good. Then I'm done nitpicking and I'll pass this as a GA. Ucucha 02:17, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Awesome! I sincerely appreciate your thorough reviews, even if they do feel like FAC reviews. – VisionHolder « talk » 02:23, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

FAC prep literature review[edit]

Here's what comes up when searching for "Mesopropithecus" in the ISI Web of Knowledge database. I've removed those articles already sourced, and the numerous conference abstracts. I haven't checked the abstracts to see how relevant they are... I'll leave that up to VH :) Sasata (talk) 16:50, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Title: Evidence for drought and forest declines during the recent megafaunal extinctions in Madagascar
Author(s): Virah-Sawmy, M; Willis, KJ; Gillson, L
Source: JOURNAL OF BIOGEOGRAPHY Volume: 37 Issue: 3 Pages: 506-519 Published: 2010
Title: Ontogeny and Phyletic Size Change in Living and Fossil Lemurs
Author(s): Ravosa, MJ; Daniel, AN
Source: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PRIMATOLOGY Volume: 72 Issue: 2 Pages: 161-172 Published: 2010
Title: Morphometric analysis of lumbar vertebrae in extinct Malagasy strepsirrhines
Author(s): Shapiro, LJ; Seiffert, CVM; Godfrey, LR, et al.
Source: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY Volume: 128 Issue: 4 Pages: 823-839 Published: DEC 2005
Title: A chronology for late prehistoric Madagascar
Author(s): Burney, DA; Burney, LP; Godfrey, LR, et al.
Source: JOURNAL OF HUMAN EVOLUTION Volume: 47 Issue: 1-2 Pages: 25-63 Published: 2004
Title: Phalangeal curvature and positional behavior in extinct sloth lemurs (Primates, Palaeopropithecidae)
Author(s): Jungers, WL; Godfrey, LR; Simons, EL, et al.
Source: PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Volume: 94 Issue: 22 Pages: 11998-12001 Published: OCT 28 1997
Author(s): JUNGERS, WL; GODFREY, LR; SIMONS, EL, et al.
Author(s): GODFREY, LR; SIMONS, EL; CHATRATH, PJ, et al.
Source: COMPTES RENDUS DE L ACADEMIE DES SCIENCES SERIE II Volume: 310 Issue: 1 Pages: 81-87 Published: JAN 4 1990
Source: FOLIA PRIMATOLOGICA Volume: 52 Issue: 1-2 Pages: 1-26 Published: 1989
Title: Adaptive diversification of Malagasy strepsirrhines.
Author(s): Godfrey, I.R.
Source: Journal of Human Evolution Volume: 17 Issue: 1-2 Pages: 93-134 Published: 1988
Author(s): GODFREY, LR
Source: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY Volume: 69 Issue: 2 Pages: 205-206 Published: FEB 1986
Author(s): MAHE J
Source: Memoires du Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle Serie C Sciences de la Terre Volume: 32 Pages: 1-342 Published: 1976
Author(s): TATTERSA.I
Source: FOLIA PRIMATOLOGICA Volume: 16 Issue: 3-4 Pages: 257-& Published: 1971
Title: Contribution a la connaissance de la faune subfossile de Madagascar. Note IX. Oreille osseose des Lemurienes.
Author(s): Lamberton, C.
Source: Mem. Acad. Malgache Volume: 35 Pages: pp. 1-134 Published: 1941
Title: The limb-bones and vertebrae of the extinct lemurs of Madagascar.
Author(s): Carleton, A
Source: PROCEEDINGS OF THE ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON Volume: 1936 Pages: 281-307 Published: 1936
Title: Localisation of function in the Lemur's brain.
Author(s): Mott, F. W.; Halliburton, W. D.
Source: London, Proc. R. Soc, ser. B. Volume: 80 Pages: (130-147) Published: 1908