User talk:Mariomassone

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Great work! Chrisrus (talk) 21:20, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

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for raising the profile of Late Pleistocene Canidae 07:08, 17 January 2015 (UTC)William Harristalk •


Wolf page update - relationship with the Dog[edit]

Hi Mario.

I have further developed the results of the Freedman studies and have updated the Origin of the domestic dog page. Today I have also updated the Gray wolf page - please feel free to cut it down to size as to what is of interest to a wolf reader.

The work looked at 3 Eurasian wolves but did not look at a North American wolf because its purpose was to determine a likely point of "domestication", however the findings are much wider. Some if it is sensational: Dogs and wolves then diverged 14,900 years ago, the 3 wolf populations diverged from each other 13,400 years ago. What this means in terms of the species Canis Lupus and her sub-species I do not know, but as I have said before, we just quote what the science is telling us and let others ponder its meaning.

I understand that Wayne is doing further work with a dog, gray wolf, red wolf, coyote and golden jackal.

Of interest, Thalmann published the genetic material from 3 Beringian wolves and I have updated that page, but I have not found evidence of anybody sequencing Dire wolf remains as yet, which might prove interesting. I have also amended the Dire wolf page to include its oldest remains found at 250,000 years ago, cited in Dundas.

(I keep you posted on these matters because I know that you are passionate about wolf-related subjects, and that you run an ever-watchful and critical eye over there on the Wolf page!)

Regards, William Harris (talk) 20:47, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

Rather than guess and wait, I sent RKW an email with some questions. He kindly replied, and the answer to this one I am sure you will be happy with:
"Well we feel the data of mitogenomes and nuclear complete genomes support a divergence time between dog and wolf of more than 15,000 years ago, and that dogs derive from a variety of wolf that otherwise left no living descendants today. What that wolf might be called, whether it is Canis lupus variety or another species is uncertain because no formal taxonomic analysis of these past wolves have been done, but I think it is likely to be the same species (lupus) as several ancient DNA studies have shown dramatic turnover in carnivore populations during the late Pleistocene. I attach our paper discussing one variety of Canis lupus, the megafaunal wolf, in North American and attached is another that takes a parallel track."
He also sent back 3 studies, two of which I have seen before.[1][2][3]
His work with Leonard is most revealing:
"The distinctness of the Pleistocene American wolves from recent American wolves is further supported by a comparison of our sequences of ancient eastern-Beringian wolves to much shorter 57 bp sequences of Pleistocene Old World wolves. None of these ancient Old World sequences were identical to any modern wolf, and they differed from recent North American and European haplotypes by 1–10 bp 2%–18%). However, three (dated 30,000 BP and 28,000 BP from Ukraine, and 33,000 BP from Altai) had the same sequence found in six eastern-Beringian wolves (haplotypes PW1–PW4). Another haplotype from a 44,000 BP wolf from the Czech Republic matched those of two ancient Beringian wolves (haplotypes PW5 and PW9)"
The study ends with: "Thus, there may be other extinctions of unique Pleistocene ecomorphs yet to be discovered."
My thoughts from this are that:
  1. the wolf and dog sharing an immediate common ancestor is not completely correct, it would have been a more distant ancestor
  2. the immediate ancestor of the dog was an ecomorph of Canis Lupis, a megafaunal wolf that was a specialist in bringing down megafauna, while Canis Lupis remained the generalist of the family, and the ultimate survivor of the species as megafauna became extinct
  3. we also find in Leonard that SOME Beringian wolves had relatives found in Europe - I have no doubt that they ranged across all of Eurasia, we just haven't found (or identified) other samples yet - and although Thalmann may state that the Beringian wolf was not an ancestor of the dog based on his testing of 3 of them, they may not have been the right three!
  4. who the dog's ancestor is we still are not sure as we have yet to find a fossil, we lean towards Canis Lupus, and there is some indication that it was the Beringian-type ecomorph, although it may have been another ecomorph because there was much diversity at that time
  5. Druzhkova Origin of the domestic dog#Druzhkova et al. convinces me that the Altai dog was a proto-dog 33,000 years ago - a dog's skull with wolf-sized carnassials - and the divergence was underway at least back then.
Now, how to capture some of this on the Dog and Wolf pages??!! Regards, William Harris (talk) 10:33, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Mario, nice work reducing the Wolf/Relationship with the dog section - I was too close to this work to be able to distil it in any sensible way. My next direction from here will be to further develop the Beringian wolf page using more of Leonard's findings so we have a more complete picture of megafaunal wolves, and to highlight the linkage with their European cousins that were found in the Ukraine and Czech. William Harris (talk) 06:57, 19 December 2014 (UTC)


  1. ^ Leonard. J. A., Vilà, C., Fox-Dobbs. K., Koch, P. L., Wayne. R. K., Van Valkenburgh, G. (2007), Megafaunal extinctions and the disappearance of a specialized wolf ecomorph, Current Biology 17:1146–1150 online OCT14
  2. ^
  3. ^ Germonpréa, Mietje; Sablin, Mikhail V. (February 2009). "Fossil dogs and wolves from Palaeolithic sites in Belgium, the Ukraine and Russia: osteometry, ancient DNA and stable isotopes". 

Cave bear diff from 2009[edit]

Hi there, I was reading through Cave bear and found this odd sentence: "Originally thought to belong to dragons, unicorns, apes, canids or felids, Esper postulated they actually belonged to polar bears." I was very confused as to why dragons and unicorns would be mentioned in there, as I thought that by 1774 (the date listed in the previous sentence) people would know that they were mythical. I initially expected it to be vandalism, until I realized that it had been in there since 2009, and that the person who added it was you, an active editor in this subject area.

Digging deeper, I managed to find a source corroborating your addition, saying that the scientific community at the time considered that the skeleton may have belonged to a dragon or unicorn!

After all that, I felt that I needed to tell someone about my strange experience, and I hope that you will at least find it mildly humorous. I am making a small change to make it clearer that this is not vandalism, but genuinely belongs in the article.

Keep up the good work! --Sennsationalist (talk) 13:58, 15 December 2014 (UTC)


Please explain this series of edits. There was no explanation given on the talk page for the blanking, nor was I, the creator of the article, notified before you enacted this change. At this point, I consider the blanking to be vandalism and have reverted the changes. SilverserenC 08:06, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

I have also reverted your unexplained blankings of Kenai Peninsula wolf, Mogollon mountain wolf, and the Yukon wolf. SilverserenC 08:20, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
Simple: All these subspecies are now considered to be synonymous with Canis lupus occidentalis and Canis lupus nubilus by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, with a lot of the information posted now being more relevant to those subspecies. Furthermore, the maximum weight given for the Kenai Peninsula wolf is laughable, and the only source given is an obscure website. As an owner of both Goldman and Mech's works, I can't find a single instance of them giving such an elevated weight. Regards. Mariomassone (talk) 10:19, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
The Fish and Wildlife Service is not the worldwide arbiter on species distinction. For example, what's the opinion of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature on the subject? Also, even if they all agreed on the change, that wouldn't invalidate the history of the subspecies in the past and everything about them prior. You say the information in relevant to those two other subspecies, but did you even move any of it? Because it looks to me like you just deleted a bunch of referenced information, especially when talking about the decades long history of the Northern Rocky Mountains wolf. SilverserenC 19:52, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
If you can provide information from the IUCN on the validity of these forms, I'd be glad to see it. Furthermore, a lot of the information provided in the Northern Rocky wolf article seems to convolute information specific to that subspecies and info on the wolves introduced there in the 1990s, making no distinction. The vast majority of wolves in YNP can be traced back to that introduction, and not the indigenous form, therefore why post-1994 historical information is provided which makes no distinction between the two, is an odd way of going about the topic. Lastly, you may want to check out the reference for the animal's weight, as it appears to be a dead link.Mariomassone (talk) 19:59, 21 December 2014 (UTC)


Beringian wolf[edit]

Hello Mario, I have further developed the Beringian wolf page, largely based on Leonard. I have structured it to allow future comparisons with their European cousins of that time.

It was never my intention to get involved with either the Dog page (there are more than enough people interested in keeping that up to date) nor the Wolf-related pages (there are a number of people with specialised knowledge and interest to keep them up to date). My interest is specifically about the Origin of the domestic dog, and although I have made some contribution to the other pages relative to the dog, I do not have a WATCH in place on them. However, when it comes to the ancestor of the dog, I find myself drawn into the "megafaunal wolves" - it would appear that because of their shortened, wider muzzle compared to other wolves that there is a link to the ancestor of the dog. (Plus my own view that they were more fearless than other wolves, which started them on their evolutionary path in the first place, and any large predator that hunts megafauna in packs will have little fear of small groups of skinny bipeds that wander the landscape who don't even have their own fur to keep warm, which places both species in position for the next step.)

I am considering creating a Wikipedia page specifically on the "Megafaunal wolf", that would have links to the Gray wolf and Beringian wolf pages - plus the Dire wolf page as a bonus - and developed with the information we now have available from a number of sources that indicates a Eurasian and Beringian wide ecomorph that arose specifically as a response to the availability of megafauna. I would like to know your views on this before I proceed. Regards, William Harris (talk) 20:53, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your support and I shall progress the article. I was redeveloping the Origin of the domestic dog page - no doubt you have noticed - and I have completed the DNA Evidence (which indicates one thing) and the Archeological Evidence (which tends to indicates another). My next topic is the Morphological Evidence. I concur with your assessment: as I read past research articles by prominent authorities on the morphology of their diggings, they catalogue what they have found as dog-like, wolf-like, and in some promising cases simply unknown large canid. Sadly, for others when a skull is found that looks like a dog and is large, it is catalogued under wolf because it is large - the concept of a specimen being a large dog (or on its way to becoming a dog), or a megafaunal ecomorph of a wolf, has not been considered in the past but I am sure it will from now on. (PS: You may be aware that Leonard, Thalmann, Freedman and a bunch of others are all ex-RKW PhD students - he is setting the agenda now.) Regards, William Harris (talk) 01:03, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the amendments, and I will use multiple citations of the same reference from here on. I had used Leonard's phrases direct but the new version flows much better. One point: I note that you have changed a Leonard-supplied phrase to "Conceivably, the robust ecomorph was also present in western Beringia (Russia) during the Late Pleistocene, but specimens from that area have not been discovered." Leonard stated that they "were not available", indicating that they may have been found but they could not get samples from the Russians at the time of the study (possibly too much paper-work to fill out!). I recall (from Wang, Xiao Ming & Tedford, R. H. - Dogs: their fossil relatives and evolutionary history) that they had a major area of interest on the other side, but I did not note its name. I have just discovered in a search today that our Russian friends have found their own unusual wolf with "robust" jaws to skull as reported at: in which they state in the conclusion "The examination of the fossil bones of the wolf and brown bear from the Taimyr Peninsula provides the possibility to suggest these animals to consume carcasses of large animals in the Late Pleistocene of the Siberian arctic zone. This conclusion quite corresponds to the data on the mammoth steppe, occupying the vast territories of the Northern Eurasia, Alaska, and Yukon Territory, to have a high biological productivity, being characterized in the diversified megafauna (wooly mammoth, wooly rhino, steppe bison, musk-ox, and several species of horses and deer) (Guthrie, 1982, 2001)."
I will amend the page to what Leonard said and include this new reference. I think we will both be amazed at how many of these big-biters have already been found across the Holarctic once I really start looking for references soon. Regards, William Harris (talk) 20:03, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Hi Mario, my article on the "Megafaunal wolf" is taking shape in my sandbox. You might be interested in the "Cave wolf" (Canis lupus spelaeus) whose remains have been found across Europe. It fits the description of a megafaunal wolf, and despite all of the specimens found it has been little studied and with no DNA analysis! I have not published an article in Wikipedia before, and seek your guidance under which Wikiproject the article might be assigned to. I notice that your Beringian Wolf page was initiated under Wikiproject Mammals? (Please be aware that if you had not written that page, I would never have known what a Beringian wolf was!!) Regards, William Harris (talk) 20:39, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the news article on dogs in the Americas - I will track down the research and see what I can glean. I know that you will get back to me when you can, and there is no rush.
I have added an entry on the dog origin - archaeology regarding a wolf burial in the Baikal region, Siberia, at 8,230 BP. My entry is much abridged, and does not tell his full story from the research paper cited there. The wolf was described as a "tundra wolf" who was about 9 years old and most of his teeth were broken, due to their harsh life in the region. Other wolves at the time appeared to have had a very tough 7 year life expectancy. Someone had cared for this boy well into his old age, arranged for the hunting of what wolves were eating at that time (we know from his collagen analysis) while humans were eating a fish and grain diet, and cut up his meat for him so someone was taking a lot of trouble over him. When he died, he was ritually buried on his side in a curled up position. Somebody must have marked the centre of the curl (with a post above the ground and a cut mark for how deep down?). A number of years later, that spot only was dug without disturbing the wolf skeleton and a skull (the owner?) was carefully placed at the same level so that when it was covered, the wolf skeleton was curled around the skull, as if protecting it. Somebody loved this boy and had arranged for his skull to be buried with him. Other writers have since suggested he may have been a shaman's wolf. The amazing thing is, the wolf's DNA does not match any wolf DNA deposited in Genbank, extant or extinct!! Regards, William Harris (talk) 08:45, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

Hi Mario, the story of this canid (above) continues. The authors of the first study looked at some other dog and wolf remains from burials in this area in a second study DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0063740 and the wolf (from above) that was from the Lokomotiv site is listed in their tables under that name. He is huge and he stands out easily. He is comparable in size, skull morphology (and teeth!) with the Late Pleistocene wolves, and this is 8,000 YPB, long after those had gone (or so we currently believe). In May, when the 14 canids from the Arctic North-East Siberia were studied in doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0125759 they ran those canids' sequences against other canids and dog sequences from across Siberia in Genbank, including Lokomotiv. And the finding? Despite having the morphology of a big tundra wolf (or Late Pleistocene wolf), he was only one mutation away from genetically being a dog! William Harristalk • 09:26, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi Mario, the Megafaunal wolf page is now live and you might like to plug it in somewhere on the Gray wolf page. Based on what I have read, I am regarding him as an ectomorph of the Gray wolf until a research paper shows me the genetic evidence that indicates that he is not! Regards, William Harristalk • 12:19, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

PS - The researchers keep looking for the magical specimen that is the one step between the wolf and the dog. I believe that they need to be looking for two steps, and that is what has confused the issue: what do you call an ecomorph of an ecomorph - is it still the same species? I believe that the Megafaunal wolf was the grandfather - in comparison to extant wolves his grandson would have a shorter and broader palate, would have reduced carnassials as he no longer needs large ones to bring down megafauna, would still obsess over bones, and have a front-leg dew-claw that was originally developed to get a good grip on muskox-bones when chewing them to pieces - does that ring a bell with you? (Perhaps the researchers don't own a very large dog, because I see that image on my back lawn regularly and all of the bone is consumed!) My next article will be on what I believe to be his descendant - the father of the dog. Regards, William Harristalk • 22:28, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
The Megafaunal wolf page has been assessed as C-quality, low-importance under Wikiprojects: Dogs, Mammals, and Palaeontology. Thanks for supplying your graphics! I have dropped in a taxabox for C. l. spelaeus against the Europe section for the Cave wolf; depending on how the researchers go in the near future, it may become the taxabox for the entire page. Mitochondrial DNA is easier to obtain from fossils than nuclear DNA, however nuclear DNA would give a very clear picture of ancestry. A team somewhere in the world is probably working on that right now. Regards, William Harristalk • 07:49, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
Now to really rattle your imagination. See my other creation on the Zhoukoudian wolf. After some searching I have only today found what I had expected - citations to show that he has been found in Yakutia, far north-east Siberia (i.e. part of Beringia). Ancestor of the Megafaunal wolf, anyone? The gene that led to the "short-faced wolf". Regards, William Harristalk • 12:20, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

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German wolves[edit]

Overdorf, Jason. "German has a Serious Wolf Problem: It's getting so bad that some sheep are too afraid to even breed". GlobalPost. Retrieved December 28, 2014.  FYI. 7&6=thirteen () 15:36, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

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Assistance Sought re Scottish Wildcat image.[edit]

Please authenticate source of Scottish Wildcat image standing on a branch and snarling found previously via Wiki. 1902 The Living Animals of this World. I would like to use it in my memoirs. It appears to be in public domain re year. Although I found there are three publications for that period I do not know which one and the publishers vary. Your help would be appreciated as this links my origins when ancestors arrived in Scotland. Your reply on this page would suffice. Thank you in anticipation and of course I would add the confirmed credit next to the image. Cattanache86.183.26.48 (talk) 15:12, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

Happy to oblige! Are you referring to this? If so, it comes from volume one of The living animals of the world, published by New York, Dodd, Mead and Company. Details can be seen here:

Barnstar for Mario[edit]

For your quiet work in the background by creating the Beringian wolf page, the Pleistocene coyote page - and I am sure there are others that I am not aware of yet - all created while you also kept the wolf-related pages under vigilance.
We have travelled a long way together you and I, since I first upset you last October with something called Thalmann..........
Keep updating those biters! William Harristalk • 07:20, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Paleolithic dog[edit]

Hi Mario, the Paleolithic dog page has been created. Of interest from the Germonpre 2009 study that initially looked at them: they took fossil canids from across Europe that had the potential to be Paleolithic dogs i.e. short and wide muzzles. Some were identified as Paleolithic dogs, and some were identified as wolves. Seven Belgium wolves underwent mDNA analysis and gave 7 different haplotypes - they are so diverse that it is difficult to construct a family tree for them. Additionally, she indicates that they had the same morphology as the Beringian wolves and cites Leonard! Regards, William Harristalk • 10:13, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

Pleistocene wolf[edit]

Hi Mario, given that you did a good job on the Pleistocene coyote, another quick and interesting project might be the "Pleistocene wolf". I came across this fascinating gem, but cannot find a place for it:

In 2009, a study of Mitochondrial DNA analysis of 7 fossil Pleistocene wolf skulls found in caves in Belgium yielded unique DNA sequences, indicating that ancient Belgium large canids carried a substantial amount of genetic diversity. Furthermore, there is little evidence for phylogeographic structure as they do not form a homogenous genetic group.[1] Seven wolves with 7 different haplotypes, and cannot be matched! (I would dearly love to be able to travel back in time to Pleistocene Europe with a tranquillizer gun and bring back wolf blood samples for multi-analysis.) Feel free to remove my comments from cluttering up your Talk page - we usually communicate on single-issue topics to do with Late Paleolithic canids as they arise, and I don't think that other readers passing through will have the same level of interest in reading them. Regards, William Harristalk • 22:29, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

Your GA nomination of Threads[edit]

Hi there, I'm pleased to inform you that I've begun reviewing the article Threads you nominated for GA-status according to the criteria. Time2wait.svg This process may take up to 7 days. Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments you might have during this period. Message delivered by Legobot, on behalf of Jaguar -- Jaguar (talk) 23:20, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Your opinion solicited[edit]

If you would, please do comment about dealing with recent leopard attacks, here: Talk:Leopard_attack. We'd like your input/opinion. Chrisrus (talk) 04:46, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Your GA nomination of Threads[edit]

The article Threads you nominated as a good article has been placed on hold Symbol wait.svg. The article is close to meeting the good article criteria, but there are some minor changes or clarifications needing to be addressed. If these are fixed within 7 days, the article will pass; otherwise it may fail. See Talk:Threads for things which need to be addressed. Message delivered by Legobot, on behalf of Jaguar -- Jaguar (talk) 20:20, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Revert at Gray wolf[edit]

If there were a statement in the Reproduction section of an article on flies stating that a scholar from four centuries ago said maggots were spontaneously generated from rotting meat, without referring to the modern understanding that they hatched from eggs laid by flies, would you revert the removal of that information? Or similar references to imbalance of humors causing illness, or fires coming from release of phlogiston?

The history of science is taught in all the schools, so I doubt anyone would add any of the above hypothetical examples. The history of linguistics and etymology, on the other hand, aren't. I'm not expecting you to be an expert on etymology, but could you at least source your etymologies from etymological references? The information I removed was referenced from a book by a biologist and a zoologist, which in turn cited a scholar whose works shouldn't be taken as reliable sources except for historical purposes (according to Edward Topsell#Superstitions about actual animals, Topsell also reported that lemmings graze in the clouds and weasels give birth through their ears). Chuck Entz (talk) 17:16, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

Lupification of Homo sapiens[edit]

Hi Mario, I have added a new section that you might enjoy reading: Origin of the domestic dog#Human-dog coevolution. Regards, William Harristalk • 22:07, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

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Let dogs and wolves rejoice![edit]

Hi Mario, first it was Thalmann and about 30 others in 2013, then it was Freedman and about 30 others in 2014, now it is that well-liked and smooth-talking American Greger Larson and about 30 others in 2015. He has managed to talk his way into $3m and calmed all of the previous warring parties for undertaking a huge analysis of all of those ancient wolf-like and dog-like fossils and bones that are sitting around in drawers, unloved and forgotten about! Paper(s) due 2015-16. Regards, William Harristalk • 09:49, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

And so it begins: doi:10.1016/j.cub.2015.04.019 I will arrange some words on the appropriate pages once I have fathomed the supplementary materials. Regards, William Harristalk • 08:53, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
But that is not the big thing, the big thing is in the sups - this boy is a Megafaunal!!William Harristalk • 10:25, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Old man Canis Lupus had 3 daughters - the gray wolf has a new sister and she will have some impact on the Gray wolf page. I have updated the Origin of the domestic dog page - please see under Genetic Evidence/North Asia. My issue with the Gray wolf page for some time now is that although the Gray wolf is from the Canis lupus line, Canis lupus is more than the gray wolf. Although the Gray wolf page reports that the cl lineage goes back quite some time, the new research indicates that the gray wolf itself appears to be only 40,000 years old (something hinted by Freedman 2014). However this is relayed, it is going to upset a few people. Your thoughts please? Regards, William Harristalk • 20:41, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Changes made to the Gray wolf page; feel free to amend. We could have also added the "Goyet dog" and its two relations from Thalmann 2013 (one was big and its sequence compared to 3 Beringian wolf sequences, but no match, however this indicates to me that the skull morphology must have looked the same which is why the comparison was made i.e. a megafaunal). Thalmann reported these Goyets as "an ancient sister group to all modern dogs and wolves", and either an "aborted domestication episode or a phenotypically distint, and not previously recognized, population of gray wolf." I have not considered them for the Gray wolf page in any further detail than what we have there already because Thalmann's analysis could not confirm it as Cl - he deposited it in Genbank under "Canis species". In the light of the Taymry wolf, we might give that further consideration. Also on matters Beringian, you might be interested in this little gem and that is only 2.5 pages long: Regards, William Harristalk • 22:42, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Saw your entry on the GW page, the study's supplementary material Table S3 (on the extended PDF: ) shows that dog breeds relationships to the two wolves fall on a continuum line between one or the other but the authors did not spell that out in the main article. What is confirmed strongly are 5 breeds below. As a result, I have made this amendment below to a couple of lines on the Origin of the domestic dog page - some dog breeds show more admixture with the GW and you might like to make amendment to GW as appropriate:
A comparison of the ancestry of the Taymry wolf lineage to the dog lineage indicated that the Taymry wolf shared more alleles (i.e. gene expressions) with dogs than with gray wolves. There was indication that some modern dog breeds have a closer association with either the Gray wolf or the Taymry wolf due to admixture. The Sarloos wolfdog showed more associated with the Gray wolf and is in agreement with documented historical crossbreeding with wolves in this breed. For the Taymyr wolf, there was clear evidence of a relationship with those breeds that are associated with high latitudes - the Siberian husky and Greenland dog that are associated with arctic human populations, and to a lesser extent the Shar Pei and Finnish spitz.
I also have an amendment ready for the Dog Page, Origin and I am just waiting for its acceptance on the Origin of the domestic dog talk page. (You have asked what happened to the lead-in on the Dog page? Until the Wikipedia:Dog Project people "man-up" and take some responsibility and exercise some control for that area, I will no longer fight that battle as it is too frustrating. My only interest on that page now is the leadin paragraph under the two sections that I have significantly redeveloped - Origin, and Behavior. Your edit was refreshing, but sadly short-lived.) Regards, William Harristalk • 22:04, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

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Gray wolf - One wolf, two haplogroups[edit]

There is a paragraph that I would like included in the Gray wolf page. It stems from what I said on the Talk:Beringian wolf page regarding the Pilot study a while ago. I think it would best fit as a new section between 2.1.1 Ancestry and the current 2.1.2 Subspeciation. I think the information is of note and relevant to the GW page, is a prelude for sub-speciation, and is the first step in a plan to stamp the Beringians very clearly to readers as gray wolves - now more important when we have the Taymry wolf prowling out there across the phylogeographic tundra. For your comments/amendments please?

2.1.2 Two haplogroups
See also: Beringian wolf
In 2010, a study compared the mDNA haplotypes of 947 contemporary gray wolves from across Europe with the published sequences of 24 ancient wolves from western Europe dated between 1,200-44,000 years BP. The study found that the haplotypes represented two haplogroups and referred to them as haplogroup 1 and 2. The 947 European wolves revealed 27 different haplotypes with haplogroup 1 forming a monophyletic clade and all other haplotypes forming haplogroup 2. Comparison with further gray wolves revealed that haplogroups 1 and 2 can be found spread across Eurasia but only haplogroup 1 can be found in North America. The ancient wolf samples from western Europe all belonged to haplogroup 2, suggesting a long-term predominance in this region. A comparison of current and past frequencies indicated that in Europe haplogroup 2 became outnumbered by haplogroup 1 but in North America haplogroup 2 became extinct and was replaced by haplogroup 1 after the LGM.[2]

I have also left you a message above under 20. Let dogs and wolves rejoice. Regards, William Harristalk • 09:09, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Larson’s team “brings home the bacon” on where the domestic pig originated from: Next stop – the dog. Regards, William Harristalk • 07:19, 19 September 2015 (UTC)
You can access the PDF from Larson's website:


  1. ^ Germonpré, Mietje; Sablin, Mikhail V.; Stevens, Rhiannon E.; Hedges, Robert E.M.; Hofreiter, Michael; Stiller, Mathias; Despre´s, Viviane R. (2009). "Fossil dogs and wolves from Palaeolithic sites in Belgium, the Ukraine and Russia: osteometry, ancient DNA and stable isotopes". Journal of Archaeological Science. 36 (2): 473–490. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2008.09.033.  line feed character in |title= at position 71 (help)
  2. ^ Pilot, M. G.; Branicki, W.; Jędrzejewski, W. O.; Goszczyński, J.; Jędrzejewska, B. A.; Dykyy, I.; Shkvyrya, M.; Tsingarska, E. (2010). "Phylogeographic history of grey wolves in Europe". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 10: 104. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-10-104. PMC 2873414Freely accessible. PMID 20409299. 

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Beringian wolf update[edit]

Hi Mario, I have added a new section to "our" page Beringian wolf#Paleoecology. It mirrors what is on the Origin of the domestic dog page and the Megafaunal wolf page. Feel free to amend it as you like, and I note that you have a wider mammalian interest so some sections of it may be relevant to your other pages. It took me some time to put it together and I had to track down the citations myslef - other related pages on Wikipedia have now been updated as they offered me no help at all. I am convinced that the tale of these 3 relatives is closely linked to the conditions pre- and post- the LGM. I am now also convinced that the key to the dog's story is entwined with that of her sister, the gray wolf, and their tale should be told together. Of interest, Professor Greger Larson is the Director Palaeogenomics & Bio-Archaeology Research Network, Oxford University. He is the man that through the use of nuclear DNA (from the nucleus of the cell) and using the latest technology and morphology answered the question of where the domestic chicken and the domestic pig originated. In 2013 he received a grant of $3m to find by the end of 2016 where the dog came from, and he has put together a network of all of the researchers that we have been reading about over the past decade. I understand that in his lab he has banned the use of the word "wolf" and "dog" because it is not helpful. Here is an extract from a recent media interview: “It’s an interesting time, because the technology is moving faster than our ability to ask questions of it,” says Greger Larson, whose lab has also amassed around 4,000 samples from ancient dogs and wolves to chart the origin of domestic dogs. “Let’s just sequence everything and ask questions later.” Yes, you read correctly: four thousand ancient specimens are currently being sequenced. Regards, William Harristalk • 22:18, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

You might find these of interest: doi=10.1371/journal.pone.0125759 (they got mDNA from Canis lupus variabilis after 360,000 years!) (tooth size of late Pleistocene C.l. wolves in Europe - got bigger to eat megafauna!) William Harristalk • 10:19, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
This just gets better and better: Origin of the domestic dog#Arctic North-East Siberia. I don't even know how to begin to explain their link with the extinct Japanese wolf and C.l. chanco, but they are! William Harristalk • 11:25, 11 August 2015 (UTC)

DYK for African golden wolf[edit]

Gatoclass (talk) 07:17, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

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Your recent reversion and deletion edits to the Gray Wolf page make little sense. There was only one single mention of "Arctic Wolf" and is wasn't linked. You stated linking wasn't needed as it was "linked above", yet the link above you referred to was actually "C.I. arctos", the Latin name of the species.

In the 'See Also' section, there was no listing for the Arctic Wolf. You stated it was "unnecessary". Yet, as mentioned above, there is only the one single mention of "Arctic Wolf" (which you wouldn't have linked). Yet, despite numerous mentions of "Eastern Wolf", "Red Wolf" and other sub-species and related species through-out the article, (linked multiple times, no less), you have them listed under 'See Also' as well. This makes no sense.

These two very minor edits I have made have no effect on article content or information. They are simply to enhance usability and access, basically to 'make life a little easier' for readers. Your attempt to dismiss them runs counter to that objective. I see you have made many additions to this article and contributions to animal related pages over all, and I, along with the community, thank you for that. But your changes here run perilously close to page ownership, which as you know is not permitted in the project. Instead of nit-picking over minor edits simply because you were not the author of them, and creating needless discord among your fellow editors, I suggest you focus on continuing with your positive contributions to Wikipedia. Now you could explain your edits as requested, or you could simply let them stand and put this very minor issue to rest.

Cheers, Wolf. - theWOLFchild 21:02, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

The links provided for the see also section consist of closely related species, not subspecies, plus an individual member of C. lupus not mentioned anywhere in the article. Adding the Arctic wolf is not only misleading (putting it in the same category as C. simensis, latrans, etc.), it also opens up the possibility of simply adding every single grey wolf subspecies (why should the Arctic wolf get a link, while the Indian or Great Plains wolf not?). It would be just about as logical as adding a link to the German Shepherd article in the domestic dog's "see also" section. Also, I take issue with your insinuation over my motives, as I've not been a regular contributor to the article for months now.
Regards Mariomassone (talk) 07:34, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

Striped Skunk[edit]

Hello, would you be able to expand the Striped Skunk article? LittleJerry (talk) 00:32, 19 September 2015 (UTC)

Do you want me to send you an article on the evolution of the skunk's spray? LittleJerry (talk) 22:37, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
You need to enable your email. LittleJerry (talk) 21:58, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
Where was the article published? Author(s)? Chrisrus (talk) 22:52, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
[1] Christus. LittleJerry (talk) 02:19, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
Mariomassone, nice job. There the Mammalian species article which may contain more information. LittleJerry (talk) 02:21, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

Beringian wolf - quality[edit]

Information.svg The quality rating of the Beringian wolf article that you created has been raised from class=Start to class=B. Regards, William HarrisWikiProject Mammalstalk • 03:52, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

The Coywolf saga continues[edit]

Recent article - we have seen all of this before - however, he is about to propose a new species: His website is of interest: Regards, William Harristalk • 08:21, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

Hi Mario, don't be too troubled about several subspecies of lupus wanting to leave the C.l. pack to form their own species, there may be another 6 subspecies waiting within what we currently call "the dog" just waiting to be recognised and catalogued! Origin of the domestic dog#Time of domestication. No wonder there is such phenotypic diversity among them. Regards, William Harristalk • 10:06, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

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HI Mario,

I have seen you have lodged a complain at Wikipedia about my constant editing in Dholes article about its presence in Bangladesh. You said I didn't have any viable information. My passage was borrowed from IUCN Redlist Dholes article where its written Dholes still occur in Bangladesh (Check it for yourself). You know it's an reliable site for Wildlife information. They give right information with source's name on it. Also recent camera traps proves that Dholes still occurs in some parts of Bangladesh. I have photos too. And it was your passage that was unreliable. As it says you are uncertain about Dholes presence in Bangladesh. But now it's not uncertain as cleared by IUCN. Anik Aninda (talk) 19:42, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

Dog-wolf origins[edit]

Hi Mario, after 3 years of work, the Larson consortium's "flagship report" is due before September this year. There may be some minor reports to set the scene before the big one. (I would suggest that this is already happening, it is just that many do not recognize the linkages of researchers involved!) Anybody who is anybody in this field will be signing off on it. I expect it will have some impact on what we know about the Gray wolf as well: Regards, William Harristalk • 02:22, 20 January 2016 (UTC)

Latest quote from GL: "We're including the wolf." William Harristalk • 18:41, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
As mentioned on User Talk:William Harris#Subspecies of Canis lupus back in October, the German team has finished its work on the extant dog and extant wolf genomes, and found 11 genes that are the most different between the two. Impact is on fight-flight response (i.e. selection for tameness as we all thought), amylase processing (wheat, corn etc) and possibly an associated reduction in skeletal muscles with that, and a few behavioral differences. doi:10.1186/s12862-015-0579-7 The scene is now set for the next step - to compare these with ancient wolf and ancient dog DNA samples. When I run through it a couple more times and grasp the essentials, I will post shortly. Regards, William Harristalk • 10:45, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
Fan (i.e. Wayne) 2016 - we are looking for an extinct grey wolf population as the ancestor: doi= 10.1101/gr.197517.115 Regards, William Harristalk • 12:20, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
Yes Mario, I will be the first to admit it - the Dog is a grey wolf; that is what the best science that we have today is telling us. Now that we know what it is and when it arrived, we need to know where it came from, why, and their mDNA relationship to the "extinct canids of Europe". There is a lot more in the article, the Tibetan plateau wolves mDNA appears so basil to other wolves because of their remote locations - they have less introgression from dogs, which confounded Sharma and Aggawahl. Wolves show a population decline as humans and dogs arose - one type of grey wolf expanded at the expense of others. I note at the beginning of Fan that it was to also to explore where dogs came from (Skoglund-North Asia, Shannon-Central Asia) but that appears to have been plucked at the last moment (by Larson?) and that issue was not addressed - I await the next report in this "series" over the next several months. Regards, Williamtalk • 19:30, 7 March 2016 (UTC)
Good choice - the Labrador, the most noblest of dogs. William Harristalk • 10:56, 9 March 2016 (UTC)
There may be an application for linking this article: Grey_wolf_optimizer Also, enjoy: Regards, William Harristalk • 05:42, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for amending Gray wolf - I knew that I could depend on you to complete it. (I miss the yellow Larador - Afghan hound? - though.) Regards, William Harristalk • 19:56, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
I hear that Larson's flagship paper has gone out for peer review - it won't be long now. William Harristalk • 08:39, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the pix. I am not going to touch the lead paras on the "Origin" nor the "Dog" articles until we see the flagship report. Timing is an issue; Fan 2016 offered the mutation rates of both Freidmann and Skoglund, with Skoglund inflating the Friedman figures by a factor of 2.5. Hopefully the main report will offer a solution - then prepare for some serious predation! William Harristalk • 20:24, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the retitle of "Conflicts" on the gray wolf page and I am pleased that you do not disapprove of this interconnected bundling. This new section is more closely related to wolf conservation - and some issues surrounding it - than it is to relations with humans. In the event of any proposed spin-off of "Relationships with humans", I would be in favour of keeping it associated with "Conservation" in some manner on the GW page. William Harristalk • 19:30, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
RKW and friends again, they are really ramping it up: DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005851 (Very tedious reading but look at the cast of characters on the researcher list. They state that lipid processing may have had an impact on the "domestication syndrome", and the ability of proto-dogs to process lipids may have come about from scavenging carcasses left by human hunters, fat etc - matches another topic I am acrosss: Zimov 2012 states that the mammoth steppe was so abundant with mammal biomass that humans could have taken just the best parts of a kill for themselves and left the rest.) Larson states that he will be answering "one or two questions in two weeks or so...." His strategy appears to be putting out the primary sources as stand-alones then he wraps it all up as a secondary source. William Harristalk • 10:09, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Thanks for the Japanese wolf analysis, it had been included in Origin of the domestic dog#Dog-Wolf hybridization in the diagram, under Haplogroup F - a haplogroup all to themselves (Pang 2009, Ishiguro 2009, Debula 2015). Some of their mDNA lives on in some Japanese dogs today - a female Japanese wolf and a male dog were founders of their kind. I trust that GL will be able synthesize what the recent whole-genome analyses have been telling us (Freedman 2014, Pang 2015, Fan 2016) and what the various mDNA marker analyses has indicated (Thalmann 2013 and many others) over the years. (I will assume that the science was correct, but our assumptions have been wrong. Now that we know that the dog is a gray wolf and basal to all extant Eurasian gray wolves - apart from perhaps the Himalayan wolf and the Indian gray wolf; yet to be tested - our world has been turned upside down......) I also await the explanation that everyone appears to be avoiding; the relationship between the dog and mDNA haplogroup 2 (Pilot 2010 - the Italian wolf). Regards, William Harristalk • 20:25, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

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Hello, why are you deleting cited information from the coyote article? IQ125 (talk) 10:39, 6 March 2016 (UTC)

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I pinged you at Commons, but thought it would be better to talk with you here as well. Would you please add descriptions for the five The Book of Antelopes images used in the article? And thanks for adding the images to Bovidae! Sainsf <^>Talk all words 06:58, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

Lost wolves of Japan[edit]

Mario, you do realize that the author is an ethnographer and the book is about the Japanese wolf and how it related to Japanese culture and history rather than the technical, biological aspects? It is not Mech and it is not Thalmann. There is just one page with morphological measurements taken in the 1930s and a dozen black and white photographs. Although I have a passing interest in this type of topic, it might not be what you require for the articles you envisage. If it is, there is a paperback available that is not as highly priced as the hardback. Regards, William Harristalk • 09:48, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

First bite! Honshu wolf#Taxonomy and origin William Harristalk • 11:14, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
I will just wait until the other editors are comfortable with that, before I hit them with the big one to follow: i.e. Honshu wolf is Haplogroup 2. (Separately, a phylogenetic clade formed by 2 wolves from China and one from Mongolia were just as divergent as the Himalayan wolf! There appears to be some very ancient lineages still running around out there.) William Harristalk • 11:57, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
Second bite! Hokkaido wolf#Taxonomy and origin More to follow on both under these sections once they get over the shock of it. The path would then be set for your further development of these 2 articles.William Harristalk • 22:47, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
I have finished with these two, and for the first time both articles now cite the "Lost wolves of Japan". Hokkaido had to be fully rebuilt and needs some fleshing out, Honshu is still bogged down with conjecture and low-quality citing from dodgy websites - over to you! William Harristalk • 07:37, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
Hopefully, I will have no further trouble with the "Flat Earth Society" on Talk:Honshu wolf - the rest of the wolf-pack were supportive :-) William Harristalk • 09:05, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
I wondered how long it would be before you tackled the Hokkaido/New World link on the Subspecies page. (Let us see how long it takes until someone points out that the caption reads:"Whole-genome phylogenetic tree - extant gray wolf populations" - perhaps never. Although it could be argued that the Hokkaido wolf should be listed under the New World species, it is not clear if this was a North American wolf that wandered across Beringia and found a nice new home down the Kamchatka Peninsula, or if the ancestors of the NA wolves first split in Eurasia and then made their way across Beringia into NA while some of their brothers went south along the coastline. It is probably best to leave the listing as is, else we will face innumerable WP:AGF edits. That said, this is well past time to dispose of two myths that have been maintained here on Wikipedia: the Hokkaido wolf is NOT the cousin of the Honshu wolf, and the Honshu wolf was NOT a dwarf. William Harristalk • 20:11, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
Here is a big one to ponder: Why is this wolf referred to on Wikipedia as the "Honshu wolf"? All the refs I have read call it the "Japanese wolf". Now raised on the Talk page. William Harristalk • 21:55, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
Nice work. At present, both of these articles appear to be a desert - there is hardly anybody visiting or watching them. The Hokkaido wolf article has been around since 2004, it has had over 500 edits done to it, but it basically said nothing other than the wolf existed and went extinct. As you can see from my efforts on the Honshu wolf article, there were a lot of barnacles to be scrapped off and there is still some dead wood left to be pruned, but it will be a solid article once completed. The height and length dimensions provided from uncited websites have now been challenged for quality. William Harristalk • 10:42, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────It lives! The Hokkaido wolf now has a heartbeat: 36 watchers, 6 whom have visited recent edits, and visitors have jumped over the past several days from 75 per day to 150 per day - doubled! We are going in the right direction. William Harristalk • 10:30, 13 April 2016 (UTC) As you can see, my previous "chance comment" got me thinking. It would appear from your Heptner reference that they were alive and well on the Amur River basin on the mainland. I have yet to see compelling evidence that hattai is extinct, unless the Russian Academy of Sciences confirms it, and a search of their website reveals nothing. William Harristalk • 18:56, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

Rebadging the Honshu wolf to the Japanese wolf is imminent; I am considering a rebadge of the Hokkaido wolf to Ezo wolf next - more reflective of the modern usage and its old haunt. William Harristalk • 11:17, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
The Japanese wolf page now has a pulse - since rebadging, it now has 44 watchers and daily visits has grown from 75 to 250. I think this has been a worthwhile undertaking. Regards, William Harristalk • 21:02, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Of interest only, our friend Ishiguro has been analyzing mDNA sequences of ancient canis bones found in China (on the coast nearest to Japan and as far away as inner Mongolia). All of them have been dogs so far, but one of the checks she does is for Japanese wolf! It may have been spread far and wide in the past. Mitochondrial DNA Analysis of Ancient Dog Bones from the Yanjialiang, Fenglin, and Xicha Sites, China William Harristalk • 11:21, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

Wolf map[edit]

The map of wolves that you proposed, is too optimistic, considering that all of Middle East and most parts of Europe are green. Wolves are extirpated from most of Arabian Peninsula, and unheard in Western and Southern Turkey for decades(I'm from Turkey, and been in most of wilderness, witnessed grey wolves several times, all in the North Eastern part of country). For Iran, I'm not sure, and Europe was just better in it's previous version. There's no way that a few hundred wolves can cover such distances. It looks like Southern France is full of wolves, which isn't. This must be corrected.-- (talk) 20:35, 28 April 2016 (UTC)

Marsupial Lion[edit]

For info only, from my part of the world. I have just posted the pix at Marsupial lion#Palaeoecology. According to Bite club: Comparative bite force in big biting mammals and the prediction of predatory behaviour in fossil taxa at doi:10.1098/rspb.2004.2986 when adjusted for size (up on its hind legs it stood as tall as me) Thylacoleo carnifex had at its canine tooth the largest bite force of any known land mammal - more than the Dire wolf, more than the extant lion and more than its more-powerful ancestor the Cave lion. Curiously, its nearest relative today is the gentle wombat. Regards, William Harristalk • 12:45, 3 May 2016 (UTC)

Range expansion. I thought you might like this pix of a Golden Jackal recently taken in Switzerland: William Harristalk • 10:05, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
There is a table I have added at Dire wolf#Skull and dentition that you might be interested in taking a look at. Despite being a smaller wolf, the Beringian mandible premolar 4 was longer than that of the Late Wisconcin Canis dirus dirus !! Also, the flagship dog report is due out 2 June. William Harristalk • 11:06, 26 May 2016 (UTC)

File:Sibiricasubhemachalana.jpg listed for discussion[edit]


A file that you uploaded or altered, File:Sibiricasubhemachalana.jpg, has been listed at Wikipedia:Files for discussion. Please see the discussion to see why it has been listed (you may have to search for the title of the image to find its entry). Feel free to add your opinion on the matter below the nomination. Thank you. Sfan00 IMG (talk) 15:03, 16 May 2016 (UTC)


Hi, I noted yesterday that the cladogram was being made extremely long through addition of more and more images, yet today you are adding yet more. Why? This needs discussion and resolution, rather than continuing action. I'll feel free to remove all the new images if you have no reasons for the action, which is not agreed. Chiswick Chap (talk) 07:48, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

You are the first (and only) person I've come across so far to have objected to the addition of images on a cladogram. As you can see from the vertebrate, osteichthyes, marsupialia, rodentia, carnivora, canidae, panthera, theropoda, tyrannosauroidea, bird and squamata articles (to name but a few), they also make use of cladogram imagery. Mariomassone (talk) 07:58, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
I'm not objecting to the use of images in cladograms (I approve, actually), but to making this particular cladogram too long to fit on a variety of screens. Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:07, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

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Beringian wolf again[edit]

Personal musing: I have just completed a major overhaul of the Dire wolf article. If you read the short section at Subspecies of Canis lupus#Wolf population differences (more of my stuff!), there is a growing body of recent research that supports the absolutely amazing degree of lupus cranio-dental plasticity as it adapts to different ecological environments. From the dire wolf article, it would appear that there is little difference between dirus and a large lupus (e.g. Northwestern wolf) apart from 4 out of 15 cranio-dental aspects studied. No dire wolf has been radio-carbon dated prior 38,000 YBP. I would not be surprised if one day a DNA analysis shows Late Pleistocene lupus - of some form or another - as the ancestor of dirus. I found your article on the "suspected Beringian wolf" remains (DNA analysis yet to confirm) recently found in Wyoming, and described by the researchers as being between a grey wolf and a dire wolf, very interesting. Regards, William Harristalk • 10:08, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

PS: The big dog report is on target for release tomorrow.
No, that was GL putting the hounds off the scent; it is yet to come. This one is definitely for you: William Harristalk • 09:27, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
It did not take you long to hunt that new article down, I see. You were probably hoping for more opportunities to apply your "bitey" icons. William Harristalk • 08:11, 12 June 2016 (UTC)
I have just completed a restructure and update to the Beringian wolf. When I first came to this article in OCT14 not long after you had created it, it was 2.4k in size. It is now 38.7k in size and we both await the next installment. That might lead to some consolidation across the ancient Canis-related articles. Regards,  William Harris |talk  09:14, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
JUST IN TODAY: "From the past to the present: Wolf phylogeography....." 10.3389/fevo.2016.00134 Figure 1 is most illuminating. Regards,  William Harris |talk  21:00, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Now @ Evolution of the wolf#Dissenting view with mDNA phylogenetic tree. We now have the same haplotype (not "routed in the lineage", but the same haplotype!) found in Alaska 28,000 YBP, the northern Urals 18,000 YBP, and remote China today - what does this tell us? Either they all had a common ancestor from somewhere between those places whose descendants made their way to these locations, or based on the timing of each sample there was a massive invasion out of Beringia westwards. The mist begins to clear.... Regards,  William Harris |talk  09:18, 9 December 2016 (UTC)

Tibetan mastiff article - you have beaten me to it! Also, thanks for the icons; the Tibetan mastiff was one of the highly divergent dog breeds in Ersmark 2016 but the authors did not provide a date for divergence from the other dog lineages, therefore it has not been included in the cladogram. Regards,  William Harris |talk  09:37, 15 December 2016 (UTC)

Of interest - Mech 1966 Isle Royale: Regards,  William Harris |talk  05:01, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
Regarding Meachan 2016 and the Natural Trap Cave specimens (Beringian wolf#Range). If you take a look at the skull morphology plot on Figure 3 ( you can see that the NTC specimens fall between the dire wolves and the Beringians but are closer to the Beringians, and so are assumed to be Beringians. Now take a look at the extant wolves - there are 2 outlier specimens that clearly cluster with the NTC wolves, labelled 1 (from Nunavat, Canada) and 2 (Oklahoma). There are no wolves in Oklahoma today, however I assume the Nunavat specimen still has relatives there - this is why I have recently been editing the Greenland wolf page. I assume that by now mDNA has been extracted from the NTC wolves and that this have something very interesting to reveal to us, hopefully soon. Regards,  William Harris |talk  11:43, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
Not released yet. The Beringians travelled further than the Natural Trap Cave in Wyoming - the purported dire wolves from Idaho are assessed as Beringian-Direwolf hybrids! "The next step is to examine ancient DNA to assess whether the morphology concurs with the genetics of these ancient wolves." This implies that they have extracted direwolf DNA from somewhere and is the first that I have heard of that. (It is only a matter of time before we get to Canis lupus dirus......) Regards, William Harris • (talk) • 10:35, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

Audit time![edit]

I know that you created this one for our benefit and that you have spread copies across a number of Canis related pages, but my audit today indicates that the Ethiopian Wolf and the Golden Jackal need to change positions - the Ethiopian Wolf is the one further out on the tree and the Golden Jackal is almost sister to the African Golden Wolf - both Lindblad-Toe and Koepfli are in agreement on this. Wayne 1993 did find the Ethiopian wolf closer but he used only 736 base pair sequence of data as that was all they had in 1993, whereas LBT had a 15,000 bp sequence and Koepfli 2015 had a full genome of data. I have just dropped an amended copy into Evolution of the wolf which may save you time updating elsewhere. Regards, William Harristalk • 11:02, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

Extant wolf-like canid

Below is a cladogram illustrating the currently known phylogenetic relationships between extant wolf-like canids:[1][2]

Side-striped jackal Dogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate XIII).jpg

Black-backed jackal Dogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate XII).jpg

African golden wolf Dogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate XI).jpg

Dog Dogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate XXXVII).jpg

Grey wolf Dogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate I).jpg

Coyote Dogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate IX).jpg

Ethiopian wolf Dogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate VI).jpg

Golden jackal Dogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate X).jpg

Dhole Dogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate XLI).jpg

African wild dog Dogs, jackals, wolves, and foxes (Plate XLIV).jpg

Many thanks for actioning this. I hope that you approve of my new section at Evolution of the wolf#DNA sequences. All of our visitors get a quick crash-course on DNA sequencing and its associated phylogenetic tree that you won't find anywhere else on Wikipedia! Regards, William Harristalk • 12:23, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
Amended again, this time reflecting more Koepfli than Lindblad-Toh, with the African jackals clearly in basal position. I have come across too many instances recently of people interpreting the Black-backed and Side-striped jackals as not part of this clade. Regards, William Harristalk • 11:46, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Hmmmmm? William Harristalk • 01:41, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

Between edits and undoing the barbarians, you may enjoy listening to Wikipedia as it is being created and destroyed. William Harristalk • 12:31, 21 July 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference lindblad2005 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference koepfli2015 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

Significance of new info on Wikipedia's canid articles[edit]

Have you seen "Whole-genome sequence analysis shows that two endemic species of North American wolf are admixtures of the coyote and gray wolf"?

It can be found here.

What's this mean for articles such as Red Wolf, Subspecies of Canis lupus, and so on?

Your thoughts, please. Chrisrus (talk) 13:47, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

Dear Doctor Massone, I am feeling dazed and confused lately. My problem is caused by a man of the name RKW and his pack. First, they tell me that the dog is a grey wolf (Fan). Next, they tell me that all analysed wolves, both extinct and extant, can trace their ancestry back only 80,000 years (Koblmuller). Then, they find that there are only 6 wolf ecotypes in North America, excluding the Mexican wolf (Schweizer). Now, they tell me that the wolf and the coyote split somewhere between 6-117 thousand years ago, that the dog is now classed as Canis familiaris (see tables), and that all North American wolves have at least some coyote DNA in them (see Sups Table S2) and vice versa (vonHoldt). This man is doing my head in. What do you prescribe, please?   William Harris |talk  10:50, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

There may be another explanation for this. The fossil record shows lupus having been around for half a million years but genetically the extant wolf only dates back to around 80,000 YBP, which implies that a new type of lupus has replaced all of the basal ones. Similarly, the fossil record shows latrans having been around one million years but genetically the extant coyote only dates back to a similar period, which also implies that a new type of latrans has replaced all of the basal ones. The same environmental forces that acted on lupus also affected latrans. As for why they look genetically almost the same - that may be a separate question with a different answer.   William Harris |talk  21:22, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
So why didn't Koepfli pick up the possibly more recent wolf/coyote split back in 2015? Because they did not analyse the whole-genome of the coyote and assumed that the wolf was a good representative of the "wolf/coyote clade". If they had, we may have had this new proposal over a year ago. The message for researchers emanating from Genus Canis is Do Not Assume Anything! (This motto of mine is why I had never accepted the dog as a gray wolf until someone - Fan 2016 - conclusively proved it with a whole-genome analysis over a very large data set and with a large number of specimens.)
The timing used in VonHoldt is based on a mutation rate used by Freedman 2014. If they had have used the mutation rate derived by Skoglund (the Taimar wolf specimen clocked against its radiocarbon dating and the modern Chinese wolf genome, with Fan 2016 providing us with both estimates) the coyote/wolf divergence would be 2.5 times this figure, or 15-300,000 years ago. Traditionally, the coyote generation rate has been 2 years and the wolf 3 years, however VonHoldt chose to use the wolf rate (not explaining why) with that figure giving a more recent divergence time to match their theory. There are some holes beginning to emerge - it will be interesting to see if anyone has a go at them. Regards,  William Harris |talk  21:43, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

Rotten Tomatoes question[edit]

Hello, Mariomassone. I noticed that in this edit you added the text "an [[Weighted mean|average score]] of 5.5/10" to describe a Rotten Tomatoes rating. Similar links appear in many other articles. My question is, why "weighted"? What form of weighting does Rotten Tomatoes use, and where is this documented? --R'n'B (call me Russ) 15:54, 26 October 2016 (UTC)

ArbCom Elections 2016: Voting now open![edit]

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Golden jackal[edit]

Hello, I've started to review this excellent and interesting article. It should easily reach GA status once a few small points have been addressed. I look forward to working with you. Chiswick Chap (talk) 13:46, 25 November 2016 (UTC)

Copying within Wikipedia requires proper attribution[edit]

Information icon Thank you for your contributions to Wikipedia. It appears that you copied or moved text from Golden jackal into European jackal. While you are welcome to re-use Wikipedia's content, here or elsewhere, Wikipedia's licensing does require that you provide attribution to the original contributor(s). When copying within Wikipedia, this is supplied at minimum in an edit summary at the page into which you've copied content, disclosing the copying and linking to the copied page, e.g., copied content from [[page name]]; see that page's history for attribution. It is good practice, especially if copying is extensive, to also place a properly formatted {{copied}} template on the talk pages of the source and destination. The attribution has been provided for this situation, but if you have copied material between pages before, even if it was a long time ago, please provide attribution for that duplication. You can read more about the procedure and the reasons at Wikipedia:Copying within Wikipedia. Thank you. If you are the sole author of the prose that was moved, attribution is not required. — Diannaa 🍁 (talk) 20:28, 27 November 2016 (UTC)

Coyote Habitat related photo[edit]

Hey Mariomassone, I added the Sonoram desert coyote photo to the Habitat section because there was no such photo and the habitat section has just an urban coyote photo. Specifically, from the article, "...the coyote ranged from the Sonoran Desert to the alpine regions of adjoining mountains or the plains and mountainous areas of Alberta." Do you think this adds value? Btcgeek (talk) 21:24, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

Mystery canid[edit]

For the red wolf aficionados. Here is an interesting extinct little fellow from North America: Coyote-like with a wolf mandible - Canis petrolei Stock 1938: Stock says it is comparable with the Pleistocene C. latrans orcutti, but with a shorter and more massive mandible. Giles indicates it is a variant of Late Pleistocene coyote: Nowak says its a wolf (it is currently classified as a synonym for lupus). Mech says its a dog. Does anybody really know? Regards, William Harris • (talk) • 10:27, 11 March 2017 (UTC)

wild boar revert[edit]

Hello. Please explain why you have removed my image, with sub-species identified, yet kept a painting? My image adds value to the article and could not be described as unnecessary. Charlesjsharp (talk) 09:58, 15 March 2017 (UTC)

Canis anthus[edit]

There is some good material here that you might be able to use in some articles of your interest: Regards, William Harris • (talk) • 10:37, 22 April 2017 (UTC)

Dire wolf - FAC comments[edit]

I have nominated Dire wolf as Featured Article Candidate. This means that if it passes, this will be the first wolf article to achieve the gold star of Featured Article status - and an Ice Age wolf at that! (It would have been the first wolf-like canid article, but will be beaten by the Beagle and the Australian Cattle Dog - woof!) Two comments have come back this morning that need to be addressed and these relate to your contributions to this article:

  • File:Dogs,_jackals,_wolves,_and_foxes_(Plate_V).jpg is missing a description and date
  • File:Canis_dirus_reconstruction.jpg: what is this based on?

I would appreciate you addressing these two issues in the graphics with some further detail, else I will need to "muddle my way through it". Regards, William Harris • (talk) • 21:57, 22 April 2017 (UTC)

A comment just received to help with regard to the artwork: "provide a source for something that makes it verifiable that the appearance matches known skeletal proportions and theories, even if you don't know exactly what he based it on." Here is where the action is happening: Dire wolf FAC. Regards, William Harris • (talk) • 00:07, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks Mario, I am indebted. Funkmonk is a Mauricio Anton fan, so I knew that he could be relied on to keep your sketch in the article. Regards, William Harris • (talk) • 03:27, 23 April 2017 (UTC)