Diversity in Living Organisms

Nomenclature: Definition and Rules of Binomial Nomenclature

Binomial Nomenclature is a two-term naming system that uses two different terms to name the species, plants, animals and living organisms. Binomial Nomenclature is also known as Binary Nomenclature. The two terms consist of a generic epithet which is genus (category) of that species, and specific epithet which indicates the species itself. This two-term naming system can also use some other different languages to create such scientific names. These scientific names are unique and help in identifying organisms anywhere in the world. Let us learn more about the system of Nomenclature.

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What is Nomenclature?

A system through which organisms, including plants, animals, microorganisms and other living things are given distinct scientific names is called Nomenclature.

In biology, each group of organisms, be it plants or animals or microorganisms, is already classified under special divisions, according to the similarities and features. Therefore these living organisms should also have a common naming system that makes it easier to understand them better.

A common system of naming is essential so that it makes it widely accepted throughout the world. And therefore there evolved a system called the binomial nomenclature. This helped to a great extent in maintaining the standardization in naming living things.

Carl Linnaeus Nomenclature

Carl Linnaeus ( Wikipedia)

Binomial Nomenclature

The Binomial Nomenclature system is a formal system of naming that was introduced by a scientist Carolus Linnaeus. He is regarded as the founder of modern taxonomy. His books are considered as the beginning of modern biological nomenclature. They outlined the rules for allocating names to plants and animals in a certain format.

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System and Rules Binomial Nomenclature

In this system, there are certain rules that are followed while naming organisms. This standard set of rules is applicable to plants and animals while giving them unique names within a given system.

According to this system, each organism is known my two names – the Genus name and the species name. These names are all written in Latin. The genus name and species name of an organism written together are called its scientific name. Some rules that are followed while writing these names are mentioned hereunder.

  • The name of the genus always begins with a capital letter.
  • The species name begins with a small letter.
  • The scientific names are always italicized.
  • When handwritten, the genus name and species name have to be underlined.

A few examples of names of organisms written in this system

Solved Questions For You

Q: What is the scientific name of the tiger? Are there any advantages of using scientific names?

Ans: The scientific name of the tiger is Panthera tigris.

There are advantages in using a standard and scientific way of naming organisms. These names are unique and widely accepted throughout the world. The nomenclature system is also guided by the rules laid down in the International Code of Biological Nomenclature.

Q: Define Binomial Nomenclature.

Ans: A standard and widely accepted system of naming plants and animals is the binomial nomenclature. It involves the naming an organism with the help of two names, the genus name, and the specific name. Example – Mangifera indica is the scientific name of the mango plant.

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