Binomial nomenclature

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A painting of Carolus Linnaeus wearing the clothing of Lapland, made by Hendrick Hollander in 1853.

នៅក្នុងជីវវិទ្យា, binomial nomenclature is how species are named. As the word "binomial" suggests, the name of a species is made by using two words: the genus name and the species description. Binomial nomenclature means "two named description".


The person who created this system for use was Swedish botanist and physician Carolluss Linnaeus (17071778) who tried to find names for all things in the natural world and gave every species (mineral, vegetable or animal) a two-part name. This kind of naming had been used before Linnaeus, but before Linnaeus, hardly anybody used binomial nomenclature. After Linnaeus, almost everybody did.

Value of binomial nomenclature[កែប្រែ]

The value of the binomial nomenclature is that it is easy to identify species with just two words. Also, those two words can be used all over the world, in all languages, and the name does not change based on country or time.

Rules of nomenclature[កែប្រែ]

Many rules have been made to make binomial nomenclature more easy to understand and use. There are now several codes and books full of information on how to organize these names.

  • Scientific names are printed in italics, such as Homo sapiens. When handwritten they should be underlined.
  • The first term (genus name / generic name) is always capitalized,but the second name never is.
For example, Canis lupus means wolf or Anthus hodgsoni. Some older books may have both capitalized.
  • In science books, the article for the name is followed by the last name of the person who found the species.
For example: Amaranthus retroflexus L. or Passer domesticus (Linnaeus, 1758) - the latter was originally described as member of the genus Fringilla, hence the parentheses.
  • When used with a common name, the scientific name usually follows in parentheses.
For example, "The house sparrow (Passer domesticus) is decreasing in Europe."
  • The scientific name should be written in full when it is first used or when several species from the same genus are being written at the same time. It can be shortened later.

There is still discussion between scientists on how to improve binomial nomenclature.

Where names come from[កែប្រែ]

The names may come from any source whatsoever. Often they are Latin words, but they may also come from Ancient Greek, from a place, from a person, a name from a local language, etc. In fact, the people who come up with these names sometime use specific descriptors from a variety of sources, including jokes and puns.

The names are always treated grammatically as if they were a Latin sentence. This is why the name of a species is sometimes called its "Latin name," but scientists like calling these names scientific names.

The genus name must be unique inside each group of life. Species names are reused, and are sometimes given a third name which is a noun.