How are plants and animals named?

Binomial nomenclature is the standard naming convention used in modern society, and applies to Latin identification of species too.

Loxodonta africana, Panthera tigris, Nelumbo nucifera. Tamarindus indica these are not magical spells – you know these names better as the African elephant, tiger, lotus and tamarind respectively. Every living being on earth, be it an animal, bird, insect or plant is given a two-part scientific name in the Latin language. The system of identification is called binomial nomenclature. It was devised by a Swedish naturalist named Carl Linnaeus in 1753. An internationally agreed-upon set of rules govem the application of binomial nomenclature. The system helps scientists worldwide to discuss the various innumerable species without confusion.A species is one of the most basic units of biological classification. Each species has a unique name. The first capitalised part of the name indicates the genus to which the organism belongs and the second part identifies the species within the genus. The name is usually printed in italics. Part of the name may describe the organism (for example, ‘domesticus’ indicates a domesticated species). It may indicate the name of its discoverer, for example, Abies fraseri is a fir tree named after a John Fraser, a Scottish botanist named John Fraser who discovered the tree species.

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