User talk:William Harris

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I am around...
...and am awaiting the release of a seminal report on the origin of the dog and wolf: Deciphering Dog Domestication: A Combined Ancient DNA and Geometric Morphometric Approach and The Upper Paleolithic beginnings of the domestication of the dog sometime before November 2018....

While you are waiting for a reply, you may enjoy listening to Wikipedia as it is being created and destroyed.

The structure of part of a DNA double helix

Lessons learned from Corinne[edit]

Lessons I have learned from User:Corinne. Note:This section "No Archive until 2027"

  • Be aware of the differences between American English and British English. There are very few differences in grammar; there are more differences in spelling and vocabulary. See MOS:ENGVAR, Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Spelling, and Comparison of American and British English.
  • As much as possible, try to write so that each statement flows logically from what precedes it; try to make the connection clear and don't leave it up to the reader to guess.
  • Focus on the clarity of the sentence – is it saying what it is meant to say?
  • After writing, go through and re-read. Remove all extra, unnecessary, or repetitive words.
  • The word "however" is overused. Often, the word "but" works fine, and sometimes no word is necessary. See User:Rothorpe for pointers on good writing.
  • Provide an explanatory phrase when needed.
  • Except for the first few words of a line, use the no-break-space template {{nbsp}} between a single letter or one- or two-digit number and what follows it. (However, within a template that uses curly brackets such as the quote template or the cite ref template, use the HTML   instead.)
  • Use present tense when something is current or on-going; use present tense for scientific truths or to describe a process. The present tense can also be used to discuss events/action in a work of fiction, and can sometimes be used to discuss historical events/action, in which case it is called "the historical present (tense)".
  • Use present perfect tense (have or has + past participle – have researched, has begun, has been documented) for very recent events or events that have not clearly ended, i.e., that may continue).
  • Focus on when to use "which" and when to use "that". "That" is used to introduce a restrictive, or limiting, adjective clause – information that is necessary to identify, or limit, the noun it is modifying, i.e., following . "Which" is used to introduce a non-restrictive adjective clause – extra information, information that is not necessary to identify the noun it is modifying. See English relative clause.
  • Be careful when using the pronouns "it", "they", and "them". Be sure it is clear to what or to whom they refer. If it is not clear, use a name or noun instead.
  • Be careful when using the demonstrative pronouns "this", "that", "these", and "those". Be sure it is clear to what or to whom they refer. It it is not clear, add a noun after them. For example, instead of writing "That was a turning point", write "That battle was a turning point." (When any of these words are followed by noun, they are called demonstrative adjectives.)
  • Keep the use of the present participle of be, "being", to a minimum. If possible, try to re-word the sentence to avoid using it. "Being" can be used in the right place, but use it sparingly.
  • When referring to something with different words in the same sentence (such as on boh sides of the verb be – am, is, are, was, were, will be, have/has/had been) or nearby sentences, make sure to match a singular noun with singular noun and a plural noun with a plural noun. Precede a singular countable noun with "a" or "an".
  • Use adverbs to modify action verbs – eventually finished, generally agreed, always won, often traveled/travelled – or adjectives – very difficult, really important, rather good, somewhat reserved. See MOS:HYPHEN about when to hyphenate and when not to hyphenate adverbs.
  • Vary the verbs; try not to use the same word over and over. For example, instead of "indicated", use "showed", "yielded evidence of", "pointed to", "suggested", "implied". The dictionary entry of a word in an on-line dictionary such as Merriam-Webster often includes a list of synonyms. The thesaurus entry for the same word will often supply more words with similar meaning.
  • Don't forget to use &nbsp

re: golden jackal[edit]

I would like that very much. Thank you Mariomassone (talk) 11:55, 21 August 2017 (UTC)

Mario, the article per se is almost there. There are some pedantic "hoops" the assessors will require it to jump through - formats for the different types of content etc - but nothing too challenging, just laborious and time consuming. I will give the article a good reading this weekend and make some draft edits, where necessary. (As with any edit, these can be challenged or debated.) We can then divide up the work to be done. Following that when we are ready, we invite our friends from the Guild of Copy Editors ("The Spacing Guild") to correct our our split infinitives and other grammatical errors. After that, you can nominate it for FAC and field the assessors questions. Unlike GAC, anybody can participate, but you will be lucky to attract half a dozen. (Additionally, I have also paid a visit to see Mr. Aleksandar, who may not be "assisting" us for much longer.) William Harris • (talk) • 12:21, 21 August 2017 (UTC)
Mario, I know absolutely nothing about jackals and will be guided by your advice, but here are some initial comments:
  • the "legals" on all of the pix are fine
  • Refer the section "Subspecies" - we have a pix under C. a. a. of a jackal in a zoo in India - how confident are you that this is C. a. a. and not C. a. i.?
  • I am concerned about the reference for the ranges, and have placed a general comment to any editor on the Talk page. I have Europe covered by a recent upload to the article, but the taxobox range and the subspecies range will require sources if this article is to be at the "authoritative" FA level, even if these are multiple references, with them best cited in the original copies on Commons. Wozencraft lists the countries as at 2005, IUNC at 2008 - we might cite these for the pix and copy/paste the names of the countries under "Range", citing the refs. I have no idea where to start on the subspecies range. As these have been most recently modified by you, are you well-placed to follow these up?
  • The bolded "other names" - I now note that you have been busy with the subspecies articles, where the other names are already covered. I am going to suggest that we remove them from the main article altogether (i.e. implying that in the English-speaking world, there is only one common name for the golden jackal across the holarctic, but we have the local variants in the subspecies articles.) William Harris • (talk) • 22:50, 25 August 2017 (UTC)
I'll get back to you in three days. I'm abroad at the moment. Mariomassone (talk) 23:14, 25 August 2017 (UTC)
Half your luck! It is a wet, cold winter down here. William Harris • (talk) • 00:54, 26 August 2017 (UTC)
Well Mario, work commenced in late August and is now finished in early November. Time is now of the essence, so I will now nominate your GA Golden jackal article for WP:FAC. William Harris • (talk) • 02:47, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

Golden Jackal[edit]

Hello Mario. We have under the Taxonomy section the sentance: "Jackal-like fossils appear in South Africa as late as the Early Pleistocene, though remains identifiable as the golden jackal only appear beginning with the Middle Pleistocene." The reference at the end of that paragraph is:

(in Italian) Lapini, L. (2003), Canis aureus (Linnaeus, 1758). In Boitani, L.; Lovari, S.; Vigna Taglianti, A. (ed.). Fauna d'Italia: Mammalia III. Carnivora, artiodactyla, 47–58. Calderini publ., Bologna

Assuming that you have placed this citation, and given that my knowledge of the Italian language is just enough to get my menu order accepted in a fine Italian restaurant, can you confirm for me that the authors were referring to Middle Pleistocene fossils in Eurasia or Africa. If it is Africa then it would not be the Golden Jackal, it would be the African golden wolf, therefore it should not be used in the article? William Harris • (talk) • 04:50, 8 September 2017 (UTC)

User:William Harris, the book talks about Middle Pleistocene fossils in North Africa, so it's definitely outdated now. Mariomassone (talk) 07:41, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
Many thanks M, that is just what I thought. Curiously, there are no GJ fossils older than 20k, and mDNA dates the lineage to 35k from India! Almost a return to vonHoldt 2016 with DNA indicating that the coyote and grey wolf split only 55k years ago. (Koepfli's figures were based on the Coyote fossil that was found in sediment dated at 1.1m years which all of the researchers refer to. If the sediment dating is incorrect - something Tedford always advises in his work - then the dating of the entire phylogenic tree for the extant genus Canis provided by Koepfli et al is incorrect. All of the other genetic analyses that used the golden jackal as an "outgroup" are now questionable. William Harris • (talk) • 08:52, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
Well M, that is taxonomy and lineage sorted; it is always the most difficult part. Now it will be just a less-complex slog checking the rest of the article for references and applying similar grammar. I am sure you have already removed irrelevant or uncited material. I note my favorite Russian zoologist is cited a number of times, so I will assume that is your work and that it is correct. William Harris • (talk) • 11:04, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
User:William Harris if you're referring to Heptner, then yes, it is my doing. I think it's all in order, but you're welcome to double check. Mariomassone (talk) 17:03, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
I trust your judgement; there are few on Wikipedia that I do. William Harris • (talk) • 08:46, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
Brace yourself, M. Regarding the latest Description update, we must now enter a world of American spelling and their more simplified grammar. This will make it easier for when we come to the Guild's review of the article. (We write largely for a North American audience, and your proper grammatical application of the comma and conjunctions now come to a close......)
Of interest, Linnaeus originally entered under the heading "aureus" the following: "Canis lupus aureus" - perhaps he was better informed than we are, based on what we are seeing now. William Harris • (talk) • 00:14, 18 September 2017 (UTC)
Hello M, I am approaching the end of my development of this article, which has been increased in size from 65kb to 92kb. I have been aiming to have it FAC-assessed before Xmas. This is because a few of the key FAC promoters are Australian and they will disappear from Wikipedia over the Xmas/New Year holiday period down here, adding another month or so to the assessment time. As part of that process, the "Main article" and "See also" items need to be absorbed within the text body, therefore the "Jackal coursing" entry will need to become a hyperlink in the text of that section. (Regardless of what WP:MOS allows for the other articles, these folks follow their own shared interpretation regarding a global "encyclopedic standard" of FA. I have also come to believe that the result looks better.)
Separately, I note that the "Jackal coursing" article is only 4kb in size and will probably never develop beyond that. My thoughts are that its golden jackal-related material should be absorbed into golden jackal (which it has), and the black-backed jackal material should be absorbed into that article (which it has), and the article be tagged for deletion - however that is completely your decision and has nothing to do with the current undertaking. I am leaning towards transferring the quote by Thomas Francis Dale to "Jackal coursing" because it does not give us any insight into jackals, as contrasted with the earlier quote by Oliver Goldsmith; if you have any preference please let me know. William Harris • (talk) • 21:47, 14 October 2017 (UTC)

Sock Puppet[edit]

William- I have been accused by someone of being a Sock Puppet named LargelyRecyclable on another article (Panzer Ace). I'm not sure exactly what that means but I am 100% NOT a sock puppet and I have only this Wikipedia user name. Can you help me with what to do about this? Right now I just wrote that I'm not a sock puppet and will just let it play out.Thanks for your help- Jeff T.Makumbe (talk) 18:26, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

Ref WP:SOCK - If you two are not the same person, then relax. There will be a check of both of your IP addresses by a special type of admin that handles these things. It will show that you are serviced by an ISP in California and L.R. is serviced by one in Rhode Island or similar i.e. no connection. Then the accusing party will be on the public record - forever - as being a person of questionable judgement.
On a separate issue, be aware that there are sociopaths loose on Wikipedia that will say or do anything to get their own way; I have had a recent run-in with one of them on a Canis-related page. Fortunately for me, "the pack" then ripped them apart. William Harris • (talk) • 10:07, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

Thanks William. I figured if it wasn't true then Wikipedia would sort it out. I know I can be a bit persistent and I dare say annoying but I never expected this sort of internet discussion board type weirdness here. I innocently walked into the History woods and soon discovered not all Wiki people are as helpful and nice as you. I'm sorry you had a run-in lately- Homo sapiens are a pain...Makumbe (talk) 13:44, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

Please bear in mind that this is not a sock-puppet "investigation", it is an ISP check. If you both have the same ISP then there may be an investigation. However, the other party's case rests largely on you and your counterpart both having commenced editing on W. a decade ago - I dare say that a lot of people started editing on W. a decade ago....... William Harris • (talk) • 09:26, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

Canine Biology Course[edit]

William- On a more positive note- I am taking an online course about canine biology. It is given by Carol Beuchat who is a biologist who has taught here at Berkeley. So far it is excellent- I'm learning very basic genetics and so far there is a lot of emphasis on dingos and village dogs as models of early dogs. She had one section where she put in order all the big genetic papers on dog origins since 2004- interesting to watch the site of origin move around- from S E Asia (Brown and Sacks) to Europe (Thalman) to Siberia (Frantz) back to Europe etc. etc. I guess now Central Asia is in the running. The one thing (which is so obvious to me now) about village dogs is their natural breeding- this makes them very interesting as they seem to be generally of a type- especially in Asia and America- yellowish, 40 lbs., long nose, curly tail... The class is really good- soon I'll understand a lot more of the jargon in papers- SNPs, LDs, Mt lineage, Y- lineage...Makumbe (talk) 13:43, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

Good work Jeff. Bear in mind that the dingo does not have a curly tail over its back. These dogs appear to be similar in size etc because that is the phenotype of a hunter/scavenger in their habitat - recall the Arabian wolf? William Harris • (talk) • 09:31, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

Exactly! The Arabian wolf! I know about the dingo's tail- in fact I'd say the Dingo is close to a wolf in many ways- especially the little Cl arabs. I watched an amazing Japanese video on the Arabian wolf filmed in the Negev. They seem to be semi-dependent on people. As far as the sock check- I can't really believe it. The guy they think I am knows his stuff a lot more than me. I guess it's a left-handed compliment. Talk to you soon- JeffMakumbe (talk) 13:12, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

New dog study[edit]

Demographic history, selection and functional diversity of the canine genome. Written by three heavy-weights: Ostrander-Wayne-Freedman. doi:10.1038/nrg.2017.67 and once again we see a trend with revisiting the use of the name Canis familiaris.

Crikey Jethro, this is a secondary source and there is enough material in here to rewrite the current Dog breed article into a dog genetics article! Basically, that is all the breeds are - a certain bunch of genes that are slightly different. William Harris • (talk) • 10:12, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

I read about 1/3 of it today but now I can't connect for some reason. I like it! To understand for sure that some of the characteristics were fixed early (short legs, sled dog function, carb eating etc.) and that the effects of the idiotic Victorian incest fest are bad and obvious. Deleterious alleles, inbred depression, all from man's hand. Interesting that some of the problems like hip dysplasia and cancer seem to be ancient. I can hardly wait to finish it tomorrow. BTW- how long does this Sock check take? Am I restricted in any way? I want to edit something soon. Thanks, JLTMakumbe (talk) 01:18, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

You are under no restrictions unless "the system" tells you so through a message on your talkpage from an admin or a bureaucrat, so keep on editing. The check will be done when someone gets around to it - you might notice that you are on a long queue. William Harris • (talk) • 08:56, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

The Nature website is still down- I can't finish the article. Are you actually going to revisit the Dog breed article? I notice that many of these papers seem to leave out the JRT- maybe because it was never "purebred" and even now the Jack Russell Terrier name is not allowed to be used by the AKC or UKC- no "purebred" dogs in the JRTCA club! These are interesting little terriers- really they seem a vestige of the original terrier landrace- fierce little hunters with huge teeth for their size (many of them anyway). I have an 18 pound dog who has 7/8" canines and huge carnassials- he looks like an alligator. His canine teeth are larger than a 80 pound black Lab I know- I measured both! I have a coyote skull- the canines are 7/8+ inches but thinner and the skull is much longer. I notice (from videos in the canine biology class) that dingos also have thin albeit very long canines. My little terrier lives but to kill small animals and to enthusiastically dive into disgusting holes in the ground. Interesting how ingrained and innate his behaviors are. I really want to finish the paper- they seem to touch on behavior/morphology stuff. Talk to you soon-JLTMakumbe (talk) 17:24, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

"The Jack" is a recognised breed down here in Aus, Jeff: and yes, the teeth are the last part of the dog's anatomy to shrink down to size. I won't be tackling the article Dog breed until we see the flagship report next year. It may turn out that there is not just one thing referred to as "the dog", but a collection of Canis with "distinct lineages" (as the EBs put it). You may have completed your dog genetics course by then and want a piece of this action. William Harris • (talk) • 09:16, 29 September 2017 (UTC)

The Parson Jack Russell and the Russell Terrier are the 2 AKC breeds here- the AKC is in the process of ruining these 2 types but the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America successfully sued to not allow the use of the name by the AKC. "Real" Jack Russells are determined as much by function as looks and have to pass a behavior test at 1 year. No inbreeding allowed.

Do you think the Canis lineages of the dog will actually be separate? Like almost wolf/dog separate? Seems that right now the northern European dogs and the Asian dogs are separating out- with the European dogs representing many if not most of the Victorian breeds. Very interesting how genetics is proving some of the breed histories. Makumbe (talk) 13:46, 29 September 2017 (UTC)

Back in 2015 someone (Duleba?) found 6 mDNA monophyletic clades exist within "the dog". My interpretation of that is that these could then be 6 separate subspecies (of lupus currently), some may warrant further separation. The dog is on average 8 mutations away from the wolf, and the coyote 20. One particular dog mDNA sub-group is 12 mutations away from both the wolf and the dog(!) - picture a triangle rather than a line - that certainly needs further explaining. William Harris • (talk) • 22:42, 29 September 2017 (UTC)

William- I read the whole paper- probably 2 1/2 times. I still don't completely understand but with the class and familiarity with the terms it's getting easier. By "demographics" they mean the study of specific populations- correct? This seemed to be one of their empahases- that studying populations will lead to a clearer picture genetically. I find it interesting that some of the afflictions dogs carry including hip dysplasia and cancer have ancient roots in that first bottleneck. The fact that some characteristics selectively bred for carry with them "bad" genes in the same loci is obvious but official now that it is explained genetically.

What is the doi of the 2015 paper? I want to read it. I know that people are about 7 mutations away from random strangers- how is it possible for a dog to be 12 away from both other dogs and wolves?

Again- as usual- thanks for turning me on to another paper- the Ostrander-Wayne-Freedman review - it's boggling my little mind. They even mention the Von Holdt study on sociabilty. A great review and I'm caught up!Makumbe (talk) 01:52, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

Demographics - they are referring to "populations", and so we assume slightly different genetic types. The issue, and the Duleba reference, can be found under Post-domestication gene flow. Be aware that now in 2017, when we talk about an ancient dog/wolf hybrid - up to a third of the wolf is dog!
Knowing your interests, you might find this better reading: "Diversifying Selection Between Pure-Breed and Free-Breeding Dogs Inferred from Genome-Wide SNP Analysis" - Pilot 2016. William Harris • (talk) • 08:13, 1 October 2017 (UTC)

Wolves and hybrids in the wild[edit]

William- Have you read this? "Trophic overlap between wolves and free-ranging wolf × dog hybrids in the Apennine Mountains, Italy" Pretty interesting- reminds me a bit of the wild dogs in the Blue Mountains of Australia- supposedly bad for dingoes. Why is the mixing of wolves and dogs or dingoes and dogs considered a negative? Is it not just the continuation of the roiling Canis soup? The reason I ask is that it seems that in the case of the Italian wolves there is really no difference in prey or behavior- they are like wolves. Ditto for what I have read about the wild dogs of the Blue Mountains- they're hunters- live in packs and hunt large kangaroos and other wild animals- basically they live exactly like dingoes. Arabian wolves seem to be introgressed too a bit but they already lead pretty dog-like scavenging lives (not always I know). So is it problem of genetic "purity" or is it a worry that wolf adaptions and behaviors will be lost?

I still haven't read the 2 papers you recommended but I'm working on it. Talk to you soonMakumbe (talk) 20:06, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

Hello Jeff. In the case of the dingo, it is still arguable that they are a separate species or a separate subspecies of lupus compared to familiaris. Either way, once they are gone due to hybridization then they are gone forever. The situation is the same for the Italian wolf - it is about conservation. There are approximately 1 billion dogs on this planet living domestically, in remote villages, semi-wild or wild. They could potentially absorb all of the other members of genus Canis and still be genetically dogs. As a greater percentage of them continue to move from a domestic state into a wild state then instead of being man's best friend they could become man's worst enemy. We humans must start thinking in terms of global control of them. William Harris • (talk) • 21:29, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

Interesting. How could they become man's worst enemy? By absorbing and thus exterminating other Canis species or literally a danger to man? Rabies, livestock predation, human predation...? Here in the US there are a couple of cities that have literally gone to the dogs- East St. Louis and parts of Detroit. Free ranging feral dogs have taken over abandoned areas. Is this what you mean? What would global control be? I think the best we can hope for is the preservation of large tracts of land for all wild Canis. Very interesting- I never thought of our friends this way. I think cats are actually more of a danger environmentally. Interesting...Makumbe (talk) 03:55, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

You are correct with both proposals, Jeff. Absorbing all other Canis so that there were not wild species left, plus predation - livestock and humans - and the spread of diseases. If "avian/swine/horse/seal flu" were to mutate among dogs then we might be largely finished as a species. The compulsory desexing of dogs unless a permit to breed is held is something I believe in strongly. Dogs are an ice age canine whose evolutionary advantage over her sisters is the ability to mass produce puppies that can fend for themselves very early. The whole process is designed to expand into new niches. Even if the dog had not teamed up with humans, the ecological changes that occurred at the end of the Pleistocene spelt the rise of the dog and the demise of her relatives. William Harris • (talk) • 03:38, 8 October 2017 (UTC)

Not a sock puppet![edit]

Case closed. I'm not a sock puppet. I'll stay WELL AWAY from History! Homo Sapiens too crazy! JeffMakumbe (talk) 03:18, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

Some articles are just not worth it, Jeff. You need to develop your wolf nature - wait and watch, then know when to attack relentlessly or simply just trot away. William Harris • (talk) • 08:21, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

Mark Derr/ Coppinger[edit]

William- do you know much about Mark Derr? He features prominently in the canine biology course I'm taking. Not sure what to think but I do agree with his takedown of Coppinger and the garbage dump thesis of domestication. The course itself is neutral on the matter- Coppinger features prominently also. Derr seems to have some of the same vague notions I have after studying all this material- especially about how the study of village dogs and wild dogs like dingoes is where it's at- he seems to have the same disgust I have for the Victorians and modern Western dog breeds. One thing Derr says that interests me- he claims that RK Wayne gives a figure for the first dog of about 100,000 years ago. Is this true? Interesting that the genetics can push the date back so far- do you think The Great Canine Genetic Study coming out next year will have answers for this? I have questions William-sanMakumbe (talk) 03:48, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

"The Force is strong in this one." You ask the right questions, Jeff! Mark is a dear online friend of mine. We chat regularly and share ideas or prompt each other about the latest research, and I am a contributor to his blog: - take a look at the reply to his latest article. Mark has known RKW for many years. The figure of 100k was a based on mitochondrial DNA, calculated by Carles Vila and RKW back in the 1990s. However, they stated their assumptions (1) assuming that the 1m year old fossil attributed to the EXTANT coyote was actually a coyote (they used the coyote as an outgroup) and (2) that the EXTANT wolf was the ancestor of the dog ELSE there was a now extinct ancestor of both and the divergence was much more recent. These guys got it right back in the early 1990s - it took us another 20 years to validate the alternative proposal of a more recent common ancestor. RKW thinks new thoughts widely, looks at all of the alternatives, and he - and his students - tends to get it right. Additionally, we now think that the extant coyote dates back only 50k-100k years (VonHoldt 2016). We also now know there is a timing difference between mDNA and nDNA. The report next year will need to be a compromise between the various factions, and I believe GL is the only person that can negotiate one of these. He has stated to me online that he has had to "drink his own Kool-aid". It was Mark that explained that US term's meaning to me. Regards, William Harris • (talk) • 10:04, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

Gregor Larson features very prominently in the class also. He seems like he could do the negotiating necessary- very personable and enthusiastic person. I do find that all people scientists included seem to wax silly when trying to figure out how the first domestication events happened- it is a story so opportunities for anthropomorphizing and fantasy abound. What do you think of Scottie Westphal- aka Retrieverman? He also has been used in the course. He is a great writer but I don't know about his grasp of the subject... Interesting how non-scientists can influence the discussion also.Makumbe (talk) 13:30, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

Yes, they are anthro-centric, where once humans "domesticated" wolves. They found abandoned wolf puppies; where have you ever heard of wolves - which live in a nurturing pack - abandon puppies? When was the last time someone was out in the wild and found a wolf puppy? Now we have this one - it is IMPOSSIBLE to domesticate an extant wolf: Although RM has raised some interesting proposals, I do not follow him because these are not scientifically based. William Harris • (talk) • 08:49, 19 October 2017 (UTC)

The NYT article was part of our class. I actually think there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that wolves can be tamed but very difficult to keep as pets. Every once in a while someone does- maybe a wolf with less fear response-eh? What I mean about fantasy is how most scenarios even the ones put forth by scientists always seem to think of a cause and effect as a modern person thinks. One of the only other mammals other than dogs who can doggedly hunt down prey by chasing it is man. If you ever google "Hunting elephants with spears" you'll see a video of African men killing an elephant with spears- no dogs involved. Man the hunter did not need dogs really at least to hunt. Dogs are useful but not necessary for hunting- as food, for pulling stuff, as guards more likely. I like Mark Derr's ideas because they're kind of squishy about exactly what happened to bring dogs to us. I find the Pat Shipman hypothesis about dogs and Cro-magnon man killing off the Neanderthals because of the advantage from dogs silly. What do you think Obi-wan?Makumbe (talk) 15:54, 19 October 2017 (UTC)

A quick history of man allied with dog[edit]

Good point - people keep forgetting that there were no wolves in Africa and nobody domesticated the 2 African jackal species, nor even bonobos and chimpanzees - our intelligent, closest genetic cousins. Homo sapiens (think tall, thin Ethiopian-like people) came out of Africa and brought the spear with them, hunting the slow megafauna and reaching Central Asia around 45k-60k years ago. However, in Africa there was wood to build structures to keep lions and hyenas out. Across the Mammoth steppe there was not, so hunter-gatherers on the move there needed to (a) construct protection using mammoth bones every time they stopped (time consuming) or they needed an ally to warn them on the move of the approach of cave hyenas (the top predator) and cave lions (second top predator) and cave wolves (third top predator) - we rate only fourth and we have limited night vision. Somewhere in here, the dog ancestor came along (woof!). The thought now appears to be that the extant wolf and dogs (fifth top predator!) diverged from a common ancestor 40k-60k years ago. Domestication is now thought to have occurred 22,000 years ago. The dog and humans joined each other as natural allies. Even today, the dog is a scavenging animal with better scenting abilities than wild canids apart from the Arctic Fox. Early warning was provided by them and protection/food given by us, we did not "domesticate a wolf". Eventually, their "core area" and our campsites overlapped, we both became domesticated - we domesticated each other. Both of our brains shrank in size compared to our ancestor species but with more folding around the outsides - better processing power.
When the Pleistocene came to an end 13k years ago due to climate change, rain and snow brought an end to the mammoth steppe, the rise of the wolf as apex predator as the wolf's paw is better adapted for snow country which led to the extinction of the cave lion and cave hyena, and forests sprouted everywhere due to the increased precipitation. Much of the slower megafauna became extinct. Therefore, the spear was no longer the main hunting weapon as we needed to take a very quick shot at a fleeting prey animal in forest, so the bow and arrow was better developed for range and power - else we starved. This propelled the human/dog into top position. Science shows that the Homo neanderthalis were on their way out well before the human/dog alliance. However, they never actually left; those humans that are not of black African ancestry share at least 4% Neanderthal DNA, and in some people it is as high as 20% (all jokes aside). Homo sapiens merged with the remainder of their species (think shorter, stockier, more robust people). The result is us. I do not agree with Shipman but I respect her courage in proposing new thoughts. She has helped reinforce the image of the hunter-gatherer as the domesticator rather than the previous view of the agriculturalist.
Now, note the timing of human arrival from Africa and the divergence of the dog/wolf. I believe it to be a coincidence when the two species first came into contact with each other - the rest is history. (Yet, the back of my mind tells me that there are no coincidences in evolutionary biology.........cause is followed by effect!) William Harris • (talk) • 21:12, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
Beautifully, clearly expressed! I think your synthesis of what is known now is spot on. I have been on vacation for 2 weeks- I learned that the city dog of Paris is the JRT- I saw scores of the mean little buggers. I also stayed on a farm which had 2 Border Collies- what impressive beasts! Makumbe (talk) 04:30, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
Thanks Jeff. As G Larson once said: the story of the dog is the story of us! JRTs - I am convinced that these are derived from dingos!! William Harris • (talk) • 08:14, 3 November 2017 (UTC) William Harris • (talk) • 08:14, 3 November 2017 (UTC)

Golden jackal for FAC[edit]

Hello Corinne. In a moment of weakness or passing fancy, I have decided to put aside my "Rise of the fossil wolves" for the moment and do some development work on an EXTANT(!) Canis species for a change - the Golden jackal. I was hoping to call upon your skills once again; if so, please amend as you see fit. I will follow along for yet another lesson. Regards, William Harris • (talk) • 11:34, 25 October 2017 (UTC)

Hello, again, William Harris. It's funny, I was just yesterday looking at a television program about jackals in Africa (don't know if it was a golden jackal); it was about a lone female that hung out with a pack of hyenas until she joined a young family of jackals. I'm almost finished copy-editing Hussein of Jordan; after that I really ought to see if someone has copy-edited an article that another editor asked me to work on but I asked the editor to list it at Wikipedia:WikiProject Guild of Copy Editors/Requests. Is there any hurry on Golden jackal?  – Corinne (talk) 14:17, 25 October 2017 (UTC)
Hi Corinne, that was probably the black-backed jackal or the side-striped jackal - both quite rare. As you will discover, that which was once considered to be the golden jackal in North Africa is now reclassified as a separate species, the golden wolf, and it is possible that it may have been one of those in the documentary before the reclass in 2015. I am always surprised how social some animals are, and how the lonely ones find comfort in other species, and not always within their own genus. I am appreciative of your work on Canis - the dog's cousins need all the help they can get on Wikipedia at the present time.
The schedule I have been working to is this: (a) Get the article promoted to FA before Xmas as a number of the promoters are Aussies and will depart on Xmas leave after that for a month or so. So hopefully all done by Friday 22DEC. (b) Articles appear to sit on the FA queue for 4 weeks min. and 6 weeks max. on average, so I will target submission for Friday 10NOV at the earliest or Friday 16NOV at the latest. This gives 2 weeks to the earliest submission date; how comfortable are you with this timeframe? (I have my project manager hat on at present.....) William Harris • (talk) • 08:39, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
I see that. Sounds like a good timetable. I'm pretty sure I can get to it in the next two weeks. The jackals I saw in the program had big black blotches all over their bodies; the ground color was a dull medium brown/yellowish taupe. They looked similar in coloring to the hyenas. That was in semi-wooded savannah.  – Corinne (talk) 13:50, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
That sounds like the Black-backed jackal. Of interest, hyenas are closer to the cat family than the dog family although they live in packs, whereas the cats are usually solitary apart from the lion. Many thanks for looking at the jackal article. William Harris • (talk) • 20:56, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
I was just glancing at the linked articles in the cladogram of canids and when I got to African wild dog, I saw the picture in the lead, and it was that one, so I guess it wasn't a jackal I saw in the program.  – Corinne (talk) 01:38, 27 October 2017 (UTC)
Of course, that would explain the splotches. Its ancestor came out of Eurasia a long time ago - I have recently developed Xenocyon, one of my favourite contributions. I also helped develop the proposed ancestor of the golden jackal, the Arno river dog, so there is a connection with it and my latest work. William Harris • (talk) • 08:41, 27 October 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The article I had promised someone else to copy-edit if it was still in the queue at Wikipedia:WikiProject Guild of Copy Editors/Requests when I finished Hussein of Jordan has apparently been copy-edited by someone else since it's no longer there. I accepted another assignment, but will copy-edit Golden jackal first. But since you mentioned Arno river dog, I glanced at it. Maybe I'll take a more thorough look at it later, but I noticed two things I'd like to ask you about in Arno river dog:

1) In the lead we find the following sentence:

  • The Arno river dog has been described as a small jackal-like dog and its anatomy and morphology relates more to the modern golden jackal Canis aureus than to the larger Etruscan wolf of that time.

(a) Since these are two complete independent clauses joined by "and", there should be a comma after the first one, after "a small jackal-like dog". I can add that.

(b) In the second clause, the subject is "its anatomy and morphology". It is a plural subject (two things), so the verb needs to be in the plural form: "relate", not "relates". If we change the verb to "relates", and add the comma, the sentence would read:

  • The Arno river dog has been described as a small jackal-like dog, and its anatomy and morphology relate more to the modern golden jackal Canis aureus than to the larger Etruscan wolf of that time.

I wonder if the sentence could be improved even more. The verb to relate can be used transitively or intransitively. That is, it can take an object or remain with no object. Here, it is used intransitively. There is no object (noun or noun phrase) after "relate". It seems to mean something like "connect", or "remind us of". The sentence might make more sense if the verb were used transitively, i.e.:

  • its anatomy and morphology relate it [i.e., the Arno river dog] more to the modern golden jackal Canis aureus than to the larger Etruscan wolf of that time.

where "relate" means something like "connect".

Would you consider adding "it" after "relate"? If that's not the meaning you were trying to convey, I apologize.

2) In the section Canis arnensis#Range, I see this phrase: "Tasso Faunal Unit of Italy". "Tasso Faunal Unit" also appears in the next section. However, this is not linked. I wonder if you'd like to link it to Villafranchian.  – Corinne (talk) 23:55, 28 October 2017 (UTC)

This is good news for the golden jackal article. Many thanks for the Arno river dog, now actioned - you don't miss much nor let anything slip by, do you? I have nominated the Beringian wolf for TFA on 1 December - "Winter is coming!".
* You might like to amend the single bracket on the end of this section that has been copy-edited:
"believed to be the extinct Arno river dog that lived in Mediterranean Europe 1.9{{nbsp}million years ago."
* Your change of hyphen on the "jackal-wolf hybrid" has caused a link to a non-existent article.

William Harris • (talk) • 07:54, 29 October 2017 (UTC)

Hello, William Harris – Great news re Beringian wolf. I see a lot going on at Coyote, which I suppose you're following. I just finished copy-editing Golden jackal. Feel free to ask me about anything. I didn't see your notes just above until now, but I had already seen those two problems. I fixed the missing second curly bracket. Regarding the "jackal-wolf hybrid" situation, you may be right. I was just studying MOS:HYPHEN, specifically In some cases, like diode–transistor logic, the independent status of the linked elements requires an en dash instead of a hyphen. See En dashes below., but see also MOS:DASH, specifically the examples in In compounds when the connection might otherwise be expressed with to, versus, and, or between. Perhaps the "jackal-wolf hybrid" is similar to the example "blue-green algae", in which, according to this example, since "blue-green" is a "blended, intermediate color", a hyphen is correct. Would you say "jackal-wolf" is a blended, intermediate species, or is it more like "diode–transistor logic"? If the former, then we'll leave it with the hyphen. If it's more like the latter, then it should have an en-dash, and the article title would have to be moved (changed), too. I see Jackal–dog hybrid has an en-dash. As I was reading and copy-editing, I came across a few things I need to ask you about, regarding clarity and sentence flow, but I'd like to wait until tomorrow to find them and write up my comments. Not many.  – Corinne (talk) 00:08, 30 October 2017 (UTC)
Hi Corrine. I do not have a watch on Coyote but I did stumble upon the "Coyote incident" before your alert, while doing one of my anti-vandal patrols there. I think the visiting editor raises some valid points that need to be considered, and I may have defrayed the looming edit war between several wilful editors. (The old, grey megafaunal wolf casts his shadow across the page and gives a low growl......)
I think the jackal-wolf is a hybrid blend of dog and wolf, similar to the colour blend blue-green with the algae so a hyphen. However, jackal-dog has an en-dash, which is possibly the one needing moving.
My editing of golden jackal lacked the &nbsp - must add it to the list on the top of this page :-) William Harris • (talk) • 10:07, 30 October 2017 (UTC)
I like to use the template {{nbsp}} unless it's within a cite ref, a reference in curly brackets. I find it easier to type. Do you want to take care of moving the jackal–dog article title to "jackal-dog"? I'll get to the comments I promised shortly.  – Corinne (talk) 15:43, 30 October 2017 (UTC)
Yes, leave that one to me; some of these Canis editors can get a "bitey" (as you well know) :-) William Harris • (talk) • 09:34, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
Well Corinne, this will be now be referred to by me as "The Hyphen Incident" - Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#MOS:HYPHEN may need minor clarification. One best left for the aficionados to argue over. William Harris • (talk) • 11:02, 11 November 2017 (UTC)

Golden jackal – Some comments[edit]

1) The last sentence of the lead is as follows:

  • In Europe, jackals will not occupy the same areas as wolves, with the jackal's expansion there being attributed to occupying those areas where wolves are few or non-existent.

Although I understand the point, the sentence is not well worded, specifically this part: "Being attributed to occupying". [Read through to the end of this item before making up your mind; I added another possible wording.] Although the -ing form of a verb can be used as a noun (and then is called a gerund), it would be better if a real noun were used instead of a verb form here. Something to the effect: "being attributed to the vacuum/opportunity/ecological niche created after wolves were killed or driven out of the continent". If you don't want to say something like this, perhaps you could avoid using "being attributed to" and discuss only time: "with the jackal's expansion there occurring after/when..." Without reading the article again to look for this, is Europe the only place where jackals will not occupy the same areas as wolves?

I just thought of another possible wording. If you add "their" (meaning "the jackals'") before "occupying", it makes more sense. If you do that, to avoid "there...their", I would just remove "there". I think it is clear enough that you mean expansion into Europe:

  • In Europe, jackals will not occupy the same areas as wolves, with the jackal's expansion there being attributed to their occupying those areas where wolves are few or non-existent.  – Corinne (talk) 16:36, 31 October 2017 (UTC)

2) Just a comment: I was interested to read in Golden jackal#Etymology the following sentence:

  • It derives from the Turkish word çakal, which originates from the Persian word šagāl.

The "š" in Persian is equivalent to the English sound "sh". (See Persian alphabet#Letters, third column in item 16.) (I wondered if the artist Marc Chagall's last name was the same word.) But the word for "dog" in Persian (Farsi) is "sag" (no "sh", just regular "s"), but I guess "shagal" and "sag" are pretty close.

 – Corinne (talk) 16:11, 31 October 2017 (UTC)

3) Regarding the last sentence of the first paragraph in Golden jackal#Taxolomy,

  • Results from two recent studies of mDNA from golden jackals indicate that, on the phylogenetic tree, the specimens from Africa are closer to those of the gray wolf than are the specimens from Eurasia.

I just removed the word "phylogenetic" before "tree". The phrase "phylogenetic tree" had just been used in the previous sentence, so I thought it wasn't necessary to repeat the entire phrase. However, I wonder if "in the tree" is really the right phrase to use. The phylogenetic tree is really a representation of evolution and genetic relationship, isn't it? So, "results from two recent studies of mDNA from golden jackals" have indicated something about the genetic relationships, not the representation of genetic relationships. I wonder if, instead of "in the tree", it would be better to add a descriptive adverb such as "genetically" before "closer" ("...are genetically closer to those of the gray wolf..."), or some other descriptive phrase such as "closer in terms of evolution", "closer on the phylogenetic tree", etc.

4a) The next sentence is:

  • In 2015 a major DNA study of golden jackals proposes that the six C. aureus subspecies found in Africa should be reclassified under the new species C. anthus (African golden wolf), reducing the number of golden jackal subspecies to seven.

Even though the study was done in 2015, you have the verb in present tense ("proposes"). I suppose that's all right, but if this is still a proposal, and it hasn't been acted upon, then you might consider changing "reducing" to "..., which would reduce...". If this has been acted upon, then you might consider changing "proposes" to "proposed"; in that case, I would leave "reducing" as it is. But I see that you continue with present tense for the rest of the sentences in the paragraph, and if you change one, you'd have to change the others.

4b) I'm wondering about this sentence:

  • The study found that both species shared a very similar skull and body morphology and that this had confused taxonomists into regarding these as the one species.

I'm a little confused by a couple of things in this sentence. Even though the previous sentence mentions three species, I assume the phrase "both species" refers to the African golden jackal and the "wolf/coyote lineage". When I read "the one species", I wondered, "Which species"? Upon re-reading, I realize you must mean "the golden jackal", but I'm not sure the average Wikipedia reader will figure this out. I wonder if you would consider making this a little clearer:

  • The study found that the African golden jackal and the wolf/coyote shared a very similar skull and body morphology and that this had confused taxonomists into regarding these as the one species, the golden jackal.

or just:

  • The study found that both species shared a very similar skull and body morphology and that this had confused taxonomists into regarding these as the one species, the golden jackal.

5) In the third paragraph in Golden jackal#Evolution are the following sentences:

  • The mDNA haplotypes of the golden jackal form two haplogroups. The oldest haplogroup is formed by golden jackals from India, and another haplogroup diverging from this includes golden jackals from all of the other regions.

The first sentence says X form two haplogroups. The next sentence begins, "The oldest haplogroup is..." Logically, the next sentence (or clause) should begin, "The youngest haplogroup is..." Instead, you have "another haplogroup...includes..." At the very least, it should be "The other haplogroup", not "another haplogroup". Perhaps, "The other, younger, haplogroup diverging from this includes..." I know experts will know that the one that diverges is necessarily younger, but the average WP reader may not. So, if you are not going to use both terms, "the oldest" and "the youngest", or "younger", then there is no point in saying "The oldest". It would be "One hapologroup" and "another haplogroup diverging from this is..." So, how about this? –

  • The mDNA haplotypes of the golden jackal form two haplogroups. The oldest haplogroup is formed by golden jackals from India, and the other, younger, haplogroup diverging from this includes golden jackals from all of the other regions.

6) Toward the end of the fourth paragraph in Golden jackal#Evolution is the following sentence:

  • In the Middle East, golden jackals from Israel have a higher genetic diversity than those from Europe.

The phrase "those from Europe" is not clear. Are these golden jackals that migrated from Europe into Israel, or is this merely "golden jackals in Europe", or "European golden jackals"? If the former, why would they have migrated from Europe into Israel? The previous sentence says the golden jackal is migrating from the Balkans into the Baltic.

7) The next sentence is:

  • This is thought to be due to Israeli jackals having hybridized with dogs, gray wolves, and African golden wolves, creating a hybrid zone.

The phrase "creating a hybrid zone" may leave the reader wondering "Where?" It kind of seems that the hybrid zone would be in Israel, but that's not clear.

8) Toward the end of the third paragraph in Golden jackal#Reproduction is the following sentence:

  • Compared to wolf and dog pups, golden jackal pups develop aggression at the age of 4–6 weeks when play-fighting frequently escalates into uninhibited biting intended to harm.

The problem with the phrase "Compared to wolf and dog pups" is that there is no comparison here. You haven't mentioned a single detail about wolf and dog pups.

9) Toward the end of the first paragraph in Golden jackal#Foraging is the following sentence:

  • Jackals search for hiding blackbuck calves throughout the day during the calving period, peaking their searches during early morning and then again in the late evening.

The problem in this sentence is the use of peak as a verb: "peaking their searches". Peak can be used as a verb, but, according to Merriam-Webster on-line, peak (verb) it means something entirely different from what I believe you intended. I think you created a verb from the noun (a common process in English, but in this case it didn't work). I suggest substituting another verb: "concentrating their searches", or re-wording the sentence so you can use the noun or adjective form of the word: "The peak times for their searches are the early morning and the late evening."

10) In the second paragraph in Golden jackal#Foraging is the following sentence:

  • Pack-hunting of langurs is recorded; also recorded in India and Israel are packs of between 5 and 18 jackals scavenging on the carcasses of large ungulates.

As you may have seen in the edit history, I had re-arranged this sentence. I still think it needs some work. It is a little odd to mention something recorded about pack-hunting of langurs but not mention where, and in the same sentence mention pack-hunting of large ungulates, but this time giving the location. I thought about putting "in India and Israel" within a pair of commas to minimize the information, so the basic sentence structure stands out more: X is recorded; also recorded are Ys. It would be better if the two parts of the sentence were closer to each other in structure, or at least include the location in the first sentence:

  • Pack-hunting of langurs is recorded in.....; also recorded, in India and Israel, are...


  • Pack-hunting of langurs is recorded in.....; also recorded India and Israel.

(In my earlier edit, I had moved "in India and Israel" to earlier in the sentence because, if it's at the end, it follows a lot of information that separates the phrase from the verb.)

Is it necessary to have singular in the first clause and plural in the second? It would be good to have singular; singular or plural;plural. Perhaps cut down on the number of words in the second clause:

  • Pack-hunting of langurs is recorded in.... and of large ungulates in India and Israel.

Well, think about it.

11) The second paragraph in Golden jackal#Habitat is the following:

  • The jackal's long legs in conjunction with its lithe body allows it to trot over great distances in search of food.

I think I had changed "in comparison with" to "in conjunction with". If you don't like "in conjunction with", perhaps "in combination with" or "..., combined with..." If you prefer to emphasize the relative sizes, which you might have been doing with "in comparison with", you might consider "relative to", but I think I like either the way it is now, "in conjunction with", or one of the first two phrases better.

12) Later in that same paragraph, the first paragraph in Golden jackal#Habitat, you have this sentence:

  • In India, they will occupy the surrounding foothills above arable areas,[65] entering human settlements at night to feed on garbage, and have established themselves around hill stations at 2,000 m (6,600 ft) height above mean sea level.

In this sentence you link "height above mean sea level", and two sentence later you use the abbreviated phrase "above mean sea level". However, two sentences earlier you give an altitude in the sentence that begins:

  • They have been known to ascend over 1,000 m (3,300 ft) up the slopes of the Himalayas". Don't you want to give the link to "height above mean sea level" here even if you don't actually write out the phrase? Just a thought.

13) The first few sentences in Golden jackal#Diet are the following:

  • In Dalmatia, the golden jackal's diet consists of mammals, fruits, vegetables, insects, birds and their eggs, grasses and leaves. In Serbia, their diet is primarily livestock carcasses that are increasingly prevalent due to a lack of removal, followed by small mammals taken alive. Jackals change their diet to more readily available foods, which may have led to the expansion of their population in Serbia.

I wonder if you could make the connection between the second and third sentences clearer. The expansion of the golden jackal population in Serbia is related to both their tendency/ability to change their diet to more readily available foods and the increasing prevalence of livestock carcasses in Serbia, but the third sentence seems to attribute the expansion only to their tendency/ability to change their diet to more readily available foods. If you agree that the connection could be made clearer, let me know if you need my help to reword the third, or second and third, sentences.

14) I notice you have a quote at the right-hand side that you have formatted as a pull-quote. If you read MOS:BLOCKQUOTE, you will see that pull-quotes are discouraged and are only to be used when the words in the quotes are "pulled" from the text of the article:

Do not enclose block quotations in quotation marks (and especially avoid decorative quotation marks in normal use, such as those provided by the {{cquote}} template).

and Pull quote.

Well, that's all.  – Corinne (talk) 18:29, 31 October 2017 (UTC)

Thanks Corinne, this is all good advice and now actioned (or so I believe....). Regarding point 14, I really like the pull-quote, it is different and stands out nicely, attracting the reader to the section. The advice of MOS:BLOCKQUOTE is for items over 40 words long. I would like to drop the quote in the text as a blockquote, cut back the pullquote, and see what the FAC reviewers do with it. Regards, William Harris • (talk) • 01:58, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

Halloween cheer![edit]

Jackal—dog hybrid[edit]

Hi Corinne, I just tried to get a non-controversial technical move listed for action but cold not save the edit because this is the error message that I got. Any ideas?

Jackal—dog hybrid is invalid. Must create Jackal—dog hybrid before requesting that it be moved to Jackal-dog hybrid.

William Harris • (talk) • 09:30, 3 November 2017 (UTC)

Different dashes. Jackal—dog hybrid (your article for moving) is not the same as Jackal–dog hybrid (the current article). Btw, nice work with the article upgrades.   Jts1882 | talk  12:07, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
I am not sure about that; see the redirect named Wolf-dog hybrid - to Corrine and I the the hyphen is different to the separator in Jackal-dog hybrid. What we are seeing could be a technical issue between web-browsers and the coding for the dash.
There are two dashes apart from the hyphen (-), the en dash (–) and em dash (—). I think your article uses an en dash, you requested a move of an article with the em dash.   Jts1882 | talk  16:42, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
Thanks Jts1882 - I have just about had enough about dashes of all types! William Harris • (talk) • 08:01, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for support on the jackal, it is now in WP:FAC. I have shortened the first sentence so that people will have a simpler definition, a clear "take home message". William Harris • (talk) • 20:19, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
Jts1882 is right. The problem is that you tried to move an article with a title that did not exist because you typed it with an em-dash. It is sometimes hard to see the difference between an em-dash and an en-dash. So that you can see it better, I've typed the title with an en-dash next to the one you typed as the heading for this section. In the new heading for this section, the first one has an em-dash, the second one an en-dash. Now I think you'll see the difference. In the wiki-markup at the bottom of the edit window, the en-dash comes before the em-dash, reading left-to-right.  – Corinne (talk) 16:56, 11 November 2017 (UTC)
Hi Corinne, I have no issue with Jts1882's advice - I pinged you for the message that appears directly above the title Golden jackal – Some comments. I should have created a new thread. William Harris • (talk) • 20:26, 11 November 2017 (UTC)
I'm so sorry. I was actually a bit puzzled when I somehow reached this section from your notification. I found the message, above, and then read the linked discussion. I'm not going to get involved in that; there are enough who like to keep an eye on the Manual of Style and improve the wording, but it's good you mentioned your concern there.  – Corinne (talk) 23:48, 11 November 2017 (UTC) I'm going to remove the second half of the section heading for this section so that it goes back to the way it was, and strike my comment since it wasn't necessary.  – Corinne (talk) 23:50, 11 November 2017 (UTC)
Hi Corinne - the issue was my fault entirely; I should have created a new thread. Regarding the hyphen, I would recommend leaving it alone. Firstly, I "crossed-swords" with an old ally of mine initiating it and who is most knowledgeable on WP:POL, and secondly he and his associates will spend hours debating it and finally getting it sorted - it is best left to others. William Harris • (talk) • 00:43, 12 November 2017 (UTC)

Golden jackal subspecies[edit]

Hello Mario, regarding the suggestion to consolidate the subspecies articles under the Golden jackal article. The suggestion has merit based on quality, size and the number of visitors:

  • Golden jackal is about to pass FA, 100kb, 700 visitors per day
  • European jackal - class B, 26kb, 27 visitors per day
  • Indian jackal - C, 9.6kb, 41 visitors per day
  • Common jackal - Low, 3.5kb, 8 visitors per day
  • Syrian jackal - Low, 5.9kb, 5 visitors peer day
  • Sri Lankan jackal - Low, 2.1kb, 5 visitors per day

There is the opportunity to consolidate the current articles under the Golden jackal article and converting the current articles into redirects to Golden jackal. The descriptions that currently exist under the subspecies articles could appear under Golden jackal#Subspecies in the "Description" box. The European jackal article is substantial and might warrant keeping, depending on what is replicated under Golden jackal. If you would like to consolidate some - or all - of these subspecies please let me know. The last 3 on the list should be seriously considered. William Harris • (talk) • 01:50, 17 November 2017 (UTC)


I agree with consolidating the Euro, Indian, Syrian and common subspecies. I hesitate with the Sri Lankan simply because it is an island subspecies, and may in future turn out to have interesting genetic findings in future. Mariomassone (talk) 06:46, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

M, I would have liked to have transferred this from the Syrian jackal to the Folklore section of the Golden jackal, only (a) we have no page number in the citation and (b) no other sources says it: "In Jewish mythology, jackals are portrayed as infanticidal animals which would even kill their own young whilst nursing, were it not for God veiling the mother's eyes."[1] William Harris • (talk) • 09:46, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

Hello Mario, status to date:

  • Common, Indian, and Syrian jackal articles now actioned as discussed. I have added a new section to the article on jackal attacks in India.
  • European jackal: after looking over the article - class=B, size=26kb, 27 visitors per day - my assessment is that you have built up a fine article and that it should be left in place. I can envisage further interest being shown by European readers and editors in the future as the jackal expands further north and west. (Just wait until they finally get into Britain - the Brits will have to introduce lupus to keep them repressed!)
  • Sri Lankan jackal - class=Low, size= 2.1 kb, 5 visitors per day. We might set it up as a redirect similar to the other 3. If anything interesting turns up in the future then you can simply revert my edit that blanked the article with the redirect, thus bringing it back to life, exactly as it was, with one click.

For your consideration.

Also FYI, sadly our old nemesis, DrChrissy (Chris Sherwin), is no longer with us. William Harris • (talk) • 10:06, 18 November 2017 (UTC)

Central Asian guardian dogs[edit]

My canine biology class has had some interesting videos of Central Asian livestock guardian dogs. There is a Facebook page of a person named Dan Russia which has amazing videos of working guardian dogs from Turkey to Mongolia. Scruffy, variable landrace dogs as opposed to the "purebred" Russian Caucasian Shepherd. These dogs are perfectly capable of taking on a wolf and seem to really be necessary for the nomadic herder. (I'm sure you know all this). I do have a question however- why are these dogs able to attain large wolf-like size without any effect on lifespan? They seem to live relatively normal dog lives (10-12 years or longer) and are very healthy and athletic unlike say an Irish Wolfhound. Is this simply their far more natural breeding and lack of inbreeding or is it because a different part of their dog genome gives them the wolf size without all the attendant shortevity? (made up word). I figured that you might have some ideas on this. In the videos there is a distinction made between the "aboriginal" shepherd dogs and the official Russian Ovcharkas and western Anatolian Shepherds which are official breeds. Do check out the Dan Russia Facebook page if you haven't- it is great. regards- Jeff T.Makumbe (talk) 19:05, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

It is wolves in the wild that have shorter lifespans. In captivity the average lifespan is 12 – 15 years. This is quite common with a variety of wild animals as age makes them vulnerable to attack and makes it harder for them to get food.   Jts1882 | talk  09:32, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
How do most carnivores die? They starve to death. If they become sick, diseased, badly wounded, or become just too old to hunt, they lay down and they die. Our hyper-carnivore ancestors from 20,000 years ago probably did the same thing. Wolves in the wild live for around 7 years. Jts tells us that wolves in captivity live 12-15 years. Dingoes in the wild live between 3-5 years with few living past 7-8 years. Some have been recorded living up to 10 years. In captivity dingoes live between 12-14 years of age (Jackson 2003). It is said that very large dogs live 8-9 years, Labradors average 12.3 years (UK figures support this), and your little Jack and its friends 14-16 years. I would suggest that very large breeds today suffer from diseases related to inbreeding, I am not totally convinced that a Western diet does them any good, nor do I believe they get the amount of exercise they need. Contrast this with the Central Asian mastiff-type dogs running about the mountains eating diced sheep etc for most of their lives. They live in a very different world, which in my opinion gives them longevity for their large size.
Now for something interesting. The 33,000 year old "Altai dog" - the nearest skull morphology today is that of the Caucasian Shepherd - not the ones the Russians bred, the original landrace that they based these on. Who knows where that one will go! William Harris • (talk) • 10:29, 18 November 2017 (UTC)

I've watched 25 or so videos on Facebook (Dan Russia) showing "aboriginal" Central Asian guard dogs from Georgia, Armenia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Azerbijan and Mongolia and I would say that morphologically most of the actual working sheep guardian dogs are about 95% exactly like wolves. They have long legs, very athletic bodies and many don't seem to suffer from the 30% reduced skull of most dogs vs. wolves. They often have big heads, long noses, big nasty teeth and their size is that of a wolf. Some have wolf coloration and many have less abrupt color differences than breed dogs. The tightly curled tails, the higher orbital angle on the skull and abundant dewclaws mark them as dogs. The outer trappings of domestication like color, the sometimes jowly faces and their obvious human connection disguise a very lupine structure. I think that a skeleton of one of these huge dogs would be hard to distinguish from a wolf except by an expert. Very interesting that the Altai dog should look like one of these guys. What do the genetics say about these dogs?Makumbe (talk) 23:24, 18 November 2017 (UTC)

Mark has this covered fairly well here1 and here2 William Harris • (talk) • 00:00, 19 November 2017 (UTC)

Interesting- especially article 1. In one Dan Russia video sheepherders in Altai, Russia (ironically) are shown making pets of wild wolves. I've read that this happens also in Kazahkstan, with wolves being kept as pets and used as guard "dogs". I guess it wouldn't be much of a leap to outbreed your shepherd dog to a wolf to make it stronger... Some of these dogs which are dark brindly gray and have their ears and tails cut off look like mutilated wolves. I should tell you Obi Wan that I get more canine info here than at any other source including my class. You have a true overview which I think even scientists in the field can't quite match- most of them are specialists without the time to draw all these interesting strands together.Makumbe (talk) 01:44, 19 November 2017 (UTC)

I think you have nailed it in one - scientist do not have the time to be across a broad area, which is why I prefer reading the work of multi-disciplined teams. I also keep up with the Mammoth steppe, and have provided thoughts and citations with some of the research teams on that topic. Additionally, I could create a Wikipedia article on all of the things that just don't add up or a quite weird in this field! Have you seen Wucharia? Open up the report under Reference for a pix of it. William Harris • (talk) • 09:00, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
  1. ^ Encyclopedia of Bible Animals by Peter France, published by Harpercollins (November 1986), ISBN 0-7099-3737-7