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PinkMonkey Online Study Guide-Biology

13.4 Binomial Nomenclature

The system of giving a scientific name to each properly identified plant or animal is called nomenclature.

A system of nomenclature of plants and animals in which each scientific name consists of two parts or sub-names is called the system of binomial nomenclature.

Thus according to this system the scientific name of sunflower is Helianthus annuus and that of man is Homo sapiens.

In the above names, the first part of the name (i.e. Helianthus or Homo) represents the name of the genus (generic name). The second part of the name (i.e. annuus or sapiens) represents the name of the species (specific name).

This system of binomial nomenclature was introduced by Carolus Linnaeus in 1753 in his book Species Plantarum.

The system follows certain rules, such as :

  1. The scientific name must be in Greek or Latin language.

  2. Genetic name should come first and must begin with a capital letter.

  3. The same name should not be used for two or more species under the same genus.

  4. The scientific name must be either underlined or written in italics.

  5. The name of the author who first described the species should be written after the specific name (e.g. Homo sapiens Linnaeus).

Carolus Van Linnaeus : (1707-1778) Carolus Linnaeus is popularly known as the father of taxonomy, because of his remarkably outstanding contributions to the field of systematics. Linnaeus was a great Swedish naturalist. He studied at the University of Lund and later worked in the University of Uppsala. He described nearly 6000 plant species and 4000 animal species from different parts of the world. Linnaeus published a number of books on taxonomy. The most notable among these are Systema Naturae (1735) and Genera Plantarum (1737) which contain the artificial system of classification of angiosperms based on the sexual characters (e.g. characters of stamens). His book Species Plantarum (1753) is a landmark in the history of taxonomy. It contains the binomial system of nomenclature which has been practiced ever since.

Table of Contents

13.0 - Introduction
13.1 Concepts of Species
13.2 Taxa and Categories
13.3 Systematic Hierarchies
13.4 Binomial Nomenclature
13.5 Principles of Classification

Chapter 14


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