Talk:Smilodon

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Featured article Smilodon 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.
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June 3, 2013 Good article nominee Listed
November 23, 2015 Featured article candidate Promoted
Current status: Featured article

GA Review[edit]

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

Reviewer: Chiswick Chap (talk · contribs) 20:20, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

Rate Attribute Review Comment
1. Well written:
1a. the prose is clear and concise, and the spelling and grammar are correct. ok
1b. it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation. lead: needs extending to summarize sections of article.
Done. LittleJerry (talk) 23:43, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

layout:ok; weasel:ok; fiction:n/a; list:ok (3 spp.)

2. Verifiable with no original research:
2a. it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline. ok. It would be good to list some popular (book or website) sources, perhaps for further reading, and perhaps with a 'For children' section, after the GA.
2b. all in-line citations are from reliable sources, including those for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines. well sourced and cited.
2c. it contains no original research. no sign of it.
3. Broad in its coverage:
3a. it addresses the main aspects of the topic. ok. Article will benefit from further coverage of the different species.
3b. it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style). does not stray.
4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without editorial bias, giving due weight to each. no sign of bias.
5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute. was some dispute about 'de-extinction' in April but nothing major.
6. Illustrated, if possible, by images:
6a. images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content. all from Commons.
6b. images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions. all relevant and properly captioned. A couple of images are of poor quality (resolution/focus) and should be upgraded when possible.
7. Overall assessment. An interesting article on a popular palaeontological topic.

One or two small details:

"use their teeth to simultaneously slash the throat." Simultaneously with what?

Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 21:03, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

"distress calls of the trapped prey animals would have lasted longer that the playbacks" What?

Fixed. LittleJerry (talk) 21:03, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

Machairodontinae contains images of Smilodon skulls showing the maximum gape. That article (as you've noted) needs cutting as it contains materials that (this is what concerns us) probably belong here. I think at least the gape images (Smilodon, domestic cat for comparison) should come here now; perhaps this would also be a good moment to bring across some of the gape text that specifically concerns Smilodon.

Done. LittleJerry (talk) 22:59, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

We hear very little about S. gracilis compared to the other two species.

There isn't much available, at least that I can access. LittleJerry (talk) 22:59, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

Post GA[edit]

It's always nice to do a GA review of well-written articles. Smilodon will benefit from more coverage of the different species, and sharper images of one or two of the museum specimens. No doubt, too, more will be discovered about their precise diet, geographical range and so on. It would be good to have a selection of further reading for children and adults, given that this is something of a gateway topic into palaeontology. Chiswick Chap (talk) 07:22, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Distribution info needed[edit]

It would be nice to have distribution notes more specific than North or South America. I know at least one species was found in California due to the La Brea Tar Pits, but that's all I can gather from this article. --Animalparty-- (talk) 22:12, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 26 March 2014[edit]

In subsection Smilodon#Species, first dot point, last sentence is clearly incorrect. Either the editor misinterpreted the given cite (a popular book) or the book is wrong (unable to access online copy). The abstract of this paper gives mass estimates indicating that Smilodon gracilis is considerably smaller than either of the other two sp, rather than being "intermediate" in size.

Pls remove this last sentence - "In terms of size, it was intermediate between S. fatalis and S. populator.[9]".

Thanks 124.148.103.222 (talk) 05:30, 26 March 2014 (UTC) 124.148.103.222 (talk) 05:30, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Corrected and moved the sentence. WolfmanSF (talk) 05:54, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Done --Mdann52talk to me! 14:49, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Thx! 58.7.70.5 (talk) 09:56, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Image[edit]

Can we change the reconstructed image? it's hard to tell what exactly is going on there, and the following image is far higher in quality, although no license is stated, if I were to get clearance to use the image on Wiki could we change it?

http://fc05.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2011/098/e/6/smilodon_fatalis_fullview_by_dantheman9758-d3dhscv.jpg

Bumblebritches57 (talk) 01:15, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Someone has to ask him first. I don't see a problem with the current image, though the low res and overlapping graphics are annoying. We do have another reconstruction by Dantheman, though.[1] Someone could cut out the animal and upload it as a separate file. FunkMonk (talk) 01:25, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Oh yeah, that one's even more informative, and it's already here so we have permission to use it, I don't see why we don't change it right now. Bumblebritches57 (talk) 07:51, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
I added it yesterday. FunkMonk (talk) 10:35, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I saw that right after posting, thanks. I was going to crop it, but it's a bit harder to get that bottom bar thing out of the way than I initially thought, I might end up finishing it or I might just abandon it, I'm not sure yet. Bumblebritches57 (talk) 01:46, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Solitary vs. social[edit]

Comparison of predator responses to distress calls and the prevalence of healed injuries suggest that it was social, while its small brain size and vegetated habitat suggest it was more solitary.

Foregoing passage from lead section requires referring to the more detailed discussion in the body of the article to be comprehensible; therefore, it does not adequately summarize.

--Coconutporkpie (talk) 00:45, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

I have tried to summarize the debate for the lead section, but seemed unable to do so without essentially repeating what is written in the body of the article; therefore, I have added a link to the relevant section.

--Coconutporkpie (talk) 01:29, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Toward FAC[edit]

FunkMonk, remember to spell "saber" rather than "sabre". LittleJerry (talk) 22:43, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

Don't think I'll use the term much anyway. By the way, would figure 1 in this free paper[2] perhaps be useful in the article? The gaping jaws photo could then be moved to description, once I've written enough about the skull. Also checked the other Plos papers, the images are not that interesting. FunkMonk (talk) 12:27, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
Okay then. I'll work on distribution. LittleJerry (talk) 14:08, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
On second thought the paper you posted mostly talks about South America and I'm not experienced in writing ranges of prehistoric animals. I'll look at paleobiology again. LittleJerry (talk) 19:55, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
We now have a cladogram thanks to IJReid. It was the best recent one I could find, the only one that incorporated both extant and extinct taxa. There is a newer one, but it is worse for our purposes I think, as it only includes extinct taxa, and it does not include S. graclis. Now we just have a lot of white space, though... Could be nice to fill it up with some vertical image. Something like this?[3] FunkMonk (talk) 16:06, 9 August 2015 (UTC)
I agree. So I added the image. LittleJerry (talk) 21:08, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
Cool. Since S. populator images are a bit overrepresented in that section now, it would be interesting to see if there is a plate of the S. fatalis holotype in leidy's description... FunkMonk (talk) 21:31, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
Found the source, the holotype (10-11) seems to be a molar?:[4] God to illustrate how scrappy the first remains were. Also seems S. gracilis was also considered to belong to Ischyrosmilus at one time, seems there's a lot of work to be done in the taxonomy section... FunkMonk (talk) 21:39, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
Could perhaps be interesting to include at least one restoration under description where Smilodon is shown with spots? We have this[5] which looks the best, but is in low res and has annoying overlapping graphics, and this, which could be "extracted"[6], but its paws look a bit weird. The various models we have pictures of don't look too great/have copyright issues. FunkMonk (talk) 14:22, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Could we get some paleo-artists on wiki to do a reconstruction? LittleJerry (talk) 14:39, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
I'd be wary of that, mammals are much harder to reconstruct than reptiles (they have much more facial musculature that changes the external shape of the head), and most paleoartists here focus on reptiles. Best contenter I can think of is Smokeybjb, but he is not so active anymore. I can modify the paws of the size comparison one (after Antón) and remove the background in a new file. FunkMonk (talk) 14:41, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Okay. I prefer the second image over the first. LittleJerry (talk) 14:51, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Now I've done some anatomical fixes (in line with Antón's restorations) in addition to removing the background, the paws look more like felid paws, the head profile is more straight, the teeth are shorter.[7] What do you think? FunkMonk (talk) 16:04, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Looks good. Are the taxonomy and description sections going well? LittleJerry (talk) 19:39, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Still reading the book (in the spaces I have time), but it seems I'll have to find a bunch of obscure sources to correctly write the taxonomy stuff (more complicated than I thought, with various proposed alternate synonymies and combinations), as well as more in-depth anatomy (osteology, seems there's some old, definitive monograph based on La Brea specimens)... I'm thinking we could make some paper requests each; if you for example request all the papers you lost (apart from JSTOR articles, I have access), then I'll request a bunch of additional papers, and then we can share them per email? FunkMonk (talk) 19:44, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Okay. I'd probably get to it this weekend. LittleJerry (talk) 22:18, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
A user added a photo of a model[8], but as Antón points out, the ears on Smilodon sat pretty low on the head compared to modern cats,so the model seems to be inaccurate in this regard, the ears sit pretty far up. FunkMonk (talk) 18:34, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
FunkMonk, any papers in particular you would like for me to request? LittleJerry (talk) 11:45, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, the ones used under description, like the 1969 and 1998 ones... FunkMonk (talk) 14:26, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
Miller's paper doesn'r appear to be available online. LittleJerry (talk) 14:52, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
Ok, its points are described in detail by Antón anyway. By the way, I think it would be good if S. gracilis and S. populator were included in the size comparison. Perhaps Dinoguy2 is around? FunkMonk (talk) 16:40, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
FunkMonk Does the book state what S. popular diet was? I did include a study on S. gracilis. LittleJerry (talk) 18:51, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
It does mention some prey items, I'll add it when I get to it. FunkMonk (talk) 20:19, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
  • It would seem that "saber toothed tiger" refers to Smilodon specifically[9], and not to saber toothed cats in general, as indicated by the Wikipedia page? In that case, the term should redirect here, and be removed form the intro of that article. Any thoughts, LittleJerry? There seems to have been an old discussion[10] about this, but it does not seem to have used scholarly sources. FunkMonk (talk)
I agree. LittleJerry (talk) 23:38, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
I think maybe the scale image could be added to. Maybe include sizes of the other two species as well. LittleJerry (talk) 18:35, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, someone just has to do it... Dinoguy2? I'd also like some kind of image of S. gracilis, but they seem elusive. By the way, all I think is needed now is more osteological description, and beefing up the intro. I have listed it for copyedit. FunkMonk (talk) 19:03, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

A few concerns following GOCE copy-edit on September 29, 2015[edit]

I have just finished copy-editing Smilodon, and I have a few concerns:

1) At the end of the second paragraph in the section Smilodon#Social life is the following sentence:

  • Yet it has also been proposed that being the largest predator in an environment comparable to the savannah of Africa, Smilodon may have had a social structure similar to modern lions, which possibly live in groups primarily to defend optimal territory from conspecifics.

(a) Although it's not completely clear, I assume that the adjective clause beginning with "which" is referring to modern lions. If that is true, then I wonder why the adverb "possibly" is there. Don't zoologists know by now why lions live in groups? If, by some chance, this clause was meant to apply to Smilodons', then the clause has to be re-worded to something like: "possibly living in groups to defend optimal territory from conspecifics" (use either "possibly" or "primarily", not both).

It refers to the lions, which are unusual among cats because they live in groups. Therefore it is not completely clear why they do so. We know what benefits it brings, but then why do other cats not live socially? FunkMonk (talk) 11:42, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

(b) I think the word "conspecifics" is an unsual word and, if not explained or linked, another word should be substituted.

Replaced. FunkMonk (talk) 12:01, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

2) In the section Smilodon#Description we read the word "zygomata". It's an unsual word, so I think it should be either explained or linked. I see later, in the last paragraph of the section Smilodon#Predatory behavior, the phrase "zygomatic arches" is linked, but I don't know if the word and the phrase mean the same thing.

Explained. FunkMonk (talk) 12:01, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

3) In the first paragraph in Smilodon#Social life is the following sentence:

  • In addition, they note that solitary cats like tigers are known to aggregate around a single carcass.

I just don't see any connection between this sentence and what precedes or follows it. What is the point of this sentence, and what is the connection to anything else in this section?

I think it's to show that even solitary cats will feed side by side, but I'll see what LittleJerry says about this and other things he wrote. FunkMonk (talk) 11:53, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I believe that's the point the authors of the study were making. LittleJerry (talk) 14:06, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
Cool. Could you also take a look at the queries below, LittleJerry? I don't have the sources in question. FunkMonk (talk) 14:33, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

4) The very next sentence in that paragraph is:

  • The authors of the original study have responded to these criticisms.

It's nice to know, but why mention it if you don't mention, at least briefly, what their responses were?

Fixed. FunkMonk (talk) 04:52, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

5) Toward the end of the next paragraph in this section, Smilodon#Social life, is the following sentence:

  • Another argument against Smilodon being social is based on it being an ambush hunter in closed habitat which would likely have negated sociality.

It is probably obvious to zoologists why being an ambush hunter would have negated sociality, but to the average reader this may not be so obvious. Besides that, "would...have negated sociality" sounds a bit like zoologists' jargon. Perhaps this sentence could be written in more reader-friendly language. Also, just wanted to point out that, although the use of "likely" as an adverb is increasingly heard, especially in the U.S., it is really an adjective, as in "a likely story", or in conjunction with the verb be, as in, "it is likely that...", so, if possible, substitute "probably" if it's not being used as an adjective.

Could you take a look at this one when you get the time, LittleJerry? FunkMonk (talk) 19:02, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

6) In the last paragraph in Smilodon#Distribution and habitat are the following sentences:

  • S. gracilis entered South America during the early to middle Pleistocene, when it probably gave rise to S. populator, which lived in the eastern part of the continent. S. fatalis entered western South America in the late Pleistocene. in South America, the American interchange resulted in a mix of native and invasive species sharing the prairies and woodlands here; North American herbivores included proboscideans, horses, camelids and deer, South American herbivores included toxodonts, litopterns, ground sloths, and glyptodonts.

You'll see right in the middle, "in South America". If this is the beginning of the third sentence, "in" needs to be capitalized. I would have capitalized it, but I wasn't sure it really belonged there. Did the American interchange occur only in South America?

Changed, better? The exchange also affected North America, but since Smilodon itself is from the North, it would count as part of the invasion... FunkMonk (talk) 11:53, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

Well, that's all for now. Corinne (talk) 03:05, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

Many thanks for the copy edit, I'll answer below each of your points, if that's ok. I also changed a single sentence back to what it was before, explained in the edit summary. FunkMonk (talk) 11:30, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
FunkMonk Even after reading the edit summary I still don't understand. Here is the change you made [11]. I don't see the word "species" at the beginning of the sentence. I see "specimens". A "such as" phrase should immediately follow the noun or noun phrase for which examples are being given. The way it is now, it's not clear for what noun the "such as" phrase is providing examples. By the way, I see you added a ping to LittleJerry. I just learned recently that when you add a ping like that, it will not work unless you sign again. Corinne (talk) 18:34, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
The "such as" refers to the preceding "genera, subgenera, species, and subspecies". Oh, and thanks for the tip, here's to LittleJerry (to resolve the remaining issues above)! FunkMonk (talk) 20:00, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
Are "Smilodontidion riggii, Smilodon (Prosmilodon) ensenadensis, and S. bonaeriensis" "genera, subgenera, species, and subspecies"? Apokryltaros, can you help here? Would you first look at this edit [12], then help me understand why it was correct to put it back the way it was? I just don't understand the sentence as it is now, with the "such as" at the end of the sentence. Corinne (talk) 02:01, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
I think it was because your version ran the risk of implying that "Smilodontidion riggii, Smilodon (Prosmilodon) ensenadensis, and S. bonaeriensis" are/were distinct genera, subgenera, species, and subspecies: now, though, those three are now considered to be specimens of S. populator.--Mr Fink (talk) 02:38, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
If I place the word "invalid" or "supposed" in front of "genera, subgenera, species, and subspecies", will it make it clearer? FunkMonk (talk) 11:24, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────This is the sentence the way it is now:

  • Some South American specimens have been referred to other genera, subgenera, species, and subspecies, such as Smilodontidion riggii, Smilodon (Prosmilodon) ensenadensis, and S. bonaeriensis, but these are now thought to be junior synonyms of S. populator.

Right now, with the "such as" phrase at the end, it is not clear what the three items in italics are examples of. Are they examples of "genera, subgenera, species, and subspecies", or are they just examples of "subspecies", the last word in the list? Because that's what "such as" means, and does. It gives examples of what immediately precedes it.

If we put the "such as" phrase right after "Some South American specimens", then the three items in italics will be examples of South American specimens that were referred to other genera, etc., but are now thought to be junior synonyms of S. populator:

  • Some South American specimens such as Smilodontidion riggii, Smilodon (Prosmilodon) ensenadensis, and S. bonaeriensis have been referred to other genera, subgenera, species, and subspecies, but these are now thought to be junior synonyms of S. populator.

(If you think it's not clear what are now thought to be junior synonyms of S. populator, then that ought to be made clear: "but these........ are now thought to be junior synonyms of S. populator.")

User:Apokryltaros, I don't see how my version implies that these South American specimens "are/were distinct genera, subgenera, species, and subspecies". It says they "were referred to" (which in my non-expert guess means "were categorized as" or "were placed into") – in other words, an earlier placement by scientists that is now considered incorrect. If you think my version still implies that, then why mention "distinct genera, subgenera, species, and subspecies" at all?

When you say that some specimens were referred to (were placed in?) distinct genera, etc., but are now thought to be something else, you are indicating that the earlier reference [placement] was incorrect. If you want to emphasize that the earlier one was incorrect, then just add "mistakenly": "were mistakenly referred to...", but it's not really necessary. – Corinne (talk) 16:43, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Well "mistake" would be way too loaded in this case, when it comes to fossil taxonomy, one hypothesis is rarely left standing forever. All of those taxa listed are invalid, and "genera, subgenera, species, and subspecies" refers to these taxa. And the last part of the sentence currently makes it clear that the names are invalid (junior synonyms).FunkMonk (talk) 21:45, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
  • As this section concerns the writing, I'll state here that I accidentally revetted a recent edit by WolfmanSF without edit-summary, but I would have asked; why do we need to add the word "sabertooths" in to the caption after S. fatalis in article that hardly ever refers to the subject itself as such? And since when can you not refer to individual animals or numbers of them by their scientific names? Antón 2013, which is extensively used as a source for this article, uses captions such as "two Barbourofelis fricki fighting over a freshly killed protoceratid", etc. FunkMonk (talk) 05:33, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

Mammoth[edit]

How could a Smilodon attack an adult mammoth when Smilodon is smaller, along with its teeth being fragile as well as having a weak bite force? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.117.14.169 (talk) 21:42, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

a) Can you be more specific? and b) Can you start discussions at the bottom of the page?--Mr Fink (talk) 21:58, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
It would likely only attack juvenile mammoths. In any case, if it hunted in groups, who knows what it would be capable of? Lions can attack adult elephants:[13] FunkMonk (talk) 00:41, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

Etymology quibble[edit]

I know it's probably accurate, but does the original description of Smilodon populator actually define the species name to mean exactly "He who brings devastation"? From what I can get out of Google Translate (granted, not the most academic of sources, but it's better than nothing, and I doubt I could get the more reliable translators at my school), "populator" is equivalent to "ravager", where "He who brings devastation" is "Qui educit in devastationem" or "Xe oio princeps deoastation", depending on wether you filter it to Latin through either English or Greek. So, if we want to be pedantic, Smilodon populator should properly translate to something like "ravager with knife-like teeth". I mean, "He who brings destruction with knife-like teeth" is undoubtedly an awesome meaning...but I'm not sure if it's accurate.

Again, I'm not sure if this is the etymology the original source used or not, so maybe I'm just wrong on this; I'm not a major expert in prehistoric mammals. :p Raptormimus456 (talk) 17:22, 25 January 2016 (UTC)

That's the meaning given by Antón, he is a native Spanish speaker (a Latin language), so perhaps it is more accurate in conveying the meaning than a direct translation? But of course, if anyone can find an alternate source, we could mention both. FunkMonk (talk) 17:28, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
I've been doing a bit of looking through the annals of Google (since I'm not able to search through scientific papers ATM), and most of the sources I'm finding are (discounting the inane "X VS Y WHO WOULD WINZORZ" or rubbish joke results) either pretty blatant copyedits from our article or informal sources that just parrot what others have said. What I'm wondering is what the initial description by Lund refers to it as; does it also define "populator" as "he who brings devastation", or does it define it as "Ravager with knife-like teeth"? That might be a big help in this scenario. Raptormimus456 (talk) 18:06, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
Back in those days, etymologies weren't given very clearly, or not at all, partially because the audience (other scientists) would likely be fluent in Latin and Greek already... But I don't have Lund's original description, though... If he ever wrote about it in his native Danish, it would be rather convenient, as it's my main language too... In any case a ravager is someone who brings devastation, so it is more of a spelled out translation... FunkMonk (talk) 18:15, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
From what I've been able to dig out from a search around, Lund's original paper describing Smilodon is (seemingly) named as such;

"Lund, P.W. 1842. Blik paa Brasiliens Dyreverden för sidste jordomvaeltning. Fjerde Afhandling: Fortsaettelse af Pattedyrene. Lagoa Santa d. 30 Januar 1841. Copenhague. -K. Danske videnskabernes Selskabs naturvidenskapelige og mathematiske Afhandlinger IX:137- 208."

At least, I think it's the original description; it's from the correct year, at the very least, and I got it from Ameghiniana. This is taking a turn for the interesting rather quickly... Raptormimus456 (talk) 19:02, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
Hehe, if that's the case, and we can get it, I'd certainly be the right guy for the job! It's about prehistoric Brazilian mammals at least... FunkMonk (talk) 19:05, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
Would this happen to be our solution? It may be, but again I can't read Danish, so you're the better judge here, Funk. Raptormimus456 (talk) 19:13, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
Wow, thanks, he certainly names some new genera just within the first pages, so looks promising! Kind of an honour to read and interpret this, since I doubt most international researchers of Smilodon have ever been able to read the original description! FunkMonk (talk) 19:18, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
Page 57 is what relates to Smilodon populator specifically, but we could definitely use this as a valuable resource for other genera. I might just have signed my name into the palaeontological history books (at least here on Wikipedia) with my digging around! :p Raptormimus456 (talk) 19:22, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
He writes about what is later referred to as Smilodon beginning at page 54, and it's already bringing some gems I've never seen mentioned elsewhere; apparently he originally wanted to call the animal Hyænodon! FunkMonk (talk) 19:25, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
He states Smilodon means "scalpel, a two-edged knife" and "tooth, whereas populator means "Ödelæggeren", which is "the destroyer" in English... Pretty epic. Will definitely add some of this to the article... Thanks again! FunkMonk (talk) 19:32, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
Now added a bunch[14], how does it look? FunkMonk (talk) 20:31, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
That looks great! Nice to finally have a solid grasp of what the etymology of Smilodon populator is, at least. Raptormimus456 (talk) 20:38, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, good detective work, and let's hope someone learns something new! And in the very unlikely case someone then wonders why "Conan the Destroyer" is called "Conan den Uovervindelige" in Danish (instead of "Ødelæggeren"), "uovervindelig" means "undefeatable" or "invincible", not "destroyer"... FunkMonk (talk) 20:49, 25 January 2016 (UTC)

Just some confirmation of the seemingly strange translation "destroyer" for "populator." One might think that it meant someone who "populates," but French wiktionary comes to our help. The construction is similar to the one in French "plumer" for removing feathers or German "köpfen" to remove heads (behead). Populor is the verb for removing people, and someone who does it is a populator. Mlewan (talk) 21:01, 25 January 2016 (UTC)

I wondered about that too, so I guess "ator" is the killer word? As in terminator, venator, etc... FunkMonk (talk) 21:08, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
No, no. There is no killer in the word. Just like "plumer" literally just means "to feather" and "köpfen" literally just means "to head," "populor" literally means "to folk". What do you do when you work with feathers? You usually remove them from the bird, so "plumer" means to pluck or remove feathers. What is a natural thing to do, if you are set to work on heads? You remove them from their bodies (at least a thousand years ago). What is a common thing to do to folk or people? You remove them, kill them, eradicate them. (At least two thousand years ago. Don't try this at home!)
The -ator bit is just the agent, equivalent to English -er. I drive, so I am a driv-er. He paints, so he is a paint-er, and so on.
I simplified the Latin grammar above a little, but the principles work. Mlewan (talk) 22:49, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
Ah, thanks, yeah, my single year of Latin in high school didn't make an impact it seems, heheh... All I remember is the name Vercingetorix. FunkMonk (talk) 22:54, 25 January 2016 (UTC)

Wilson[edit]

A cite is included: Wilson, T.; Wilson, D. E.; Zimanske, J. M. (2013). [file.scirp.org/Html/6-1400102_27414.htm[%5b%5bPredatory open access publishing|predatory%5d%5d] "Pneumothorax as a predatory goal for the sabertooth cat (Smilodon fatalis)"] Check |url= value (help). Open Journal of Animal Sciences. 3 (1): 42–45. doi:10.4236/ojas.2013.31006. ISSN 2161-7597. .

The publisher, Scientific Research Publishing, is a predatory publisher and its editorial practices mean that its publications are not WP:RS. Onviously this does not mean the paper in question is wrong (any more than the weather on Fox News is wrong just because Fox is unreliable overall), but the source is not usable due to known problems with the publisher, especially around their editorial boards. Guy (Help!) 13:02, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

You need to get the journal "blacklisted" before you can mass remove it. You need a consensus at another, more general, venue (such as WP:RSN) than this talk page. More importantly, it is bad conduct to leave statements whiteout sources across many articles, including featured ones. FunkMonk (talk) 13:04, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
I have started a discussion in a more relevant place:[15] FunkMonk (talk) 13:34, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
A predatory publisher essentially produces self-published sources, in relation to the author. However, the standing policy is: Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the subject matter, whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications. So in cases where on a scientific subject professional scientists have published peer-reviewed articles, their subsequent non-peer-reviewed articles should in principle be considered reliable.
Secondly, you have forgotten that it is perfectly all-right to use even a questionable source as a source about that source itself. A Wikipedia article, even when addressing utterly uncontentious content, should ideally consists of statements of the form Source X claims fact Y anyway. So, when statements of the form Creature X has quality Y are changed into Scientist Z thought in xxxx that creature X has quality Y, it becomes irrelevant whether said scientist published this opinion in a questionable source — unless, of course, it was some silly hypothesis that should have been disregarded because of Undue Weight, the reason why he could only publish it in a questionable source in the first place :o).--MWAK (talk) 09:50, 28 February 2016 (UTC)
Interesting points, MWAK. Perhaps copy them here?[16] FunkMonk (talk) 12:03, 28 February 2016 (UTC)
Here is a link to Ted Wilson's CV. It's fairly extensive, mainly in the areas of nutrition and physiology. WolfmanSF (talk) 18:13, 28 February 2016 (UTC)
This implies that the source should in principle be considered reliable. And in any case it suffices to state "In 2013, Ted Wilson e.a. concluded...".--MWAK (talk) 07:35, 29 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Since JZG seems very eager to leave statements unsourced, do you know of any sources we could use to support the resulting unreferenced statements[17], LittleJerry? FunkMonk (talk) 16:49, 29 February 2016 (UTC)
This paper cites Wilson et al., but unfortunately without any real discussion of the topic. WolfmanSF (talk) 03:44, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
Interesting, perhaps some of it can be sourced to a paper like this that somehow reviews the different theories. FunkMonk (talk) 11:18, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
I think there's a reasonable chance that someone will discuss this in a future peer-reviewed article, allowing us to reinstate. I too regret the loss of the reference. Given that Wilson is an outsider to the field, I think it's likely he would have found it more difficult to publish, which may explain why he did not follow the peer reviewed route. However, outsiders can sometimes offer a fresh perspective and interesting new ideas, as in this example. WolfmanSF (talk) 16:58, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

Page protected[edit]

I have full-protected the article due to the continual back and forth over the past few days. I am profoundly disappointed that the war has been carried out by two highly prominent editors who have contributed enormously to the project :-( Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 11:00, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

No problem, it has kind of been resolved after the unreferenced text was removed in addition to the source. Next step is to find replacement sources for those statements. FunkMonk (talk) 11:08, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
Okay. I was uncertain that everyone was happy with removing both the source and the text, but if there is general agreement from everyone that the current version is acceptable, I can unprotect. I will say that while I give new editors slack for violating the three revert rule, I am far less lenient if someone like Guy does it. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 11:12, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
FunkMonk had three options: tag the text with Template:Tal, remove the text, or re-introduce a source he knew by then to be unreliable. I have absolutely no idea why he chose the third. This edit: [18] reintroduced not only the source for a trivial point it was purported to support, but also both text and source which I had removed in response to FunkMonk's insistence that every single statement must carry an inline source right there. That seems to me to be in the territory of arbitrary demands for shrubberies.
Bear in mind the context: I was removing a hundred or so cites to a predatory journal, a particularly pernicious issue with sourcing since it is likely that at least some authors are duped by these bottom-feeders.
I tried to meet FunkMonk halfway by removing both text and source leaving only one trivial item that seemed to me unlikely to be controversial, following exactly the conversation on RSN. FunkMonk simply reverted, no compromise at all. All or nothing, with a preference for an unreliable source over no source or removing the text. That seems very odd behaviour to me. But it's all done now. Guy (Help!) 18:56, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
What's really "bizarre" is that you didn't simply remove the text from the get-go (leaving that for other editors to do), and that you didn't bother to show where this issue had previously been discussed (though I asked multiple times) while you kept claiming a non-existent "consensus". Furthermore, you're so eager to enforce your will that you won't even wait until the RS noticeboard discussion is finished. So now, please help find a replacement source, otherwise this further discussion is completely pointless; you got your will, this is a dead horse. FunkMonk (talk) 19:01, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
What I find truly bizarre is that an administrator of over ten years standing can act seemingly as if 3RR doesn't exist or doesn't apply to them. I appreciate both of you were discussing, and so everything was more likely to resolve in an amicable consensus than your common or garden dispute we see on AN3 a lot, but somebody could come to my talk page right now and say "Hey, how come I got blocked for edit warring while JzG got off scot free?" and I'd be stuck for an answer. For the record I have no strong opinion on the content, and if FunkMonk is happy with the version as Guy left it, I am happy to unprotect and draw a line under this. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 19:21, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

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Wide-format pictures in "social life" section[edit]

I recently widened these thumbs, as by custom we provide wider thumbs for such. Another editor reverted, citing MOS on forcing. But this is not an absolute rule, and I think the wider images are justified here. The images in question are:

La Brea Tar Pits
Lions hunting a buffalo

These are 350px thumbs. To my eye, smaller thumbs are too squinty. --Pete Tillman (talk) 22:51, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

There are Wikipedia policies on this which seem sensible to me as they have to ~do with individual screen resolution not fitting certain pixel ratios, and size forcing is therefore discouraged. See:[19][20] In any case, as a writer of the article, I must also say that I prefer the smaller size, as it interferes less with the text. Anyone can click on the images if they wan to see details. FunkMonk (talk) 14:22, 6 September 2016 (UTC)


OK, but here's what these images look like at the default (220)px thumbnail -- which is what the vast majority of our readers will see:
La Brea Tar Pits
Lions hunting a buffalo
Do you think many users will bother clicking on such a tiny, cluttered image? --Pete Tillman (talk) 18:57, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
If they really want to see the details, why wouldn't they click? Size forcing is mainly for images with text and diagrams that are not readable at small size. You can make out what's depicted here even without size forcing. But also, forcing these images to be of larger size squeezes the text between them in an ugly way. FunkMonk (talk) 12:48, 10 September 2016 (UTC)


Reverting an edit because it is "nothing new"[edit]

FunkMonk in reverting my edit had the edit summary: "Nothing new there. Just an old press release." However there is no Wikipedia policy that requires that information in an article be new. The information added explains how humans as a numerically small portion of the predator population could have caused extinctions by upsetting the previous rough ballance or preditors and prey in the ecosystem. This is something not previously in the article and it is something that belongs there. - Fartherred (talk) 16:12, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

The article in question (http://bioscience.oxfordjournals.org/content/60/7/516.short) basically represents an example where the authors are trying to emphasize the potential importance of their area of study (trophic cascades) in the end-Pleistocene extinctions. I think we would be better served by finding articles where the author's primary interest is in understanding the extinction itself. WolfmanSF (talk) 16:40, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
It doesn't really say anything specifically about this genus that isn't covered already (both climate change and humans are mentioned as factors already). Anyhow, if new info is to be added, cite the actual paper (not press releases/pop science articles), and summarise it properly. The previous text was so abbreviated that it verged on meaningless. Sorry to be blunt, but there are certain standards for inclusion of text and sources in featured articles. FunkMonk (talk) 17:16, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
The extinction of saber-toothed cats occurred along with the extinction of many herbivores and other predators. Fossil evidence tends to mix events like these in the dates during which they occurred or might have occurred. So, it is reasonable to take the extinction of several species as single study. The paper WolfmanSF linked above refers specifically to saber-toothed cats along with a number of other extinct predators. There is no special reason to look for a paper that refers to saber-toothed cats exclusively. There are different hypotheses regarding the cause of extinction of saber-toothed cats and other megafauna. Ripple and Van Valkenburgh mention aboriginal overkill; climate change; and cascading trophic interactions. They put forth the arguments favoring trophic cascade but do not suggest other causes should not be studied or were not part of the cause.
In Wikipedia:How to mine a source is the statement: "It is very common for Wikipedia editors to add a citation, such as to a newspaper or magazine article, a book chapter, or other hopefully reliable publication, to source the verifiability of a single fact in an article." Which is not the primary statement of policy but should be in accord with policy. There is no indication that policy requires a source to be primarily devoted the single fact supported in order to be a valid source, only that an editor might be missing many more points in the source that could be included in Wikipedia. One might suggest that there is a better source than that which I first cited, but that does not justify removing any mention of trophic cascade which is a respectable hypothesis regarding extinction particularly related to the extinction of saber-tooth cats. Both the source I originally cited and that which WolfmanSF linked above reliably support the hypothesis of trophic cascade in the extinction of saber-toothed cats. Sources supporting climate change and aboriginal overkill would be a welcome addition when someone finds them.
I see no policy limiting sources in Wikipedia to journal articles. Popular science articles and news releases are used as sources elsewhere in Wikipedia. However, if there is a consensus that only scholarly articles be used as sources for this article, that is what we will have. - Fartherred (talk) 21:43, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
Again, the sourcing and writing requirements for featured articles are stricter than for "regular" articles. If you want to add text to a featured article, it needs to match the existing standards of said article. Which in this case means proper sources and summarising. So feel free to add text, but follow what has already been done. FunkMonk (talk) 22:52, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
I'd suggest that if you want to cite this study for a Wikipedia article, you do so in a general article about the end-Pleistocene extinctions. The study is basically a non-mainstream variant of the hunting hypothesis, and it's fairly clear that they started with their hypothesis ("trophic cascades could have been important in the end-Pleistocene extinctions") and then went looking for evidence to support it. In the case of the extinctions of the moa of New Zealand, we know that slaughter and wasteful butchering of the birds was conducted on an almost industrial scale soon after the Polynesians arrived, so in that more recent example (where we have better data) trophic cascades were not a factor. WolfmanSF (talk) 00:29, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
There is no attempt to claim that every extinction is caused through trophic cascade as the extinction of the moa was not. That any population stress is shown to result from trophic cascade shows that it is a working mechanism. Do you have a conflict of interest in trying to avoid offending those who want unlimited fishing of the oceans which might be argued against based on possible damage by trophic cascade? Are you a paid editor? - Fartherred (talk) 06:01, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
I was trying to point out that extensive discussion of extinction mechanisms, and in particular inclusion of detail on less mainstream hypotheses (of which there are many - e.g., should we also describe the asteroid impact theory? the hyperdisease theroy?), is less appropriate for an article on Smilidon and more appropriate for a general article on the end-Pleistocene and/or Holocene extinctions. I didn't suggest that you shouldn't discuss this hypothesis anywhere in Wikipedia, and therefore any payments I may have received from the fishing and whaling industries are undeserved.WolfmanSF (talk) 06:49, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
It is better to have these discussions based upon actual Wikipedia policies. Wikipedia:Ownership of content contains: "No one 'owns' content (including articles or any page at Wikipedia). If you create or edit an article, others can make changes, and you cannot prevent them from doing so. In addition, you should not undo their edits without good reason." I will agree that FunkMonk's comments above are sorry and blunt, but they are not in accord with Wikipedia policies. The source I cited is not meaningless. Any average high school graduate should be able to get the meaning of the source. It supported the text that I added. It would be better to rewrite the portion of the article dealing with extinction so that evidence that prey had ample food sources, evidence of food-limited carnivore population density, mention of climate factors, aboriginal overkill, and trophic cascade all be included in a coherent way with supporting citations. I can do that. Perhaps others might be able to improve upon my wording but simple removal of mention of trophic cascade is not justified. The empty complaint that something "verged on meaningless" amounts to saying, "I don't like it." Instead of referring to "certain standards for inclusion of text and sources in featured articles" it would be better to refer to the particular standards to which text and sources must adhere. It seems to me that FunkMonk's efforts would cripple a feature article by not allowing well supported pertinent statements to be added where such statements would more nearly complete the article's scope. The arguments against referring to trophic cascade are neither convincing nor policy based. - Fartherred (talk) 05:37, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
FA standards:[21] The text needs to be well written, and the sources should be of high quality. If you want to add text here, it needs to match the existing text and sourcing quality of the article. It is pretty simple, and should be doable. It will take less time to work on a good text than writing the long rants here. There is also the issue of WP:Undue weight. Why does one particular theory, which is not widely accepted, have to be summarised here? As Wolfman says, and article about a particular genus is not the place to discuss this, such info should rather be added to the article about the wider extinction event. We already mention that climate and humans may be to blame here, and this article really does not need to go into further detail than that. The subject is the animal, not the Pleistocene extinction event. FunkMonk (talk) 09:06, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
Agreed - Fartherred (talk) 17:05, 15 December 2016 (UTC)

Congratulations[edit]

Congratulations to all the editors who have helped this article get to Featured Article Status. Content creators and reviewers alike are appreciated because it is hard work to get an article to a place where it is ‘considered the best’ on Wikipedia. Congratulations and Best Regards,

  Bfpage |leave a message  13:20, 3 January 2017 (UTC)
And thanks to all the vandalism patrollers who maintain such articles! FunkMonk (talk) 13:29, 3 January 2017 (UTC)

Pronunciation[edit]

As has been discussed elsewhere, there is no "correct" pronunciation for Latin scientific names (only common pronunciations), so any pronunciations given need to have a source (otherwise they are original research). I'm not going to add a {{citation needed}} template right now though since the article is the Main Page article, but we should either add a citation or remove the pronunciation. Kaldari (talk) 23:51, 3 January 2017 (UTC)

I think it is a pretty old addition, so we didn't remove it. Don't think the pronunciation is mentioned in any of my available sources. FunkMonk (talk) 08:59, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
I've removed it for now. Feel free to re-add it if you find a source. Kaldari (talk) 04:54, 7 January 2017 (UTC)

First names in citations[edit]

User:FunkMonk, it's not true that all the other citations don't use full names. It is easily noticed that there's at least a handful that do. A revert based on a false statement is a bad revert and in this case poisons the well. It would be true to say that using first initials appears to predominate; so if there's consensus to standardize that, fine, but I'm not convinced it's a good choice. Cite templates are machine readable and not using first names loses bibliographic information that could be used by software. Plus I think given names do help readers. I read a lot of Wikipedia's physics and math articles and last names plus initial simply isn't enough to always identify who's who and that often causes me to have to download papers to confirm/deny my first suspicion. Jason Quinn (talk) 12:20, 6 January 2017 (UTC)

This is a featured Article, and it is required that there is citation consistency. I personally don't care what style is used, it just has to be consistent. If one style predominates in the article, that is what should be used. And this article passed with only the last names being spelled out. Whether entire names should be spelled out or not is another discussion, but consistency is simply not up for discussion, it is a requiremen.t FunkMonk (talk) 12:54, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
What machine-readable info would be gained by first names that would not also be obtainable from a doi? How often do you not find the full author names in the abstract? WolfmanSF (talk) 16:16, 6 January 2017 (UTC)

Page views[edit]

Leo1pard (talk) 07:50, 25 December 2017 (UTC)

Why I had to revert some edits[edit]

@LittleJerry: Firstly, even the article American lion notes that the issue of it a subspecies of Panthera leo is WP:disputable, it is a bit like the issue of the anatomically modern human and Neanderthal possibly being different species. Secondly, this was a bad edit, because I made it clear that even extant cats can exceed 400 kilograms (880 lb), and they are captive lions and tigers, and hybrids between them, such as the first-generation liger, so there is no point in saying that Smilodon populator, which was estimated to weigh 220 to 400 kg (490 to 880 lb), was perhaps the largest felid. Leo1pard (talk) 07:50, 25 December 2017 (UTC)

Please do not continue this further. The weights of captive and overfed lions and tigers are irrelevant. As for the liger, I added in "felid species". LittleJerry (talk) 12:14, 25 December 2017 (UTC)
@LittleJerry: Do not contradict the WP:Consensus. You have ignored the issue of WP:Neutrality, by insisting on the American lion being Panthera leo atrox, and you have shown WP:bias by ignoring the fact that extant felid hybrids like the liger can grow to sizes that would make them rival even Smilodon populator, even if the issue of captive, overfed lions and tigers is irrelevant. Leo1pard (talk) 13:24, 25 December 2017 (UTC)
No, you went against the consensus. You tried this hair splitting before and your edit was reverted by FunkMonk. LittleJerry (talk) 16:59, 25 December 2017 (UTC)
FunkMonk said "don't go into taxonomic nitty gritty about a completely different species here," so I avoided calling the American lion either Panthera leo atrox or Panthera atrox, but you LittleJerry put back the information about it (arguably) being P. l. atrox, so you are the one who went against the consensus about the taxonomy of the American lion, not me. Leo1pard (talk) 17:47, 25 December 2017 (UTC)
It is consistent through the article to give the scientific name next to the common name of a prehistoric species like for dire wolf. The American lion being a subspecies by a DNA study. That's all that matters for this article. LittleJerry (talk) 18:47, 25 December 2017 (UTC)
A DNA study maybe, but not all studies. De Santis et al. (2012) not only called the American lion as Panthera atrox, but also the Upper Pleistocene Eurasian cave lion as Panthera spelaea, rather than Panthera leo spelaea,[1] and the Eurasian cave lion is important for the issue of whether or not the American lion was a subspecies of Panthera leo, for at least 2 reasons:
1) We have soft tissue for the former, particularly frozen cubs, and they suspect that it was a different species to the modern lion, albeit closely related, in the same way that people suspect the Neanderthal (Homo neanderthalensis or Homo sapiens neanderthalensis) to have been a different species to Homo sapiens, to which the anatomically modern human belongs. Leo1pard (talk) 04:19, 26 December 2017 (UTC)
2) The modern lion is of a different lineage to both American and Eurasian cave lions,[2] so if the Eurasian cave lion is a different species to the modern lion, then so is the American lion. Leo1pard (talk) 05:15, 26 December 2017 (UTC)
So to call the American lion Panthera leo atrox in this article, when discussing issues like that of it coexisting with North American saber-toothed cats such as Smilodon fatalis, is like calling the Neanderthal Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, when discussing issues like that of these archaic humans coexisting with prehistoric predators like the Eurasian cave lion, if this topic had to come up. Leo1pard (talk) 04:41, 26 December 2017 (UTC)
Then change it to P. atrox; we don't need to list multiple scientific names, and we don't need to remove them completely. FunkMonk (talk) 16:18, 26 December 2017 (UTC)
I would prefer to avoid even using Panthera atrox for the American lion, due to what I mentioned above, until a new study proves that it should be classified as such, similar to what we discussed here, and to leave scientific names that are not WP:disputable in this page, such as Smilodon fatalis, as they are. Leo1pard (talk) 16:47, 26 December 2017 (UTC)
Again, this article is not about atrox, so it isn't important to take these nitty gritty issues into consideration. It means absolutely zilch to this article whether the American lion is a species or subspecies, so just pick the most supported one and get on with it. FunkMonk (talk) 16:57, 26 December 2017 (UTC)
I do not think that there is a most supported one. Leo1pard (talk) 17:14, 26 December 2017 (UTC)
@FunkMonk: The consensus has not been reached? I thought that it is done, and that it is agreed that using either Panthera leo atrox or Panthera atrox for the American lion is pointless for this article. Why are we still stuck with this issue? Leo1pard (talk) 04:37, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
Does anyone still have something to say, about either the WP:disputable taxonomic status of the American lion, or that S. populator from South America was perhaps the largest known felid species? Leo1pard (talk) 04:40, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
There is consensus for using one scientific name, whatever it is. There is no consensus for meddling with size info which is not supported by the sources. FunkMonk (talk) 04:53, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
1) Which WP:disputable scientific name?
2) In that case, there is no point in saying that Smilodon populator was perhaps the largest felid species. Leo1pard (talk) 04:59, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
You are going in circles. It doesn't matter what name we use for an animal that is not the subject of the article. The article currently uses one variant, and that's all we need here. And unnaturally occurring sizes of captive animals are irrelevant here too. We go by what then sources about the subject of this article says. FunkMonk (talk) 05:05, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
For the second part, still, there is no point in saying that Smilodon populator was perhaps the largest felid species, because there was the formidable American lion,[1] but there is a point in saying that it was the largest of this genus. Leo1pard (talk) 05:08, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
You need to understand that what you personally think is completely irrelevant, all that matters is what the sources say. FunkMonk (talk) 05:10, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
No, you are contradicting yourself, I have at least one reference to show that there is no point in saying that S. populator was perhaps the largest species. If you want to go by what is supported by references, then this sentence that S. populator was perhaps the largest felid species needs to be corrected. Leo1pard (talk) 05:13, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
You have not provided this reference. The one you used earlier doesn't even mention other larger felids. And if one reference contradicts the majority of other references, it is probably the single reference that is wrong. FunkMonk (talk) 15:07, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
Both of these references[1][2] talk about felids that were outside the genus Smilodon, but then, is it agreed that this sentence that Smilodon populator was perhaps the largest felid species is rubbish, and that it should be replaced with a sentence about it being either one of the largest felid species, or the largest species in the genus Smilodon? Leo1pard (talk) 15:30, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
No, I don't think you understand how Wikipedia works, and you seem to be pushing your own POV. Where in these sources you list is it stated S. populator was not one of the largest felids? Quote the exact sentences. FunkMonk (talk) 16:23, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
No, I am not pushing my own POV, because I said that either "Smilodon populator was one of the largest felids,"[3] or "Smilodon populator was the largest species of the genus Smilodon" is acceptable, and that "S. populator from South America was perhaps the largest known felid species, at 220 to 400 kg (490 to 880 lb) in weight and 120 cm (47 in) in height" is unacceptable, is that clear now? Leo1pard (talk) 16:55, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
It doesn't matter what you personally find "unacceptable". If you want something changed, quote the passages in reliable sources that support your claims. It can't be that hard. In any case, the intro and the description section should be synchronised in whether they refer to it as "perhaps the largest" or "one of the largest". FunkMonk (talk) 16:58, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
And I have references for Smilodon populator for being one of the largest felids, and against it being the largest felid. Leo1pard (talk) 17:29, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
For starters, quote one of the sources that are "against". What does it say exactly? And no personal interpretations, please. FunkMonk (talk) 17:51, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
Such as this one? Nyhus and Tilson (2010): "... taking into account the extinct massive American lion, Panthera (leo) atrox, the lion may even be the biggest felid ever known."[4] And I think that to put leo in brackets for the American lion's scientific name makes sense, considering what I said above. Leo1pard (talk) 18:20, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
Where does it say (or even imply) that "S. populator was not one of the largest known felids"? FunkMonk (talk) 18:35, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
How many times do I have to say I am not arguing against Smilodon populator being one of the biggest felids, but against Smilodon populator being the biggest felid? Leo1pard (talk) 04:14, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
And do not tell me that I have been arguing against Smilodon populator being one of the biggest felids, because since the 28th of November, I have been trying to say in the article that Smilodon populator was one of the biggest known felids. Leo1pard (talk) 04:30, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
So I hope that we can now conclude this by saying that we should use Panthera (leo) atrox (rather than either of the WP:disputable scientific names Panthera atrox or Panthera leo atrox) for the American lion, and that the article should say that Smilodon populator was either one of the biggest felids, or the largest species of the genus Smilodon. Leo1pard (talk) 04:55, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
The name will not be changed for reasons already given, but yes, we should be consistent in what we say in the intro and the description. Which of the statements are most accurate, LittleJerry? FunkMonk (talk) 05:34, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
I haven't look through the 2012 article, but the American lion article cites it for the male size of 235–523 kg (518–1,153 pounds). LittleJerry (talk) 20:25, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
Or more importantly, De Santis et al. (2012),[1] who used Panthera atrox for the American lion, said that about its weight, so this article should not say that Smilodon populator was the biggest felid, but that it was either one of the biggest felids, or the largest species of the genus Smilodon. Leo1pard (talk) 07:27, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
So FunkMonk and LittleJerry, did you agree to the phrase "Smilodon populator was one of the biggest felids" and the name Panthera leo atrox for the American lion, or "Smilodon populator was one of the biggest felids" and the name Panthera (leo) atrox for the American lion, or something else? Leo1pard (talk) 15:01, 1 January 2018 (UTC)
The wording given in the intro should be used in the description. And yet again, we don't change the name of atrox, it is not necessary here, until there is a scientific consensus. FunkMonk (talk) 17:39, 1 January 2018 (UTC)
If the American lion did get bigger than S. popular than yes we should demote the latter to "one of the largest". We should not do that for overweight captive lions and tigers or unnatural hybrids. LittleJerry (talk) 20:34, 1 January 2018 (UTC)
Or any prehistoric cat that was large. Not only would a Smilodon populator weighing 470 kg (1,040 lb) be rivaled by an American lion weighing 523 kg (1,153 lb), but also a Ngandong tiger weighing 470 kg (1,040 lb). Leo1pard (talk) 04:31, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
"Rivaled by" means that none are necessarily the largest. And we don't need to list potential "rivals" in the article. This is not a size-contest, . FunkMonk (talk) 20:49, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Or not all rivals in size, just any rival that coexisted with Smilodon, for the issue of coexistence, and say that [[Smilodon populator was one of the largest felids. Leo1pard (talk) 05:50, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

It is controversial whether the American lion even lived in South America, so we cannot state here that they coexisted with populator. Also, we already have the following text: "Other large carnivores included dire wolves, short-faced bear (Arctodus simus) and the American lion.[13][58][75] Due to competition from larger carnivores in North America, S. fatalis was perhaps not able to attain the same size as S. populator. The similar sizes of S. fatalis and the American lion suggests niche overlap and direct competition between these species, and they appear to have fed on similarly sized prey." FunkMonk (talk) 06:11, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
But why are you mentioning this? What is important for this article, since it is about the genus Smilodon, is that the American lion coexisted with it, and that Smilodon populator was one of the biggest felids, or the largest species of this genus. Leo1pard (talk) 18:11, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
You just said "Or not all rivals in size, just any rival that coexisted with Smilodon, for the issue of coexistence". S. populator probably didn't co-exist with the American lion, and it is already mentioned that S. fatalis co-existed with it. So there is no reason to mention this once more in the article, as you seemed to propose. FunkMonk (talk) 18:27, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
Do you think that I mean any rival that coexisted with Smilodon populator, rather than Smilodon as a whole? To put it simply, what I mean is this: the American lion coexisted with Smilodon, and that Smilodon populator was one of the largest felids, or the largest species of the genus Smilodon. Leo1pard (talk) 01:29, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
All of which is already stated in the article. FunkMonk (talk) 01:34, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Though this irrelevant statement that Smilodon populator was perhaps the largest felid needs to be removed. Leo1pard (talk) 08:30, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

It is not irrelevant at all, but it should be consistent with the description section. Not sure what your definition of "irrelevant" is. It does not mean inaccurate or imprecise. FunkMonk (talk) 15:30, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
Indeed, it should be consistent: one of the largest felids, or the largest species of the genus Smilodon. Leo1pard (talk) 02:53, 5 January 2018 (UTC)

References

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  4. ^ Ronald Tilson, Philip J. Nyhus (2010), "Tiger morphology", Tigers of the world, Academic Press, ISBN 9780815515708