From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Featured article Pinniped 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 trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on July 3, 2015.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
September 7, 2013 Good article nominee Listed
October 14, 2013 Featured article candidate Promoted
Current status: Featured article


According to the this article Odobenidae is a subfamily of Pinnipedia while Walrus claims that Odobenidae is a family. Which is true? --EnSamulili 16:18, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Both are true, depending on what classification scheme one follows. Newer systems (cladistics) tend to deemphasize the old heirarchy of divisions in favor of clades, which are composed of all descendants of a common ancestor. Tom Radulovich 03:22, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for your answer. Which classification is cladistic and which is older style? --EnSamulili 10:44, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

There was new classification of the Pinnipides. I think that for such a change, a source would be necessary. -EnSamulili 20:02, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

Evolutionary origin[edit]

Is there any information on what seals evolved from?

The German Wikipedia has info on that: w:de:Robben#Stammesgeschichte. Unfortunately I can't read German quite well enough to answer your question. -EnSamulili 17:43, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
The pinnipeds are related to bears, according to my source (which is added to the article) DaMatriX 22:28, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

This article is biased. You evolutionists print it like its a fact. What ever happened to " in the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth. Evolution is not a science, its a belief. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:42, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

As opposed to your view that god created the heavens and the earth, which is, what? A scientific theory? Backed up by scientific evidence and testable by the empirical method? That's not a belief, that's science? Stick to your Bible and leave science to scientists, please. (talk) 14:00, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Evolution is a theory. It isn't scientific fact. Religious Text such as the Bible is a "Belief". Either way, until it is proven, I also find that the information on every animal that includes it's evolutionary "theory" should be deleted until proven. However, do not replace it with religious text. Because then you'd still look like you were siding with someone here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:58, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Oh please, the idea that, somehow, evolution is a belief and hasn't been proven is ridiculous. There is far more evidence to side with evolution than there is against it, and we're talking an immense amount of study, since Darwin and on. So I find it, not only appropriate, to speak of the evolutionary origin seals, but to insist upon it. If you can give me a proven alternative to evolutionary theory, with all the evidence for it included, I would change my opinion. As of now, evolution is and will always be very real. Julianrocksit (talk) 01:02, 30 November 2008 (UTC)Julianrocksit
Of course, nothing in history can be scientifically proven in the sense that it's "testable" and "repeatable" and I speak as an engineer and scientist. The scientific bit is studying fossils, analysing their chemical content, comparing them to what we see today, etc. The rest is theory. The fact that "evolution" has been studied a lot doesn't make it true. It may be, but scientists and others may come across other evidence that changes their minds. In the end it's a theory and it requires "belief" to "believe" it. Sorry to rock your worldview, but too many people think that, because scientific methods are used to study a subject and are used in drawing conclusions, that those conclusions are scientifically proven. They are not. They simply help us to develop likely theories and less-likely theories. --Bermicourt (talk) 07:23, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

The Creationism vs Evolutionism debate is illogical, because for an All Powerful Creator to build into His creation the capability to evolve would be easy, Creationism is not against evolution in that respects, it is against the evolution theory in regards to how the universe came into being. Creationism suggests that an All Powerful Eternal Being is the source of the Universe. While evolutionists believe that the materials needed for the big bang were just always there... I guess? Then suddenly a chemical reaction occured from nowhere and bam life... — Preceding unsigned comment added by LostCaller (talkcontribs) 13:48, 27 May 2013 (UTC)


This information would be more appropriate in the relevant species pages, doesnt seem particularly significant for the order as a whole. Should be removed if there are no objections --Parslad 19:11, 12 May 2006 (UTC)]

I agree DaMatriX 22:31, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Evolution section[edit]

The current evolution section is a total disaster. Which is it - "Latest Oligocene", "early in the Oligocene", or "earliest Miocene"? The language is quite unprofessional, and what on Earth do wolves have to do with anything? Can somebody please clean up this mess? I could try, but I would rather that somebody who knows more about early pinnipeds do it, and who could add references for the information.

Actually, I can't stand it as it is, so I will do a little cleanup right now. But somebody knowledgeable in the area please go over it again. --mglg(talk) 20:57, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Is it possible to have a seperate page dealing with their evolution, as in the Evolution of sirenians, horses and humans? Enlil Ninlil 05:37, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Implications of Enaliarctos for the origins of pinnipeds[edit]

Add the below reference to this page:

Berta, A., C.E. Ray and A.R. Wyss. 1989. Skeleton of the oldest known pinniped, Enaliarctos mealsi. Science, 244:60-62.

Berta, Ray, and Wyss (1989) describe the skeleton of Enaliarctos, and list the characters of Enaliarctos that support a monophyletic Pinnipedia. The authors view this fossil as supporting a North Pacific origin for pinnipeds. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:03, 9 February 2007 (UTC).

Yeah, we were messing around and...[edit]

There's some pointless edits, it's late, it's the seal page. Tried to undo but I don't know wtf I'm doing so I just undid it by deleting the crap we added.

Somebody smart can mess with the undo log? Please and thank you. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 05:04, September 20, 2008 (UTC).

I fixed your edits... Azoreg (talk) 19:56, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Pinnipeds in popular culture[edit]

I added a Pinnipeds in popular culture to try to help remove some of the cruft from this article. Azoreg (talk) 19:48, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Seals in Borneo[edit]

I recently read (in English translation) a Dutch book that mentioned eating seal meat in Sarawak, Borneo. This strikes me as unlikely. Are there any seals in that area? There doesn't seem to be much on their worldwide distribution in this article (talk) 20:59, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

I don't know about true seals, but maybe the author/translator was referring to Dugongs which may have been in the neighbourhood. You might also try listing this question at the reference desk, since talk pages are often slow to respond and (strictly speaking) are for discussion about how to improve the article rather than discussion about the topic. Hope this helps! --TeaDrinker (talk) 21:38, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Reference link broken[edit]

Hi, just thought I'd point out that the encarta page (reference 2) is gone and the link broken as a result. Fa6ade (talk) 23:29, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Sexual cohersion[edit]

 Game of Thrones....  — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:16, 28 September 2014 (UTC) 

This should read coercion.Georg Seifert (talk) 11:52, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Pinnipedia: the free encyclopedia about seals that anyone can edit[edit]

Why does the name of the superfamily sound like it'd be the name of a Wikia about seals? --Damian Yerrick (t | c) 23:17, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Because the Greek paideia - meaning something like "education" - shares a "p" and a "d" with most Latin declensions of the word for "foot" (pēs: pedēs pedis pedī pedem pede). I trust this answer is at once sufficiently pedantic and disappointingly pedestrian. Eliezg (talk) 01:18, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Taxonomy - should it include fossil genera and species or not?[edit]

Currently some extinct genera are listed, but many are not. If the section here is intended to list all (extant+extinct) species, than much more should be added (there are about a dozen genera of extinct walruses). If it is intended to list only living species (like for example at Cetacea page) then currently listed fossil genera should be deleted. Ruxax (talk) 17:39, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

"Pinnipedia" does not conform to typical ICZN rules[edit]

Out of curiosity, how is it that Pinnipedia is allowed as a Superfamily name since every other Superfamily name I've seen ends with the suffix -oidea. Shouldn't Pinnipedia actually be Pinnipedoidea or something similar? I'm not trying to upset what's already in place, I'm just curious. -- Myrddin_Wyllt 5/9/11

Oops, nevermind; I totally missed the same question asked above. However, still the question remains about why the Superfamily wasn't named after one of its member species? (as is typical in taxonomy) For example, shouldn't it be named Phocoidea, Odobenoidea or Otarioidea? Why Pinnipedia? Is there a species called Pinnipedus that somehow slipped past me? And does that mean other Superfamilies (related or non-related) could have a name that's not derived from member species or genera? It'd be helpful if someone from the ICZN (or someone with ICZN knowledge) could weigh in on this. Thanks again -- Myrddin_Wyllt 5-/911 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:05, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
I took the liberty of sending an email to the ICZN, and I received a reply from Steven Tracey, ICZN Secretariat. Considering his reply, someone here at Wikipedia may want to make a change to the Pinnipedia page to reflect his response, which I copied and pasted here: Dear Mike, Pinnipedia Illiger, 1811 was proposed for the Order that includes the seals. When Pinnipedia is used at ranks at or below superfamily it is regulated by the ICZN Code, and Pinnipedia is not an available name. This is because it was not based on a genus group name considered valid when Pinnipedia was described. Hence it cannot be used at or below the level of superfamily and the Wikipedia entry is incorrect at present. Wilson & Reeder, 2005. Mammal species of the world does not give the relevant superfamily name, however Pinnipedia is listed as a synonym of the family Phocidae Gray, 1821, based on the seal genus Phoca Linnaeus, 1758. If a superfamily name were to be based on this family it would be Phocoidea Gray, 1821. -- Myrddin_Wyllt 6/9/11

the most carnivorous[edit]

cant be true — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:42, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

Why is this article not called Seal? Per WP:COMMONNAME, WP:FNAME. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 02:49, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Not all pinnipeds are commonly called "seals" might be one reason. Sea lions and walruses, for example. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 03:59, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
A thin excuse. It should be retitled to "Seal" or "Seal (mammal)". Walrus has its own article as does sea lion. However I agree there should be a (shorter) pinniped article which explains the scientific term and has links to all 3. But to have this as the main seal article is obtuse. --Bermicourt (talk) 07:26, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

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

Reviewer: Casliber (talk · contribs) 10:56, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Right - let's get down to it. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 10:56, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

  • All four paragraphs in the lead begin with "Pinnipeds..." - try and tweak so there is a maximum of three or better two doing this.
Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 14:57, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
Hmm, I meant trying to use some other words - this is tricky and I wll have a go myself a bit later today. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:45, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
Assisted by a friendly copyeditor. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 10:48, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
  • First impression of the lead is that it is succinct, but that the sentences may be a little on the short side, making for some slighlty stilted prose. Am looking for sentences to combine.
Better? LittleJerry (talk)
Let me read it again. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:45, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
Update - damn - that is really really hard! (not to have each sentence start with seal/pinniped). I will ask someone. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 01:11, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Throughout the prose, there are probably a few too many "pinnipeds" -any that can be removed without introducing ambiguity would help the prose
Better? LittleJerry (talk) 17:42, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Otariids are also known as eared seals due to the presence of external ear flaps or pinna. - "flaps" is plural while "pinna" is singular - choose one or the other....
Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 14:57, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
  • The majority of pinnipeds have fur coats... - if walrus only exception, then "Almost all pinnipeds have fur coats..." more accurate
Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 14:57, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Ensure things like northern elephant seal are linked at first instance. There might be others.
Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 15:14, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
  • indigenous people exploited them for their meat, blubber and fur coats - "exploited" carries a negative connotation - I think "used" might be slightly better word here. Also put in passive tense maybe - to have the same subject for both verbs.
Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 21:24, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Unlike other marine mammals, pinnipeds have two pairs of flippers on both the front and back, the fore-flippers and hind-flippers. - makes it sound like it has eight flippers momentarily - I'd reword this.
  • Removed both, so is now "two pairs of flippers on the front and back". Sasata (talk) 15:03, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Yea-eah - hmm, slightly better. I think it could be tweaked still but is by no means a deal-breaker, so can leave it. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:42, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
  • etymology not in body of text.
  • Moved to taxonomy and source added. Sasata (talk) 15:10, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Pinnipeds spend many months at a time at sea and so they must sleep in the water. - sounds weird - either have "Pinnipeds spend many months at a time at sea, so they must sleep in the water. " or maybe "Pinnipeds spend many months at a time at sea and must sleep in the water. "
  • Added a comma. Sasata (talk) 15:03, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
  • They are entirely absent from Indo-Malayan waters. (in body), doesn't totally agree with Although Pinnipeds occur in all oceans (in lead) to me
Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 15:16, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
  • The pinniped ear is well adapted for hearing underwater - can leave the "well" out....
  • Done. Sasata (talk) 15:03, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
  • In the Intelligence section, you have one pinniped's name in quote marks, the other not - conform them
  • Quotes removed. Sasata (talk) 15:03, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Otherwise, this article is looking in good shape - I am reduced to real nit-picks prose-wise and I can't see any glaring omissions. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 12:04, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Replaced photos just to be safe. LittleJerry (talk) 22:35, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
That is a bit of a shame - the diagram was pretty good. Something to maybe look for sourcing for or ask the drawer. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 22:43, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

1. Well written?:

Prose quality:
Manual of Style compliance:

2. Factually accurate and verifiable?:

References to sources: - will do a spotcheck a bit later today looks in order.
Citations to reliable sources, where required:
No original research:

3. Broad in coverage?:

Major aspects:

4. Reflects a neutral point of view?:

Fair representation without bias:

5. Reasonably stable?

No edit wars, etc. (Vandalism does not count against GA):

6. Illustrated by images, when possible and appropriate?:

Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:


Pass or Fail: - I wll do some spot checking a bit later today - but looking good Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 22:43, 6 September 2013 (UTC) looks in order. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 14:44, 7 September 2013 (UTC)


That "vibrissae" is used in other places in the article does not say it is a good choice of word. It is a bad choice of word because it is less known than "whiskers". By redirecting "vibrissae" to whiskers Wikipedia shows that it thinks they mean the same. "whiskers" has 10 M hits on Google while "vibrissae" has 200 k hits. Either make the wanted distinction explicit or replace all the occurrences of "vibrissae". --Ettrig (talk) 07:20, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

The sources used to compile this article use predominantly the term "vibrissae". Sasata (talk) 07:30, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
My guess is that the above is intended to say that because the sources use the word "vibrissae", Wikipedia should too. But there is no such principle. On the contrary, Wikipedia has a much higher ambition in terms of accessibility than the sources, and therefore other word must be used. Also, independent choice of words is part of not plagiarizing. The content should be the same and the formulations should be new. And, to repeat, the current article links vibrissae to a redirect to whisker, so the article currently says that the meaning is the same. --Ettrig (talk) 10:07, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
The rest of the article uses vibrissae. The article whiskers also predominantly uses vibrissae and even begins with it. And no, we do not have a plagiarism issue, thank you. LittleJerry (talk) 15:17, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
My main argument is that "vibrissae" is a much less well known term than "whiskers". The Google hit statistics is given above. I see no relevant counter argument to this. With one year of university biology education using English language literature, I can be assumed to know much more about this subject than the least knowledgeable reader that Wikipedia aims to reach. But I did not know the word "vibrissae". --Ettrig (talk) 10:03, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
I agree that if vibrissae means nothing more than whiskers, whiskers is the term to use in both articles. --(AfadsBad (talk) 11:44, 27 September 2013 (UTC))
Vibrissae are specialised hairs; they are thicker than normal hairs, they have a larger amount of blood around the bulb and they are often highly motile under voluntary control. While I agree the terms "vibrissae" and "whiskers" are often used interchangeably, this is not always accurate. For example, we often talk about whiskers on a man's face - these, however, are NOT vibrissae. Individual hairs seen on the snout of a pinniped can be whiskers or vibrissae, but not both.__DrChrissy (talk) 17:09, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
Then the article should define vibrissae, and their should be an article on vibrissae, rather than an article on whiskers that discusses vibrissae. --(AfadsBad (talk) 19:05, 27 September 2013 (UTC))
And thank you for clearing that up. --(AfadsBad (talk) 19:13, 27 September 2013 (UTC))
I think the problem here is that in common useage, the two terms are used so interchangeably that trying to draw a distinction will be a losing battle. I think "vibrissae" is more of a technical term. If I was writing or talking to a friend about my cat I would say that my cat has long, black "whiskers", but if I was writing a scientific paper, I would certainly write "vibrissae". I would not be surprised if some of the sources cited in Pinniped use the terms interchangeably which will make it difficult to be accurate in the article.__DrChrissy (talk) 19:34, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
It can be tricky, but. Properly sourced, it is worth doing. And, if pinnipeds have both, I want to know about it. --(AfadsBad (talk) 19:47, 27 September 2013 (UTC))
Ah! I think I have found the source of confusion! When most of us (including myself) talk about "whiskers" on non-human animals, we are almost always referring to vibrissae near the mouth. But, vibrissae can be found all over the body. Cats have vibrissae on their carpals and manatees all over their bodies, but these would rarely be called "whiskers". This idea that whiskers are locality-specific vibrissae is supported by several on-line dictionaries.
Websters [1]
One of the long, projecting hairs growing at the sides of the mouth of a cat, or other animal.[Websters]
a hair that grows on a man's face
any one of the long, stiff hairs that grow near the mouth of some animals
a very small distance or amount
Babylon English Dictionary [3]
beard, facial hair one hair of the mustache or beard; one facial hair;
long facial bristles near the mouth of an animal (i.e. cat, mouse, etc.)
So, because pinnipeds have vibrissae near the mouth, these could be called "whiskers". They may have other vibrissae in other locations which would not be whiskers, but I am not an expert on this. Part of the problem we encountered here is caused by Wikipedia equating Whiskers and vibrissae. This is incorrect, or at best misleading. Whiskers are a sub-set of vibrissae. I will raise this on the Whiskers talk page and propose it be re-named as Vibrissae with a mention that when these are found around the mouth, they are sometimes known as "whiskers".__DrChrissy (talk) 20:31, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

Sexual dimorphism evolution[edit]

I split up the recently added paragraph on the evolution of sexual dimorphism. I moved talk of Enaliarctos emlongi to the paragraph that talks about the genus Enaliarctos. I moved much of the rest to the reproductive section. With the way it was before, it broke the flow of the section which talks about ancient relatives and their characteristics and the origins of the modern species. A block of text talking about sexual dimorphism in modern species and that it developed sexual selection really didn't fit. (talk) 15:07, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

And again, competition for mates and the advantages for being a large male where already talked about. The new text just expanded on it. (talk) 15:13, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

And now people are reverting my edits, claiming "vandalism". Please discuss and justify why this chunk of text belongs here and don't mindlessly revert simply because I'm an IP. (talk) 15:27, 25 November 2014 (UTC)


The article says that 'other than the walrus, all species are covered in fur'. Only the young, surely? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:58, 7 January 2015 (UTC)


Wikipedia:Today's featured article/requests/Pinniped --Gerda Arendt (talk) 09:03, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 3 external links on Pinniped. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 07:05, 23 June 2016 (UTC)