Scientific Name- Definition, Rules, Examples, Nomenclature

The scientific name is especially the taxonomic name of the organism mostly used by scientists, consisting of the genus and species. The first one is the genus name, and the second one is the species name.

Scientific Name
Scientific Name

What is a Scientific name?

  • The scientific name came from a country called Latin or Greek.
  • Scientific nomenclature is the identity of an organism, and nomenclature makes it possible to remember an organism’s name by one or two words.
  • It becomes very difficult to recognize any organism without its proper nomenclature.
  • The binomial nomenclature system to name a plant and animal was brought by a Swedish botanist known as Carl Linnaeus.
  • Binomial nomenclature is a Latin word that means two naming systems.
  • The scientific name is required in biology for naming the systems throughout the life sciences, and because of this, it becomes easy to identify the designated species.
  • Two factors, species, and genus are used for naming the organisms.
  • As the organisms get their unique name through the universally accepted Binomial Nomenclature system, it becomes easier to remember and understand.

Rules for writing a scientific names

  • Species scientific naming system is divided into two parts by the binomial terminology that includes the generic name and the specific name.
  • A generic name is considered by the taxonomic genus.
  • The characterization level of a genus in the classification system lies below the family and above the species level.
  • Genus is the collection of species with similar characteristics, usually based on structural and phylogenetic similarity.
  • The second part of the binomial name or scientific name is a specific name or also known as “specific epithet”.
  • The second part of the name differentiates a species from the collection of genus species.
  • A species is a fundamental unit of categorization and also a unit of biodiversity.
  • Methods that can be used to identify a species include karyotyping (genetic profiling), DNA sequencing, Morphology, and environmental niche.
  • Now let’s talk about the rules for writing the scientific names.

An organism’s genus comes first, followed by species while writing any organism’s scientific name.

For example

Genus = Homo, Species = sapiens

  • Scientific names are usually written in italics, and the name must be underlined if it’s written by hand.
  • The genus name is in capital letters followed by the species name, which is in lower case.

Example 1

Indian Crow = common name

Corvus splendens = scientific name

Example 2

Humans = common name

Homo sapiens sapiens = scientific name

Binomial Nomenclature of plants

The name of the pants at the end generally ends with the plural adjective which in Latin is “aceae”. The adjective used generally describes the genus or the family characteristics to which the particular plant belongs.

Some of the Scientific names of common plants are as given below:

Common Name Scientific Name
ApplePyrus malus
Bamboo Bamboosa aridinarifolia
BrinjalSolanum melongena
BananaMusa paradisicum
Black GramPalsoes mungo
BanyanFicus benghalensis
BarleyHordeum vulgare

Binomial Nomenclature of Animals

The system of naming the animals is similar to that of the plant’s naming system. During the nomenclature of the animals, the genus comes first and then is followed by the species.

Binomial Nomenclature
Binomial Nomenclature of Tiger.

Some of the scientific names of animals are as follows:

Common NameScientific Name
DogCanis familiaris
CatFelis catus
HorseEquus ferus caballus
SheepOvis aries
Domestic PigSus scrofa domesticus
GoatCapra aegagrus hircus
Indian ElephantElephas maximus

Scientific names of extinct animals

Phylogenetic and evolutionary research has helped to connect the relationship of extinct animals with the surviving organisms, and its nomenclature is similar to the other organisms.

Some of the lists of the scientific names of extinct animals are as follows:

Common Name Scientific Name
Passenger pigeonEctopistes migratorius
Tasmanian tigerThylacinus cynocephalus
T-RexTyrannosaurus rex
DolphinLipotes vexillifer



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