On this earth dwells countless variety of living organisms ranging from large organisms to minute creatures, which are not even seen by the naked eye but are surrounding us. However not all the species out of these are known and identified by us. There is only a specific number of species that are known and identified by us. The number or type of organism present on earth is called biodiversity. There is no end to finding about the discoveries about the new areas and organisms. Each day some discovery or the other is made. There is a need to give a name to each organization that is discovered in order to give them a separate identity. This process is called nomenclature however this process of nomenclature or assigning names is not possible unless the organization is correctly described and we know to which organism the name is attached to. This is called identification.
In order to facilitate the study it's important that a particular organism be known by the same name hence scientists all over the world have assigned the names for each of these organisms which are accepted by biologist all over the world, for example in case of plants International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) provides the set of principles and criteria on which the names are based. The scientific names ensure that each organization is assigned one name. They ensure that a particular name is not given to any other organism earlier. If description of any animal is given only one name should come to the minds of people. To provide names to people, biologists had to follow universally accepted and known principle. This formal system of naming specific species is called binominal nomenclature. Each name has two components - a generic name and a specific epithet. Carolous Linnaeus gave this naming system. Some of the universal rules of nomenclature are:
Binomial nomenclature is naming the living organisms with two names. As the words "binomial", "binominal" and "binary" all signify; the scientific name of each species is formed by the combination of two words, which are in a modern form of Latin.
The generic name is the first name given with the first letter capital. The specific name is the second name, which is written, in small letter.
A general term for the word identifying the species is the specific descriptor.
The word identifying 'species' in Zoology is called the specific name. The word identifying species is called the specific 'epithet' in Botany.
E.g. The scientific name of tiger Panthera tigris.
Usually the scientific name is followed by an abbreviation of the name of the scientist who first identified eg. Malva sylvestris Linn. This is called as author citation.
The Rules for Nomenclature
- The binomial name is usually a Latin name
- These names when handwritten it should be under lined separately
- The genus name should be in capitals
- The second species name should be in small letters
- When printed it should be in italics