Talk:Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)/Archive 1

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Nice find! Stephen Ewen 23:40, 17 May 2007 (CDT)

On a purely visual level, I'd hate to see this picture once more confined to an infobox. It's nicer to have a big panda at the top as a striking image. John Stephenson 03:25, 30 October 2007 (CDT)

Article title

Kim, this kind of major move really needs to be discussed in advance. I also don't see how this new title respects CZ's naming conventions ("prefer common names"). Unless this is some decision within the Biology Workgroup? John Stephenson 21:35, 24 October 2007 (CDT)

Please, see the discussion at the Bioloy workgroup talk page. 21:46, 24 October 2007 (CDT)
Quick check of current practice in the use of scientific and common names in the real world.
Looking at the title of articles listed in Biological abstracts , there are 150 instances of Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). 181 of just Giant pandas, 3 of just Ailuropoda melanoleuca, and zero of (Giant Panda)
Obviously, the use inside article will be more varied. But I think this demonstrates that the present Citizendium title, "Ailuropoda melanoleuca (Giant Panda)" is unique to Citizendium and not the practice in any other context. DavidGoodman 09:48, 25 October 2007 (CDT)
See the thread on the cz-biology list starting here. As stated there, one problem with renaming the Giant Panda article like this is that it implies exclusion of the other (sub)species of Giant Panda, A. melanoleuca qinlingensis (a brown-and-white bear). The article would probably need to be rewritten to reflect that, because it was originally written as an introduction to giant pandas generally. I think, basically, that using precise scientific terms makes the whole thing too specific. Giant panda is a better starting point in this case. John Stephenson 22:23, 25 October 2007 (CDT)
Sorry, the species A. melanoleuca includes the subspecies A. melanoleuca qinlingensis, see subspecies in taxobox. If there would be two species of Giant Panda (there are not), it should be covered under the genus name, not under the species name. Kim van der Linde 02:13, 26 October 2007 (CDT)
All right - though people outside taxonomy don't necessarily know that, of course, and it could be avoided simply by having an article called Giant Panda (Latin descriptions are not that helpful, I feel). At the very least, Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) would be better. John Stephenson 02:28, 26 October 2007 (CDT)
Ok, so what you are saying is that if there is a generally used common name, it should be Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), if here is an less common used common name, or an ambiguous, it should become Ailuropoda melanoleuca (Giant Panda) and if it does not have a common name Ailuropoda melanoleuca (mammal) or Ailuropoda melanoleuca? To be determined by the author who starts the article, or based on some subjective criteria as the google hit test (They love those on WP)?Kim van der Linde 02:40, 26 October 2007 (CDT)
I think we should focus less on specific examples and more on the big picture. In general, common names are a nightmare to deal with compared with standard taxanomic names. With regard to this specific case, and others like it, there is obviously an unambiguous common name. How many of our tree of life animals and plants fit into this criteria? I'm not sure, but I guess we could just use the common name in such instances. But what if people wish to see common names take a priority on the ambiguous cases too, then we are heading down the rocky path of having edit wars over which common name to use in the title. How are we to objectively broker such decisions?
Also why do we have to conform to standard practice? These titles are not that overwhelming and I think readers might actually be interested in the scientific names. We are not giving our audience much credit by dumbing down the titles. Think of all the five year olds out there that memorise all the dinosaur names. If i thought these article were somehow unapproachable I would agree with the reasoning but they are fine. A common name is used in the text, common names direct to the scientific name. So they are readable and finadable. Isn't that the main point of an encyclopedia, other than the educational component, and the scientific name surely fits as educational? Chris Day (talk) 02:51, 26 October 2007 (CDT)
I'm saying we shouldn't have the Latin at the forefront at all unless it's some species that doesn't have an English name. Decisions to be made by the author - subject to change by editors, of course. See also naming plea.
How is using English words "dumbing down"? We need not fear such accusations - we're not Wikipedia. And it's not as if I'm saying we should definitely lose the Latin altogether. Standard practice is standard practice for making it as easy as possible for people to find out about a topic. I also think the titles are too long-winded. Dinosaurs are a special case, as those technical names became the common names. John Stephenson 02:57, 26 October 2007 (CDT)
Standard practice is usually based on a book format. Common names make more sense in that case. Here people will get there with hyperlinks to Giant Panda and Panda. The sole purpose is to have a consistent name for all species. However, this should be discussed more at the biology workgroup, not scattered over mutliple species pages. Talk:Turnip has a discussion too. Chris Day (talk) 03:05, 26 October 2007 (CDT)
I've moved it to place the common name first, as this is what people seemed to be moving towards on the cz-biology list and elsewhere. John Stephenson 03:21, 30 October 2007 (CDT)

The EB article: Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). Do we have to reinvent the wheel all the time? --Martin Baldwin-Edwards 03:57, 30 October 2007 (CDT)

John and everyone, I want to stipulate, for future reference, that this sort of thing is a decision to be made by the Biology Workgroup. It is not really appropriate to try to use particular CZ talk pages to settle general policy questions.

Consequently, it has not been settled that the English name will go before the Latin name, and it most certainly is not up to a non-biologist to make the determination what has or has not been settled. Kim would be well within her rights, as biology editor, to move the article back to its previous name. To settle the question, a biology editor should take a poll of other active biology editors on a precise question, present me with the result, and I will announce the result. --Larry Sanger 08:23, 30 October 2007 (CDT)

OK, but if it requires workgroup agreement, then presumably one editor cannot take the decision for the workgroup as a whole. John Stephenson 21:16, 30 October 2007 (CDT)

We can take an Open Vote on the subject in the page: Category_talk:Biology_Editors. Supten 00:02, 31 October 2007 (CDT)


I have (perhaps temporarily) moved this to a subpage. See Wikipedia credit necessary for every use? at the taxobox's Talk page. Basically, we may have to credit Wikipedia for this unless we come up with a totally new one. John Stephenson 03:21, 30 October 2007 (CDT)


For future reference, I started this article as a non-biologist, writing for non-biologists. I was trying to make it readable. If it aims too low, it can be moved towards more technical coverage by anyone interested. John Stephenson 04:48, 9 November 2007 (CST)

Pygmy panda?

It's always called the Giant, thought there don't seem to be any others. Can anyone explain? Ro Thorpe 18:37, 12 December 2007 (CST)

Guess it's like Jumbo Shrimps for us 'Merkins.... Which reminds me. A gazillion years ago, I would drive around the island of Tahiti with lotsa Tahitians jammed into my tiny Fiat. Way out in les distriques was a bridge on which a dwarf used to sit. As we drove over the bridge, my Tahitian passengers would wave to him and cry in loud voices, "Oh, regarde le petit nain!" I used to ask them if they had ever seen "un grand nain" but this passed them by.... Hayford Peirce 20:26, 12 December 2007 (CST)

Mais oui, le petit nain panda! - dans Related Articles, il est vraiment rouge! - Ro Thorpe 07:47, 21 December 2007 (CST)