Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Palaeontology

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WikiProject Palaeontology (Rated Project-class)
WikiProject iconThis page is within the scope of WikiProject Palaeontology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of palaeontology-related topics and create a standardized, informative, comprehensive and easy-to-use resource 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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Been thinking about this - is there enough energy to set up a Wikipedia:WikiProject Palaeontology/Palaeontology collaboration in the manner of Wikipedia:WikiProject Dinosaurs/Dinosaur collaboration? My thinking is that (a bit similar to kids' books) we have a situation where Good/Featured paleontological material outside dinosaurs is pretty meager, and feasibly a lot of broader topics could be the eras, periods and epochs, or mass extinctions, or ancient orders/classes/families for instance. The good thing about setting it up like the dino one (i.e. a new collaboration is only chosen once old one reaches GA-hood) is that the time limit is very flexible. Anyway, if at least a few people think this is viable I can set it up. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 23:51, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea, Cwmhiraeth once suggested work on extinction, which I found pretty daunting at the time, but maybe articles like that would be easier as a group-effort. FunkMonk (talk) 00:45, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Extinction is an interesting topic, but paleontology is not my sphere. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 06:07, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Whatever happened to this discussion anyways? If we're all joining forces I'm happy to support wherever I can. Are we only targeting high- and top-importance articles or are middle-importance and so-forth okay? Do we have the goal of getting the target article to FA (it's definitely possible especially with a lot of us)? Are we going with articles only starting at C-class and below or are B-classers fine?   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  23:25, 12 June 2018 (UTC)

Shall we do a geological period or era[edit]

Thought about this some more - this is about the best way I can think of to do a geological period, of which none are GA or FA. We have Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event and Chicxulub crater at FA level..... Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 03:15, 15 March 2018 (UTC)

I don't think we have any featured articles for geological formations either. Geologic periods are very broad topics and without a template i'm not sure what specific information would be needed to make the article comprehensive enough to make it GA/FA. I know that the world maps got removed from the articles a while back. I think it was that either the world maps only showed a single interval of time and weren't representative of the whole period, or it was due to Ron Blakey who makes the maps forming Colorado Plateau Geosystems and commercializing his work, making it's inclusion in Wikipedia no longer free. Either way I think that the maps should be re-created, but this time showing several images to show the movement of the continents over the period, which should make it much more representative. Hemiauchenia (talk) 09:09, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
On templates/precedents, few periods and formations have been nominated for GA before, but never passed, such as Kirtlandian and Honda Group, Colombia. FunkMonk (talk) 09:14, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
do we wanna do a really famous formation like the La Brea tar pits? I can sort of imagine what a GA version’d look like   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  20:40, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Certainly a worthy subject, though I don't think it is technically a "formation". William Harris might also be interested in that. FunkMonk (talk) 22:34, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Hi folks, based on the radio-carbon dating of the removed specimens, the La Brea tar pits date back only 30-40k years ago. So we would be looking at only the very latest Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene. William Harris • (talk) • 01:40, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

I fear Ozarcusmapesae is back and in full swing[edit]

See the above discussion for background. I'm getting the impression that Ozarcusmapesae, blocked 11 March with a full drawer (Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/IncidentArchive978#User:Ozarcusmapesae), is back as Laossaurus, registered 5 April. Same modus operandi: basically unsourced stubs about obscure genera (Nicksaurus; Gspsaurus; Rarosaurus; Sidormimus - the first two apparently derived from a welter of salami-sliced conference proceedings by the same author [1],[2], the others unfindable), pushing nomina dubia (Gronausaurus - history:[3]). Could people please have a look at these and comment? If you agree, a speedy SPI would be indicated, as this guy has an enormous output, and is already becoming a bleedin' timesink again. --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 11:48, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

See also Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Dinosaurs/Archives/ 27#Problematic taxonomy; definitely wasting my time! Peter coxhead (talk) 12:08, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
I found that user suspicious before, but I didn't see any direct wrong doing. In any case, if it is a sock, that is reason alone for being blocked. FunkMonk (talk) 12:17, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Yes, an SPI is in order. Walks like a WP:DUCK. Loopy30 (talk) 12:20, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Well what do you know - that was almost instantaneous :) [4] Righto, now we have to sift the rubble. Never quite sure - I assume one can't just wipe the entire production on grounds of being produced by a sockpuppet? --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 14:41, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
AFD'd Sidormimus already, on factual grounds. --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 14:42, 13 April 2018 (UTC) - and closed debris now.--Elmidae (talk · contribs) 14:47, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Could Bubblesorg be another one? FunkMonk (talk) 14:50, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Judging by his edits, I think that is unlikely, they seems to be more inexperienced at editing wikipedia. Most likely a Paleontology enthusiast in their teens. Most of their articles represent genuine things, like the australian spinosaurid, and the prehistoric kingdom game. It's just most of it is clumsily executed, without forward planning or an understanding how wikipedia operates. Which is very different from the deliberate trolling of Ozarcusmapesae making up fake taxa. I don't think we should come down too hard on them because there are only a handful of regular Paleontology wikipedia editors to begin with. A message should probably be left on their talk page explaining how wikipedia works and giving them editing advice though. A lot of people are overtly hostile to new wikipedia editors who don't quite understand the rules and I think we need to do better in this regard Hemiauchenia (talk) 20:39, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
I agree. The first two seem real enough; Rarosaurus probably came from the Spanish wiki since it looks like it's the same article word-for-word; and Sidormimus derives from here, and this page lists a couple journal articles as references for the thing (though the former link says that Sidormimus is an unofficial name). I don't think s/he's intentionally causing any harm here, I just think they're trying their best   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  01:08, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
Also I feel like these investigations should take longer. The account was blocked 22 minutes after the official complaint; this was an open-shut case, the user didn't even get the chance to come down and defend themselves   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  01:13, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
I now realize Hemiauchenia was talking about Bubblesorg, but still, I feel Bubblesorg and Lapitavenator are not puppets, they're just new to Wikipedia   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  01:32, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
Agree, Bubblesorg seems unconnected - just finding their feet. - Re Laossaurus, a CU was done, and AFAIK these don't throw up false positives (although they are prone to false negatives); and lo, the penalty for socking be death. Anyway, Ozarcusmapesae produced some valid material as well, the problem was that it was mixed with so much crap that eveything had to be double-checked... --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 07:30, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
If Ozarcusmapesae and their many confirmed socks are just young, this doesn't excuse why they keep ignoring repeated warnings about not making hoaxes and uploading copyright violations. At one point, it just makes more trouble than gain, and that happened long ago. FunkMonk (talk) 12:25, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
The fact that we are taking about them behind their backs like this just isn't helpful. If someone is not obviously a very deliberate troll or vandal, a friendly but stern message should be left on their talk page going over etiquette and editing tips, (most notably sandbox use). It'd be much better if Wikipedia had some kind of direct message function, but alas. I think if a new user is enthusiastic about creating articles, as long as they are not deliberately fake, they should be encouraged. The trend to AfD new users articles or liberally revert their edits is one of the main reasons that new users don't stick around and why the userbase has been in decline since 2009. Learning proper Wikipedia formatting is a steep learning curve for most people and the use of the sandbox as a testing ground to get a sense of Wikipedia formatting is not emphasized enough in the new user experience. I don't think that having a couple of poor quality pages detracts significantly from the encyclopedia, and the AfD first, ask questions later approach of some of the new page patrollers is churlish and unhelpful. It's quite clear from the AfD for Bubblesorg's article Australian Spinosaurid that they had not done a basic google search on the topic. On upload copyright violation, It's quite easy to do to be honest. Most people don't really understand copyright of images (see Getty images suing people over using stock images they got from google images), and just simply having the image deleted and a copyright warning on their talk page is not useful feedback on what they did wrong and what they need to do next time. The whole selection of fair use justifications and creative commons licenses is byzantine for a new user, and is not adequately explained properly. It's also not clear to a new user that there is a distinction between uploading to Wikipedia, which allows fair use, and Commons, which does not. These issues are largely the result of new users being thrown in the deep end without strong guidance, or a proper tutorial, which particularly with adolescents is going to lead to issues. The fact that new users are more likely to be reverted when their edits would not be reverted if an experienced user had made them is also unhelpful in this regard. For the most part, the banning process should last longer to get a better understanding of the user and their motivations. The fact that it is difficult to actually talk to the user directly to get them to engage is incredibly frustrating and is probably one of wikipedia's worst issues.

If I had a guess Ozarcusmapesae is around 10 years old, give or take a few years, I remember when I was 10 I was an idiot and probably would have made wikipedia edits like that, I'd imagine that for a 10 year old, understanding wikipedia formatting and etiquette, image upload copyright and so on is daunting. and to have adults expect you to respond like an Adult with clear and well reasoned arguments is also pretty intimidating. I think that Ozarcusmapesae and their sockpuppets are acting in good faith. Most of their edits are at least constructive, if incompetent and sloppy. I totally agree that they were being disruptive, but this is more a result of being unable to efficiently communicate. I remember making some sloppy edits as an IP user many years ago, and I think we can all do better at being more welcoming. Hemiauchenia (talk) 14:47, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

Yet again, friendly messages have been placed on their talk pages, but there was never any response. The user even admitted to be making hoaxes at one point. Cleaning up is one thing, but when repeated warnings are ignore,d it simply isn't worth it. In any case, having sock puppets is not allowed, and that's the reason why the person was blocked, not their edits. This is a very clear Wikipedia policy, and anyone who does it gets blocked, it isn't rocket science. As for "talking behind their back", it is hard to talk to someone who is blocked and who doesn't listen anyway. FunkMonk (talk) 14:55, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
Yeah I don't disagree, the kid (Ozarcusmapesae) is clearly immature and not ready to contribute to an encyclopedia. I can see them being allowed to create a new account a few years down the line when they are more mature and willing to contribute properly, I don't think sockpupptery is worthy of a ban for life if you're just a kid at the time. My main point was a lack of direct messaging makes it difficult to get through to people like that, and if such a system was in place we might have gotten a response from them. and my talking behind the back comment was about bubblesorg, who does seem to be ready to contribute to an encyclopedia, just unfamiliar with the system. Hemiauchenia (talk) 15:58, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
Bubbles is probably alright, but sock puppeteering always makes one suspicious, there is also one Hungarian guy who keeps returning with new sock puppets and IPs only to edit war over size estimate minutiae. It gets very tiresome in the long run. As for Ozarcusmapesae, we can't be sure it's a kid, though. Some of their edits seem a bit too advanced, so the worst case scenario is that they are making some valid edits to mask their hoaxes. FunkMonk (talk) 16:05, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
Bubblesorg is innocent and ignorant from my perspective, although he does seem to have a sockpuppet called Richard.sutt. I'm pretty sure other users such as Hallothere! are the same way. Ozarcusmapesae, on the other hand, is editing maliciously as a vandal. The one response we have gotten from that user was him simply saying "hoax" after FunkMonk called out one of his articles. Sockpuppeting is not the main issue here, it's vandalism. Fanboyphilosopher (talk) 16:08, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
Don't disagree there, I'm pretty sure they are a kid as I remember seeing one of Ozarcusmapesae or his sockpuppets creating the article for "battle for dream island", which is a amateur flash youtube series aimed at childen, I can't imagine an adult making that article. Hemiauchenia (talk) 16:32, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
That does make sense, although even then that's not much of an excuse for his actions. Also, I just left a comment on the talk page for Bubblesorg and Richard.sutt, asking him (them?) to stop sockpuppeting for their own safety lest they be confused with Ozarcusmapesae. Fanboyphilosopher (talk) 16:44, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
Just as a further note, bubblesorg has created a somewhat disjointed userpage where he states that he is six years old. For a six year old he is remarkably coherent and knowledgeable and seems to be engaging with editors now, I think we should cut him some slack since he is so young and seems to edit in good faith, and is clearly learning from his mistakes Hemiauchenia (talk) 17:43, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
  • As others have noted, Bubblesorg is growing increasingly disruptive, adding nonsense, copyrighted images, "range maps" that show entire countries, and similar to many articles, which results in a heck of a lot of clean up/waste of time. FunkMonk (talk) 19:59, 1 May 2018 (UTC)

(Bubblesorg (talk) 21:48, 1 May 2018 (UTC)) Hi this is bubbles org I am a teen Biology and space enthusiast who is interested in Paleontology. NO I AM NOT RICHARD SUTT and I AM NOT 6 Years Old i would be in the news if that were true. I am around 12-15 years old (true age kept anonymous) and wanted to say that yes I can be ignorant which I apologize I will use the sandbox to experiment around. Look on the bright size at least i created a Ganges river Dolphin page that lasted instead of being redirected to South ASIAN RIVER DOLPHIN.

I was a late teen too when I began editing Wikipedia, and many of my early edits were admittedly junk. So of course, you should continue editing, but when people warn you that something is a bad idea, you should stop and consider it. FunkMonk (talk) 00:37, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
I still am a late teen. Try seeing what other more experienced editors do to get a better feel for Wikipedia, read through featured articles to get an idea as to how good writing is defined around here (specifically articles somehow related to your field), or use the Show preview function before saving if you wanna experiment with templates without saving anything (unless it turns out really well)   User:Dunkleosteus77 |push to talk  14:18, 2 May 2018 (UTC)

I’m Richard.sutt and I assure you I am not him. I’m a teen from Toronto.

  • On Simple, I found this article for "Zunityrannus", which has never been described formally, as far as I know (or apparently as anyone else knows... [5]). What should it be redirected to? --Slate Weasel (talk | contribs) 10:56, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
And if that's not enough, Laelaps aquilunguis gets its own article, too! Both of these articles are by one of Lapitavenator(=Ozcusmapseae)'s socks (Beaudesertoceratops). At least there's an obvious redirect for this. --Slate Weasel (talk | contribs) 11:00, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
The latter article should be redirected, and the Zuni theropod article is kind of an ethical problem, I don't think we should have any articles about animals that are soon to be named and described. FunkMonk (talk) 12:16, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
  • This banned user just returned as Sus memes, who was also just blocked, but it poses a new problem. In addition to being disruptive, this guy has also mass created a lot of articles about taxa that actually exist, which is a good thing, but many of these get deleted after their accounts are blocked. Which means the articles have to be created again, as happened with some of these newly described Moroccan pterosaurs, and some other articles will likely go that way too, see for example the list of new articles here:[6] So I'm not sure how, but I think the user's crated articles should be evaluated before they are mass deleted. FunkMonk (talk) 08:55, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
Pinging Jusjih and SamHolt6, who handled some of the user's articles after block. Maybe the user's articles can be listed on this talk page for evaluation before being deleted in the future. FunkMonk (talk) 08:58, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
It's an unfortunate situation given some of Sus Meme's content, but I agree with the above that not all of their work should be deleted. I would recommend instead that their articles be unilaterally draftifed and then looked over by editors with experience editing topics related to paleontology before being returned to the mainspace. I will also note that every aspect of these articles needs to be picked over, especially references; when I looked over User:Sus memes/Gumshoe (detective), I found that they had intentionally miss-represented images and had cited a number of fake sources, including text sources, and this needs to be considered when evaluating any of Sus Meme's articles.--SamHolt6 (talk) 14:42, 7 July 2018 (UTC)

Late Pleistocene ground sloths Articles for creation[edit]

When a new dinosaur is published, it usually takes only a few days or often less than 24 hours for an article to be created. However for some late pleistocene taxa, it seems that the article is only created if I am aware of the taxon in question and create the article myself, which means it can be over a year before the taxon is given a wikipedia article. As far as I am concerned any article of a late pleistocene taxon that would have been alive at the point of ameridinian arrival is a priority for Wikipedia article creation, given the limited number of such taxa likely to exist. Many new late pleistocene taxa (particularly ground sloths) are coming out of central america and northern south america over the past few years, and because of the obscurity of the topic I find it difficult to know when new taxa have been described, do you have any recommendations for keeping up with newly described taxa aside from checking the Paleontology in X year articles? Kind regards Hemiauchenia (talk) 13:40, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

I'm not sure whether there is a resource that specifically reports new Pleistocene taxa or xenarthrans. Other than checking the websites of the journals that might publish articles naming new taxa from this time period, you might want to consider following Paleowire on Twitter - though keep in mind that they report publications about paleontology in general, not just about Pleistocene taxa.--Macrochelys (talk) 21:32, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
I think there's a vertpaleo mailing list where such info might be posted? The dinosaur mailing list is at least how I get updated on new dinosaur papers. FunkMonk (talk) 22:26, 21 May 2018 (UTC)

WikiProject collaboration notice from the Portals WikiProject[edit]

The reason I am contacting you is because there are one or more portals that fall under this subject, and the Portals WikiProject is currently undertaking a major drive to automate portals that may affect them.

Portals are being redesigned.

The new design features are being applied to existing portals.

At present, we are gearing up for a maintenance pass of portals in which the introduction section will be upgraded to no longer need a subpage. In place of static copied and pasted excerpts will be self-updating excerpts displayed through selective transclusion, using the template {{Transclude lead excerpt}}.

The discussion about this can be found here.

Maintainers of specific portals are encouraged to sign up as project members here, noting the portals they maintain, so that those portals are skipped by the maintenance pass. Currently, we are interested in upgrading neglected and abandoned portals. There will be opportunity for maintained portals to opt-in later, or the portal maintainers can handle upgrading (the portals they maintain) personally at any time.


On April 8th, 2018, an RfC ("Request for comment") proposal was made to eliminate all portals and the portal namespace. On April 17th, the Portals WikiProject was rebooted to handle the revitalization of the portal system. On May 12th, the RfC was closed with the result to keep portals, by a margin of about 2 to 1 in favor of keeping portals.

There's an article in the current edition of the Signpost interviewing project members about the RfC and the Portals WikiProject.

Since the reboot, the Portals WikiProject has been busy building tools and components to upgrade portals.

So far, 84 editors have joined.

If you would like to keep abreast of what is happening with portals, see the newsletter archive.

If you have any questions about what is happening with portals or the Portals WikiProject, please post them on the WikiProject's talk page.

Thank you.    — The Transhumanist   11:00, 31 May 2018 (UTC)

Original description of Parahughmilleria matarakensis[edit]

I am working on the Parahughmilleria article and I can not find the original description of the species P. matakarensis. It's strange, since I know the name and author, but I can not find it in Google Scholar, Google Books or BHL. The complete citation of the document is:

Pirozhnikov, L. P. 1957. Remains of Gigantostraca from the series of Matakara (Devonian of the North Minusinsk Depression). Vsesoyuznoe Paleontologichesko Obshchestvo Eze-godnik, 16, 207–213.

Could someone try to find it? Thanks in advance. Super Ψ Dro 13:58, 21 June 2018 (UTC)

If you haven't tried, WP:RX is always the best bet. FunkMonk (talk) 15:16, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, I will go to make the request. Super Ψ Dro 18:34, 21 June 2018 (UTC)

Proposal to merge La Huérguina Formation and Las Hoyas[edit]

These two articles represent the same formation, and I see no reason for them to be separate, but I would like input on The talk page


can someone make an article about this insect Idoptilus it is dated back to Carboniferous, it is the evidence of the evolution of the flying insects, that has 2 wings fair like structure. (info came from [7]) (talk) 01:35, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

Cecilia Apaldetti[edit]

Find sources: "Cecilia Apaldetti" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · HighBeam · JSTOR · free images · free news sources · The Wikipedia Library · NYT · WP reference

Cecilia Apaldetti of the National University of San Juan in Argentina seems to be a notable palaeontologist, but there is no Wikipedia article on her. See Ingentia and the Google Scholar search above. If you think that she is notable by Wiki standards, you might want to start an article on her. Eastmain (talkcontribs) 02:42, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

Request for comment on recommending usage of automatic taxoboxes[edit]

There is an RfC regarding recommending usage of automatic taxoboxes at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Tree of Life#Request for comments: Should the automatic taxobox system be the current recommended practice?. Inviting anybody who watches this page to contribute their thoughts to that thread.

WikiProject Palaeontology is currently using automatic taxoboxes in 52.9% of project tagged articles that have any form of taxobox. Plantdrew (talk) 01:41, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

Article ready for promotion for stub to start-class?[edit]

I was wondering if Barbaridactylus is ready to become a start-class article? It currently has no paleobiology section, but I think that that's okay for now. Any input? --Slate Weasel (talk | contribs) 14:07, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

  • I don't think you need to ask when upgrading a stub to a start if it's clearly there, that's definitely not a stub class article, however the remains are pretty scrappy so I'm not sure how much more you'll be able to write about it. Hemiauchenia (talk) 14:28, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
I think anything beyond a couple of sentences can be start class. FunkMonk (talk) 08:49, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

Meaning of Chasmoporthetes[edit]

The article on Chasmaporthetes currently claims that the animal's name means 'he who saw the canyon', providing a reference to D. MacDonald, The Velvet Claw, a companion book for a BBC documentary series. This etymology is wrong. Chasmaporthetes means 'canyon ravager', from χάσμα (canyon) and πορθητἠς (ravager). See the definition in the LSJ, the standard dictionary of ancient Greek.[8] I've tried to change the article, but User:Apokryltaros reverts without discussion, so I thought it best to bring it here. Furius (talk) 00:04, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

First off, I am not the only editor to revert you, secondly, I would think it would be unwise to put all of our faith in a dictionary, especially when there are legions of scientific names relying on hidden double, triple or even quadruple meanings. Or, is it just too hard to look for the original paper?--Mr Fink (talk) 00:22, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

Neither translation is supported by the original source, which only says "The name of this makes allusion to the Grand Canyon, whose beginning this animal may have witnessed." 2001:569:782B:7A00:44ED:FE73:AE08:3649 (talk) 04:00, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

Im being bold and removing it totally until the original description can be used as a reference. No source other then the original author should ever be used for an etymology, and we at no point should be using pseudo etymology parlance such as "canyon ravager", as that is rarely to never actually something used by anyone other then third party translations. If Hay in 1921 did not provide an etymology, and such translations such as that done from trying to look at the root words by Wiki editors is pure WP:OR --Kevmin § 04:08, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

Category:Smilodon for deletion[edit]

The Category:Smilodon has been nominated for deletion. It has only one page in it (Smilodon) and is unlikely to have any more pages added, because Smilodon is a felid genus.--SilverTiger12 (talk) 16:12, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

Weird, I wonder why that category was made in the first place. FunkMonk (talk) 16:19, 13 August 2018 (UTC)