What is Binomial Nomenclature or Binomial Distribution?
Binomial Distribution or Binomial Nomenclature is a formal system of naming living species; by giving a unique name composed of two parts. Both of these parts use Latin grammatical forms. Although; they can be based on words belongs to other languages. Such a name is called a binomial name, a binomen, r a scientific name. It is also called a Latin name
The first part of this unique name identifies the genus to which the species belongs, and the second part is the specific epithet or specific name. This specific name identifies the species within the genus. For example, human beings belong to genus Homo and within this genus to the species Homo sapiens.
Who developed the system of Binomial Nomenclature?
A Swedish botanist, Carolus Linnaeus (1707 — 1778) formed a system for the naming of organisms. It is called binomial nomenclature. His system is used today internationally. He discarded the common names of the plants and gave each plant a scientific name.
He used Latin words for these scientific names. Linnaeus published the list of names of plants in 1753. His system became popular. Later, he used this system for the naming of animals.
He published the list of names of animals in 1758. Linnaeus’s system of giving each species a scientific name comprising two words is known as binomial nomenclature.
The first name is of the genus (pl. genera). It is called a generic name. It always begins with a capital letter.
The second name is of species name. It follows the generic name. It begins with a small letter. These names are given on the basis of some characteristics of the organism or person who collects it. Many of his names are used today.
Scientific Names (Binomial Nomenclature)
Some of the rules are universally adopted while suggested and documenting scientific names are:
Scientific names are usually printed in italics, such as Homo sapiens. When handwritten they are underlined.
The first term (generic name) always begins with a capital letter, while the species name is never capitalized (even when derived from a proper name).
The scientific name is generally written in full when it is first used. But when several species from the same genus are being listed, it may then be abbreviated by just an initial for the genus; for example, Escherichia coli becomes coli.
What are Binomial Nomenclature Examples Importance?
The scientific names of:
Onion: Allium cepa.
Amaltas: Cassia fistula.
Man: Homo sapiens.
Potato: Solanum tuberosum.
Tomato: Solanum esculentum.
Every species has only one scientific name all over the world. Initially, this classification was based on appearance or morphology. Later, there was an advancement in the knowledge of cytology, physiology, genetics, and molecular biology. So the classification of the organisms has been modified.
The name ‘blackbird’ is used for crow as well as for ‘raven’.Common names have no scientific basis. For example; A fish is a vertebrate animal with fins and gills. But several common names of ‘silverfish’, ‘Crayfish’, ‘jellyfish’, and ‘starfish’ do not fit the biologist’s definition of a fish.
To avoid all these confusions, organisms are given scientific names by using binomial nomenclature. The values of this system are due to its widespread use and the stability of its names.
In binomial nomenclature, every species can be unambiguously identified with just two words. Some names can be used all over the words, in the languages, avoiding difficulties of translation.
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Background/History of Binomial Nomenclature
Nomenclature is combined to classification as it deals with the real name to be applied to a known taxonomy. It is better to use scientific names rather than that of vernacular or common names. Now a day; no two genera could have the same generic name. Also, no two species within a given genus; could have the same specific name.
In biological history; there are various examples of different nomenclatural codes. These codes are simultaneously prepared and followed by different organizations. However; such a process became less common. To achieve universality and stability in the name of animals; “The Stickland Code” (also known as First Zoological Code) was developed in 1842. It is developed by a commission that included Water house, Darwin, Westwood, and Hanslow. However; a truly cultured set of rules was not accepted until 1898.
You should know that the first code for Botany was presented by Augustin de Candolle in 1813. In 1947; the first International code in Bacteriology was accepted. Similarly, recognition of universally viral nomenclature was indicated by the virus-subcommittee firstly. The virus-subcommittee of the International Commission on Bacteriology was established in 1951. Since the first statement on nomenclature and classification of viruses was published in 1971.
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The Virological Codes are most recent these days. Virological Codes subject to considerable amendment before being finalized. The Botanical nomenclature and Zoological nomenclature are independent of each other. Every attempt should be made to avoid the introduction of those generic names in Botany; which are already in use in Zoology. The experimental or scientific names of animals from sub-genera and above are always uninominal. The names of these species are binomial and those of sub-species are always trinomial.
The Universal Code for Zoological Nomenclature also brings out some serious declaration. It is declared that the committee or commission is allowed to implement the arrangement for the modifications of the universal code. The formal indexes of invalid and rejected names and the official tests of confirmed names are approved ones. Although; published by the trust independently; they are considered to be essential parts of the Universal Zoological Code.
Important Rules of Binomial Nomenclature
The first name is a generic name which is the name of the genus.
The second name is the name of species, i.e. specific name.
Genus name is written by a capital letter.
The species name is written by a small letter.
Both names should be underlined or should be written in italic form.
Significance of Binomial Nomenclature
Why is binomial nomenclature important? There are three reasons for giving a scientific name to organisms:
Different names for the same Organism
Different people gave different names to the same organism in the past time. There was no system of giving names to the organisms. Different regions had different names of the same organism. For example amaltas, argvad, gurmala, golden shower, and purging cassia are different common names of the same plant.
Same name for different organisms
In some cases, a single name is given to several different plants and animals. For example:
Dozens of plants with bell-shaped flowers are named ‘bluebell’.
The name ‘blackbird’ is given to the crow and raven.
Common name without scientific basis
Common name has no scientific basis. Fish is a vertebrate animal. It has backbone, fins, and gills. Silverfish (an insect), crayfish, jellyfish, and starfish do not have these characters. So they cannot be placed in fishes.
Advantages of Binomial Nomenclature (Scientific Names)
The binomial nomenclature or scientific name has a number of advantages over the everyday and common names.
Well Organized & Classified
The organism can be smoothly or easily categorized. This genuinely helps to make it easier and straight-forward to understand the characteristics of a specific organism or creature in an organized chart.
Clarity and Precision
These names are always unique with each organism or creature having only one scientific name. It helps avoid confusion or turbulence created by the common names.
Scientific names are accepted and standardized universally. However; popular or common name changes with area location or language. These names are always the same among the scientific people all over the Globe.
The Scientific Names are maintained even if the species are shifted to the other genera; based on new observations & knowledge. Using scientific names; different characteristics or properties of the organism or species can be obtained.
Binomial or Scientific terms help understand the differences & similarities between different species or organisms belonging to the same genera. It is useful in establishing a relation between the two species.
A lesser or minor error in communication regarding the knowledge or studies of any organism because these names are unique to it and the same all over the globe.
The scientific name’s big advantage is its exactness.
The scientific Name or Binomial Name is regulated by The International Code of Binomial Nomenclature.
Disadvantages of Binomial Nomenclature (Scientific Names)
The versatility of binomial names is limited by the fact that their classification is not fixed in size. A taxon may have a changing circumscription.
The class of a particular binomial name is quite limited according to some community and really big according to other communities. This will depend on the taxonomic system or taxonomic point of view.
Some binomial names refer to groups or communities that are very stable (e.g. Magnoliaceae, Equisetaceae). Although, for others names; a careful and mindful check is needed to see which limitation is being used (e.g. Scrophulariaceae, Fabaceae).
Latin words or names are also difficult to memorize. For these logics, some government agencies and organizations are trying to create a list of some official names based on the official language or native of the country.
They are lengthy and very hard to learn.
To normal people, they are unknown in Latinized Greek meaningless or Latin language.
List of Common and Scientific Names of Plants
This appendix contains a fine list of the scientific and common names of plant species. These names are mentioned in the content/text of the EIS.
Grasses and Grass-like Plants
Sedge, Clustered Field
Forbs and Nonvascular Plants
Milkvetch, One-leaflet Torrey
Paintbrush, Monte Neva
St. Johnswort, Common
Shrubs and Trees
Populus balsamifera var. trichocarpa
Mahogany, Cur-leaf Mountain
Chrysothamnus spp. and Ericameria spp.
Sagebrush, Basin Big
Artemesia tridentata tridentata
Sagebrush, Mountain big
Artemesia tridentata ssp vaseyana
Sagebrush, Wyoming big
Artemesia tridentata spp. whyomingensis
List of Common and Scientific Names of Invertebrates
This appendix contains a fine list of the scientific and common names of invertebrate species. These names are mentioned in the content/text of the EIS.
List of Common and Scientific Names of Fish
This appendix contains a fine list of the scientific and common names of fish species. These names are mentioned in the content/text of the EIS.
Chub, Newark Valley Tui
Siphateles bicolor newarkensis
Dace, Monitor Valley Speckled
Rhinichthys osculus spp.
List of Common and Scientific Names of Reptiles & Amphibians
This appendix contains a fine list of the scientific and common names of reptiles and amphibians species. These names are mentioned in the content/text of the EIS.
Frog, Columbia Spotted
Frog, Northern Leopard
Lizard, Great Basin Collared
Lizard, Greater Short-horned
Lizard, Long-nosed Leopard
Lizard, Western Fence
Toad, Great Basin Spadefoot
Masticophis taeniatus ornatus
List of Common and Scientific Names of Birds
This appendix contains a fine list of the scientific and common names of bird species. These names are mentioned in the content/text of the EIS.
Heron, Black-crowned Night
Heron, Great Blue
Jay, Western Scrub
Owl, Great Horned
Owl, Northern Pygmy
Owl, Northern Saw-whet
Owl, Western Burrowing
Warbler, Black-throated Gray
List of Common and Scientific Names of Mammals
This appendix contains a fine list of the scientific and common names of mammals species. These names are mentioned in the content/text of the EIS.
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