Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Dinosaurs

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WikiProject Dinosaurs (Rated Project-class)
WikiProject icon This page is within the scope of WikiProject Dinosaurs, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of dinosaurs and dinosaur-related topics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
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Well it looks like we have a very huge paper to go through[edit]

I've just today come across the PhD Thesis of Angolin, and its specifically on dinosauromorphs of Argentina (including Ischigualasto dinosaurs). Its a huge thing of 547 pages, and, as it turns out, it is all CC-BY 4.0. There are maybe 100 figures in it, of taxa from Lagosuchus to Pisanosaurus or a new taxon named Chanaresaurus (a nomen nudum for now), and I think it could be of great use. The website is here and the licensing information is at the bottom "Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)". The link to download the PDF is directly above the license. IJReid discuss 03:32, 5 June 2017 (UTC)

It seems a few of the images are from earlier publications, and may therefore be iffy. So at least we have to look at each image on an individual basis. FunkMonk (talk) 10:18, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
Most images seem to be unique to this paper or at least are different enough, with only about 1 view of the bone being similar to in a previously published photo. IJReid discuss 15:05, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
Maybe we should contact the author directly and ask about this? Abyssal (talk) 16:04, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
Hmmm, seems an IP is already objecting[1], could perhaps be the author. --FunkMonk (talk) 15:22, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
I had an email to Angolin in the works. I thought I sent it but maybe I just hadn't? IJReid discuss 23:09, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
I recieved a reply from Agnolin just now, and he states that he is fine with the usage of images and info from his thesis if it is cited properly. (Going to edit the Alwalkeria image description right now) IJReid discuss 00:18, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
I wonder who the IP is then... FunkMonk (talk) 11:57, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

Article Titles for Clades[edit]

I noticed the articles Diplodocid and Hadrosaurid use the informal names of their groups rather than the proper terms terms Diplodocidae and Hadrosauridae respectively. The latter seems to be the standard among dinosaur articles, but I seem to be unable to move them myself. Thoughts? Not sure if any articles have this problem. Lusotitan (talk) 03:56, 31 July 2017 (UTC)

The titanosaur article has the same problem. Lusotitan (talk) 04:00, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
This is all due to an interpretation of WP:COMMONNAME that prefers English names to scientific ones. It appears to be endorsed by Wikipedia:WikiProject Dinosaurs#Article titles: "The titles of all articles about higher level taxa should consist of the common name of the group". Peter coxhead (talk) 08:01, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
Okay, but the vast majority of dinosaur articles consisting of clade names use the scientific term (ex. Tyrannosauridae, Brachiosauridae, Theropoda), etc). Lusotitan (talk) 16:44, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
Well, I'm all in favour of scientific names, but although I could make the moves you request, there needs to be wider agreement first, given that the WikiProject's policy says use English names. Peter coxhead (talk) 20:41, 31 July 2017 (UTC)

List of stratigraphic units with...[edit]

There's a bunch of small lists entitled "List of stratigraphic units with..." I feel like they could all be merged into one article   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  00:19, 30 August 2017 (UTC)

I also think some of these are way too specific, which makes it hard to navigate through them. FunkMonk (talk) 00:37, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
  • I'll be honest, I think there's a lot of value in these lists. Obviously body fossils are important. Being able to find where dinosaur coprolites and eggs are is also pretty cool. Then there are way too many dinosaur track-bearing strata to fit into the general article on trace fossils or even a single list of tracks, so its broken down by major taxonomic group. The only one that really stands out in a negative way is the list of units with indeterminate body fossils and that was just the leftovers from compiling the "real" list of dinosaur body fossils. Dunkle's suggestion has potential. We may be able to merge the strata with dinosaur tracks into a single article and just have columns that could be checked off if theropod, stegossaur, ceratopsian, tracks etc were present, but I'm concerned there may be too many groups for that to be practical. Abyssal (talk) 07:17, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
I think it could easily fit into one article. Title List of stratigraphic units with dinosaur remains, Section Fossils → subsection body fossils → subsection trace fossils → subsection indeterminate fossils, Section tracks → subsection ornithischian → subsection theropod → subsection sauropodomorph   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  15:26, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

WikiProject page revisions[edit]

Looks like people are beginning to think that the main page for the wikiproject (this talk pages article) could use some revisions. I think that with the major changes in the project (lots of over turnover has happened) its about time to go over the entire page now, to try to update tasks, important links, information etc. Do others agree? IJReid discuss 04:07, 30 August 2017 (UTC)

Importantly, the "shortest dinosaur article" page is no longer functioning, ClueBot hasn't updated the page since 2014. This means we prettymuch remove that as a task. IJReid discuss 04:18, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
Since we're on the topic of wikiprojects; if WikiProject:Dinosaurs is a subset of WikiProject:Paleontology, should the "WikiProject:Paleontology" template thing actually be on dinosaur-related talk pages? Does the presence of the more specific "WikiProject:Dinosaurs" template not make this redundant? Like how we wouldn't put Tyrannosaurus in both a "tyrannosaur" and "theropod" category, since the former makes the latter unnecessary. I'm not sure of the answer, which is why I'm asking, but having both wikiprojects listed is standard right now.
Perhaps something like Dinosaur or Tyrannosaurus would have both listed, since they're of importance to paleontology as a whole, but something like, I don't know, Nanuqsaurus would only have WikiProject:Dinosaurs listed since it's far less important, so only the most specific relevant WikiProject is necessary? Lusotitan (talk) 04:52, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
I think that wikiprojects should not overlap, unless they are good reasons to. For example: Revueltosaurus would best fall under WP Paleontology and WP Dinosaurs because it was for a long time considered a dinosaur (validation of WP Dinosaurs) and its now considered to not be a dinosaur (therefore it would be under the parent WP Paleontology). I am going to be beginning a write-up of what I think the main project page should be on my user sandbox User:IJReid/sandbox. IJReid discuss 18:22, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
I organized the previous mess of html code that was on the project page before into an organized template, similar to the one on the WP:Paleo main page. Does anyone strongly dislike the change? IJReid discuss 19:55, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Changes look good, I also did some revisions to the tasks list yesterday, and I think some of them should be removed or merged, since they're outdated or redundant. As for tagging articles, I also think it should be done on a case by case basis. FunkMonk (talk) 20:05, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
Ok, I'm writing up more on my sandbox, to revise/reorder what we already have, and add more new stuff. Feel free to edit (but try not to edit-conflict :P). IJReid discuss 20:45, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
I'll make suggestions here. Maybe this would also be a good time to revisit the scope issue that wasn't entirely clarified here:[2] We have a task for improving articles in the "CD selection", but I'm wondering whether that project is even in action anymore, I've asked at the talk page:[3] If not, that task should be removed. Also, we have a general "improving articles" task, but that is so vague as to mean nothing; all the other tasks are about "improving articles" as well. FunkMonk (talk) 22:05, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
I think I've figured out how to best have the scope written, "This project is for any and all animals that belong specifically to the clade Dinosauria and do not fall under a different WikiProject. [...] Animals not classified in Dinosauria only qualify to be in the project's scope if they were historically believed to be members of the clade Dinosauria, in one or more published scientific papers. [...] However, modern birds instead fall under the alternate Birds WikiProject, and are only included in WikiProject Dinosaurs if they have an important role in dinosaur classification." IJReid discuss 22:29, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
Side note: would people hate me if I added my cladogram request page into the infobox templates both here and on WP:Paleo? IJReid discuss 23:29, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
Maybe it could be an opportunity to create an "official" Tree of life cladogram request page, with a link to your original one to show how it originated? FunkMonk (talk) 23:40, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
Yeah probably, I'll go inquire in the TOL project. IJReid discuss 23:40, 30 August 2017 (UTC)

Would there be any interest in trying to agree upon a suggested format to put in the new WikiProject page? Right now the same general sections are usually present, given sufficient information - description, discovery/history/naming, classification/phylogeny, pal[a]eobiology, pal[a]eoecology, and on the rare occasion a section on the various species or on the pop culture relevance of the genus - but they're in no consistent order. Some people seem to prefer having history first (this came up with the Achelousaurus expansion), others like myself put description first, because giving an image and idea of what the animal is like is seen as most important. Also in the case of the Achelousaurus situation, paleoecology was intentionally put within the paleobiology section. Of course consistent section organization and names isn't strictly necessary, but I feel a guideline would be nice. Lusotitan (talk) 00:39, 31 August 2017 (UTC)

Discovery and naming, Description, Classification, Pal(a)eobiology and Pal(a)eoecology are the standard section names in the most common order I've seen. Palaeo/Paleo depends where the taxon is from (british/canadian should be Palaeo, american Paleo etc). IJReid discuss 01:03, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
Those sections should at the very least be there (though in some cases, there may not be enough known about an animal for a palaeobiology section, see for example Dromaeosauroides and Paranthodon), but the question is whether we necessarily have to be strictly consistent with the order and exact naming... Personally, I've followed, and will continue to follow, the order/naming established by the FAs that existed before I started writing. A few of those didn't even have a palaeoecology section by the time of nomination, and sometimes those have been added years later, though. I do think the discovery/history section should always come before the classification section, since it is better to explain the various taxonomic terms and their histories before flat-out stating where a taxon is currently placed (if the dinosaur was first thought to be a crocodile, for example, this is probably better of explained in the history section, before classification). In the case of Achelousaurus, MWAK did the bulk of the expansion after my sources had run pretty much dry, and he suggested the section order currently there. Though I wouldn't do it like that (palaeobiology can go into locomotion/metabolism, which aren't necessarily a subset of ecology), we can try to run it through GAN/FAC and see what happens, as a kind of "proof of concept". But this is also why I hope MWAK will take part in the nomination discussion, because he will be better at defending this alternative order/naming than I... FunkMonk (talk) 02:12, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
I also frequently turn to the existing FAs, but the problem is that they establish no standard for the order, with it being highly variable (Psittacosaurus even puts Palaeobiology and Palaeoecology before History and Classification) - that's why I asked for a suggested standard. One thing that is consistent in existing FAs is that palaeoecology is never put within palaeobiology, contra the suggested layout for Achelousaurus. Anyway, I agree with the idea that history should go before classification, and I stand by the idea that description should be before that; palaeobiology followed by palaeoecology after these seems to be the most common arrangement with regards to those sections. So description/history/classification/palaeobiology/palaeoecology/pop culture would be my suggested order, but others may disagree (species as a section is problematic: FAs seem fairly evenly split on whether they go in the history/discovery section or get their own - perhaps it depends on how extensive the history section is without it (eg. in Lambeosaurus there's an extensive history section on defunct names, so associating the recognized species with those would be confusing and make the section longer than it needs to be)). Lusotitan (talk) 02:31, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
I myself loathe the very existence of Pop culture sections, because they're only references by shady sources and are full of obscure references to things I haven't seen. I guess in the more notable taxa, Tyrannosaurus, Allosaurus, Triceratops etc can have sections for their multiple prominent occurences, but the average taxon, Achelousaurus for example, should probably not have it.
I think I've figured out myself a basic ordering. In taxa which have had a long history of different looks (Deinocheirus, Spinosaurus), I think it is best to have History before description, so that the details on "mega-arm therizinosaur deinocheirus" can be explained before the current description, in a section where it fits. History should always be before Classification, like said before. Paleoecology should be one of the last sections (depending if pop culture exists). Classification should follow both Description and History as close as it can, because those two sections will probably have details that are important to the classification. This I guess leaves Paleobiology to follow Classification before Paleoecology.
My suggested ordering would be History/Description (depending on specific taxon history); Classification; Paleobiology; Paleoecology; Pop Culture (if it exists) IJReid discuss 03:33, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
I personally follow Description/Discovery and naming/Classification/Paleobiology/Paleoecology... I can see why not having the context of discovery can be a problem for some articles, but it hasn't been too big an issue in the ones I've expanded majorly thus far. Lythronaxargestes (talk | contribs) 04:35, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
I like the way you've set it up in the sandbox version, that seems sufficient. Lusotitan (talk) 05:15, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
OK :) all the approval I need for now. I'll probably begin migrating some stuff into the main page now. IJReid discuss 05:17, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
I think you can add your scope idea too (perhaps replacing/merging with the "goals" section, which seems redundant), it is better than what we have, which is nothing. It may be a good idea to keep it open-ended, as you have it. FunkMonk (talk) 06:05, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
While we're at it, I'd like to explain my preferred ordering:
  1. Why things like History/Discovery/Naming first? Well, this makes the entire narrative much more logical. First you relate what fossils have been found, when, where and by whom — and what name has been given to them. This way you present the subject matter of the article. It is little use to immediately start describing when it's not clear what is described in the first place. But isn't that simply the animal at hand? That might be so for extant animals (very often it's not) but certainly not in the case of extinct animals. A single fossil is not a population, nor a species, and rarely complete. If we start by describing Haestasaurus, the reader is justified to wonder why we limit ourselves to a limb. We are forced to introduce the situation with "you have to understand only a forelimb has been found", but then such an essential understanding would be best served by an introducing discovery chapter. The situation is much worse when a multitude of fossils is available, for there will rarely have been a historical consensus about the material. What is the subject matter of Diplodocus, of Stegosaurus, of Brontosaurus, of Troodon? Not simply "the" animal. And this isn't limited to nineteenth century names. This very month Serikornis was named, based on a type that others will see as an Anchiornis specimen. Latenivenatrix was named with many of its autapomorphies present in a pelvis that might not even be troodontid. We can spare ourselves a lot of future trouble if such articles are logically ordered so that conflicting views on the material can be introduced in the Discovery chapter, to which the conflicting descriptions can then naturally refer. Such a logical order is also the one used in all papers and books: us adopting it would allow us to remain as close to the sources as possible, as is mandatory.
  2. But shouldn't the reader immediately be provided with some mental image of the animal? Yes, that's desirable. But that function should be served by the lead and an actual image in the taxobox. Of course, at the moment many "Description" chapters contain only the vaguest outline of an animal, basically not describing the species but a much larger group to which it belongs. Once a real description is given, the vague one can go to the lead, while the much longer, and downright boring, serious text will be understood not to be an ideal first chapter.
  3. Why Pal(a)eoecology part of Pal(a)eobiology? Well, that's easy: because it is :o). Paleobiology is obviously the encompassing concept. I understand the underlying reason for a split: the ecology is more about other animals in the habitat. But that's very relative and does not justify a confusing imprecision.--MWAK (talk) 08:49, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
I agree that in most cases Discovery should be first, I can see why sometimes people would prefer description first, such as in clade articles or very popular taxa where nearly the entire skeleton is known and comfortable assigned to the taxon.
The main issue is probably the actual Palaeobiology part. Modern biology technically encompassess all the subjects in any of these articles, structure (description), evolution (classification), ecology, physiology etc. Perhaps it would be best to actually use Physiology as the section instead of Palaeobiology, since Physiology is a more restricted topic that generally includes the details we already leave for being in Paleobiology? IJReid discuss 14:11, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
Indeed, we should remain flexible. In clade articles, it might be a good suggestion to first give a short definition — that's what the clade is in a way — and then continue with an Evolution chapter treating the general morphological development of the group. If so desired a detailed technical Description chapter can be added further-on.
Physiology can act as a container for quite a few subjects, such as metabolism, paleopathology and ontology but there are some that do not so easily fit in, like sexual dimorphism, social behaviour or intelligence. But why should Paleoecology be a separate chapter? Simply call it "habitat". Let subjects like the number of fossils found, the geology and the taphonomy be part of a Discovery chapter.--MWAK (talk) 18:06, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
Ok, I will try to reorder the clades section to fit with what makes the most sense.
I was thinking that sexual dimorphism would fit into the Description section, since it is just details on the anatomy and how it differs between individuals? But it would make sense for Paleobiology to work if we are needing to include behaviour and intelligence, unless something more specific can be found that includes all the topics. Paleoecology is about as much Paleobiology as the anatomy is, which is why I currently believe that they should be separated. Another option we have is to explode "Paleobiology" into separate sections on Physiology, Behaviour, Intelligence and Ecology, instead of (mostly) artificially stitching them together into one section? IJReid discuss 18:33, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
Separate topic, but what should our plan be on removing/replacing the tasks? Should we leave all the names there on tasks that remain, or remove them all and begin anew with having people pick tasks, and notify all past people who are removed, to try to see who is still active or not. IJReid discuss 21:36, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
I prefer the idea of re-starting, to get rid of inactive users. Lusotitan (talk) 21:46, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
"Paleobiology" seems pretty all-encompassing and easy to understand, it includes physiology as well, so I don't see why we would need to use less inclusive titles. And seems I read MWAk's order in Achelousaurus wrong, for some reason I remembered it as if paleobiology was a subsection of paleoecology, but it is the other way around, which makes sense, in cases wher we lump the two. As for the tasks, yes, anyone who hasn't been active for the last five years should be removed. FunkMonk (talk) 22:05, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
Does the "creating cladistic templates" thing just mean adding cladograms to articles? I can do that, but I can't create new templates. Lusotitan (talk) 23:46, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
Oops, I'll reword it as "adding cladistic templates" because no-one except me has created any templates, and those really have no relevance. IJReid discuss 23:54, 31 August 2017 (UTC)

I must say I'm not fond of having the "dinosaur articles by quality and importance" table so far down the article, I liked having it near the top. Lusotitan 00:57, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

Where higher up can we have it? IJReid discuss 01:13, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
Hmm, could we even just give it a section to itself at the very start? Lusotitan 01:16, 1 September 2017 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lusotitan (talkcontribs)
Right below the Alerts? IJReid discuss 01:17, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
Sure, that sounds fine to me if nobody has a problem with it. Lusotitan 03:54, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

One thing I definitely needs to be at least somewhat agreed upon is how technical an article should be. Obviously a certain amount of any good dinosaur article is going to be fairly technical for a general reader, that's just the nature of paleontology, but I feel a certain balance is essential to ensure comprehension. Articles like Scipionyx and Jianianhualong, I feel, go into to much detail about fine anatomical points - people would be further ahead to read the paper for such details (although of course the inclusion of such descriptions could depend on whether an open access description exists). That said, to little detail and you're not adequately covering the topic. I feel inconsistency between how technical different people make articles has been becoming a rather pronounced problem, where you end up with incredibly inconsistency (just look at the in progress updates of Eolambia and Nipponosaurus - they're pretty black and white, although of course I still need to work on the description section of the latter). Thoughts on what guidelines for a good balance could be? Lusotitan 03:54, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

I really think it depends on the sources. If we have open access sources, its very easy for us to made the detailing like you can find in Eolambia, but without it we resort to more generalized articles like Deinocheirus. This may in fact be out little way of rewarding the open access journals, they get more coverage in the popular media (wikis etc) then the paywalled journals. IJReid discuss 05:00, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
I think you misunderstand me; I feel articles like Eolambia are going to more detail than they should. The presence of open access description papers means that anyone should go there for technical details of the skeleton, whereas the wikipedia article should merely feature a summary that a general reader could largely follow (see the dinosaur FAs for example, their description sections aren't written like that of the Eolambia article), even if some of the details are beyond them. Likewise, articles on taxa without much open access coverage should probably be a little more technical like that, because people might not have another way of accessing that information. I don't have time to look through it now, but WP:TECHNICAL and WP:ANATSIMPLIFY might be of use. Lusotitan 05:45, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
To me, at least, the Description section should focus on synapomorphies and comparisons to related taxa. Granted, I don't do a very good job of it, but that's what I'm trying to do. It's difficult to say much about them without providing the requisite anatomical context. Lythronaxargestes (talk | contribs) 06:37, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
I think you're doing a very good job :o)! Obviously, simple time constraints make it impracticable to provide a full anatomy of each taxon. But, if needed, it's always possible to explain most osteological traits within a straightforward narrative. Dinosaurs are really fish. So are we. Within his normal grasp of his own anatomy, any human being should be able to gain an adequate understanding of a dinosaur's skeleton.--MWAK (talk) 08:18, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
We have to be very careful here:
  1. The text should always be comprehensible. In the case of paleontology, which really is a very simple subject matter as sciences go, 99% of the information can always be given in a form that is understandable to any intelligent lay person with a standard secondary education. But this has little to do with the level of detail provided.
  2. In principle, we should not withhold relevant information from the reader. And what information is relevant can be best decided by the reader himself. So apply minimal criteria for relevance. Otherwise we end up as High Priests, intermediates between the Truth and the Lay Person. In other words: avoid a "You don't have to know this" or "You cannot possibly be interested in this" attitude. Most of the time, what you think people don't need to know about is what you yourself don't care about.
  3. We can hardly inversely limit information to the degree it is accessible. After all, all Wikipedia content should be verifiable and therefore be accessible in some way. Accessibility is presumed. It is not a reason to disregard content. Otherwise we should be forced to remove its information once a paper has been made free access. Also, people consult Wikipedia to be informed. They do not consult Wikipedia to be told "Yeah, good question. Here's a link to a paper where you can find the answer. Bye, bye." Of course, it often is in fact unavoidable to do just that. But it's not an ideal. Furthermore, these papers are generally marred by pseudo-academic "babble" and unnecessary jargon. One of the main advantages of Wikipedia is that that their content can be made understandable to all by a little rephrasing and explanation.
  4. Inconsistency between articles is only a problem when the content is contradictory. It has to be accepted that articles are at various levels of completeness and detail. In any case, we have to avoid a "race to the bottom" in which more complete articles are pruned to make them "consistent" with less complete articles. Remember that Wikipedia is not a printed encyclopedia.--MWAK (talk) 07:09, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
  • There is also the issue of how much is known about a taxon. For example, if the skeleton is almost completely known, and multiple descriptions exist of it, it is easier to write a more generalised, and easier to understand description here. But if the taxon is only known from for example part of the pelvis or some such, we have to go into some pretty nitpicky detail to convey what makes this animal distinct... FunkMonk (talk) 14:58, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
No article should have less description that Dromaeosauroides (Paranthodon may need a slight expansion). Its a single tooth, and some of the anatomy might be over the heads of laymen, but thats about as much description as we can for it. In a taxon like Nipponosaurus, with cranial, vertebral and appendicular material, it might be good to get about 3 paragraphs per region, if thats possible. When there is a lot of material there shouldn't be any one region that is more focused on (Eolambia needs more writing on the limbs etc). IJReid discuss 15:54, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
Multiple paragraphs per region going into fine anatomical details is nearly unheard of in any of our dinosaur FAs. Many of them have description sections three or four paragraphs long (excepting additional sections on stuff like integument or differences between species like in Psittacosaurus and Archaeopteryx) that give a general summary of the animal, with detailed facts sprinkled through. In general, I feel this is the better approach - super technical details just aren't necessary (although Parasaurolophus, Deinonychus, Iguanodon, and Styracosaurus have admittedly paltry attempts - and shouldn't the species level articles for Edmontosaurus be more specific than the genus level one, not less?). An encyclopedia is still in the end a detailed summary, not a comprehensive description, which people frankly likely won't look here for. Often there's a few detailed paragraphs dedicated to a point of interest like the skull (see Albertosaurus, Nigersaurus and Stegoceras), contra your claim we should be avoiding focusing on stuff. Some like are a bit more long winded (Heterodontosaurus being maybe the longest), but still don't really go in detail like in, again, Eolambia (sorry to keep going to this specific example, but keeping one consistent and recent one is useful for discussion). Maybe something like Allosaurus, Stegosaurus, or Ankylosaurus would be the ceiling for my recommendation. Or do you think all of our approved featured articles doing it wrong? Lusotitan 16:50, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
It probably isn't possible to have any one standard for how detailed an article should be and how even the focus can be. For example, ceratopsians are assumed to have post-crania so similar that these elements are sometimes not even described in their descriptions, as is the case for Achelousaurus. On the other hand, sauropods are often missing their skulls, so these can't always be described. Theropod desriptions are often skull-centric too. Eolambia probably stands out here because it has had a detailed osteological description published, unlike many other genera, some of which, like Giganotosaurus, have only ever gotten superficially described. In the end, we are fully dependent on what has and what has not been written about a taxon, and that is what dictates how detailed we can get (and it also depends on the judgement of individual editors). If you look at featured bird articles, there are also quite dramatic differences in how detailed their descriptions are (due to similar issues). As for the Edmontosaurus species articles, keep in mind that those aren't featured, and that they were split partially because it was assumed Anatosaurus was about to be resurrected (which may not happen anyway?). FunkMonk (talk) 17:03, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, of course I understand the Edmontosaurus articles aren't even GAs, but isn't half the point of divided sub-articles like that to go into more detail? Lusotitan 17:12, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
As is, I'm not sure if I agree they should necessarily be separate, but we'll see what happens with the genus split. Another very important issue I forgot to mention is that a great bulk of our dino FAs were nominated before the entire FAC process had a major overhaul (see "achievements" for timeline and old reviews). I think this happened around 2008. The criteria are much stricter now (also for GA), and the reviews much more nitpicky, so I'm not even sure all of them would pass today (Psittacosaurus was almost demoted recently for example). Articles written after 2009 are generally more comprehensive and have more solid sourcing (some have even been written by professional palaeontologists), so they should be taken as the standard for new nominations, not the ones nominated before 2008. FunkMonk (talk) 17:17, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
In theory, I feel the separation makes sense, what with the complicated history of Edmontosaurus annectens, but the genus article honestly covers pretty much everything the sub-articles cover without losing much information, so I agree they might not be needed (although again, perhaps they just need expansion). As far as FAs being unrepresentative, I wonder if it'd be beneficial to put, say, Jianianhualong, a very technical article, up for peer review, to get an outside opinion from a more general reader. Lusotitan 17:37, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
Non-"experts" usually review during FAC and sometimes GAN anyhow, so it isn't as if we are working in a secluded bubble. I still think some of those fossil mammal articles that went through FAC (like Pennatomys, Seorsumuscardinus, Noronhomys) exceed even the most detailed dinosaur articles in their technicality, but those have been reviewed by non-mammal experts as well. Peer-reivew nominations are usually requested by the writers of an article, and usually in preparation for GAN/FAC. But if there is no immediate intention of nomination the Jianianhualong article for promotion, I think we have more urgent problems with articles that are too short (it is rather objective whether an article is a stub or not) than an article that may be too long (which is a pretty subjective issue). FunkMonk (talk) 18:32, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
I wasn't necessarily suggesting it to improve that article in particular, but mostly to see if that level of detail and technicality is considered to much. Lusotitan 19:59, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
An issue that is more likely to be pointed out at peer-review is the fact that the Jianianhualong article is based on a single source, which may be problematic. So even if we wanted to nominate it, I think the genus and paper need to be discussed by other authorities as well first so we have broader coverage. The description seems very long, but maybe it also seems longer because there are more sub-sections than usual. FunkMonk (talk) 21:32, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
While I was planning upon adding a few more tangential references to Jianianhualong, I agree that the lack of coverage of this taxon by other sources causes issues. Lythronaxargestes (talk | contribs) 21:37, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
You still need to add the sources to the Paleoecology section btw. IJReid discuss 21:40, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
Yes.... unfortunately I lost my stockpiled references thanks to the blue screen of death, so I'll have to track them down again....... Lythronaxargestes (talk | contribs) 22:14, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
The source is open access, though? And by the way, maybe what Lusotitan was thinking of was rather "request for comment" than peer review? FunkMonk (talk) 22:49, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────True I think an RfC would be better in this case simply as a less formal request where we don't have to completely follow the suggestions, and with no negative consequence? IJReid discuss 23:00, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

Yes, the source is open access, but about 90% of the Paleoecology section was synthesized from other papers. The Jianianhualong paper does not discuss much about paleoecology save for Jehol troodontid diversity. I do think that a request for comment would be useful... given that I've been involved in its creation at a fundamental level, it's difficult to disinterestedly evaluate what is important and what is not. Lythronaxargestes (talk | contribs) 00:20, 2 September 2017 (UTC)

The Jianianhualong paper had all these gorgeous free images. So it's a good thing the text is long enough to accommodate them all :o). The Eolambia article certainly is not excessive in length in its Description chapter. We should not be osteophobic. The overwhelming majority of the available data on extinct dinosaurs consist of their bones. We should not hide the bone or hide from the bone. Embrace the bone!--MWAK (talk) 06:45, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Lusotitan I hope you dont mind but I moved the article stats down directly below tasks, because I hate having lots of white space and it doesn't cause issues there. IJReid discuss 02:03, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
I moved it up to article alerts, which is usually empty and full of white space anyway... FunkMonk (talk) 02:11, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
I think it looks good there. Lusotitan 04:13, 17 September 2017 (UTC)