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Category:WikiProject Tree of Life Category:Dinosaurs

Tyrannosaurus rex

Welcome to WikiProject Dinosaurs, a WikiProject which aims to organise an effort to do something about the current relative lack of content about dinosaurs in Wikipedia.

The suggestions on this page are only suggestions, things to give you focus and to get you going, and you shouldn't feel obligated in the least to follow them. But if you don't know what to write or where to begin, following the below guidelines may be helpful. Mainly, we just want you to write articles!


The main goal of WikiProject Dinosaurs is to create and gather better information and articles on dinosaurs. Important tasks always include expanding and cleaning up articles, adding taxoboxes and standardising all articles. The Project aims to achieve featured status for at least one article per month.


WikiProject Dinosaurs is a descendant of WikiProject Tree of Life.

WikiProject Science.
WikiProject Biology
WikiProject Tree of Life
WikiProject Dinosaurs

Descendant Wikiprojects[edit]

Currently, no descendant WikiProjects have been defined. However, if you would like to create one, please feel free to.



Please place your name in the list below alphabetically. Feel free to leave your expertise and what you feel you may bring to this project.

  • Agentsoo - I manage the missing dinos page.
  • Alexander payne - Studied Dinosaurs for 14 years up until 2 years ago.
  • Ballista - Dinosaur semi-anorak.
  • BigBurkey - Majoring in geology so I can go to graduate school to become a paleontologist.
  • Cas Liber - love dinosaurs, studied alot of biology as well as ancient greek and latin at school. Right know (May 06), brushing up on Ceratopsians for a quiz on them.
  • DAntirrhopus - I study dinosaurs and related topics, and would be glad to add anything I learn to the WikiProject.
  • devotchka -- I've been an amateur fan of dinosaurs for years and have written a handful of dino-related articles here (which could probably use some work.)
  • Dinoguy2
  • Dracontes
  • Dragon_dxs - Dont have any professional experience, just I love dinosaurs and wanna help. =)
  • Dudo2 - Im joining this project, though I did and Im going to do most of my dinowiki work on the slovak wiki.
  • Enlil Ninlil Interested in ALL Animals alive and dead.
  • Firsfron - amature "expert" interested in all Archosaurs.
  • Fredrik
  • General Eisenhower - I really am interested in dinosaurs.
  • Grand Moff Brian - I'd be honored to help on any prehistoric animal articles, especially dinosaurs. I've written two short dino books. If only I was old enough to get them publushed...
  • Greygirlbeast - I'm a vertebrate paleontologist. Mostly, I've worked with mosasaurs, but I'm no slouch with dinos. I've published in a number of professional journals.
  • HappyCamper - My only dinosaur knowledge is brontosaurus, but I'll stick around and help out if I can :-).
  • Jayant412 - I'll see what I can do...:-D.
  • Jerkov - I've been a dino buff ever since I saw Stevie's movie, but are interested in all animals, living or dead. Hope I'll be able to help you guys!
  • JmpnSpider13 - Dinosaurs are awesome.
  • Killdevil
  • Majin Gojira - I have a few amature references that can fill in some articles, but probably nothing to grand.
  • Mgiganteus1
  • Mikehe - Photographed Paul Sereno African and Gobi Expeditions over last six years and will add dinosaur photos.
  • Mitternacht90 - I love dinosaurs, I'll see what I can do! ;)
  • Miwa - cleaning up authority links.
  • Mr. Turcotte - A dinosaur enthusiast.
  • Phlebas
  • User:PunkRock911 - Used to be real into dinos, getting back into it again. Will help as best I can, but I'm no professional.
  • Ramtz - I'm a nerd and know a thing or to about dinosaurs, but I'm no expert.
  • Sheep81 - Man o' 10,000 references.
  • Spawn Man - Jack of all trades, but am currently working behind the scenes on the project. Self proclaimed head-guy of project. I hope dinos don't throw coups.
  • Superfo - I'll do whatever I can!
  • Wikiwow - I consider myself an amateur, but I do know alot about dinosaurs. Therizinosaurus rules!! : - )
  • WordWhiz - I know a lot of dinosaur info and trivia. I'll probably work more on the lesser known dinosaurs, and add whatever else I can.


Below is a list of open tasks that the Project is currently working on. If you feel like you could help with the task, you may place your name below it by typing ~~~. Also, if you would like to post a task for others to look at, post it below or on the Project talk page. If you feel a request has been fixed, please scratch it off the list, but do not delete it. Do not feel obliged to place your name under every open task.

All members and non-members are also encouraged to elaborate on any existing article or stub, so long as the information provided is correct and current, with appropriate sources provided. If you are in doubt about your information, post it on the Project talk page for it to be read over.

Open list of tasks[edit]

  1. User:Agentsoo
  2. User:Alexander payne
  3. User:Firsfron
  4. User:Killdevil
  5. User:Jayant412
  6. Spawn Man
  7. Greygirlbeast
  8. General Eisenhower
  9. Dracontes
  10. WordWhiz
  • Citing uncited articles.
  1. User:Firsfron
  2. Sheep81
  3. User:General Eisenhower
  1. User:Agentsoo
  2. User:Firsfron
  3. General Eisenhower
  4. Dracontes
  • Creating templates for the dinosaur project.
  1. User:Firsfron
  2. Spawn Man
  3. General Eisenhower
  • Adding new categories for the dinosaur articles and related animals (archosaurs, etc).
  1. User:Firsfron
  2. Sheep81 -- Categories have been created... see special section below!
  3. General Eisenhower
  • Adding taxoboxes to each dinosaur page.
  1. Sheep81
  2. Spawn Man
  3. General Eisenhower
  4. Dinoguy2
  5. Dracontes
  • Creating a stub or article for all dinosaur paleontologists.
  1. General Eisenhower
  2. Dinoguy2 - adding to category:Paleontologists to help get this started
  • Creating a stub or article for all dinosaur-bearing rock formations.
  1. Greygirlbeast
  2. General Eisenhower
  1. Spawn Man -- The articles starting with q, x, w, z, y, u, v & most of a, are done already.
  2. User:Firsfron -- Created articles starting with A-T are done. 171 118 dinosaurs are still missing, according to an Excel-aided comparison between the List of Dinosaurs page and the "what links here" tool. This will shortly be resolved.
  3. General Eisenhower
  • Uploading dinosaur images to wiki commons and adding them to the articles.
  1. User:Dudo2
  2. Spawn Man
  3. Greygirlbeast
  4. General Eisenhower
  1. Firsfron
  • Add task here...

A major task: The "Big 20"[edit]

After being asked to cut the List of dinosaurs task into a smaller, easy to manage chunk, I've come up with a list of 20 main dinosaurs which we should aim to get featured. This will be the project's "Big 20". If anyone has a problem with the "Big 20", see Spawn Man or bring it up on the Project talk page, but please do not change the list without consulting the Project. Criteria for involvement should be that you know something about one or more of the "Big 20" or are willing to research. New dinosaurs will be added to the "Big 20" after current ones have been featured. At this time, the "Big 20" are:

"Big 20" Participants[edit]

If you like, place your name below if you are interested in getting the above 20 dinosaurs to the main page. This will include citing them, adding to them, & making them "pretty"...

  1. Spawn Man - Will work on all the dinosaurs, but mainly getting T rex to main page.
  2. Jdsherman
  3. Dinoguy2 21:27, 14 March 2006 (UTC) While my forte is theropods and taxonomy, I'll do my best to help these entries out.
  4. Greygirlbeast - I'll do some work on Ankylosaurus; I've been trying to get something up for all known ankylosurs.
  5. Jayant,17 Years, Indiacontribs 09:35, 18 March 2006 (UTC) - I'll see what i can do... ;-D....
  6. Scientist George - Eh, why not? I'll do SOMETHING on good 'ole T-Rex, and maybe some others.
  7. Dinodam - I like Theropods and Ornithischia so I'll try and work on those.
  8. Killdevil - I just did a major copyedit and cleanup on Brachiosaurus. Need some major help with cites.. and maybe another couple of good images.
  9. Grand Moff Brian - i'm an expert at spinosaurs!
  10. DAntirrhopus - I added a bit to Tyrannosaurus, and I'll put any more info I can on any page.
  11. BigBurkey - I can work on Archaeopteryx.
  12. General Eisenhower • (at war or at peace)
  13. User:Elmo12456 Why not dinosaurs i love em' i'll start on the Archaeopteryx eh.


Article topics[edit]

Each dinosaur genus should have its own article. Individual species should be listed within the articles devoted to the appropriate genera and not have their own articles. Significant higher-order taxa (above the level of genus) should also have their own articles. Paleontologists, museums, and dinosaur-bearing geologic formations are also worthy topics, along with any others one might come up with.

Article titles[edit]

The titles of all articles about individual genera should be composed simply of the scientific generic name (see next section), except where the name is preoccupied. For example:

The titles of all articles about higher-level taxa should consist of the common name of the group (see next section), with a redirect for the formal scientific name, or vice versa. This way both formal and common names will lead to the same article. For example, ceratopsian redirects to Ceratopsia.

Dinosaur taxa names[edit]

The ICZN and standard binomial nomenclature require that the scientific name of an animal (including genus and species) always be written in italic type. The genus is always capitalized, while species (and subspecies) are always in lower case. Higher-level taxa should never be italicized and are always capitalized. For example:

When a genus is monospecific (contains only one species), the generic name may be used in place of the full scientific name, although it is preferable that both genus and species name be mentioned at least once. When a particular species is being referred to, the first use should include the full scientific name, after which it is acceptable to abbreviate the generic name using only the first letter.

Informal or common names of dinosaur taxa should be used sparingly as they may be confusing. The informal name "ankylosaur" may refer to the genus Ankylosaurus, the infraorder Ankylosauria, or even the family Ankylosauridae. For the latter two cases, it may be less confusing to use "ankylosaurians" or "ankylosaurids" instead, respectively. It is important that an informal name be used correctly and consistently within an article. Inconsequential use confuses the reader.

There are instances where informal names may be preferred. For instance, a construction such as "Lambeosaurus is a genus of hadrosaurid ornithopod dinosaur" sounds better than "Lambeosaurus is a genus belonging to the family Hadrosauridae" and suborder Ornithopoda within the superorder Dinosauria" and may be used interchangeably.

Formal scientific names are both plural and singular. Informal names may need to be pluralized like any other English word.

  • Correct: 45 Tyrannosaurus
  • Incorrect: 45 Tyrannosauruses
  • Correct: 45 tyrannosaurs
  • Incorrect: 45 tyrannosauruses, 45 tyrannosauri


Categories have been created for location, age, and taxonomic status, along with a few special interest categories (feathered dinosaurs, fictional dinosaurs, etc.). Please visit the "Dinosaur" category page (see bottom of this page) and use these pre-existing categories rather than creating new ones without running them by the Project talk page first. All dinosaur articles and stubs should at least include the location, age, and taxonomic categories.

For taxonomic categories, the Project prefers not to get too specific, and most groups will not get their own category. Few family-level taxa are represented except for those that are very large (hadrosaurids, titanosaurs) and/or very notable (dromaeosaurs, tyrannosaurs). In order to keep the category navigation streamlined, please use only the most specific possible existing category for taxonomy. Multiple location and age categories may be used if applicable.

Here is the hierarchy reached by general consensus on the Project talk page. Please discuss changes or additions there first!

  • Dinosaurs - would include any species that cannot be determined to belong to either order
    • Saurischians - would include any saurischians that do not belong to either suborder
      • Theropods - would include any theropods that do not belong to any group listed below:
        • Ceratosaurs
        • Carnosaurs
        • Coelurosaurs
          • Tyrannosaurs
          • Ornithomimosaurs
          • Therizinosaurs
          • Oviraptorosaurs
          • Dromaeosaurs
          • Troodonts
      • Prosauropods
      • Sauropods - would include any sauropods that are not included in Titanosauria or Diplodocoidea
        • Diplodocoids
        • Titanosaurs
    • Ornithischians - would include any ornithischians that do not belong to any particular suborder
      • Thyreophorans - would include any thyreophorans that do not belong to either infraorder
        • Stegosaurs
        • Ankylosaurs
      • Ornithopods - would include any ornithopods outside of Iguanodontia
        • Iguanodonts - would include any iguanodonts outside of Hadrosauridae
          • Hadrosaurs
      • Marginocephalians - category does not currently exist, could be created for any marginocephalians that do not belong to either infraorder, if they are discovered
        • Ceratopsians
        • Pachycephalosaurs

Image Use Guidelines[edit]

General guideline for image use: Any image that is anatomically accurate within known constraints.

Criteria for removing an image:

  • Image differs appreciably from known skeletal elements.
    • Example: If a Deinonychus is reconstructed with four fingers.
  • Image differs appreciably from implied skeletal elements (via bracketing).
    • Example: If an oviraptorid known only from postcranial elements is reconstructed with teeth, a feature made highly improbable by its phylogenetic position.
  • Image differs appreciably from known non-skeletal elements.
    • Example: If an image of Microraptor gui lacks primary feathers.
  • Image differs appreciably from implied non-skeletal elements.
    • Example: Nomingia should not be depicted without feathers, since a skeletal feature (the pygostyle) and phylogenetic bracketing (more advanced than Caudipteryx) imply that it was feathered. Similarly, Ceratosaurus should not be depicted with feathers, since a skeletal feature (osteoderms) and its proximity to Carnotaurus (extensive scale impressions) imply that it was fully scaled.
  • Image pose differs appreciably from known range of motion.
    • Example: Theropod dinosaurs reconstructed with overly flexed tails or pronated "bunny-style" hands.
    • Exception: If the range of motion is debated in the scientific literature, as is the case with sauropod neck position.

Exception to all of the above: If image is included for historical value. In these cases the image caption should explain that it is an outdated reconstruction. Historical interest images should not be used in the taxobox or paleobox, but preferably in a section of the text discussing the history of a taxon.

Of course, no copyrighted images may be used without permission. Generally speaking, images taken from commercial websites or scanned from articles or books are not allowed. Images on government websites (ie, the Smithsonian, NASA, Dinosaur National Monument) are not copyrighted and may be used. You may also take and upload pictures of specimens or exhibits in museums or private collections, for educational use on Wikipedia only.



External links[edit]

The following sites provide some scholarly information on dinosaurs, but are not primary sources. Most are actually tertiary sources, so information may or may not always be complete, current, and/or accurate.

Primary References[edit]

The best source for accurate information on dinosaurs is the primary literature, where original research is published. After you get a basic feel for the terminology, it becomes possible to learn by immersion by reading articles and trying to piece together what the authors are saying. A big problem, however, is access. Finding a copy of a journal can be difficult, and making photocopies can really add up. Subscriptions are usually obscenely expensive because most of these journals have pretty low circulation. So how do you get a hold of technical papers?

Most scientific journals now offer copies of their articles online, usually in PDF format. Unfortunately, you are usually required to subscribe to the journal, pay a bunch of money, or go to a library that subscribes to the journal in order to access them. If you do live near a university or public library, it is not a bad idea to find out what journals they subscribe to and then spend a few hours in the library downloading PDF files and emailing them to yourself... it's a lot cheaper than making copies. However, if you don't have that kind of time or don't live near a major library, there are still a lot of places to find papers online for free, which some of you may already know about.


  • The American Museum of Natural History Digital Library provides free PDF copies of all four of their major publications. They are working to have every single issue from beginning to end. Many new dinosaurs have been reported in American Museum Novitates in particular.
  • The Polish journal Acta Paleontologica Polonica also provides free PDF access to all issues dating back to 1997 on their website. Although the journal is Polish, all articles are in English.
  • The French journal Geodiversitas commonly publishes paleontology articles. The website provides free PDF copies of all articles back to the beginning of 2000.
  • A special edition of the Portuguese journal Gaia was released in 2000, although all the articles date from 1998. These articles are available for free online in PDF format.
  • Science, perhaps the most prestigious American science journal, now allows free web access to all research articles more than 12 months old, to anyone who registers on their website (and is willing to receive a few emails). Articles are in PDF format and date back to 1997.
  • The Royal Society of London is a scientific organization that publishes several journals. All articles in all journals are made freely available online in PDF format twelve months after publication. Of these journals, dinosaur articles are most commonly published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
  • If you go to the online archives of many major journals, some provide a few PDFs as samples, usually of more recent issues. Digging through these sites is also a way to net the occasional free article.

Individual Researchers[edit]

  • Ken Carpenter of the Denver Museum of Natural Sciences has most of his papers online at his webpage. Some, but not all, are just PDFs of photocopies, the downsides of which are that quality is not that great sometimes, and they are not searchable by text, but it's definitely better than nothing.
  • Sunny Hwang of the AMNH has a few theropod papers linked on her online CV.
  • The Lusodinos site, run by Portuguese paleontologist Octavio Mateus, has PDF copies of many of his papers, which usually involve Portuguese fossils.
  • American paleontologist Jerry D. Harris has PDFs of a number of his publications available for free at his website, as well as a page of links to many, many journals.
  • Lawrence Witmer of Ohio University includes a list of his publications on his faculty page, some of which are available in PDF format.

Other Places[edit]

  • This site has free web access to recent issues of a lot of journals. Right now they only have the 2006 issues of Ameghiniana, a very important journal from Argentina, but hopefully in the future they will add more. The Revista Geologica de Chile has some articles online as well, back to 1997. Not too many dinosaur papers in this one, although here is the description of Rinconsaurus. Both of these journals are only available in HTML format, not PDF, which means you can't reference specific page numbers, but all the text and figures are there.
  • This site has issues of Paleobiology and Journal of Paleontology archived online, but apparently they are not in PDF format, and don't provide any figures.
  • Not all articles are in English, so The Polyglot Paleontologist can be very useful to English speakers. Free online English translations of many papers originally written in Spanish, Chinese, Russian and French are available, many in PDF format. However, sometimes there are no images, and because they are not the original copy, you can't reference the original page numbers.

Some readers surely know of further places to get articles. Please add them to the appropriate section above, as long as they are legal. Google searches or searching for "pdf" on the Archives of the Dinosaur Mailing List might also nab you some more.


  • {{WikiProject Dinosaurs}} - Add to articles, images, catergories or template talk pages that are dinosaur-oriented.
  • {{WikiProject Dinosaurs user}} - Add to your user or user talk pages to show that you're a member of WikiProject Dinosaurs.
  • {{WikiProject Dinosaurs userbox}} - Smaller, userbox version of the WikiProject Dinosaurs user template for you to place on your talk or user page.