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Acacia seyal bark from the en.Wikipedia article on the organism

An Acacia tree from Africa, maybe. Or maybe not.
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

From the same team that brought us the famous desert in Oman with ammonium-nitrate-containing moon rocks, we now have this wiki wtf about the Wildlife of Chad, nominated for DYK.

“As of 2002, there were over 1,600 species of plants throughout the country,[1] which has increased to 2,460 species as per reports for the period 1998-2011 including 128 autonyms, 83 subspecies and 8 forms. Out of this 2,173 are native species including 55 endemic species.[2]

And we have what the source says:

“It counts 2, 460 records, i.e. 2, 288 species (including 128 autonyms), 83 subspecies, 81 varieties, 8 forms, while all the previous available information reported 1, 600 species.”

So, what’s an autonym? Let’s check out the en.Wikipedia article on autonyms:

“In botanical nomenclature, autonyms are automatically created names, as regulated by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (Vienna Code, 2006). Autonyms are cited without an author. Relevant provisions are in articles 6.8, 22.1-3 and 26.1-3.”

6.8. Autonyms are such names as can be established automatically under Art. 22.3 and 26.3, whether or not they appear in print in the publication in which they are created (see Art. 32.8, Rec. 22B.1 and 26B.1).”

Are we clear yet? Well, an autonym is a “name.”

So, what is a species?

“In biology, a species (plural: species) is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring.”

And a subspecies?

“In biological classification, subspecies (abbreviated “subsp.” or “ssp.”; plural: “subspecies”) is either a taxonomic rank subordinate to species, or a taxonomic unit in that rank.”

And a variety?

“In botanical nomenclature, variety (abbreviated var.; in Latinvarietas) is a taxonomic rank below that of species…”

And a form?

“A theory of substantial forms asserts that forms (or ideas) organize matter and make it intelligible. Substantial forms are the source of properties, order, unity, identity, and information about objects.”

Yes, form is wikilinked to forms, a redirect to substantial form; probably they meant to link it to form, a disambiguation page, or, ultimately to Form (botany).

“In botanical nomenclature, a form (forma, plural formae) is one of the “secondary” taxonomic ranks, below that of variety, which in turn is below that of species; it is an infraspecific taxon.”

Do you see the difference here? An “autonym” is a name, while a species, a subspecies, and a properly wikilinked form are all taxonomic units or ranks. If you do the en.Wikipedia science writing collage cut and paste dance without any knowledge of what you are writing about, you mangle key ideas.

An en.Wikipedia editor with limited knowledge of botany or biology read the original source and saw this:

“it counts 2, 460 records, i.e. 2, 288 species (including 128 autonyms), 83 subspecies, 81 varieties, 8 forms,”

Note that these numbers, 2288 species + 83 subspecies + 81 varieties + 8 forms add up to 2460 records.

But the en.Wikipedia editors concluded the information from the source could be written up thus:

“2,460 species as per reports for the period 1998-2011 including 128 autonyms, 83 subspecies and 8 forms.”

Note that these numbers, 128 autonyms (if we include them) + 83 subspecies + 8 forms add up to 219 records. What happened to the other 2241 records? What happened to the varieties?

It seems as if they say the en.Wikipedia article says the same thing as the reference; however, the records are records of taxonomic units such as species, subspecies, varieties, and forms. Autonyms are just the names; it’s as if we said that the Washington Zoo has 200 generic names of animals. In the reference, it made sense to include this information after the number of species, because it gives a sense to botanists that these plants did not get formally published names for some reason. But, it is not a stand-alone piece of information; the database is talking about how many species have been named in this manner; the species themselves are not their names. The en.Wikipedia editors mistakenly, it appears, saw that it is describing a number of species by the records, used the word “species” instead of “records,” then took it a nonsense step further and concluded that “autonyms” were a taxonomic rank such as “species,” and “subspecies.”

The wikilinking to form is more nonsense. Many common English words have multiple meanings. “Form” probably brings to mind something a person must fill out to provide information. If this is the common meaning, why, senselessly link to “forms” without checking what it wikilinks to?

It is painful to keep reading this.

The central region of the country has a tropical climate surrounded by desertic conditions in the rest of the country.[3]

The vegetation in the country is broadly categorized under the three regions of the northern Sahara zone, the central Sahel zone, and the southern Sudan zone; all three zones are of equal proportion.[1]

A tropical climate according to en.Wikipedia?

“A tropical climate is a climate of the tropics. In the Köppen climate classification it is a non-arid climate in which all twelve months have mean temperatures of at least 18 °C (64 °F).” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_climate

The Sahel climate according to en.Wikipedia?

“Having a semi-arid climate, it stretches across the southernmost extent of Northern Africa between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sahel

By the way, what is the source of this climatic information on Chad? A source of quite a bit of information for this article, a so-called “reliable source,” according to en.Wikipedia standards? An anonymously shared unfinished PowerPoint–check it out.

  1. Jump up to:a b c d Damen Donaldson. “Chad’s Climate, Vegetation, Wildlife, and Natural Hazards” (ppt). Salina Social Studies. Retrieved 16 October 2013.

What is Salina Social Studies? It’s a two year old middle school or high school homework assignment wiki.

If you browse through the folder, you can learn fun facts about all sorts of countries. Here’s one about Canada:—

“They only use the metric system just like Europe.”

I am guessing middle school, not high school. This is the reliable source for the DYK which will soon appear on en.Wikipedia’s main page.

Okay, let us see. What does en.Wikipedia have to say about the climate of Chad?


The semiarid sahelian zone, or Sahel, forms a belt about 500 kilometers (311 mi) wide that runs from Lac and Chari-Baguirmi prefectures eastward through Guéra, Ouaddaï, and northern Salamat prefectures to the Sudanese frontier.


The humid soudanian zone includes the southern prefectures of Mayo-Kebbi, Tandjilé, Logone Occidental, Logone Oriental, Moyen-Chari, and southern Salamat.

This is what happens when you fail to use reliable sources? Maybe. It is also what happens when you know absolutely nothing about your topic. Just look at a map of Chad to see where the equator hits it; look at the Sahara Desert; look at the Sahel when you wikilink it to its article, and you would conclude that you have just sited your article to a non-reliable source. This is fundamental science you should know about Chad if you are writing about its wildlife, because climate has something to do with where things live in Chad. en.Wikipedia actually has these maps; a satellite image of Africa, a map of the Tropics, a map of the Sahel.

Okay; let’s look at some aquatic plants in Lake Chad.

The Lake Chad has 179 species of fish and feed on vegetation growth due phytoplankton and zooplankton in the lake.

This is interesting, the vegetation growth is due to phytoplankton and zooplankton in the lake? Carnivorous aquatic vegetation! I’m excited! Are you?

“The seasonal influx of water combines with a seasonal increase in air temperature to yield decreased salinity, increased turbidity, and increased nutrient levels. These conditions catalyze blooms of phytoplankton and zooplankton, followed by the growth of larger vegetation.” Source.

Oh, maybe it’s not that interesting, maybe the aquatic plants aren’t carnivores. Sigh.

Thank you for the 5x expanded by Nvvchar (talk), Dr. Blofeld (talk), Rosiestep (talk).

Thank you for the DYK nomination by Rosiestep (talk) at 06:29, 19 October 2013 (UTC).

And, most of all, thank you for the stamp of approval, and “ready 2 go. good work.” —BabbaQ (talk) 16:29, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for helping these three editors, who make up stuff, get over 1000 DYKs each. That is right, this inexplicable garbage done up 1000 times on en.Wikipedia, meanwhile, editors are fighting sock puppets and blocking schools when children put, “John is gay” into articles. These three clowns are winning praise by the community for sourcing science to WRONG and unfinished PowerPoints by 6th graders. Which is the bigger act of vandalism, rewriting biology and having it stand for eight years, be mirrored 100s of times and misread by 1000s of school kids or putting “John is gay” into an article? The culture of sycophancy is the far bigger vandal of what en.Wikipedia intended to be. Its crap is not verifiable, it’s crap.

The DYK rules:

  1.  New – A nominated article must be new (when nominated).
  2.  Long enough – The article must be of sufficient length.
  3.  Cited hook – The fact(s) mentioned in the hook must be cited in the article.
  4.  Within policy – Verifiability
  5.  Review requirement –

And “Verifiability” goes back to reliable sources. The anonymous PowerPoint does not fit.

Editors with a basic science background, a college course in biology, for example, would not have made these errors. I cannot go on.