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Scientific Nomenclature


Nomenclature is the naming (scientific name) the bodies and categories in which they are classified.

The scientific name is accepted in all languages, and each name applies to only one species.

There are two international organizations that determine the nomenclature rules, one for zoology and one for botany. According to the rules, the first published name (from Lineu's work) is the correct one, unless the species is reclassified, for example, into another genus. Reclassification has occurred quite frequently since the twentieth century.

The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature states that in this case the reference to who first described the species is maintained, with the year of the decision, in parentheses, and does not include the name of the person who reclassified. This international standard stems, among other things, from the fact that the genetic approach to taxonomy is still new, subject to revision due to new scientific research, or simply the definition of new parameters for the delimitation of a taxon, which may be morphological, ecological. , behavioral, etc.

The current system identifies each species by two Latin names: the first in capital letters is gender, the second in capital letters is specific epithet. The two names together form the name of the species. Scientific names may come from the name of the scientist who described the species, a popular name of the species, a characteristic it presents, where it occurs, and others. By international convention, The name of the genus and species is printed in italics, italics or bold.. Subspecies have a name consisting of three words.

Ex.: Family KennelsCanis lupus Felis catus.

Popular nomenclature

The naming of living things that makes up biodiversity is a step in the classification work. Many beings are "baptized" by the population with popular or vulgar names, by the scientific community.

These names can designate a very broad set of organisms, including sometimes even unrelated groups.

The same popular name can be given to different species, as in this example:


Ananas comosus


Ananas ananassoids

These two species of the genus ananas are called by the same popular name Pineapple.

Another example is the beach crustacean Emerita brasiliensis, which in Rio de Janeiro is called armadillo, and in the states of São Paulo and Paraná is called tattooed.

In contrast, animals of the same species may be given various names, as occurs with the jaguar, whose scientific name is Panthera Onca.

Other popular names:

canguçu, jaguar-canguçu, jaguar-canguçu

Another example is the Manihot esculenta plant, whose root is much appreciated as food. Depending on the region of Brazil, it is known by several names: cassava, cassava or cassava.

Considering the examples presented, we can see that the popular nomenclature varies a lot, even in a country like Brazil, where the population speaks the same language, except the indigenous languages. Imagine if we consider the whole world, with so many, with so many different languages ​​and dialects, the great number of names of the same living being can receive. Thus we can understand the need for an internationally adopted standard nomenclature to facilitate the communication of various professionals, such as doctors, zoologists, botanists and all those who study living things.