Binomial Nomenclature is also called as the Binary Nomenclature, binomen and scientific name. “Bi” is a Latin term that means two and “nomial” means relating to terms. The term Binomial Nomenclature refers to a specific system of naming various species of the living beings. The term was first used in the year 1839. It is basically a two-term naming system, where the name given to the species will consist of two parts. In the two term name, the first term is the generic term that refers to the genus where the species belong and the second term states the species itself, which is a specific name. These terms basically use the Latin form of grammar. This process helps in identifying any organisms around the world very easily. For example the human beings are called as the Homo sapiens where Homo refers to the genus and Sapiens refers to the human species. The binomial name for the humans was given by Linnaeus in the year 1758. The term homo means human being and sapiens means sensible and wise.
Before using the modern naming system the scientists used to have a different method of naming where the name was very long consisting of several words. This naming convention was then considered as Polynomial Nomenclature. Poly means many and nomenclature means naming and hence such a name for the naming system was given. These scientific names referred to two different functions – Firstly to refer to the species and secondly to provide a description about the species. These two functions did not however help the scientists to a large extent as more species were discovered over the time and things started to become more complex. The names unnecessarily started to become more long and complex. For example - Plantago foilis ovatolanceolatus pubescentibus. In certain cases some polynomial names can look like binomial names. For example Phalangium ramosum sounds like a binomial naming but if we want to refer to the various kinds of the same, the name will start to grow longer. Thus in order to reduce this complexity the new naming system emerged and the above term Plantago foilis ovatolanceolatus pubescentibus is now called as Plantago media, which is the binomial name for Hoary Plantain.
This procedure of naming is now being governed by several codes and ethics based internationally. The two most important codes among them are International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants (ICNafp) and the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. The general principles are however somewhat similar apart from the terminology being used and certain specific rules. Scientific names act as specific identifiers and it ensures that the confusion gets reduced while referring to a particular organism. Some of the important rules that must be kept in mind in order to keep these names in a standardized form are –
A binomial name is always needed to be treated in a proper grammatical manner and usually uses Latin phrases, but there are some other sources of derivation as well and they are as follows:
The first part of the word must however always be in Latin form. The neuter ending with –ov (-on) in case of Greek words is usually converted to the Latin term by replacing it with “um”. The first name must be unique in case of different kingdoms. The second part of the name is also a Latin word and can have several forms –
Binomial Nomenclature naming system is very popular and is widely used by most of the scientists and researchers. It is of a great value. This is because of the uniqueness and the stability of the naming system. The naming system, therefore have the following significance -
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