A proposed deletion template has been added to the article Roachoids, suggesting that it be deleted according to the proposed deletion process. All contributions are appreciated, but this article may not satisfy Wikipedia's criteria for inclusion, and the deletion notice should explain why (see also "What Wikipedia is not" and Wikipedia's deletion policy). You may prevent the proposed deletion by removing the {{dated prod}} notice, but please explain why you disagree with the proposed deletion in your edit summary or on its talk page. Also, please consider improving the article to address the issues raised. Even though removing the deletion notice will prevent deletion through the proposed deletion process, the article may still be deleted if it matches any of the speedy deletion criteria or it can be sent to Articles for Deletion, where it may be deleted if consensus to delete is reached. If you agree with the deletion of the article, and you are the only person who has made substantial edits to the page, please add {{db-author}} to the top of Roachoids. Shyamal (talk) 14:32, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Hi Petter, about the above. I still feel that the article is not useful. The term can be introduced into the Dictyoptera or Blattidae article but as a separate item, I think there is little reason for. If it were an article one would expect for instance what the diagnostic characters of Roachoids are, what is the fossil range, where are the fossils from, why are they not classifiable into existing families etc. Cheers Shyamal (talk) 01:33, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Hi Shyamal! As of now, the "roachid" is just a redirect to Blattoptera. If you feel it's not needed, by all means go ahead and delete it. Thank you for helping out with the Blattoptera article!

Petter Bøckman (talk) 05:47, 21 April 2008 (UTC)


I have uploaded three images (I believe that photographs of the public exhibits would not come under any copyright protection under Norwegian law, let me know if otherwise)

Shyamal (talk) 15:02, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

No, they are under no copyright protection, save you own. Feel free to use them!Petter Bøckman (talk) 16:34, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Oslo museumEdit

What can I say, I just saw the folder for the Oslo natural history museum with a program on Sunday the 20th and saw that you have an excursion to Huk. Was wondering if I could join, is there a fee to join for the field trip? Shyamal (talk) 06:16, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm afraid there appears to be an error somewhere. As of now I'm on holiday (and will be until the 27th of this month). I'll be here in Oslo for most of the time though, and I'll be happy to give you a guided tour of the museum. All our excursions are free, and there's open attendance. I'm very sorry about the Huk trip, I have no idea as to how that ended up in the museums folder. Petter Bøckman (talk) 07:07, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
Ah sorry, I think I read it wrong, that was April, gone. I would love a trip around the collections, especially of things that are unknown in the tropics. Will contact you maybe when you get back to work, I am in Oslo for a while, I have Ostensjovannet on my mind for this Sunday. Tusen Takk. Oslo mobile 40243254 Shyamal (talk) 07:50, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
Ah, the April tour, that explains it. I'll be back from the mountains on Friday 25th, and back on work at the following Monday.Petter Bøckman (talk) 10:50, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Any ideas on the following critters? Shyamal (talk) 17:16, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

I got some info that Erebia ligea might be right and that the other is most likely Lasiommata maera (=Pararge maera). Do let me know what might be a good time for me to contact/meet you. Thanks. Shyamal (talk) 08:11, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm afraid I can't help you much with the insects, I'm no entomologist. I'll try to see if one of my colleges can identify the critters. I'm home from the mountains now, you can reach me by e-mail (my first name and the first letter of my surname, all in one word and lowercase,, or phone me at 928 46 62 06 between 5 and 10 in the evening.Petter Bøckman (talk) 12:38, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Will call this evening. Guess I had the wrong number. Cheers. Shyamal (talk) 08:45, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Hi, unfortunately neither the number you gave or the number on the directory worked for me. So anyway I will take a look at the museum tomorrow (2 August sometime in the forenoon). Thanks. Shyamal (talk) 07:42, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Tusen takk for den tid. Cobboldia was the fly I was talking about. Shyamal (talk) 15:41, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
It was my pleasure, it was very nice meeting a fellow Wikipedian! I'll check out the fly!Petter Bøckman (talk) 17:04, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Talk:Homosexuality and bisexuality in animalsEdit

Hi, there is a proposed move that I would like your input on as it concerns terminology. Banjeboi 01:03, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Bat watchingEdit

Hope to make it to the bat-watching outing at Østensjøvannet on Saturday evening before leaving Oslo on Sunday morning. Shyamal (talk) 07:40, 22 August 2008 (UTC)


Hi, thanks for adding information to the above article, however, I would be grateful if you would add some references for the section you added about their systematical position and clarify the section as it presently reads like a textbook and isn't really understandable to the layman. Richerman (talk) 13:44, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

I'll look it up when I get time...Petter Bøckman (talk) 21:03, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
Hope it's better now.Petter Bøckman (talk) 21:58, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for that - it's a lot better. I'm passionate about making articles in wikipedia understandable to as many people as possible :) Richerman (talk) 09:57, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Freedom of PanoramaEdit

Hi Petter, hope you are doing well. I have a query on this interpretation of the Norwegian copyright act. Some one deleted a photograph that I took and uploaded of the Olav V statue from near the Holmenkollen ski jump claiming that Norwegian law does not allow this if the subject is the main part of the picture. Any idea if this interpretation has been examined on the Norwegian wikipedia ? Cheers. Shyamal (talk) 15:00, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

That's obviously wrong. The statue is in a public place. You are allowed to take pictures of anything in the "public sphere", and that statue is certainly so. I'll check exactly what the copyright law has to say about it. Petter Bøckman (talk) 08:35, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

EDIT: I just phoned the National archive who handles matters of copyright. She quoted the law, saying that all art mounted in the public room can be freely photographed. The exception is if the subject is the main part of the picture and the photo is to be used for commercial purpose. If you put this picture out on Wikipedia, you won't earn a dime, so that is not a problem. If someone download your picture and plan to make money out of it, they will have to ask permission to do so.Petter Bøckman (talk) 09:03, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. The commons licensing schemes require usage "for any use" including commercial use - so they are presumably correct in their implementation of the policy... anyway, what a pity ! Shyamal (talk) 14:32, 4 December 2008 (UTC)


You added a tree to that article, stating that the tree came from the Sarcopterygii article. However, at that time that article looked like this. Where did you get the tree? Shinobu (talk) 01:06, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Ah, I see the problem. The tree is adapted from the cited source (Colbert). The "From lobe-finned fish" part is not a reference for the tree, but an indication of where the tree is rooted. I'll edit the part to avoid the confusion at once.Petter Bøckman (talk) 09:43, 30 December 2008 (UTC)


Thank you for being polite. Petter Bøckman, I appreciate an evolutionist who does not go off on me for my beliefs. I think it would be worth your while, though, to do a little research in intelligent design. If you would at least study our views, I would greatly appreciate it. Try reading The New Answers Book, edited by Ken Ham.--Whatinthewampa (talk) 15:07, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

I would really enjoy hearing what you have to say about reptiles. --Whatinthewampa (talk) 15:16, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

I am rather interested in snakes, particularly the poisonous ones.--Whatinthewampa (talk) 15:01, 26 May 2009 (UTC)


Seems like this is keeping you busy on a holiday ! :) Shyamal (talk) 07:58, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Great find. isn't it? I hope you are doing well! Petter Bøckman (talk) 08:04, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Seems very interesting indeed! And using Google to publicize science and other ideas may turn out to be a very interesting concept as well! Yes, thank you. doing well. Hope alls well with you and your work too. I recently saw a book on the Jehol fossils, hope you have seen that - quite incredible preservation there too. Shyamal (talk) 08:26, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

response on snakesEdit

Thanks for your response on the reptile page. My problem is that I have data on Australian reptiles but not on the snakes in the top ten snakes listed in the VERY suspect page. If it was up to me I would just ditch the article but whoever wrote it MIGHT have guessed a few right. The list is described as a personal list anyway (says "my list"). I was looking for a second opinion and some support from someone else before I take the course of action I propose which would be

1) Ditch the WORLD list (scrap someone's work even if it is extremely questionable and totally unsupported)
2) Place my AUSTRALIAN list on the page (that would somewhat invalidate the page title)
3) Invite submissions on the discussion page for anyone with real data to insert entries

If someone else could take a good look at the article and my data I would appreciate a comment on my talk page. Thanks anyway Euc (talk) 20:47, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Hmmm, I do think I have a list I put together once, trying to combine poison strenght with amount. I'll see what I can dig up. Anyway, to make an expansion of the article, it may haveto be moved, or a new article made. Petter Bøckman (talk) 21:38, 23 May 2009 (UTC)


FYI, WP:DFTT. -- Banjeboi 01:32, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Does this somewhat cryptic message mean that I should not respond to the poster in question? Petter Bøckman (talk) 07:06, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
This seems to be, yet another, provocative post by ADM to link pedophilia, LGBT people and Michael Jackson, and sometimes Jewish people. Please ignore unless they present reliable sources to back up their POV. Check their contribution history for more of this, they are prolific but seem more interested in stirring drama, just my two cents. -- Banjeboi 01:44, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Better now? Petter Bøckman (talk) 12:42, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Anything you do is fine, just wanted to stop the cycle they seem to enjoy on so may talk pages. A provocative post with well-meaning editors discussing the ideas presented and no further input from them. Done once? Who cares, but this is the umpteenth one I've seen and there are certainly many others. I suggest insisting on reliable sources and save your energy for actually improving articles, I'm unclear what they hope to achieve by lobbing pointy discussion threads onto all these articles. Thank you for all the work you do. -- Banjeboi 13:23, 21 July 2009 (UTC)


Hello Petter, thanks for adding details about Arion species. Does the Portuguese slug Arion lusitanicus s.s. live in Portugal only? --Snek01 (talk) 12:13, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

To my knowledge, yes, but I can't say for sure. It may perhaps extend into Spain or France, or it may be that the original lusitanicus has a very small distribution and is endemic to the little forest patch where it was found. I'm trying to read up on it for the moment. The problem is that we have 50 years of misunderstanding behind us, so finding out what applies to which species is a bit of a bugger. Really, the slugologes will have to go over the whole lot again counting chromosomes or looking at spermatophores before we know for sure. Just to ad to the confusion, A. vulgaris, A. ater and A. rufus may actually be the same species with a lot of local variation. We may find we deal with a superspecies here, one of those taxonomic nightmares that makes bout cladistic and Linnean taxonomists sweaty. Petter Bøckman (talk) 13:28, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Non evolutionists and creationistsEdit

Well, a counter example would be an non-evolutionist athiest. Wouldn't you agree? Shicoco (talk) 05:34, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Are there such people? After all, the great diversity of plants and animals do have an origin. Evolution is one answer, the only other answer I have ever heard is creation. Petter Bøckman (talk) 07:22, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Thank youEdit

Thank you for your updates to the article New Village Leadership Academy. I clicked on the article Against Nature?, looks quite interesting! Cirt (talk) 21:16, 11 September 2009 (UTC)


Hi Petter, In this edit you added "Early in the period, the diapside reptiles split into two lineages, the lepidosaurs (forfathers of modern snakes, lizards, and tuataras). The group remained lizard-like and relatively small and inconspicuous during the Permian." but that only describes one of the two lineages. Can you expand on what the other one was? Thanks, Rojomoke (talk) 10:42, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Uuups, right on, mate! Petter Bøckman (talk) 02:48, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Where 'clade' came fromEdit

Re your edit at Clade, about J. Huxley coining the term, see the citation to Lucien Cuénot in the Cladistics article. Cuénot is the person credited by Willi Hennig in his Phylogenetic Systematics as the first user of the term clade:

  • Cuénot, Lucien (1940). "Remarques sur un essai d'arbre généalogique du règne animal". Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences de Paris. 210: 23–27. Available free online at (No direct URL).

A paper with a good overview of the first uses of the terms is:

  • Dupuis, Claude (1984). "Willi Hennig's impact on taxonomic thought". Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics. 15: 1–24. ISSN 0066-4162.

EdJohnston (talk) 15:31, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

I cannot access the articles from home, I'll see about it on Monday. Huxleys article cite him as the originator of bout clade and grade, citing Huxley J. 1957. The three types of evolutionary process. Nature 180, 454–5, Huxley J. 1959. Clades and grades. In Cain A.J. (ed) Function and taxonomic importance. Systematics Association, London and Dupuis, C. 1984. Willi Hennig's impact on taxonomic thought. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 15: 1–24 to the effect. Petter Bøckman (talk) 20:47, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
I may be able to send you PDFs of some of these articles. I believe that is allowed under Fair Use, at least in the United States, since it's for research purposes. Send me a Wikipedia email, conveying your real email address, if you would like these papers. I just came across a new paper in Acta Biotheoretica in 2009, by Williams and Ebach, "What, Exactly, is Cladistics? Re-writing the History of Systematics and Biogeography." If you have a library with access you can find it here. They point out that one of the tables in a 19th-century work by Haeckel uses the title "Hauptklassen oder Kladen." It looks like you can find clades farther and farther back the more patience you apply! (Did Linnaeus invent them?) Haeckel's use of 'Klade' may perhaps not be the same as the 'clade' used by Cuénot and Julian Huxley. This would take more study. EdJohnston (talk) 20:33, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
No need, mate. I can access Nature from work (I work in an university museum), just didn't get to do it today (I spent the day washing cabinets, an occupational hazard in my line of work...). If I don't find them, you'll have an e-mail coming your way. Petter Bøckman (talk) 23:41, 15 March 2010 (UTC)


The English word "bout" doesn't make sense in this context. If you don't mean "both", what do you mean?--Curtis Clark (talk) 13:26, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

You're right. I'm not a native English speaker and keep doing stupid errors like that, sorry.Petter Bøckman (talk) 13:31, 22 March 2010 (UTC)


Hej Petter! I noticed you uploaded a map to the Cro-Magnon article, which is funny, since I've been working on a series of 4 maps that I'm fixin' to upload just now. :P These 4 maps show expansion into Europe and North Africa by Cro-Magnon (modern humans) from between 37,500 ybp to 32,000 ybp. I think I'm going to go ahead an upload them and arrange them to look pretty in the Cro-Mag article, and then I'll let you decide whether to keep them or move them around or whaterver. Talk to you later. --Saukkomies talk 06:15, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

No problems, mate! I just thought about the map this morning and threw it in. It is just to show the distribution of previous human groups and was ment as an illustration to the "They've met Neanderthals!"-bit. It's not a particularly good map, and was intended as a place-holder. Petter Bøckman (talk) 07:30, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
So what do you think of my maps? --Saukkomies talk 07:33, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
They look good, but they show distribution of generally modern people rather than just Cro-Magnons. They are useful however, and I think they would look good as illustrations for a section on the origin and migration, bout for Cro-Magnons and modern humans in general. I have two questions though:
Are the dates in absolute or radiocarbon years?
Is the spread into North Africa a tad late? The map seem to show the reflux of people into Africa from Eurasia, but as far as I remember, there where modern people there already. Petter Bøckman (talk) 07:44, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

(Margin readjusted) I got this information from an article that analyzes whether there might have been any interbreeding between Neanderthal and modern humans in Europe. The article does not come right out and say either way whether the map includes other modern humans than Cro-Magnon alone. Here is the article's URL: And here is a quote from it concerning the maps (figure 2 in the article) that I used to base my maps on:

Figure 1. Range Expansion of Modern Humans into Europe from the Near East
Simulations begin 1,600 generations ago, with the area of Europe already colonized by Neanderthals shown in light gray, and an origin of modern human expansion indicated by a black arrow (lane A). Lanes (B–F) show the progression of the wave of advance of modern humans (dark gray) into Europe at different times before present. The black band at the front of the expansion wave represents the restricted zone of cohabitation between modern humans and Neanderthals.

Further in the article the authors talk about how long of a time they gave to factor for a "generation":

At the beginning of the simulation, 1,600 generations ago (corresponding to 40,000 y ago when assuming a generation time of 25 y), the HN demes are all filled at their carrying capacity, KHN, and, in the basic scenario, the population HS is assumed to be restricted to a single deme in the Near East at a position corresponding approximately to the present border between Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

So I used their 25 years per each generation rate as the basis to calculate how long ago each of the maps were representing by simly multiplying 25 by whatever number of generations each map indicated (e.g.: 25 times 1500 = 37,500). So to answer your question, the dates are based on genetic analysis of mtDNA, but I don't really know all of the precise ways in which mtDNA dates are established - I'm not sure if radiometric dating is incorporated into that analysis or not.

Throughout the article they seem to use the terms "Cro-Magnon" and "modern humans" interchangeably, with no distinction made between them, which although they don't come right out and say so, seems to imply that they are talking about Cro-Magnon each time they use the term "modern humans" in the article. No where in the article do they state that there were other modern humans included in their analysis, nor do they state that Cro-Magnons were a separate group from the early humans. So I think that it is fairly safe to assume that they are refering to Cro-Magnons throughout the article.

As per the North Africa question: I simply do not know whether the maps are accurate or not - I'm simply using their data, and they seem to be knowledgeable about what they're talking about. I mean, they're just as qualified as any other academicians. Here is the authority statement for the article:

Mathias Currat: Computational and Molecular Population Genetics Lab, Zoological Institute, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland, and Genetics and Biometry Laboratory, Department of Anthropology and Ecology, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland & Laurent Excoffier: Genetics and Biometry Laboratory, Department of Anthropology and Ecology, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

Further, it says (refering to the authors):

This work was supported by a Swiss NSF grant No 3100A0–100800 to LE. MC and LE conceived and designed the experiments. MC performed the experiments. MC and LE analyzed the data. MC and LE wrote the paper.

Here are the sources they used to set up their map data (some of them, though, were only discussing the numbers of modern humans, not specifically their location):

  • Coale AJ (1974) The history of the human population. Sci Am 231: 40–51.
  • Hassan FA (1981) The peopling of the World. In: Hassan FA, editor. Demographic archaeology. New York: Academic Press. pp. 193–208.
  • Weiss KM (1984) On the number of members of the Genus Homo who have ever lived, and some evolutionary implications. Hum Biol 56: 637–649.
  • Landers J (1992) Reconstructing ancient populations. In: Jones S, Martin R, Pilbeam D, editors. The Cambridge encyclopedia of human evolution. London: Cambridge University Press. pp. 402–405.
  • Chikhi L, Nichols RA, Barbujani G, Beaumont MA (2002) Y genetic data support the Neolithic demic diffusion model. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 99: 11008–11013.

So I'm assuming they got their map data somewhere in all that. However, the article cites a total of 68 sources, so maybe I'm overlooking the source(s) they got their map data from... Perhaps the best solution would be to contact the authors directly for any questions regarding their maps...

I hope that helps. I believe without any doubt that the maps do show at least one version of the ranges of Cro-Magnon/modern humans into Europe. --Saukkomies talk 13:29, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Absolutely smashing! We'll just need to write the figure text so that it is clear it is the result of an simulation. Together with the current text, it explains the migration pattern fairly well. My only wish would be to have ice-age rather than present coast-lines, perhaps now-drowned land in lighter shade of gray.--Petter Bøckman (talk) 15:34, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Petter, you are satan! You have no idea how much of a temptor you are: encouraging me to create the perfect map plays on my obsession with maps like you would not believe! I am a map slut! LOL!! Well, okay, I'll put that idea in the hopper, and we'll see what happens... --Saukkomies talk 22:35, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Looking forward to the result! --Petter Bøckman (talk) 07:40, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Miss Shilling's orificeEdit

I'm curious -- how would fuel starvation lead to flooding, as your recent edit of Miss Shilling's orifice says? Regards... Nibios (talk) 20:21, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

I have tried to explain it in the first section of the Engine cut out problems. The problem is that one out of two things could happen, depending on the length of time negative g went on. At first the fuel would just flow to the top of the chamber and not into the engine. If the fuel continued to flow up in the top of the chamber for any more than a few seconds, the float would end up at the floor of the chamber and that would open the fuel gate fully, flooding the engine. Is that more understandable?
Imagine you sit in your Spitfire, and a bandit fly across nose of your plane and disappears below the engine cowling. You push your stick forward to get him in your sights, and you suddenly you feel the engine stop pulling. If you ignore this warning from your Merlin and continue pitching down after the bandit, the engine gives a cough, and for a slight moment the power is back. Then it goes all dead, the propeller is just windmilling. Now, about that bandit...
English is not my first language, and I'm not particularly technically inclined. If you feel like rewording the section to get the point across, please be my guest.--Petter Bøckman (talk) 22:10, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Norwegian copyright law !Edit

Hei Petter ! Hope you are doing well. Yet another complication caused by the law ! Do you know the artist / age of this reconstructed Auk ? Seems like Norway needs some copyright amendments to pictures taken in the public space. Shyamal (talk) 02:12, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

The exhibit, together with the auk copy was made in the late 1970'ies or early 80'ies. Norwegian copyright laws suck bigtime. Petter Bøckman (talk) 14:14, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Sigh ! Asking for too much but is there any chance that the taxidermy artist can be found and persuaded to release the image under a creative commons license via email to OTRS ? Shyamal (talk) 07:41, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
I'll see what I can do when I'm by the museum. I'm on paternity leave with twins at the moment, not much time to do anything except change nappies and mix baby formula... Petter Bøckman (talk) 14:31, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Ah congratulations ! And thanks too. Shyamal (talk) 15:29, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Thank youEdit

Thank you, for your updates to the article, Citizens Commission on Human Rights. There is enough coverage in independent reliable secondary sources on this issue, first of course in the article where you added it, and quite possibly also as its own independent article in some fashion. Cheers, -- Cirt (talk) 23:23, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

I was a bit unsure of how to treat the sources. Is ABC really the primary or secondary source here? I used ABC as they appear to be generally very reliable and had the most thorough covering, but it is not optimal. This is still so recent I guess we will have to see how it plays out. Suggestions for new secondary sources are welcome! --Petter Bøckman (talk) 06:13, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

May 2010Edit

  Welcome to Wikipedia. Although everyone is welcome to contribute to Wikipedia, at least one of your recent edits, such as the one you made to Cro-Magnon, did not appear to be constructive and has been reverted or removed. Please use the sandbox for any test edits you would like to make, and read the welcome page to learn more about contributing constructively to this encyclopedia. Thank you. UtherSRG (talk) 04:06, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

No, I checked this edit and it does not appear to be vandalism. Bad faith warning. -- Cirt (talk) 04:08, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
So we should have every language's name in the lead? This was the 2nd time I'd reverted the same change, with essentially the same edit summary. How is restoration of a revert without discussion a good faith edit? - UtherSRG (talk) 04:47, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
It is most certainly not vandalism. Also, WP:TEMPLAR. -- Cirt (talk) 04:49, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Thank you Cirt! UtherSRG, if you had cared to read what i actually did, you would have seen that I was trying to tidy up the article a bit. The current "An example of this..." does not work, as it does not point to what it is an example off. If you would care to check the history of the article and compare the present one with the one before I started working on it (26th of April version), I think you will find that vandalism is hardly my motivation.

The Cro-Magnon article stil has a long way to go. If any of you gentlemen know a bit about Cro-Magnon culture, it would be very helpful if you would help flesh out that part.--Petter Bøckman (talk) 06:24, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

And it wasn't you I was reverting, but the anon whom you had also partially reverted. Sorry man, I'm so freaking tired by getting almost no sleep for the past week. - UtherSRG (talk) 07:50, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Go get some sleep, mate! May I suggest using the Cro-Magnon talk page for this? --Petter Bøckman (talk) 10:20, 27 May 2010 (UTC)


Hello, I'm the one who edited the Clade definition on here to include an organism and its "most recent common ancestor" in the definition. I'd like to know, which definitions am I getting mixed up? Is it the "most recent common" part? I know for a fact that a clade is an organism and all of the descendants of that organism. I'm a Biology major here, so it's kind of embarrassing that I'm getting my definitions mixed up, apparently. Haha. (Though truth be told I haven't looked at cladistics in a while...) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:19, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

You wrote ... consisting of the most recent common ancestor of an organism and all its descendants. It seems you have mixed the the definition of a clade from two endpoints and that from a node. It should either be "The most recent ancestor of two organisms and all the descendant of this ancestor", or "an ancestor (or organism) and all its descendants". Bout are valid, the later one scores best in simplicity. Your version had mixed the two. Petter Bøckman (talk) 23:11, 4 June 2010 (UTC)


An endocast is a cast of the endocranium rather than a synonym. The problem with having it as a separate article is that there is really very little to say about endocasts other than that they're casts of the endocranium. The article would be a permanent stub. Abyssal (talk) 15:21, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Edit: Have a look at Endocast now and see if you like it. I have changed the re-directs that previously went to Endocranium. Petter Bøckman (talk) 12:20, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
I like it, but there should still be a section on fossil endocrania in the endocranium article. Abyssal (talk) 22:59, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
The endocranium article is really about the lower base of the (mammalian) cranium, and does not really have anything to do with endocasts. I have added the sentence "For internal cast of the cranium, see Endocast." to the top of the article. If there is an article where a discussion of fossil endocasts belongs, it would be cranial vault. Petter Bøckman (talk) 07:58, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Grimaldi manEdit

Thanks for your message. While I strongly doubt the Grimaldi finds are a forgery, after reading the article again, I believe it is categorized as such due to how the skull was rebuilt which is why I later reverted my edit. However, seeing as using the term forgery implies an intentional attempt of deception, I would agree it is rather unfair to actually label it as one.

I have tried to find more info on these skeletons, but it's rather sparse. It is quite odd how it seems there has been no interest in investigating this find using modern technology at all. It's frustrating how it has been dismissed completely, and the motivations behind the dismissal are very suspect(and probably racially oriented). Until a proper investigation is carried out with reliable evidence, I don't think it should be labeled a forgery.

AlecTrevelyan402 (talk) 18:28, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, I think I dug up what was there for the article. A real shame too, the preservation is excellent. A modern assessment would have been very interesting. Petter Bøckman (talk) 19:44, 16 September 2010 (UTC)


You seem to just be arguing with me, not based on the issues I've raised, though.[1] There's so much energy on wikipedia expended in pointless discussions. Can we stay on target and let me get the link to the community support for the chosen classification, rather than your guessing what I am supporting? I'm not a strict cladist for general encyclopedia taxonomies. When a bot comes by and makes a choice about a higher level taxonomy, that is in disagreement with other higher level taxonomies for the same taxa, or is selected from among a number of different taxonomies, I want to know what community support the bot operator has for the choice. It is a fair question for me to ask, and I should not be forced to address issues you imagine I have for the asking of the question. Thanks. --Kleopatra (talk) 08:24, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, I was just trying to point out that your original question isn't a simple yes/no, but tuches on a number of very basal questions about how to organize taxons on Wikipedia. As for what is possible, do you know how the automated taxobox system works? If so, I would suggesting you start edditing the taxo-templates to anchor where you want them to. As I said, I'm a zoologist, my suggestions are not likely to be very relevant.--Petter Bøckman (talk) 08:31, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Hispano-Suiza HS.404Edit

You've obviously put a lot of work into this article, and it shows. I've just put up a more detailed assessment, and the only reason I gave it a start-class rating instead of B-class was because of the lack of inline citations. To have a citation for each paragraph would be ideal, but even one or two for each section would get this up to B-class - I notice that the sections "Aircraft and antiaircraft gun," "British production," and "Post-war development" are all completely unreferenced. If there are not many references out there, then finding more might not be solution - just using what you have to cite more fully would be a big step forward. I'll take a look and see if I can help out at all. The article seems to have a lot of potential, and could even make it to GA if we work at it. --Cerebellum (talk) 21:30, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Thank you! I'll re-read the references and see where they may cover the sections lacking in references. Petter Bøckman (talk) 07:54, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Excellent work! I've reassessed the article and given it a B-Class rating due to the extra references. If you are interested in developing this article further, take a look at the Wikipedia:Good article criteria and consider an eventual good article nomination. Once again, great job with this article! Thanks, Cerebellum (talk) 15:46, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Encephalization quotientEdit

Thanks for all the updates made to EQ, and breaking it off from brain to body mass ratio. The original article was quite a mess prior. Niluop (talk) 00:34, 8 January 2011 (UTC)


Thanks! I was doing it for WikiProject Amphibians and Reptiles's assessment drive. We currently have 1229 unassessed articles in the auspices of our project...a hefty backlog, but it's pretty important. If you could take some time to chip away at the backlog (list here), that would be fantastic! Cheers, bibliomaniac15 08:19, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

I'll see what I can do. Petter Bøckman (talk) 08:46, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

"Moss" in EnglishEdit

I'm guessing from the way you wrote part of the Evolutionary grade article that you think of the English word "moss" as similar to the German "Moos" (and to the Norwegian equivalent?). However, at least in contempary English usage, "moss" does not include "liverwort": in English we have to say "mosses and liverworts" for them both. Thus the standard British text by Watson is called "British Mosses and Liverworts". Hence the term "leafy moss" is odd in English (and redundant since mosses are by their nature "leafy" compared to liverworts). Just thought I'd mention this – languages and their idiosyncrasies are endlessly fascinating to me! I'm about to edit the article.Peter coxhead (talk) 08:03, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Ah, the pitfalls of foreign languages... Thank you! Petter Bøckman (talk) 18:59, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
If you ever stop spelling "both" as "bout", I won't be able to identify bits that you edited! :-) Peter coxhead (talk) 16:56, 1 March 2011 (UTC)


Your edit to Template:Taxonomy/Reptiliomorpha seems to have caused changes in other articles, which you were perhaps not aware of. I have reverted it, but I thought you should know why; see Template talk:Automatic taxobox‎#Bird for more information. --Stemonitis (talk) 09:47, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

I was certainly aware of the results. The edit was done to stop the various reptiliomorphs (Seymouriamorpha, diadectomorpha etc) from anchoring directly to tetrapoda (a superclass), but anchor it to a class as in conventional Linnaean system as seen in taxoboxes for other groups (dinosaurs anchoring to Reptilia rather than to Sauropsida for example). Please revert it back. Petter Bøckman (talk) 09:52, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

No, we cannot have "Class Aves" being a child of "Class Amphibia" in a Linnaean hierarchical taxobox, which was one result of your edit. I suggest we keep the discussion at Template talk:Automatic taxobox‎#Bird, where more people can contribute. --Stemonitis (talk) 10:21, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Did it affect Aves? Good grief! OK, help me out: How do we go about anchoring Ichthyostegalia, Temnospondyli, Lepospondyli, Reptiliomorpha and Lissamphibia to amphibia, without Aves being affected? Shouldn't Aves anchor directly to tetrapoda?, otherwise, see rationale for my edit on Template talk:Taxonomy/Reptiliomorpha, which I suppose is the correct place to discuss this. Petter Bøckman (talk) 10:52, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Hei, yes, very unexpected side effect. Now it seems we can all shake the whole wiki tree ! Hope you are enjoying spring. Har det. Shyamal (talk) 11:18, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

I don't really know what the solution to your question is; I was just fixing a reported problem. The best people to ask would be User:Smith609 and the other automatic taxobox enthusiasts; that's partly why I suggested Template talk:Automatic taxobox‎ as a location. --Stemonitis (talk) 11:20, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

OK, will do.Petter Bøckman (talk) 11:30, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Back atcha!Edit

Thanks back atcha!   It's good to know the work is appreciated! I'll have you know, though, that Martin's responsible for most of the behind-the-scenes work; while I've been debugging, setting up the database, making minor alterations to templates, and providing extended support, he's been the one who has done the meat of the work, which is developing the entire system and running the bots involved. Be sure and let him know you appreciate his work, too!   Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 16:28, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, will do! Petter Bøckman (talk) 07:48, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

Well Done!Edit

A very manly man, just like you!

You have been awarded the Manliness Award for helping to construct a great encyclopedia.

Keep up the great work!

A Very Manly Man (talk) 08:16, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Ooo, thanks! I think I'll sit and scratch my chest for a bit now. Petter Bøckman (talk) 08:27, 14 March 2011 (UTC)


I saw your assessment of Monophyly, which I totally agree with. I have been collecting some papers, etc. to improve the article with sources, but I would prefer to merge Monophyly, Paraphyly and Polyphyly first, since otherwise there are large amounts which simply need to be duplicated. These three concepts cannot, in my view, be understood in isolation from one another. What do you think about this idea? The other problem is to avoid WP:SYNTH or even WP:OR. I've looked back at some of the early papers (only available in print form), and it's clear to me that these have been misunderstood by some later writers. It's also a quite contentious area, as you know! Peter coxhead (talk) 10:12, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

You have really done a good job of making the article informative rather than a fawning piece for phylogenetic nomenclature, but I see you've had an "Editorial" slapped at you. I guess the only way to deal with it is to supply sources. I am not sure of what to do with the three "-phyly" articles. All are important aspects in their own right. Would it be an idea to treat Phylogenetics as the main article, and the three _phyly articles as secondary short articles? Petter Bøckman (talk) 14:08, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Two points.
  • The material currently in the section Controversy which has been challenged wasn't mine: it was written by User:Smith609 on 7 December 2008 (see [2]). It lasted a long time before being objected to! It could perhaps be revised a bit, but it's basically sound in my view.
  • The three -phyly articles are, I think, more specific than Phylogenetics, and are linked to all over the place when the three terms are used. One problem with combining them is finding a good name; we are both reduced to writing "-phyly" articles!
Peter coxhead (talk) 21:35, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Ah, sorry about the mixup. I agree Smith609's text is good, but it could have been a tad more neutral, e.g. Calling PhyloCode "failed" is may be a bit premature, and may possibly be a reason for the "Editorial".
Since the articles are so much linked to (quite a few of those links are mine I'm afraid), I think separate articles are warranted. I don't think we should be afraid to make them short. Long articles aren't necessarily the same as good articles. We just need to come up with a logical structure. Petter Bøckman (talk) 21:44, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree about Martin's comments (Martin = Smith609); they need making more neutral.
Linking: this is an argument I used to use (because something is much-linked to, it should be a separate article). I've been convinced by discussion elsewhere that this is wrong. Linking shouldn't determine the structure of articles: get the article(s) right first and then sort out the links. For example, if there were to be one article on the three terms with a different title, then the three terms could be redirects, either to this new article as a whole or to specific sections. So the question is, I think, only: is it easier to explain and thus to understand what the three terms mean if you have one article? My answer is yes, since they are contrastive terms. In particular, 'polyphyletic' really just means 'any grouping which is not monophyletic or paraphyletic'. 'Paraphyletic' cannot be explained without understanding monophyletic, because it is a grouping obtained by removing one or more monophyletic groups from a monophyletic group (but in a slightly more constrained way than the article currently says). (talk) 06:53, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

I suppose fewer longer articles or more shorter ones are a matter of taste. I'm partial to the shorter ones, but I do see the point that paraphyly and monophyly need an understanding of monophyly to be informative. The question is what to call a "-phyly" article. Groups in phylogeny? Phylogenetic terms?

Another question is illustrations. The one used to illustrate the point in cladistics is actually incorrect, in that it indicates Reptilia is a subset of Sauropsida. Traditional Reptilia covers mammal-like reptiles as well as the first (pre-sauropsid) amniotes). We need a better example. Petter Bøckman (talk) 07:19, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I've thought about a better example. The problem is that the only very clear-cut examples I can find are either rather specialized (e.g. streptophyte algae which have embryophytes nested within them) and so not really suited to the intended level of Wikipedia readers, or at the wrong level (e.g. the species level, like the brown bear/polar bear case, a level which is deliberately excluded from the PhyloCode). If the phylogeny can be put right, reptiles vs. birds is a good example. Peter coxhead (talk) 08:34, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm in Photoshop even as we speak ;-) Petter Bøckman (talk) 08:43, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Sigh. Took me some time /a lot to do at work). Here's Sauropsida and Reptilia at least: Petter Bøckman (talk) 11:26, 24 May 2011 (UTC)


Thanks for the clarification. It looks like 'unranked' may actually the best solution for this group at the moment. MMartyniuk (talk) 20:06, 24 May 2011 (UTC)


Discussion moved to Talk:Labyrinthodontia. Petter Bøckman (talk) 06:40, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Bar/bracket in cladogramEdit

Hi, have a look at User:Peter coxhead/Test/Clade now. At present adding text opposite the bars/brackets is defeating me, but do you think that the ability to add 'brackets' in any chosen colour is sufficiently useful to be added to a revised version of the main clade template? I suggest you reply at Template talk:Clade, where Bob has sensibly moved the discussion. Peter coxhead (talk) 07:29, 1 June 2011 (UTC)


Hi Petter,

you seem to be quite interested in the article; how about we leav ethe xisting article alone (it needs major revisions) and take the discussion [[3]], and the editing [[4]]? How about we work out a structure, as (IIRC) you suggested? HMallison (talk) 11:41, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

I've put in a few edits over at Dinogy2's testpage. I'll see if I get the time to do more, but my basal approach being so different from yours, I'm not sure my edits are constructive, and I have no wish to engage in what other sees as vandalism. Petter Bøckman (talk) 13:05, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
to the contrary, I found your edits quite helpful, and though I did edit changes into them, you can see that the result is much closer to your version that the original one. This way, with two people with opposing motives editing together, some of the best articles have been produced! HMallison (talk) 16:53, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

August 2011Edit

  Please do not add unreferenced or poorly referenced information, especially if controversial, to articles or any other page on Wikipedia about living persons, as you did to James R. Lewis (scholar). Thank you. The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 13:23, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

The information I added was well referenced, most of it by Lewis himself. It was also not slanderous, but summarized some of the critique leveled at Lewis. I am all for finding better wording, but removing the academic and popular critique of his work goes against Wikipedia policy. Petter Bøckman (talk) 13:42, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Stem groupEdit

If the definition of "stem group" is the maximum stem group, as it seems to be in your revision of my addition, then you need a different cladogram I believe.

extinct groups




other extinct groups



other extinct groups

Neoaves (modern birds, some extinct like the dodo)

stem-group birds (maximum)

If the total-group = Panaves and the crown-group = Neoaves, then the stem-group is as shown. However, in the context that the total-group = Aves and the crown-group = Neoaves, then the stem-group is as on the diagram currently in the article, i.e. only from Archaeopteryx upwards.

One problem is that the names "Panaves" (not always used for this clade) and "Aves" suggest that "Aves" is the crown group. As ever in anything to do with cladistics, it has become complex and muddled, as we at least agree. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:48, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

I have treated "stem group" as "total stem group" as per the original definition, but I think you are right in that we need to put in the muddled state of affairs. Would it be an idea to ad a sentence or two on how the term is sometimes used for a more restricted sample? Petter Bøckman (talk) 12:29, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
The problem is sourcing such a sentence. We may know that actually scientific sources are not consistent, but it's not easy to find a good source. So it's a good idea, and I would have done it, if I knew a suitable source.
Back to the cladogram: I think it's better to show the cladogram with the maximum stem group, because this is what is being discussed, not the one I put in the article earlier. Shall I change it or will you? Peter coxhead (talk) 19:14, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
For the sake of simplicity, I'd keep the current one and change Aunty Archy for "dinosaurs". Petter Bøckman (talk) 21:04, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Common names and grades, etcEdit

In the Evolutionary grade article, you wrote: "Under phylogenetic nomenclature paleontologists consider birds to be dinosaurs and not just their descendants (see Origin of birds and Feathered dinosaur), though the difference between the two expressions is one of semantics rather than phylogeny."

I've been arguing about what exactly informal or common words like "bird" mean elsewhere (largely about "ape"). Paleontologists are entitled to consider members of the clade Aves to be members of the clade Dinosauria. As biologists, they can give precise definitions of "Aves" and "Dinosauria". Biologists in general may, or may not, come to a consensus as to these definitions.

But biologists cannot decide what the common word "bird" means, or even the common word "dinosaur" (in spite of its being derived from "Dinosauria"). They can urge particular usages, but these may or may not be accepted.

So I think that what is actually correct is this statement: '[Some] paleontologists consider members of the clade they say should be called "birds" to be members of the clade they say should be called "dinosaurs".'

Now I'm not suggesting we should write this in Wikipedia. But I am suggesting that we should try to distinguish between words which are part of the science of biology, whose meanings are determined by definitions, and words which are in common use, whose meanings are not determined by definition but by use. At present, I would argue, the evidence from use is that the common English words "dinosaur", "reptile", "ape", etc. usually refer to paraphyletic groups/grades, although they are also, but less often, used to refer to clades. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:33, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Oh, I do agree, the question is how we word this in the article. My edit was trying to reword an earlier edit which I felt was even further from off (one of those "birds are dinosaurs, now deal with it!"-kind of edits). Of course, "being" under phylogentic nomenclature and "evolved from" under evolutionary nomenclature is just two ways of expressing the same thing. The difference is that the first expression emphasize phylogeny, while the latter emphasize the anatomical and ecological distinctness of the daughter group.
Now, how do we express this in suitably neutral tones? Petter Bøckman (talk) 08:19, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that's the key question. If you want to bore yourself, see Talk:Ape/Archive 1#Humans_are_not_apes onwards for one of those "humans are apes, now deal with it!" kind of edits and its consequences. At present (but I'm not expecting it to last), this group of editors seems to have been silenced by Apes#History_of_hominoid_taxonomy and Primates#Historical_and_modern_terminology (I hope they don't read this!). It would be nice to think that these longer brilliantly-written and well-referenced passages :-) have convinced them, but I suspect it's that many only like to make short edits and changing long explanations is too tedious. So it may be that the answer is to write an entire section on the issue of different kinds of naming. Or it may not be...
I hope you understand that my comments are not meant to criticize you but to support you in this tricky area. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:16, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Not taking this as criticism at all Peter, we're all here to make a better encylopedia! Very nice historical summaries in the primate articles! As for the dinosaur example. tyhe concept of grades is well covered in the article, so I think it would be a good idea to keep the examples short. I'll experiment a bit, feel free to improve on my edits though! Petter Bøckman (talk) 07:54, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
"Dinosaur" was no more derived from "Dinosauria" than the other way around. The "dinosaur" entry in the Oxford English Dictionary quotes Richard Owen (1841) as discussing "A remarkable approach in the present gigantic Dinosaur to the crocodilian structure." The terms are coeval. While I do not have the texts of Owen's popular lectures, it seems overwhelmingly likely that he introduced "dinosaur" to a nonscientific audience even as he was introducing "Dinosauria" to a scientific one. In the succeeding 170 years, both of the terms have been subject to the vicissitudes of usage in their respective linguistic communities. The "birds are dinosaurs, now deal with it" school fails to realize that constraints that are perhaps compelling in one community have no claim on usage in the other. Peter M. Brown (talk) 03:34, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Egg size and yolkEdit

That's great stuff you've added on egg size and yolk. However, can you further cite your additions? For example, the section on macrolecithal eggs and the overview table have no sources at all. Regards. --Epipelagic (talk) 08:15, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

It's coming. I've translated most of it from the Norwegian wiki, but I'm not done yet. I'll try to find proper sources for it all, most of it will be Romer and Barns though. Petter Bøckman (talk) 09:56, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Multituberculates are crown mammals? So you say in Talk:Evolution of mammalsEdit

Could I have a source? I thought that they went extinct in the Oligocene.


Peter M. Brown (talk) 01:48, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Actually, it was Ucucha who said it. Exactly where the multituberculates belong is a bit uncertain, but several sources have them within the prototheria-theria clade, see
  • Carrano, Matthew T., and Richard W. Blob, Timothy J. Gaudin, and John R. Wible (2006). Amniote Paleobiology: Perspectives on the Evolution of Mammals, Birds, and Reptiles, p. 358.
  • Gurovich, Y.; Beck, R. (2009). "The phylogenetic affinities of the enigmatic mammalian clade Gondwanatheria". Journal of Mammalian Evolution 16 (1): 25–49. doi:10.1007/s10914-008-9097-3. edit
Whether they are extinct or not has no bearing on being in the crown group. The great auk is a crown bird, despite being extinct. Having said that, the multituberculates may have been outside the crown group, the early radiation of mammals is a bit hazy. Petter Bøckman (talk) 07:02, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
Thank you very much. One cannot help being impressed, looking at the cladograms, by the huge number of fossil taxa that get included in Crown Mammalia only because of the historical accident that some monotremes have survived to the present day. Of more than five thousand extant mammalian species, just five make all that difference! (Or might it be—just perhaps—that Theriformes+Prototheria would be just as interesting even if it were not equivalent to Crown Mammalia?) Peter M. Brown (talk) 16:43, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
The monototremes are very much "walking accidents of evolution". They are the spice that makes being a zoologist fun! Petter Bøckman (talk) 06:43, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

Minor ranksEdit

Petter, since I'm not very well-versed with large minor clades like those, let's take this to WT:TOL where hopefully we can come up with some sort of resolution; it sounds to me like the ones I added last night may not be the only ones creating controversial clutter (if I've understood correctly). Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 17:18, 15 September 2011 (UTC)


Answered here. Mithril (talk) 11:15, 22 September 2011 (UTC)


Hi, I thought I'd mention. You reverted a vandalism by However this user made two vandal edits back to back. You reverted this one but missed this one. Anyways, nice to meet you. SlightSmile 02:50, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

Ooops, sorry about that. Thanks for keeping Wikipedia on it's feet! Petter Bøckman (talk) 05:55, 30 November 2011 (UTC)


...for replying at Red wolf! I was thinking about asking your permission to swipe it to the Tree of Life Project's Red Wolf section, but the bot'll add my signiture and confuse people. Would you mind cutting and pasting it there as well? I lot more people will read it there and it will encourage others to comment. Chrisrus (talk) 13:50, 12 December 2011 (UTC)


Hi, I think that the definition of "homoploid" that you added to ploidy was incorrect, so I've edited it accordingly. I'll look up some genetics dictionaries to add citations when I get a chance. It does seem to be a good idea to have a definition of that term on that page. Nadiatalent (talk) 14:02, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

I added that section out of what was in the Hybrid species article, which was kind of vague. Thanks for correcting it. The current one seems a tad cryptic to me though (at "the same level" as what?). Do you think you can flesh it out a bit for a non-native English non-geneticist like me? Petter Bøckman (talk) 18:03, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Hi again. I've tried to add a bit. Nadiatalent (talk) 21:29, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I've now done what I can think of doing at Hybrid speciation and at Polyploidy. Please let me know if it is still as clear as mud. Nadiatalent (talk) 19:09, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Much better! Petter Bøckman (talk) 19:15, 21 December 2011 (UTC)


...for your contribution to Canid hybrid! Chrisrus (talk) 15:04, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Restrictions on non-free imagesEdit

Hi. :) While it's great to add relevant images to articles, I'm afraid that there are restrictions that limit how we can use non-free images. I see that in April of last year, you added an image to Kristian Alfonso, here, but we are not able to use this image in that article. Non-free images must meet the requirements of WP:NFC for each article in which they are used, and a "fair use rationale" must be given for each image in which they are used to verify that the meet those requirements. Strangely, although we do allow promotional images of actors in articles about the characters they depict, we can't have them in articles about the actors. We may be able to make a case for a non-free image once she has retired from acting, but until then, so long as she's alive, we have to hope that somebody will take a picture and release it under a free license. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 20:00, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Oh, I did not know. Petter Bøckman (talk) 20:37, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

No worries. It's confusing, I know. :) I just figured I'd give you the heads up. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 20:39, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

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Your comment on Talk:SymplesiomorphyEdit

Unfortunately I seem to be the only editor actively watching this article, but I saw your comment about unclear text and have attempted to clarify it somewhat. If you have a moment, would you mind letting me know if you think it's better now, and if not, what parts are unclear and still need improvement? Part of the issue here is that these obscure cladistic terms are very difficult to find relevant sourcing for, especially when it comes to specific examples and "layman" explanation. Any input would be appreciated. -Ferahgo the Assassin (talk) 23:05, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

WP Palaeontology in the SignpostEdit

The WikiProject Report would like to focus on WikiProject Palaeontology for a Signpost article. This is an excellent opportunity to draw attention to your efforts and attract new members to the project. Would you be willing to participate in an interview? If so, here are the questions for the interview. Just add your response below each question and feel free to skip any questions that you don't feel comfortable answering. Multiple editors will have an opportunity to respond to the interview questions. If you know anyone else who would like to participate in the interview, please share this with them. Have a great day. -Mabeenot (talk) 19:44, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Extinction requirement for stem groupsEdit

I was delighted to see the edit you made to Crown group#Stem groups last night. I've done a fair bit of editing since the first of the year, and it's always nice to know that someone notices!

The article correctly notes that "It follows from the definition that all members of a stem group are extinct." Unfortunately, it is not at all obvious how it follows, and readers are not likely to be comfortable accepting the bald statement that it does.

We have both tried to address this. In rewriting the section last August, you included the text, "As all living species are by definition in a crown group, it follows that all members of the stem-group of a clade are extinct." You've dropped that, perhaps because you noticed that a taxon can be both in a crown group and in a stem group; pterosaurs are in crown Diapsida and in stem Aves. I tried yesterday but, as you find my account incomprehensible, I cannot believe that the general reader is likely to fare any better.

Do we give up trying to explain it? I do not think that we should leave things as they are, but we could include extinction in the very definition: "A stem group is a group composed of all extinct organisms more closely. . . ." Other ideas? I do think the fact that stem-group species are extinct does need to be noted in a responsible account of the concept.

Peter M. Brown (talk) 19:30, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm sure we'll find a wording that is both correct and understandable. I'll see what I can do on Monday. Petter Bøckman (talk) 14:44, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't think that it's a requirement that all members of a stem-group are extinct, so it should not be part of the definition; a stem-group is just what's left over from a total clade when the crown-group is removed. However, it does follow that all stem-group members must be extinct, from the following logic (given the 'standard' definition of a crown-group):
  1. To define a crown-group, start with a total clade; call it X.
  2. Find the smallest clade which includes all the living members of X: this is the "crown-group X". (It may include extinct members.)
  3. What is left over from X is the "stem-group X"; all the members of stem-group X must be extinct, because all living members of X are, by definition, in crown-group X.
Of course, as we've discussed in the past, like all cladistic terminology as far as I can tell, these terms are not used consistently by all authors. Another common problem is that a phrase like "crown-group birds" is used without specifying precisely the total clade in question; "birds" isn't sufficiently precise, so all you know then about "stem-group birds" is that they are all the species which that author calls "birds" minus the living birds and any extinct relatives in the same clade as the living birds. Peter coxhead (talk) 18:08, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean by a "requirement", Peter C.; it seems to me that any necessary condition for a state of affairs is a requirement for that state. In any case, your logic is flawless; the problem is how to incorporate it into Crown group#Stem groups. In particular, your propositions 1. and 2. define "crown group" nicely, but it is not the definition given in the article. It is equivalent, yes, but the equivalence will not be obvious to the general reader. As Petter B. notes, we need a wording that is both correct and understandable, one that we can actually use. In the matter of making things accessible to a lay audience, Petter is a professional, and I am hoping that he can come up with a neat way of making the point. Peter M. Brown (talk) 19:37, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
It seems to me we need to differentiate between the two uses of "stem group" that Peter C. hints at: The stem as total group - crown group and the stem as everything X-like minus the crown X. In the case of birds, these two are hugely different! Peter, do you have some examples of the latter use, I think we'll need sources here.
If I have understood this correctly, the two uses of stem group hangs either a) the definition of a "total group" (the stem being the total group - the crown group) or b) in the case of the latter use (X-like - crown X) a definition of stem group that omits the total group. Would it be an idea to rearrange the article a bit, putting the pan group/total group before the stem grup section, so that we have that definition squared away? Petter Bøckman (talk) 20:32, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
Definitely. Last August, I suggested defining the total group first. (Talk:Crown group#Feedback request)
Peter M. Brown (talk) 20:57, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
Though not very clearly, I admit. Peter M. Brown (talk) 21:16, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
Requirement What I would argue is that the extinctness of the stem group members is a consequence of the requirement that the crown group contains all extant members.
Sources As Petter knows, I worked in this area (cladistics, paraphyly, etc.) quite a bit at one time (before Peter M Brown was around I think), but then my attention turned elsewhere (I'm currently working on Cactus). I see the problem with sources as this. A very few biologists are interested in formal definitions; they define and use terms in clear ways. But how the majority of biologists then use these terms is often very different from how they were defined. You can source the definitions easily, and quote them. It's harder to source usage because as an editor you are often "back constructing" what the authors must have meant from what they did (if that makes sense!), and then it begins to look like OR or SYNTH.
Here's a paper which I have read recently (because of an interest in arthropod phylogeny, not for its use of stem & crown groups) which illustrates the problems very clearly: Budd (2001). Budd gives careful definitions of various terms (worth reading), but then says on p.267: "... merely basal members of crown-groups are sometimes loosely and confusingly called 'stem-group members' of a group (such as urochordates and cephalochordates ...) ... Palaeontologists sometimes also feel tempted to use the term to refer to basal members of an extinct clade such as trilobites and graptolites, an inaccuracy to which the present author admits." Even though Budd uses scare quotes, the title of his paper – "Tardigrades as 'Stem-Group Arthropods'" – again illustrates the problem, since the paper says that members of stem groups have to be extinct... (So palaeontologists aren't just "tempted" to use terms wrongly, they succumb!) The problem is, as he notes, the arbitrariness of the time at which the definition applies. Now there cannot be a crown group of trilobites, but at the base of the Ordovician there certainly was, so if you are writing about the evolution of trilobites, why should you have to use different terminology than you would if writing about the evolution of birds? It's not logical.
My conclusion, reached some time ago, is the following. The terms "crown group" and "stem group" were introduced to try to provide objectivity, and avoid terms like "advanced" and "primitive". But the use of an arbitrary time point to define the crown group isn't rational and so isn't objective. Hence many authors, much less consciously than Budd, don't use the terms as they were originally defined, for very good reasons.
Thus what you two are trying to explain is difficult to explain, because in reality these are not the clear precise concepts that they appear to be or that my explanation of the original definition implies that they are.
At this point I'm going to leave it to you, and go back to Cactus. :-) Peter coxhead (talk) 23:01, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

WP Amphibians and Reptiles in the SignpostEdit

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Transitional Fossil peer-reviewEdit

Thank you for your contributions to the article. As you can see, I have created a peer review for it.

--Harizotoh9 (talk) 01:39, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

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Removed (and reinstated) cladogramEdit

If you follow taxonomy, Pisces includes Tetrapoda, Tetrapoda includes Amphibia, and Amphibia includes Amniota; the branching works from there, but it is wrong in principle to show that a group is paraphyletic by comparing it against a cladogram that is not itself taxonomically correct: either you put in a completely "traditional" one, where everything, including birds, branches off, and say "this is what some old geezers still believe", or you put a correct one and show the paraphyletic group by highlighting, as you did. A hybrid like the one on the reptile page is extremely confusing. With all this, I don't think the Reptile page, in its current form, should even exist, and ought to be replaced by a short note saying "imaginary class our grandfathers believed in, see sauropsida for sound science", and be grouped together with turbellaria and geocentrism in cat:Discredited Scientific Theories. As a zoologist, I am sure you agree. complainer (talk) 08:02, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Being one of said old geezers, I am happy to inform you Linnaean classification is alive and well in zoology. Proponets of phylogenetic nomenclature will often tell you they are the only show in town, but this is stretching the truth a bit. Michel Laurin indicates the traditional nomenclature is about 10 times as common in use as phylogenetic nomenclature (Laurin M (2010): The subjective nature of Linnaean categories and its impact in evolutionary biology and biodiversity studies – Contributions to Zoology, bind 79, s. 131–146). As for being "correct", both the traditional system and phylogenetic nomenclature are classifiaction systems, and has nothing to do with theories. Non is more "correct" than the other. The figure is there to show the difference between the two classification systems. If you have a suggestion on a better way of showing it, I'm all ears. Petter Bøckman (talk) 09:02, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
(Happened to see this.) Very clearly put, Petter. It's a widespread but quite fallacious idea that a classification, formal or informal, can be proved wrong by showing that some of the groups involved are paraphyletic. Phylogenies are scientific theories and can be disproved; classifications are human choices and can be more or less useful, but not disproved. Peter coxhead (talk) 09:25, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
The distinction is clear (I hope!), but phylogenetic classification actually give the user insight in groups relationships, Linnean classification is just one way of putting things in neat boxes; in other words, using them forces a biologist to learn the same thing twice (i.e., first that birds are separated from reptiles, then that they are derived from them; this may be obvious for birds, but I'd like to know how many have a clear vision of Aplacophora). Keeping the two separate is a utopia: there are rough mistakes in the original classification (caecilians in Serpentes, anyone?) that are corrected using phylogenetic criteria, and there are new groups that are added to the Linnean tree with what are fundamentally cladistic criteria. I just don't see why we have to wring our brains to try and invent sub-infra-quasi-section-of-tribes to try and keep an increasingly confusing system alive. complainer (talk) 09:50, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
As for the cladogram, my point remains valid: if you want to show that a group is paraphyletic, you have to compare it with a phylogenetic cladogram. The hybrid one posted on the reptile page doesn't prove the point: I think the suggestion for improvement is obvious. As for Linnean classification, I am sure it is about as common as creationism was 30 years after Darwin; you are certainly right when you say that claiming otherwise is wrong (there is the added problem that cladistics is not easy to organize, which probably has many go Linnean when they have too many groups to deal with), but an encyclopedia should educate, not acquiesce. complainer (talk) 09:50, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
[A]n encyclopedia should educate, not acquiesce – no, Wikipedia's clear policies require us to neutrally report what others say and do. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:39, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Let me put it more clearly: wikipedia is based on consensus, not democracy; this is an official wikipedia policy. If those willing to participate to the debate (an important distinction from those willing to cast a vote) reach the decision that cladistics provides a clearer way of organizing organisms, we do that regardless of the 10:1 majority in historical papers, or the outcome of a possible poll. I'd also point out that passion, tradition or convictions are not supposed to influence the debate; "We've always done so" is not a valid argument (there is also an official policy somewhere). complainer (talk) 10:59, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
A consensus among Wikipedia editors to favour cladistic classifications could not overrule WP:NPOV, any more than a consensus to ignore them could. Peter coxhead (talk) 13:14, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
A classification system is a way of arranging things, not a point of view: there is no neutrality issue involved, no more than, say, in arranging cities in a geographic article by population or by province. complainer (talk) 13:47, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
I saw you point on the cladogram itself being dodgy after I answered. I have just made a new one, replacing Amphibia with Lissampihibia and Pisces with Dipnoi. That should iron out the inconsistencies. The original cladogram was a ripoff from an earlier file. The file is there to show the difference between two ways of classifying things, whether you prefer one classification over the other really has no bearing on this.
As for whether Linnaean classification is on it's way out (as you seem to indicate with your creationism analogy), I do not see such a trend, despite being a zoologist at predominately systematic institution. While you are free to use whatever classification you like, Wikipedia will have to stick to 1) what is used, and 2) what is practical, not to personal preferences. We have had the debate over what system to use here on Wikipedia on a number of occasions, and the consensus is that Linnaean nomenclature is best for classification, phylogenetic nomenclature is best for phylogeny (no surprises there really). Petter Bøckman (talk) 11:22, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, consensus is consensus, albeit I'd point out that alphabetical ordering is even better for classification: I just have a warning of an often-overlooked glitch in the Linnean system, namely that, if one has the right to say that birds are not reptiles -- that is, if somebody can just carve a class out of another with no other reason than the opinion of a scientist who lived several decades before Darwin, one has just as much right to say that humans are not primates. Just wait until the religious nuts on wikipedia realize this. complainer (talk) 11:35, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
No, this doesn't follow. Scientific classifications are subject to scientific consensus; they aren't simply arbitrary whims of individuals. Whether or not the category of reptiles will eventually disappear in the scientific literature, either as a formal or an informal term, isn't yet clear; at present there's no consensus. Whereas there is a clear scientific consensus that humans should be classified as primates. Peter coxhead (talk) 13:14, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Reptiles, and a number of other groups exist exactly as a the whim of a single individual, namely Linnaeus. He classified birds as a separate class from reptiles and he did not classify humans as primates. Scientist today both agree that the Primates order would be polyphyletic without humans (which is, fundamentally, the only rationale for "including" a species in a Linnean group) and that the "reptiles" class would be polyphyletic without birds. I really can't see any reason why they have fixed the former and not the latter except that consensus on the former was reached in 1859, and consensus on the latter sometimes in the late 1980's. The point here is, consensus on Linnean classification cannot possibly be reached based on criteria other than cladistics, otherwise it'd be a mere matter of taste. If it is a matter of taste, there is no valid scientific argument. complainer (talk) 13:47, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Actually no, wrong on both counts. Linnaeus classified amphibians and reptiles together (herptiles) in one class (this wasn't changed until early 19th century), but he did classify humans with primates. His Homo included a critter he called Homo tryglodytes believed to be the chimpanzee. The bishop of Uppsala was quite upset by it. Primates minus humans or reptiles without birds would also not be polyphyletic (another not entirely true statement often heard from some phylogeneticists), they would be paraphyletic, i.e. evolutionary grades. Also, phylogenetic classification do not automatically lead to a classifiaction consensus, see for instance the various definition of Sauropsida or the phylogenetic tree of labyrinthodonts, which changes with each new paper. Phylogenetic classification solves some problems and create other. Non of the solution are perfect, but the Linnaean system is at least very practical, which is most likely the reason it has lasted as long as it has. Petter Bøckman (talk) 14:15, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

If you have a chance. . .Edit

I would be interested in any comments you have on User talk:Peter M. Brown#Mammals, but only if it's no trouble. Thanks, Peter M. Brown (talk) 15:55, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Swartz, 2012Edit

Swartz, 2012 is here. Maybe the paper is so new the DOI isn't recognized yet by the template. Looks like my laziness didn't pay off... Smokeybjb (talk) 20:45, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Ah, thanks! I suppose we can let it slide for a couple of days and see if the system picks it up. Petter Bøckman (talk) 20:50, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

GA Review of Transitional fossilEdit

Hallo, I've started the GA Review and there are some comments you might like to look at. With best wishes Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:52, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Petter, I'm away until 21 April. Good luck with the remaining actions. Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:13, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Happy Easter! Don't know how much I can do, my computer's been down since the weekend. Petter Bøckman (talk) 08:15, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Petter, are you now available? People are starting to wonder if the GA review is still open... there are just a few remaining citations needed, seems a pity to give up now with everything else in order. Or maybe you can canvass a few other zoologist types to lend a hand? Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:43, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

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Please help to check if my edits are proper.Edit

Hello! Sorry to disturb you.

I've done some edits and posted my concern on the article of king cobra and its discussion page for a long time but it seems that no one gave any response there. As I'm new to here, I don't know if my edits are proper. I've read your discussion on the page of wiki amphibians and reptiles project and found that you might also be interested in such topic. So, I'd like to have your comments there. You can check the article to see if there is any mistake when you have time. Apologies for adding such work for you.

Thank you very much!

User:Toxic Walker (talk) 15:35, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Are you OK?Edit

You've not contributed to either or for two weeks though, on a quick perusal of your contribution list, I don't see similar gaps. Your inquiry at 12:46, 15 June 2012 appears to be made in expectation of future contributions. still lists you as a staff member, evidence that you haven't died or abandoned civilization for a monastic life.

I have been looking forward to the replacement of File:Phylogenetic-Groups-Rev.svg by your File:Monophyly-paraphyly-polyphyly.jpg. The existing image shows Reptilia as a node equivalent to Sauropsida; as you have convinced me in a talk-page exchange, that is not a common use. The situation in the Paraphyly article is particularly awkward; according to the text, "the mammal-like reptiles. . .are classified as reptiles (see the illustration above)", which is now true only of one of the two illustrations, your File:Traditional Reptilia.jpg which I recently added to the article. The other illustration, File:Phylogenetic-Groups-Rev.svg, is the only place in the article that "Reptile" or "Reptilia" is used in in the Modesto-Anderson sense.

I am eager to have File:Monophyly-paraphyly-polyphyly.jpg implemented in all three -phyly articles. Shall I do it myself?

Peter M. Brown (talk) 16:37, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Actually, should the groups really be called Simia and Prosimia, not Simiiformes and Prosimii? (Or simians and prosimians?) According to the article Simia the term has been invalid under the ICZN since 1929 (though I guess Leptaxis simia is a valid binomial). Peter M. Brown (talk) 00:43, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Peter, sorry for intruding but you probably need to wait for the end of August. It is kind of a national tradition in Norway (and roundabouts) to go on summer vacation during July-August. See the last section on Shyamal (talk) 06:37, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Sorry to have been offline for some time. I have some RL issues I need to tend to, and will only be on sporadicly for a while. Feel free to use or edit my images as you see fit. I really made them for Peter Coxhead (who had plans to combine all the -phyly articles), but he seems to be preoccupied with cacti these days. Petter Bøckman (talk) 14:12, 5 July 2012 (UTC)


Hello, Petter Bøckman. You have new messages at Talk:Labyrinthodontia.
You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

Aliafroz1901 (talk) 09:39, 26 July 2012 (UTC)


Hello, Petter Bøckman. You have new messages at Talk:Labyrinthodontia.
You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

I posted this here because you haven't responded there for over 10 days despite the page being on your watchlist.Aliafroz1901 (talk) 13:04, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Defining and illustrating polyphylyEdit

Petter, could you please look at User:Peter_coxhead/Work/Phyletic terminology#Diagram to illustrate polyphyly? It tries to explain my puzzle over how to define and illustrate "polyphyly" and the issues I have with the diagram which I think you originally drew. I've felt obliged to put this on one of my user pages, rather than a talk page, because of the need to include quite a number of diagrams. I'm inviting Curtis Clark and Peter M. Brown to look at this, too. There may be others who should be asked to comment. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:12, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

You have restored a dubious statementEdit

Hi, you have restored a statement which is very problematic. See my reaction at Talk:Metaphysics#Dubious statement in the lede. Maybe you would like to answer there. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:41, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Fossilized Barnstar
For the guidance in keeping Wikipedia's paleoart accurate! -- OBSIDIANSOUL 12:42, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

My very first star! Thank you! Petter Bøckman (talk) 12:58, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

It is? Dude... given your years of work on biology articles, that's just not right. o_O Anyway, you're welcome. -- OBSIDIANSOUL 13:17, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Navbox for early amphibiansEdit

Good point. I'm basing this navbox on groups currently in use in scientific literature, i.e. mostly clades. Most uses of Tetrapoda within the last ten years or so (like Daeschler et al. (2006)[5]) include everything crownward from elpistostegalians like Panderichthys and Tiktaalik, so most of these fishes wouldn't be included. Crown tetrapods in this template are of course those within crown group Tetrapoda, which depends on whether Lissamphibia falls within Lepospondyli or Temnospondyli. What I meant by stem tetrapods are those tetrapods stemward of the crown group, which I now realize is very confusing because it's not the same thing as the stem of Tetrapoda sensu lato (which as you said would include a lot of fish). I'd rather not use more traditional, non-cladistic names in this template (they're in the taxoboxes) so I'm changing "stem tetrapods" to "basal tetrapods". Smokeybjb (talk) 13:05, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Basal tetrapods will do! The term is vague enough to work wit a "fuzzy tree" like the labyrinthodonts.
You probably know I am no great lover of phylogenetic classification, but the terminology does have its value in being originally very precise and well defined (the "stem" goes per definition all the way down to the next branch with a living representative). If one does as you did and use "stem" for unit X traditional minus unit X crown (and you are by no means the only one to do that!) one will contribute to the erosion of the precision and thus value of phylogenetic terms. Petter Bøckman (talk) 19:29, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Discussion at Talk:DimetrodonEdit

Petter, could you take a look at the exchange at Talk:Dimetrodon#Phylogenetic vs. Linnaean taxonomy? Is Smokeybjb's view really uncontroversial, or is there a point in being sticky about weasel words? Thanks, Peter M. Brown (talk) 19:32, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps you could also respond to the last item in that section? Peter M. Brown (talk) 13:41, 21 September 2012 (UTC)


I am most grateful for your note at User talk:Peter M. Brown#A cup of tea for you! Except for the barnstars, one seldom encounters appreciative comments; it is much more common for editors to call each other's views stupid when they disagree and to say nothing when they don't. Your use of File:Meissen-teacup pinkrose01.jpg was most tasteful and very welcome.

You might reconsider the use of POW to mean Point of View; the standard wikronym is POV. In America, anyhow, POW commonly stands for Prisoner of War.

Since you have young children, are you familiar with Our Family Tree: An Evolution Story by Lisa Westberg Peters? A wonderful read-aloud book, well worth some translation effort. Though you'll see a few problems (a Devonian dragonfly, for example), both text and pictures are generally superb.

Peter M. Brown (talk) 15:47, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

You're welcome, and thanks for the tip! Comming from a nation where the letter W is never used, I make lots of stupid mistake like that (see my userpage ...). Sorry. Will answer the Dimetrodon page. Petter Bøckman (talk) 21:16, 21 September 2012 (UTC)


I am working on the article Amphibian with a view to getting it promoted to FA. I am told you are knowledgeable about amphibians and any help you could give to get the article up to standard would be most welcome. I think the taxonomy/evolutionary history part is most in need of assistance. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 05:21, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

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Zimmer book?Edit

Hi. In response to some concerns, you wrote at Talk:Tetrapod#No {{Page needed}} in Zimmer book?, "I'll look into it." Soon? Peter Brown (talk) 19:43, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

I came to think about the trackway (found after the book was written), and decided it didn't matter. With the trackway, we now know the basic tetrapod morphology with walking legs was established by 395 million years ago, which is middle Devonian. Thus, the sentence is in error anyway and should be rewritten and resourced. Petter Bøckman (talk) 06:59, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Static Great Chain of BeingEdit

Petter, no, on the contrary, the Great Chain of Being was exactly and in its essence static. God at the top, worms at the bottom, every grade of creature in its place. Worms exactly never turn into humans, humans exactly never turn into angels, it is not our lot in the GCoB worldview. This is what was replaced by, in turn, the Copernican view of the universe as heliocentric - we were not at the centre (between worms and angels); as infinite and continuous, not permanently separated from the heavenly realms (Giordano Bruno); and (therefore) able to change (Galileo) and evolve (Darwin). Eppur si muove. all the best Chiswick Chap (talk) 11:52, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Well, the medieval idea of the great chain is hardly relevant here, rather the idea at the times when the term "Missing link" came to have it's modern meaning, i.e. in the middle of the 19th century. At that time, the idea of the great chain was no longer that fixed, and Lamarck used it in a decidedly dynamic fashion. The idea of the fixed nature of species did not really become an issue before the knowledge of biology and the nature fossils had increased to a point where the fixed nature was coming into doubt. Claiming the medieval view was that all species were fixed is a bit like claiming medieval monks claimed bacteria did not cause illness. They claimed no such thing since germ theory was centuries in the future. We really have no idea how they would have reacted had someone suggested minuscle organisms caused infections.
You can equally claim that the great chain of being offers a dynamic picture of the essential unity of the world, where all from dirt to God is linked and essentially part of the same total. Both views (the static and the dynamic) views are of course oversimplifications. Non of them capture the broad richness of European intellectual life in the post-medieval period. The only relevant thing we can say about the great chain of being that is true no matter what period or aspect you consider is that it pre-dates Darwin's theory. Petter Bøckman (talk) 13:47, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't feel we should assert any special connection between Lamarckism and the Great Chain. Lamarck was of his period - not mediaeval in world-view, obviously - and by then change was mentally acceptable: everyone believed things could change, planets could whirl. If you only mean to talk about the 19th century then it is utterly wrong to mention the Great Chain at all, except perhaps to say that the previously static picture was (perhaps unconsciously in Lamarck's case) now seen as suggesting the possibility of change, something utterly foreign to the mediaeval mind. If you mean to talk about earlier periods, then it is entirely fair to say that thought moved from a GCoB time when everything was static, through stages where movement (as I sketched above) becomes possible, to a worldview where evolution is accepted and attention moves to successively smaller "gaps" and details of mechanism. Back in the middle ages, a static view was essentially universal, and we should say so. Chiswick Chap (talk) 16:41, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
My point is was that the medieval view is not very relevant, the view of the GCoB of the people that picked it up (like Lyell) is the relevant point here. The section explains (to my mind) quite well the evolution of the term in the Darwinian era, my only objection here is the use of the term static, when this is dependent on what time frame one uses. Certainly, to Lyell it could not have been a very static concept.
But isn't this discussion more relevant for the Great Chain of Being article? Petter Bøckman (talk) 21:15, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

My understanding has always been that the static GCoB (or scala naturae as it was also called) was a fundamental part of the education of a scholar in the 18th and 19th Cs, and that it was only natural for the scientists of that time to reinterpret it according to their understanding, rather than create something new (a propensity that continues to the present day, and is probably an important aspect of the sociology of science). It's not clear what article you are both referring to, but I don't think the static nature of the scala can be ignored, since that was an important part of the way it had been taught for centuries.--Curtis Clark (talk) 01:28, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Hi Curtis! We're discussing the Transitional_fossil#Missing_links, where I edited the first sentence from reading "a static, no-evolutionary concept" to "a pre-evolutionary concept". My argument is that the scala naturae predate Darwin's theory (so that my edit is universally true), while some of the uses of the concept around Darwin's time was neither static, nor non-evolutionary, and that there is a dynamic deist element built into the concept of the great chain making an all and out characterization of it as static not entirely justified.
Now, all this is really a very minor point. What is more relevant here is that the Great Chain of Being article does not mention any of this. Anyone up for a bit of editing? I was thinking adding a section along the line of Antediluvian#In_early_geology. Petter Bøckman (talk) 08:14, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, we have impeccable sources for the static GCoB (not to mention Lovejoy). Suggest both articles need a tweak in that direction. Chiswick Chap (talk) 09:19, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
I'd have to disagree with that sentence. I'm not aware of any concept similar to "missing link" in the original conception of the scala naturae. It was not a deist concept unless Plato and Aristotle were deists, which is implied in deism but not referenced. I have no disagreement with the rest of the paragraph, but it needs to be made clear that this was an interpretation of the scala naturae, but not its original meaning.--Curtis Clark (talk) 18:43, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Do not get me wrong, Gents, I'm not arguing the scala naturae was never static. I'm arguing that in the period that is relevant to "missing links" (the 19th century), it was not interpreted solely as a static job case for the worlds components. Thus I replaced it with the term "pre-evolutionary", a wording which remain true whether the scala is interpreted as static or not. I will of course bow to expertise, I am not a theologian by any measure. The full depth of this argument should go on the GSoB article though, not one on transitional fossils. Petter Bøckman (talk) 20:24, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Petter, I'm (we're?) simply asking that we say the scala naturae had been static, but was then reinterpreted (as the world changed) as a snapshot of a changeable scale. That is highly relevant to the development of the "missing link" concept. Sorry about the complex English tenses, unavoidable. Chiswick Chap (talk) 21:14, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
"Had been" Is a very good formulation! It implies the idea of the GSoB is a bit more complex than is obvious from my or the previous edit. Now, I think the GSoB article needs some attention! Petter Bøckman (talk) 09:18, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Super. I've tweaked the article very slightly. Also checked the GCoB article, which already says "This sense of permanence is crucial to understanding this conception of reality. It is generally impossible to change the position of an object in the hierarchy." Guess that's probably enough really. All the best Chiswick Chap (talk) 09:50, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
have now put in a new section in the Great Chain of Being article. Would you guys have a look at it and fill in the blanks (preferably with some sources)? Petter Bøckman (talk) 11:26, 5 November 2012 (UTC)


  The Philosophy of Science Barnstar
Not good at philosophy, eh! I should have known. What a wonderful enhancement to Great chain of being. All the best Chiswick Chap (talk) 11:37, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

A page you started has been reviewed!Edit

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Reclassification in TetrapodEdit

Petter, as an expert in this business, do you regard this August 4 edit as constructive? The revised classification of the tetrapods is unsourced but so was the one it replaced, so that is not a serious criticism. However, the editor dropped Diadectidae, which I'm pretty sure is a well-supported family, while adding Pegasoferae, which apparently is not; the Pegasoferae article cites one source in support and four in opposition. On balance, do you regard the revision as an improvement?

On August 5, the editor supplied common names for all taxa. While this is doubtless of value, I'm pretty sure that it's OR since, despite my meager background in zoology, I found and corrected twelve that were in error without much difficulty. (I was tipped off by "labyrinthodontians"; I was sure that the animals are called labyrinthodonts.) If the August 5 edit is OR, though, is the August 4 edit competent? Or should it be reverted? Peter Brown (talk) 18:33, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

Hi, sorry for answering late (been to bed with the flue). I think we should have a more or less "classical" taxonomy as suggested by the edit somewhere. It is far better than the last one in that it 1) is about tetrapods rather than a lot of fish, and 2) actually deals with the whole of tetrapoda. Finding a suitable one should be no problem, I'd suggest one from Romer and Parson or Edwin and Morales, both are "consensus view" taxonomies with most known extinct groups included. Where they differ from modern taxonomies (splitting up of Insectivora for instance) we could add annotations.
I don't know how far down in detail we need to go though. Perhaps only detailing it down to subclasses would suffice and make it more stable. Petter Bøckman (talk) 19:53, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

God JulEdit

Hei Petter, just noticed a map of museums involved with Wikipedia and thought you might like to get yourself listed too. Shyamal (talk) 07:00, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

RfC on Glass is a liquid misconceptionEdit

(Note: I'm listing this on the talk pages of all editors active at Talk:List of common misconceptions for the last two weeks).

I started an RfC on the "glass is a liquid" issue that caused the edit war leading to protection status. Your comments would be appreciated, so that we can build a consensus and avoid further edit warring. siafu (talk) 20:52, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Same person?Edit

In response to your comment that Mark Marathon might be the same as Amatulic, this diff seems to indicate otherwise. siafu (talk) 23:42, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

File:Spindle diagram.jpgEdit

Hi Petter,

I liked your recent idea of using a diagram similar to File:Spindle diagram.jpg on Dinosaur. Although I would definitely prefer a cladistic approach, a simple diagram could help the lay reader understand various families and groups of dinosaurs. However, the spindle diagram you created in 2011 is based on a source from 1998, and was probably outdated then; Benton's 2004 classification of the vertebrates lists 90 valid "Reptile" families outside of mammals and birds, not including quite a few superfamilies and the like. Would it be possible for you to create an image, perhaps based after Benton's taxonomy (or something more recent), which shows groups of non-avian dinosaurs in a similar diagram, updated for 2013? Firsfron of Ronchester 07:45, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Sorry I haven't answered you, been away for a few days. I could use Benton, but I would need some help to find good references on where the various groups branch off, particularly the marine groups. There's no reason not to ad a cladogram too, see Biological classification#Modern system for an example of using both for comparison. Petter Bøckman (talk) 09:43, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
For dinosaurs, the best source is The Dinosauria, 2nd Edition, though it might be difficult to put together a spindle diagram using such a large work. Which marine groups do you mean? Firsfron of Ronchester 04:58, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Dinosaurs isn't the problem, they are just two "blobbs" (orders) branching neatly off besides the pterosaurs. The problem is Iicthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, placodonts etc... Petter Bøckman (talk) 08:12, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Benton, "Origin and Relationships of Dinosauria", page 7, has a good diagram of early archosaur relationships, including a timeline. Plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs, mosasaurs, etc., are now generally excluded from Archosauria. But there are plenty of other groups, if you want to show the relationships between Dinosauria and non-dinosaurian archosaurs. Firsfron of Ronchester 09:53, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
I need the whole Reptilia to show where Mosasaurs and Pliosaurs belong relative to the dinosaurs. I have found a diagram that looks more or less like what I want in "Evolution, what the fossils say and why it matters" by Donald Prothero, page 232. It's really an anti -creationist book, but it has a wealth of details. Petter Bøckman (talk) 08:29, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
I can't see page 32 on the Google Books Preview, but the book got a good review from the National Center for Science Education, so it sounds good to me. Firsfron of Ronchester 10:31, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Chondrichthyes and PlacodermiEdit

File:Spindle diagram.jpg shows Chondrichthyes as basal to Placodermi. TOL and Benton's Vertebrate Palaeontology (2005, p. 35) have it the other way around. The Vertebrate article is internally inconsistent, with both File:Spindle diagram.jpg and a TOL-based cladogram. Are you planning an update to the diagram? Or is the dominant opinion today to the effect that Chondrichthyes is basal? In the latter case, we should update Vertebrate and also Gnathostomata. Peter Brown (talk) 02:20, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

I basically remade the diagram from Benton 1998. Updating ut (essentially having Chondrichthyes and Placodermi switch places) isn't much of a problem. Petter Bøckman (talk) 08:18, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
You might also consider reevaluating the Agnatha. The spindle diagram in Benton's 2005 book, p. 35, shows this superclass as having a significant presence from the Cambrian well into the Triassic. It also indicates that the end-Permian extinction did not reduce the diversity of Chondrichthyes or Osteichthyes. On the other hand, it reflects Benton's rejection of a major end-Triassic extinction; my impression is that this runs contrary to the dominant views in the field. Peter Brown (talk) 16:40, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
I only have access to the 2nd edition (1997). If you have the 3rd ed, could you scan the the relevant page or just take a photo and send me per e-mail? I don't need anything high resolution, just something to show the general idea. Petter Bøckman (talk) 08:23, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Go to the Amazon preview of the book and enter "spindle diagram" (without the quotes) in the search box. If that doesn't give you page 35, enter the phrase again, in the new search box. It seems always to work the second time. The diagram is at the bottom of page 35, so you'll need to scroll down a bit. Let me know if there's still a problem. Peter Brown (talk) 15:57, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
I hope that you will be getting to this sometime soon. Peter Brown (talk) 16:47, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
I have ordered the book through the local library, but it appears they are in no hurry. I still can't see the diagram in the Amazon pre-view. Petter Bøckman (talk) 07:21, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
As I said, Let me know if there's still a problem! I have e-mailed the image (.png format) to your address as given on your institution's website. Are you still lacking it? Let me know, and we'll try something else! Peter Brown (talk) 15:58, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

DYK for Bark breadEdit

Orlady (talk) 00:03, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Wow! Cool! Petter Bøckman (talk) 07:43, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

{{Harvtxt}} liteEdit

Per your inquiry:

In articles, we expect the general reader to believe most of what is said. Intellectual responsibility and Wikipedia policy require citations; these are generally provided by little blue endnote flags that the general reader is expected to ignore. Talk pages are another matter; here we debate about such matters as verifiability, undue weight, reliability of sources, and notability. It is often a major concern who said what. Rather than little superscripted numbers, a specification of author and date is, I think, more useful. I like to use {{Harvtxt}} to provide this; the basic format is {{Harvtxt|Author|date}}, which is rendered Author & date. The date need not be numeric, so we can distinguish Smith (2000a), Smith (2000b), etc.

Of course, we also want to provide linkage to the full citation. The templates {{cite journal}}, {{cite book}} etc. each provides a parameter ref= that provides the needed tie. There are several ways of specifying this parameter. I usually code the link and the citation separately; I then determine what the link is looking for and then fill in the ref= parameter accordingly.

For example, my full citation may be {{cite book |author=Dodgson, Charles, aka Lewis Carroll |year=1876 |title=The Hunting of the Snark |publisher=Macmillan}} and my reference may be Carroll (1876). Using the preview, I then determine what the link is looking for; in this case it's Only the part after the # is relevant, so I specify |ref=CITEREFCarroll1876 as a parameter in {{cite book}}. The result is

Dodgson, Charles, aka Lewis Carroll (1876). The Hunting of the Snark. Macmillan.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

Now, I can say, "at least according to Carroll (1876), the snark was a boojum". Click on the link and you will be brought to the citation and, to pick it out uniquely, it shows on a blue background. For a better example, try clicking on Dupuis (1984).

Peter Brown (talk) 22:00, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

So, I just put in {{Harvtxt|Author|year}}, and it will find whatever cite-template on the page with these two parameters matching the author and year, no matter where on the page it is? This is terribly confusing. Petter Bøckman (talk) 22:00, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
Hey, this was supposed to be {{Harvtxt}} lite! I didn't talk about {{Harvrefcol}}, {{Harvnb}}, optional {{Harvtxt}} parameters, or the various options for ref=. Many editors use ref=harv, which works if the reference and citation line up just right, but I don't bother on talk pages. I deliberately picked an example where the author's name in the reference (Carroll) didn't match the primary name in the citation (Dodgson) just to demonstrate that you don't have to be careful in matching the two.
Peter Brown (talk)
Good Grief! Now I see why I have stuck slavishly to {{Reflist}}. Much simpler. Petter Bøckman (talk) 08:11, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
But {{harvtxt}} is so easy (once you get the hang of it) so long as you ignore the options you're never going to use. Mais, chacun à son gout. Peter Brown (talk) 14:49, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Sunnyodon restorationEdit

Hi Petter, I was thinking of doing a restoration of Sunnyodon, since remains of it have been found in Denmark (first Scandinavian multituberculate), where I live, and I've already drawn Dromaeosauroides (first Scandinavian dromaeosaur). So I think it could be nice with some more Danish/Scandinavian fossil animals. Og siden du er norsk, går jeg ud fra du forstår dansk? Anyway, what do you think I should base it on? Can't find any images of it... FunkMonk (talk) 03:11, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Morganucodon nocturnalityEdit

I hope that you are having a productive Wikibreak. When you return, you will find that I have deleted here the claims that Morganucodon was nocturnal; you were attempting to find adequate sources but, for reasons explained in a comment, I don't think you have done it yet. You may wish to try further. Best, Peter Brown (talk) 22:16, 12 September 2013 (UTC).

In regards to comment at Common House GeckoEdit I've edited your original comment a bit. I'm somewhat familiar with the Common House Gecko, not Mediterranean species Hemidactylus turcicus. Both the adult and juvenile H. frenatus seem to have the black and white tail. (I at times have captured H. frenatus inside a building as I have slowly sealed the perimeter from their enterance). I've moved an image from the H. frenatus page of what vaguely seems to be H. mabouia to the H. mabouia page.

The first two images on the H. frenatus page I can seemingly vouch for having seen the same look in my captives. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nodove (talkcontribs) 20:20, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

Last universal ancestorEdit

Hello, Petter Bøckman. You have new messages at Talk:Last universal ancestor.
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--Bejnar (talk) 19:35, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

Cro-Magnon articleEdit

Thanks for your note on my Talk page. You seem knowledgeable and it's nice to have your contributions here. As I understand it, the paleoanthropology literature doesn't generally use the term Cro-Magnon, as explained in the quote you gave from Fagan (1996). He says it's used primarily in popular texts. But I'm an avid reader of popular accounts of paleoanthropology (including several by Fagan), and I don't see the term used any more. Do you have a source that shows Cro-Magnon represents a culture? TimidGuy (talk) 12:08, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Animal sexual behaviourEdit

Hi Petter. There is a discussion on the talk page of Animal sexual behaviour where you have been mentioned and may like to respond. Regards. --Epipelagic (talk) 09:53, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Merger discussion for List of Dimetrodon species and Dimetrodon borealis Edit

Articles that you have been involved in editing—List of Dimetrodon species and Dimetrodon borealis —have been proposed for merging with another article. If you are interested, please participate in the merger discussion. Thank you. (talk) 01:15, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

New replyEdit

Hello, Petter Bøckman. You have new messages at Talk:Dimetrodon.
Message added 23:34, 8 May 2017 (UTC). You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

Military history user group titleEdit

Greetings, firstly thanks for your support and feedback to the proposal to form a user group for military historians of Wikipedia. As there is enough support for the proposal, it is time to choose a title, and go ahead. Please vote at Talk:Discussion to incubate a user group for Wikipedia Military Historians#Group name. Regards, Krishna Chaitanya Velaga (talk • mail) 11:41, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

Homosexual behavior in animalsEdit

I guess User Путеец misunderstood your words [6]. Please clarify your words on Talk page to avoid farther misundrestoodings. He tries to change the meaning of your words. Thanks in advance. M.Karelin (talk) 13:05, 25 February 2018 (UTC)

Evolution of insects, thank you so much for the cleanupEdit

Thank you so much for fixing up the Evolution of insects article Petter! I am fascinated by the evolution of eukaryotes and particularly non-microscopic animals, so it pained me that I couldn’t get through the first paragraph of the body without noticing errors. And you cleaned it up much more than I had asked! It was very kind of you. Dogshu (talk) 00:48, 8 June 2019 (UTC)

My pleasure! I'm sure there's still much than can be improved. If there's any other part of the article you want me to look at, feel free to ask! Petter Bøckman (talk) 09:57, 8 June 2019 (UTC)

Dazzle camouflageEdit

Hi Petter, this addition needs a source... and it should be in the World War II section. Nice to see you editing again! Chiswick Chap (talk) 09:06, 4 June 2020 (UTC)

I'm not sure the 2nd WW is the correct section, it was also a Great War phenomenon, as this photo of a Sopwith Camel fuselage shows. Here's a 2nd WW example (a Brewster Buffalo. Petter Bøckman (talk) 10:05, 5 June 2020 (UTC)
EDIT: I found a couple of decent sources, I hope they are to your satisfaction! Petter Bøckman (talk) 10:39, 5 June 2020 (UTC)
They are a great improvement. It would be even nicer if they said in so many words that this was "dazzle camouflage", always a poorly-defined term from the point of view of a biologist! I've separated the WWI and WWII materials. Chiswick Chap (talk) 10:48, 5 June 2020 (UTC)
Hm, quite. By the description it is obviously the same approach, but they don't use the very word (and the picture example isn't the most obvious of McClelland Barclay's designs). I'll have a look at the wording. Petter Bøckman (talk) 11:20, 5 June 2020 (UTC)

Proposed deletion of VermiformEdit


The article Vermiform has been proposed for deletion because of the following concern:

Dictionary definition.

While all constructive contributions to Wikipedia are appreciated, pages may be deleted for any of several reasons.

You may prevent the proposed deletion by removing the {{proposed deletion/dated}} notice, but please explain why in your edit summary or on the article's talk page.

Please consider improving the page to address the issues raised. Removing {{proposed deletion/dated}} will stop the proposed deletion process, but other deletion processes exist. In particular, the speedy deletion process can result in deletion without discussion, and articles for deletion allows discussion to reach consensus for deletion. Chiswick Chap (talk) 18:04, 16 October 2020 (UTC)

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