Talk:Physeteroidea

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Entomology[edit]

Why are they called Sperm Whales? That is why I came to this article. Sperm is male sex goop. What does that have to do with the whale? No 3rd grade snickering here, its a legit question. Anyone know the answer?

-Jon in California 5 Jan 2008

Because they have a large organ in their heads containing spermaceti. The etymology is explained in the articles on Sperm Whale and Spermaceti.Anaxial (talk) 08:11, 6 January 2008 (UTC)


Reproduction question[edit]

I know this sounds weird, but i need to know this for a class on mammal anatomies. My classmate told me that Sperm Whales have their vaginas located in a different position than other whales. Is there any truth to this? Can you respond A.S.A.P. Thank you.

Hi, I am taking that class too. Mrs. Wright assigns the wierdest projects. Anyways, I dont thinki that thier vaginas are in a different region, i am not sure where you heard that, but i am 90% sure that it is the same, if your find out for sure just write back. Also, are their any differences in the mating habits? We have plenty of time for the report, but i want to try to get my information early. Thanks.
Hey guys, I asked one of my teachers for you. She said that they do not have offset vaginas. You may have gotten confused because I believe that they are wideset. You may have to look into that as well. Also, they have mating habits similar to the humpback whales, most baleen whales have similar, but, they always mate while moving at very high speeds, and they are known to beach while they are mating. The reproductive parts are unique on the males too. Their Penis's are turned up more, allowing for them to breach. I hope i could be of some help.

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was page moved.  Skomorokh  07:28, 27 December 2009 (UTC)


Sperm whale familyPhyseteroidea — The text of page is about the Physeteroidea superfamily and all of the included taxa, however the name implies that all species are in one single family instead of 2 separate families with several basal species. --Kevmin (talk) 15:53, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

  • Support — The taxonomy here is a jumble, hence vernacular names are ambiguous; Physeteroidea arguably is the most common name of this taxonomic group. --Una Smith (talk) 01:53, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Very Strongly Oppose unintelligible pedantry. Call it Sperm whales and be done. We are an English encyclopedia, not a Neo-Latin one. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:58, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
    • Please provide refernces that show "Sperm whales" to be the most common term for this grouping, this is an article on a scientific taxon, so bias against "Neo-Latin" (whatever that means) does not have merit.--Kevmin (talk) 20:38, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
      • Neo-Latin is Latin as used since it ceased to be a spoken language; the most important occurrences of it is precisely the modern system of biological nomenclature based on the work of Linnaeus. This can be the same in all living languages because it belongs to none of them.
      • What our naming policy requires is recognizability; the use of common names is a consequence. This is not to be determined by search engine counts (see WP:Search engines for some reason why), but by what a lay reader will find most useful. This is not it. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:36, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
        • Noted, you don't like the move because the suggested title doesn't have origins in old english. Note that Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (fauna) specifically states to use a "common name" if the name "is not ambiguous". The current name, and your suggested alternative are both highly ambiguous. The text is describing a specific biologic taxon and the most commonly used term for that taxon out there is Physeteroidea, as there is not commonly used "vernacular name"for that taxon level.--Kevmin (talk) 14:14, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
        • No. As my user-name should indicate, I do not object to classical words. I do object to words, Latin, Greek, Anglo-Saxon, or Klingon, which have not been received into common English usage - and the pedants who insist on them are acting contrary to clear policy. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:56, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
          • Qapla to the pedants who fight for unambiguous names--Kevmin (talk) 21:36, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
          • This reader prefers the common scientific name (the name used in all reliable sources) to any pseudo-vernacular name. What lay reader knows what a taxonomic family is? It seems to me "sperm whale family" is obfuscation, and pointless too. --Una Smith (talk) 00:23, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support At least to me, "Physeteroidea" is less confusing and ambiguous than what we have now. I suppose one could change it to "Sperm whale superfamily", which would at least be more accurate than what we currently have - but who is likely to search for that? Anaxial (talk) 18:34, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support as per nom. —innotata (TalkContribs) 17:44, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. This is not even about the "sperm whale family" (which, if anything, would be Physeteridae), so that name is out. PMAnderson apparently prefers "Sperm whales", but that is against our longstanding convention to use the singular in article titles. Then we might come to "Sperm whale", but to have that in addition to an article on the species Physeter catodon titled "Sperm Whale" would be needlessly confusing to a layperson. Thus, the only unambiguous, lay-friendly title for this article is "Physeteroidea". Ucucha 02:43, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.