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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Scientific Nomenclature to Identify Living Species


binomial nomenclature rules
Binomial Nomenclature Rules
Now you're familiar with classifying of living being as plants, animals and micro-organisms. There are different parts of the world. And they all don't use the same name for calling these three group members. Today I'm going to let you a way for calling those living beings using one name. One Internationally accepted name.  It is identifying living species according to their scientific name.



Binomial Nomenclature Introduction

You may have come across certain instances when different names are used to indicate the same plant. There are instances of an animal being called by different names. The dog is known as "balla" in Sinhala. It is called "Inu" in Japanese, "Naai" in Tamil and "kutta" in Hindi. If you ask an Indian about "Inu" he might not be able to answer you.

The Importance of calling the same organism by the same name, even if they live in different parts of the world has been emphasized by biologists. Hence a scientific nomenclature was presented by Swedish Natural biologist Carl Linnaeus (1707 - 1778). Every organism has been given a name which consists of two proper nouns according to his nomenclature. Hence it is known as Binomial Nomenclature .

Binomial Nomenclature Method

The binomial nomenclature shows the genus and the species to which it belongs.
Example: Homo sapiens, here Homo shows the generic name and species indicates the specific name.

The animals of the same species have structural similarities and relationships among them. A fertile offspring is a result of breeding between two living organisms of the same species. This means that living organisms which can produce fertile offsprings by inter-breeding  come under the same species. But using the structural characteristics due to environmental conditions has little or no significant effect on the nature of flowers or fruits.

A genus is a combination of many species. These species have common relationships among them.

Example: Various species of mangoes, mee amba, kohu amba, betti amba, gira amba (sinhala names) are all different species of the genus Mangifera.

Principles of Binomial Nomenclature

The generic name is written first in binomial nomenclature starting with a capital letter. The species to which it belongs is written next.

Example: Etamba - Mangifera ceylanica
                 Genus    - Mangifera
                 Species - ceylanica

The first letter of the second noun which shows the species is written as a simple letter. Writing the name in Italics or drawing a line under the name is essential. Though there may be several names to identify the same animal, there can be only one scientific name. This name has been internationally accepted.

Smile Note: A mule is born as a result of the crossing between a horse and a donkey. The mule is sterile. It cannot produce offsprings. Are the horse and donkey animals of the same species? Or do they belong to two species?

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