Wikipedia:WikiProject Dinosaurs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Quick Links
Project Templates

This WikiProject, WikiProject Dinosaurs, aims to organise an effort to expand and improve Wikipedia's coverage of dinosaurs.

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

A full list of the WikiProject Dinosaur team's achievements can be found here.

Hot articles
36 edits Baryonyx
11 edits Timeline of ceratopsian research
9 edits Upper Keuper
8 edits Timeline of hadrosaur research
6 edits Dinosaur (film)
6 edits Mosaiceratops
5 edits Youngoolithus
5 edits Timeline of tyrannosaur research
4 edits Stegosaurus
4 edits Dilophosaurus
These are the articles that have been edited the most within the last three days. Last updated 9 October 2015.


The main goal of WikiProject Dinosaurs is to create and gather better information and articles on dinosaurs. Important tasks always include expanding and cleaning up articles, adding taxoboxes and standardising all articles.


Main article Wikipedia:WikiProject Dinosaurs/Members


WikiProject Science

WikiProject Biology
WikiProject Tree of Life
WikiProject Animals
WikiProject Amphibians and Reptiles
WikiProject Dinosaurs
WikiProject Geology
WikiProject Paleontology
WikiProject Dinosaurs

Article alerts[edit]

Proposed deletions
  • 02 Oct 2015 – Mifunesaurus (talk · edit · hist) was PRODed by Extrapolaris (t · c): Although the tooth informally named Mifunesaurus was described in detail in a 1992 paper (see for more info), it is unrealistic to see the Mifunesaurus tooth given a binomial because theropod tee ...
  • 02 Oct 2015 – Katsuyamasaurus (talk · edit · hist) was PRODed by Extrapolaris (t · c): The material known under the nomen nudum Katsuyamasaurus comes from two different dinosaur groups, with the ulna being a theropod and the vertebra coming from an ornithopod, as noted by Chure in his 2000 dissertation on allosauroids.
Featured article candidates
Good article nominees

Open list of tasks[edit]

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

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


Please add new tasks to the bottom.

Citing uncited articles
  1. User:Firsfron
  2. Sheep81
  3. User:General Eisenhower
  4. Cas Liber
  5. Ayrton Prost
Maintaining the List of dinosaurs
  1. User:Agentsoo
  2. User:Firsfron
  3. General Eisenhower
  4. Dracontes
  5. Punk18
  6. Science
Creating templates for the dinosaur project
  1. User:Firsfron
  2. Spawn Man
  3. General Eisenhower
Adding new categories for the dinosaur articles and related animals (archosaurs, etc.)
  1. User:Firsfron
  2. Sheep81 -- Categories have been created... see special section below!
  3. General Eisenhower
Adding taxoboxes to each dinosaur page
  1. Sheep81
  2. Spawn Man
  3. General Eisenhower
  4. Dinoguy2
  5. Dracontes
  6. Cas Liber
  7. Benosaurus
  8. Raptormimus456
Creating a stub or article for all dinosaur paleontologists
  1. General Eisenhower
  2. Dinoguy2 - adding to category:Paleontologists to help get this started
Creating a stub or article for all dinosaur-bearing rock formations
  1. Greygirlbeast
  2. General Eisenhower
  3. Ballista (Thanks to Sheep's previous work, I've posted a prototype list of formations on a new sub-page: Wikipedia:WikiProject Dinosaurs/formations) - See also here: List of fossil sites Dysmorodrepanis 09:53, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
  4. THJ1
  5. Devotchka
  6. Secret Squïrrel
  7. Dgrootmyers
Uploading dinosaur images to Wikimedia Commons and adding them to the articles
  1. User:Dudo2
  2. Spawn Man
  3. Greygirlbeast
  4. General Eisenhower
  5. Cas Liber
  6. Ballista
  7. Benosaurus
  8. X1ph4ct1nu5
  9. Ammonight423
  10. Funkynusayri
  11. Paralititan
  12. Reid,iain james
Improving the dinosaurs listed on the Wikipedia CD Selection
  1. Firsfron
  2. Ballista
  3. Cas Liber
  4. X1ph4ct1nu5
  5. Ammonight423
Improving the shortest dinosaur articles
  1. Soo
  2. Firsfron
  3. Cas Liber
  4. Ballista
  5. Devotchka
  6. Dysmorodrepanis (if Aves as per Sereno, 2005 ;-) )
  7. Secret Squïrrel
  8. Ammonight423
  9. Walkingwith08
  10. DASC the Velociraptor
  11. Raptormimus456
  12. Evangelos Giakoumatos
  13. Reid,iain james
Adding the template, {{WikiProject Dinosaurs}}, to all new dinosaur-related article talk pages
  1. Niceguys
  2. 5faizan

Creating pages for various taxa
  1. Somedude101
  2. Dgrootmyers
Adding International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) style pronunciations
  1. --Kjoonlee
Fixing spelling and grammar
  1. Dendodge
  2. Denali134
  3. Utahraptor ostrommaysi
  4. Ayrton Prost
  5. Crw21
  6. Evangelos Giakoumatos
  7. Raptormimus456
Rating unrated articles
  1. Walkingwth08
Improving dino articles
  1. Walkingwith8
  2. User:Smokeybjb
  3. DASC the Velociraptor
  4. Evangelos Giakoumatos
Creating taxonomy templates
  1. Raptormimus456

Articles for review[edit]

The following articles are being considered for upgrade (FA, GA, DYK, etc.) and could benefit from general peer review by project members:

  • Psittacosaurus - article was featured in 2006, and may not hold up to today's standards.
  • Apatosaurus - is renominated for FA now that Brontosaurus has been split off.
  • Paranthodon - will be nominated after the FAC for Apatosaurus has finished.

What dinosaur groups merit new articles?[edit]

  • Articles should not get any more specific than genus level. Individual species should be discussed in the article about the appropriate genus. "Significant" higher order taxa should also get their own pages.
  • See also: next section
  • Classification should be standardized according to Benton 2004. See List of dinosaur classifications for the standard taxonomy to be used in taxoboxes.

Taxonomic structure[edit]

  • See Wikipedia:WikiProject_Birds#Structure for a discussion of which clades should have articles.
  • The use of informal taxa in taxoboxes (e.g. Maniraptora, Thyreophora) should be stimulated.

Article titles[edit]

The titles of all articles about individual genera should be composed simply of the scientific generic name (see next section), except where the name is preoccupied, in which case a disambiguation is to be placed after the generic name. For example:

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

What dinosaur images should be used?[edit]

General guideline for image use:

  • See Guidelines for dinosaur restorations for minimum requirements for anatomical accuracy in dinosaur restorations used in articles.
  • Any image that is anatomically accurate within known constraints.
  • If image is included for historical value. In these cases the image caption should explain that it is an outdated reconstruction. Historical interest images should not be used in the taxobox or paleobox, but preferably in a section of the text discussing the history of a taxon.

Criteria for removing an image:

  • Image differs appreciably from known skeletal elements.
    • Example: If a Deinonychus is reconstructed with four fingers.
  • Image differs appreciably from implied skeletal elements (via bracketing).
    • Example: If an oviraptorid known only from postcranial elements is reconstructed with teeth, a feature made highly improbable by its phylogenetic position.
  • Image differs appreciably from known non-skeletal elements.
    • Example: If an image of Microraptor lacks primary feathers.
  • Image differs appreciably from implied non-skeletal elements.
    • Example: Nomingia should not be depicted without feathers, since a skeletal feature (the pygostyle) and phylogenetic bracketing (more advanced than Caudipteryx) imply that it was feathered. Similarly, Ceratosaurus should not be depicted with advanced feathers, since a skeletal feature (osteoderms) and its proximity to Carnotaurus (extensive scale impressions) imply that it lacked advanced feathers (though the discovery of Kulindadromeus provides evidence for some amount of fuzz in all dinosaurs, the fuzz is basic).
  • Image pose differs appreciably from known range of motion.
    • Example: Theropod dinosaurs reconstructed with overly flexed tails or pronated "bunny-style" hands.
    • Exception: If the range of motion is debated in the scientific literature, as is the case with sauropod neck position.
  • Image differs appreciably from known size estimates.
    • Example: If an image of an adult Torvosaurus shows it being as large as an adult Apatosaurus.
    • Exception: If the size of the animal is contested or the individual in question is a gigantism-inflicted individual.
  • Image differs appreciably from known physiological constraints.
    • Example: An image of a dinosaur urinating, giving birth to live young or making vocal sounds with its jaw, all made unlikely by phylogenetic position and physical constraint (archosaurs less basal then songbirds likely could not vocalize too much, if at all)
  • Image seems heavily inspired by another piece of media or directly copied from it.
    • Example: A image of Tyrannosaurus or Velociraptor depicting them as they appear in Jurassic Park being used in the articles on the genera, or an illustration of Deinonychus being a direct trace of another illustration of Deinonychus.

Please consider submitting new images for peer review at WikiProject Dinosaurs Image Review.

Dinosaur taxa naming conventions[edit]


When a species is mentioned (on its own page or another), the scientific binomial name should at least be mentioned once. After this, the genus name or common name can be used.

  • common names: lowercase e.g. tyrannosaur or tyrannosaurus (but tyrannosaur is much better)
  • scientific names:
  • Genus: Uppercase, italicised
  • species: lowercase, italicised


  • scientific:
  • binomial names: Deinonychus antirrhopus; Microraptor gui
  • genus names: Deinonychus; Microraptor
  • common:
  • genus names: deinonychus, microraptor

Do not use common names too much, they look amateuristic. If you use them, realise that you are referring to the genus, or to an order ending on -ia. For example ankylosaur can be used for Ankylosaurus or for Ankylosauria. Even more informally it can refer to the family, as equivalent to ankylosaurid. Inconsequential use confuses the reader.


Common names may be pluralised in English: e.g. 45 tyrannosaurs, but never 45 tyrannosauruses.

However, don't pluralise scientific (Latin) names in an English way: Dromaeosauruses is wrong. Dromaeosaurus' is technically correct if referring to a single specimen of the genus (ex: "The Dromaeosaurus' jaw opened as it bore its teeth."). Dromaeosauri is correct, but now you are meaning several species or individuals belonging to the genus Dromaeosaurus, some of which you don't recognize. It may sound strange, but "Sarah is attacked by six Troodon and four Dromaeosaurus." is the correct way to pluralize generic names. However, "John watched as the group of stegosauri walked by." is also correct if referring to a group of one genus. The same applies to pluralising binomial names: "John was stampeded by a large herd of Yunnanosaurus huangi and five Yunnanosaurus robustus" or "Katie was assaulted at twilight by a group of Velociraptor mongoliensis and three Pyroraptor olympius.". There is no change. Don't use binomials unless you want to imply that the identification of the species is very important (i.e.: if there are multiple species in the genus, such as in Velociraptor). Generic names are used for monotypic genera, specific names for genera with more than one species, should you feel the desire to name an animal past genus.

Note: the correct plural of Velociraptor would be Velociraptores, that of Tarbosaurus would be Tarbosauri. However, nobody uses these.

Short form:

When talking about genera, one may want to use a short-form version of the generic+specific nominals. These are also governed by format.


The correct short form of the generic+specific names Tyrannosaurus rex is T.rex. The most common are T-rex, T-Rex and T.Rex; all three are in error, as the T.rex spelling is considered correct and is the most common in the academic literature.

Higher order taxa[edit]

The formal names of all groupings higher than genus are capitalised, never italicised. If fitting the situation, common names are preferable. These are in lowercase.


"Tyrannosaurus is a genus of tyrannosaurid dinosaur" sounds a lot better than "Tyrannosaurus is a dinosaur genus belonging to the Tyrannosauridae". The same applies to other higher-order taxa.

Note that the various cladistic ranks have different naming conventions;

  • Tyrannosaurus is the genus and any species within it.
  • A tyrannosaurinian belongs to the tribe Tyrannosaurini.
  • A tyrannosaurine belongs to the subfamily Tyrannosaurinae.
  • A tyrannosaurid belongs to the family Tyrannosauridae.
  • A tyrannosauroid/tyrannosaur belongs to the superfamily Tyrannosauroidea.
  • A tyrannosaurian would hypothetically belong to the clade Tyrannosauria.
  • A tyrannosauriform would hypothetically belong to the clade Tyrannosauriforma.
  • A tyrannosauromorph would hypothetically belong to the clade Tyrannosauromorpha.


Click the "►" below to see all subcategories:

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

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

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

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


Timeline templates[edit]

Resources and references[edit]

Primary References[edit]

The best source for accurate information on dinosaurs is the primary literature, where original research is published. After you get a basic feel for the terminology, it becomes possible to learn by immersion by reading articles and trying to piece together what the authors are saying. A big problem, however, is access. Finding a copy of a journal can be difficult, and making copies can really add up. Subscriptions are usually obscenely expensive because most of these journals have pretty low circulation. So how do you get a hold of technical papers? Originally, this was a quite difficult procedure, but now most scientific journals now offer PDFs of their articles online. Unfortunately, you are usually required to subscribe to the journal, pay a bunch of money, or go to a library that subscribes to the journal in order to access them. If you do live near a university or public library, it is not a bad idea to find out what journals they subscribe to and then spend a few hours in the library downloading PDF files and emailing them to yourself... it's a lot cheaper than making copies. However, if you don't have that kind of time or don't live near a major library, there are still a lot of places to find papers online for free, which some of you may already know about. But we'll list some of the ones we know about here:

  • The American Museum of Natural History Digital Library provides free PDF copies of all four of their major publications. They are working to have every single issue from beginning to end. Many new dinosaurs have been reported in American Museum Novitates in particular.
  • The Polish journal Acta Paleontologica Polonica also provides free PDF access to all issues dating back to 1997 on their website. Although the journal is Polish, all articles are in English.
  • Some publications from the late 19th and early 20th century can be found on Internet Archive. Often, the searcher must pick through volumes, but the Dinosaur Digital Library has some together on their own.
  • The French journal Geodiversitas commonly publishes paleontology articles. The website provides free PDF copies of all articles back to the beginning of 2000.
  • A special edition of the Portuguese journal Gaia was released in 2000, although all the articles date from 1998. These articles are available for free online in PDF format.
  • Another source of public domain-age publications is Google Books. It is particularly good for the American Journal of Science.
  • Science, perhaps the most prestigious American science journal, now allows free web access to all research articles more than 12 months old, to anyone who registers on their website (and is willing to receive a few emails). Articles are in PDF format and date back to 1997.
  • The Royal Society of London is a scientific organisation that publishes several journals. All articles in all journals are made freely available online in PDF format twelve months after publication. Of these journals, dinosaur articles are most commonly published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
  • The British journal Palaeontology has PDFs available from 1957 to 2000 here (1999 and 2000 send you to Synergy, but it's still free).
  • The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is a journal published by the United States federal government, so all articles are freely available as PDFs on their website (better be since it's paid for by tax dollars!).
  • Many of the journals in Oxford Journals' life sciences series are free.
  • PLoS ONE Paleontology Collection Everything from PLoS ONE can be freely used on Wikipedia
  • If you go to the online archives of many major journals, some provide a few PDFs as samples, usually of more recent issues. Digging through these sites is also a way to net the occasional free article.
  • The Theropod Archives, an alphabetically sorted list of many freely available pdfs related to theropods.

Where an article is available for free on e.g. the author's web site as well as via subscription at the journal's site, Google Scholar links to the free version in bold letters to the right of the journal link.

In many cases you can get the "nuggets" from the abstracts of journal articles, which are generally free. Instead of abstracts, some subscription sites present the first pages of articles as free samples, and these usually contain the abstract and the first few paragraphs. Notable examples are journals published by Springer and the archive of pre-electronic articles at JSTOR. JSTOR's collection includes artciles from the Journal of Paleontology, and a Google search for an article in the Journal of Paleontology will link to the first page and abstract at JSTOR, as in this example.

Individual Researchers[edit]

  • Phil Currie has many of his papers from 2004 and before at this site.
  • American paleontologist Jerry D. Harris has PDFs of a number of his publications available for free at his website, as well as a page of links to many, many journals. As of June 2006, his website also features the entire Proceedings of the 2006 Goseong International Dinosaur Symposium. This series of papers was originally published in an out-of-print edition of the Journal of the Paleontological Society of Korea but are now made freely available in PDF format.
  • Sunny Hwang of the AMNH has a few theropod papers linked on her online CV.
  • Matt Wedel, Randy Irmis, and Mike Taylor have prepared PDFs of many of O. C. Marsh's papers, at O. C. Marsh Papers. These are all in the public domain, and so also are great sources for images such as historical skeletal reconstructions and elements of anatomy.
  • The Lusodinos site, run by Portuguese paleontologist Octavio Mateus, has PDF copies of many of his papers, which usually involve Portuguese fossils.
  • Several papers authored by Robert Sullivan of the State Museum of Pennsylvania are available in PDF format on his personal website.
  • Jeffrey Wilson has some of his publications as PDFs at his website.
  • Lawrence Witmer of Ohio University includes a list of his publications on his faculty page, some of which are available in PDF format.
  • Gregory S. Paul's website contains PDFs of many of his publications.

Other Sites[edit]

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

Please add additional sources to the appropriate sections above, as long as they are legal.Google searches or searching for "pdf" on the Archives of the Dinosaur Mailing List might also nab you some more. In the U.S., scientific documents published before 1923 can be found in full via Google (often Google Books), the Internet Archive, the Biodiversity Heritage Library, HathiTrust, and probably other archives. Sometimes they have the same versions, but in other cases there are multiple copies, often with differing qualities of image scans (some lack plates altogether, for example). Some state geological surveys have free downloads of publications, and most U.S. Geological Survey publications (often useful for general geological information) can be downloaded as pdfs from the Publications Warehouse; open-file reports are hit-and-miss, but the bulletins and professional papers appear to be mostly there.

Finally, if you really want the paper or PDF badly enough, ask someone for it politely. Methods include writing to the lead author of the paper (who is usually happy for the recognition) or using the Dinosaur Mailing List to ask.

Good non-primary sites (technical)[edit]

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


Please be aware of the proposed Species microformat, particularly in relation to taxoboxes. Comments welcome on the wiki at that link.


Main tool page:
  • Reflinks - Edits bare references - adds title/dates etc. to bare references
  • Checklinks - Edit and repair external links
  • Dab solver - Quickly resolve ambiguous links.
  • Peer reviewer - Provides hints and suggestion to improving articles.