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Things in the taxonomy box that I find questionable[edit]

The present set of things listed in the taxonomy portion of the infobox is:







First of all, let's go over what the purpose of taxonomy actually is, which is that it is used to convey information about the relationships between taxa. The infobox is there to link people quickly and easily to articles that describe the subject's relationship to other taxa.

I find Avemetatarsalia to be a weak choice, under this rationale. It is very "close" on most trees to the clade Ornithodira (below it), and the clade Archosauria (above it). The only taxon which fits in the "gap" between Ornithodira and Avemetatarsalia is Aphanosauria, which is decidedly obscure. Meanwhile, a link to Ornithodira would help curious readers learn about the fact that Pterosaurs are closely related to dinosaurs, and a link to Archosauria would help them learn about the fact that the closest living relatives of birds are crocodilians. Avemetatarsalia is in fact somewhat redundant, and only really useful in the taxobox of an article about either of those other two clades, or a taxon in the clade Avemetatarsalia that is stemward of Dinosauria, because it is actually defined as "birds < crocodilians". And more to the point, Ornithodira and Archosauria are outright used far more frequently in the literature (I have no source for this, but am confident that anyone else who has read the relevant literature will report the same thing). My personal preference is that this item be replaced with Archosauria.

Even worse, the article then skips all the way to Ornithurae(!) I want to accuse the writers of this article of being BANDits. Why on earth is Dinosauria not in there, at the very least? That is basically the only clade below kingdom level that we can be completely certain the casual reader will recognise. Ideally I also want Theropoda as well (since it is both widely known and links to an article that has a lot to say about the ancestry of birds)

It is a bit weird to me that the body of this article trips over itself in "Definition" multiple times to qualify the crown group definition of Aves with the note that some workers do not accept that usage of the term (making it not a consensus), and yet this definition is explictly what is used in the taxbox (as it lists Ornithurae above Aves). This has the potential to confuse readers (namely me). I strongly suggest that the taxobox either be edited to make it consistent with both definitions (perhaps put Maniraptora in its place), or a paragraph be added at the "Definition" section to the effect of "The PhyloCode defines Aves as a crown-group", if we are considering it to be in force, or "Aves" be replaced with "Neornithes" in order to disambiguate.

If the second option is taken, then I would still like to point out that the body of the article also makes a sourced statement that many workers use the term "bird" (if perhaps not Aves) in a wider sense that is equivalent to Avialae. This is also evident in press-releases where the question of whether or not (x) Mesozoic taxon is a "bird" or not tends to be whether it is an Avialan or not (for example, if Archaeopteryx is recovered as a deinonychosaur, that makes it "not a bird after all" (e.g.,, this also doubles as another source for that statement about "bird" often meaning "avialan"). So the question is, is this article about the taxon Aves or the category "Bird"? Should the taxobox decide to bolden and author-drop both Avialae and Aves/Neornithes? Even if it shouldn't, I still think that Avialae, being quite relevant to the subject matter, should be at least in the taxobox. Linbot6018 (talk) 04:57, 12 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The reasons for the taxobox being the way it is are much less sinister than you suggest. It is an automated template. Peter coxhead may be able to help here. Lythronaxargestes (talk | contribs) 07:16, 12 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The taxon hierarchy may be generated automatically by the taxobox template, but the taxa to display is determined based on discussion. As far as I can tell, Ornithurae as the direct parent and skipping to Avemetatarsalia and Sauropsida has been the arrangement since 2015. Before that the parent was Avialae and the displayed taxa skipped straight to Amniota. I don't think either is ideal.
I'd be in favour of a change, or at least having the discussion on how many taxa to display and which are the important ones. Avemetatarsalia is the taxon including bird, pterosaurs and dinosaurs and excluding crocodiles, which indicates an important evolutionary step, although Archosauria as the group including crocodiles might be a better choice for this evolutionary step. I don't see an advantage of Ornithodira over Avemetatarsalia (neither are used often compared to Archosuria). I can see the case for adding Dinosauria or something similar. [Incidentally the taxobox at dinosaur only shows Dracohors and Chordata, which is useless.] But we don't want to clutter the taxobox with dinosaur taxa. The article is about birds and most people will come here expecting to read about birds.—  Jts1882 | talk  08:55, 12 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As Jts1882 notes above, the hierarchy shown in the taxobox is the result of a long standing consensus at WP:WikiProject Birds. Since the same hierarchy will show in the taxobox in every bird article, any discussion about changing it must take place at WT:WikiProject Birds, so that the consensus can be determined. (I have no personal interest either way; my only role in the past has been to facilitate the skip mechanism in the automated taxobox system which allows different taxonomies to be shown in different areas of the tree of life.) Peter coxhead (talk) 09:48, 12 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Peter coxhead: I'm not sure there was any discussion that led to a consensus (I can't find one). It seems more a fire-fighting approach where you and ErikHaugen fixed problems as they arose and those solutions stuck. There may now be a simpler Lua solution than /skip templates for the duplicate class. If rak class reappears in the taxonomy (e.g. class Reptilia above class Aves) just change the higher one to clade or unranked in Module:Automated taxobox. With judicious use of a few |always_display= parameters (e.g. at Archosaur and Sauropsida), it might be possible to use a single hierarchy that would produce better output for both Bird and Dinosaur (where I just added a temporary fix with |display_parents= to improve on the limited Dracohors-Chordata heirarchy). —  Jts1882 | talk  10:55, 12 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Jts1882: I think the key consensus at WP:WikiProject Birds was that they wanted "Class: Aves" which is what the old manual taxoboxes had, and which caused a clash with "Class: Reptilia" which is what the old manual taxoboxes had for reptiles (either cladistic or grade-based) and dinosaurs. I'm confident that this consensus then existed; it does need to be tested whether it does now. As you say, ErikHaugen and I just fixed taxonomy templates and the handling of skip ones to make it work for both groups.
Personally, I would be opposed to Module:Automated taxobox over-riding taxonomy templates in any way, because this hides what is going on. Taxonomy templates are supposed to be the "database"; the module just arranges the display.
There are other cases where different groups/wikiprojects have agreed on different hierarchies. WP:PLANTS agreed on "Kingdom: Plantae" as the top level, whereas for algae the taxoboxes by default stop at "(unranked): Viridiplantae" or in some cases "(unranked): Archaeplastida". This isn't a clash of ranks, but is a similar use of skip taxonomy templates to show different hierarchies. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:20, 12 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I greatly appreciate your prompt and helpful response. I will therefore check out what has been said on the matter over there. Linbot6018 (talk) 10:00, 12 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

New image boxes[edit]

Please add a sparrow,swallow,pelican,ostrich imagebox at title composite image to complete the illustration of the first two firstly as they are small,and last two lastly as they are big. Only problem is a suitable illustration. (talk) 09:35, 10 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]