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Diversity in Living Organisms

Tutormate > CBSE Syllabus-Class 9th Biology > Diversity in Living Organisms

02 Biological Nomenclature

  • There are billions of species on earth known by their geographical names which vary from region to region.
  • This leads to confusion among scientists during their research.
  • So, there was a necessity for a standard type of nomenclature system and this system was only possible by knowing about the specifications of the organism.
  • Biologists from all over the world follow a uniform set of principles for naming the organisms.
  • In biology, every organism is associated with a scientific name.
  • The scientific naming or nomenclature system was introduced by Carl Linnaeus and is termed as Binomial Nomenclature or binary method of nomenclature.
  • The scientific name consists of two parts.
  • First part represents the genus to which the organism belongs and second part represents the species.
    • Genus: It is category of animals or plants with common structural characteristics containing several species. The name given to a genus is called generic name.
    • Species: It is a group of animals or plants within a genus differing only slightly from others and capable of interbreeding to produce fertile progeny.
  • The scientific names are unique, understood and followed universally and cannot be changed easily.
  • These names are guided by a set of rules in the International Code of Biological Nomenclature.
  • As per the convention, the genus name (generic name) is always written first with its first letter capitalized while the Species name (specific name) is written after the genus name and its first letter is always in small case.
    • For e.g. Rana tigrina is a scientific name of frog where Rana represents the genus and tigrina represents the species.
    • Similarly, tiger’s scientific name is Panthera tigris and, leopard’s is Panthera pardus.
    • The scientific name of humans is written as Homo sapiens. Homo represents the ‘genus’ and sapiens represents a particular species.
  • However, if two or more names are currently in use the law of priority would be used.
  • According to this law, the correct name will be the one used first and the others end up being synonyms as validity is the senior synonym.
  • Naming and classification of organisms must be stable.
  • Also, the names used before those included in the “Systema Naturae”, by Linnaeus are not recognized.

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