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Wiki Prehistorica

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Categories for fauna

New System

I've been thinking about this issue, and I believe that a more specific category system would be better for the wiki. 

I'll use Deinonychus as an example. Using the old system, the page's categories would be something like this:

  • Animals
  • Dinosaurs
  • Theropods
  • Dromaeosaurids
  • Carnivores
  • Cloverly Formation
  • Antlers Formation
  • Cretaceous
  • Aptian
  • Albian
  • Fossil taxa described in 1969

Instead of listing every single animal under the Animals category, every single Cretaceous species under the Cretaceous category, I think this can easily be remedied using subcategories. An example: the Albian category page can have a Cretaceous category, creating an Albian subcategory that is contained within Cretaceous. That way the same information can be represented in less space, and people wishing to find more Cretaceous animals for instance can just go straight through the Albian category into the Cretaceous category (and therefore, people at the Cretaceous category page looking for Albian animals can link directly through the Albian subcategory).

So here's a new list of animal categories for each page:

  • The family group of the animal, narrowed down as specifically as possible (stop before the genus level. That way, each of these categories can be nested into a more general category. Genera with ambiguous classification can be categorized to the most specific accepted estimate)
  • Diet of the animal. I may or may not keep this on, not sure yet.
  • The formation(s) it hails from, as before
  • The geological stage(s) it hails from (as before, but without the category for the overarching period, which be a nesting category)
  • The year in which it was described

Using the new system, the page categories for Deinonychus would be:

  • Velociraptorines (> Eudromaeosaurs > Dromaeosaurids > Deinonychosaurs > Paraves > Maniraptora > Coelurosauria > Tetanurans > Theropods > Saurischians > Dinosaurs > Reptiles > Amniotes > Tetrapods > Vertebrates > Animals > Eukaryotes ... or something like that)
  • ? Carnivores
  • Cloverly Formation (perhaps subcategory for Cretaceous formations/North American formations)
  • Antlers Formation
  • Aptian (> Early Cretaceous > Cretaceous > Mesozoic > Phanerozoic)
  • Albian
  • Fossil taxa described in 1969

Hopefully this makes sense. 

Some more examples:

Shantungosaurus:

  • Saurolophines
  • ? Herbivores
  • Wangshi Group
  • Campanian
  • Fossil taxa described in 1973

Pentaceratops:

  • Chasmosaurines
  • ? Herbivores
  • Kirtland Formation
  • Fruitland Formation
  • Williams Fork Formation
  • Campanian
  • Fossil taxa described in 1923

Old System (currently in use)

I've got a plan worked out for animal categories. They would be:

  • The Animals category.
  • The type of animal it is (eg. Mammals, Reptiles, Dinosaurs)
  • Narrowing down classification (Theropods, Mesonychians)
  • The diet (Carnivores, Herbivores, Omnivores, or even Frugivores and Piscivores)
  • The formation(s) it hails from (e.g. Yixian, Beaver Creek, Lockatong)
  • The period it hails from (e.g. Carboniferous, Triassic, Oligocene)
  • The geological stage it hails from (e.g. Tithonian, Campanian)
  • The year in which it was described

So using this system Tyrannosaurus would have the categories:

  • Animals
  • Dinosaurs
  • Theropods
  • Tyrannosauroids
  • Carnivores
  • Hell Creek Formation
  • North Horn Formation
  • Lance Formation
  • Denver Formation
  • Willow Creek Formation
  • Ferris Formation
  • Kirtland Formation
  • Javelina Formation
  • McRae Formation
  • Tornillo Formation
  • Scollard Formation
  • Frenchman Formation
  • Livingston Formation
  • Laramie Formation
  • Cretaceous
  • Maastrichtian
  • Fossil taxa described in 1905

It may seem like a lot, but that's only because of the formations. A more typical animal will be found in far fewer formations, and therefore the article will have far fewer categories.

And besides, if you think that's a lot of categories, have a look at this page.

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