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How Do Scientists Name New Species?

Dr Ahsanur Rahman, PHD

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In the scientific world, the process of naming a new species is taken very seriously. It’s not just about coming up with a clever or catchy name – the name must also be accurate and precise. The naming of a new species is typically done by the scientist who discovers it.

They will take into account its physical characteristics, genetics, habitat, and behavior when choosing a name. In some cases, the name may be inspired by mythology or literature. For example, the Australian tarantula was named after the venomous spider in Italian folklore.

The scientific community must then approve of the proposed name before it can be used officially. This approval process ensures that all names are consistent and meet certain standards. Ultimately, scientists want to make sure that each species has a unique and identifiable name.

This allows for easy communication and helps us better understand our natural world.

In biology, taxonomy is the science of classifying living things. Organisms are classified into groups based on shared characteristics. The classification system helps scientists understand the relationships between different species.

The most famous classification system was developed by Carl Linnaeus in the 18th century. Linnaeus used a two-part naming system or binomial nomenclature. The first part of the name identified the genus, and the second part identified the specific species within that genus.

For example, Linnaeus named humans Homo-sapiens, which means “wise man” in Latin. Since Linnaeus’s time, biologists have discovered many new species. They also learned that his classification system was not perfect.

As a result, there have been many changes to the way biologists classify organisms. Today, scientists use a five-level classification system: kingdom, phylum, class, order, and family. This system is called phylogenetic nomenclature or cladistics.

Under this system, each organism is assigned to a group based on its evolutionary history. For example, all mammals are classified in the same order (Mammalia) because they share a common ancestor. The process of naming new species can be quite complex.

Scientists must consider many factors when deciding whether an organism deserves its own scientific name. These factors include its physical appearance, DNA sequence, ecology, and behavior.

How Scientists Name Species
How Do Scientists Name New Species? 4


How Do Scientists Name Species

When a new species is discovered, it is given a scientific name. This name is usually in Latin and is made up of two parts – the genus name and the specific epithet. The genus name is always capitalized, while the specific epithet is not.

For example, the scientific name for humans is Homo-sapiens – “Homo” is the genus name, and sapiens is the specific epithet. The process of naming a new species can be quite complex. First of all, the scientists who discovered the new species must decide which existing genus it belongs to.

Once they have done this, they must come up with a unique specific epithet that has not been used before for any other species within that genus. This can be quite difficult, especially if the new species has similarities to existing ones. Once a scientific name has been chosen, it must be published in a scientific journal so that other scientists can use it.

The publication must include a description of the new species so that others can identify it using its scientific name.

What are the Rules for Naming Species

When it comes to naming a new species, there are actually quite a few rules that scientists have to follow. These rules are set out by the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), which is the international body that governs the scientific names of animals. Let’s take a look at some of the main rules for naming species…

1. The name of a new species must be unique and not already used for another species. This might seem like an obvious one, but it’s important to make sure that each new species has its own distinct name. Otherwise, it would be very confusing for scientists trying to study them!

2. The name must be published in a scientific journal or other reputable publication. This ensures that the name is available for other scientists to use and cite when discussing the new species. 3. The name must include the genus name and specific epithet (i.e., two-part Latinized binomial).

For example, if we were naming a new species of dog, its scientific name would have to include “Canis” (the genus) as well as a unique specific epithet such as “fido” or “rex”. 4. The generic name must be written in italics and the specific epithet must be written in lowercase. This is just standard convention for writing scientific names.

5. If the species was named after a person, then their full surname should be included (e.g., Canis lupus fido). If there are multiple authors/discoverers, then all of their surnames should be included (e.g., Canis lupus fido Smith & Jones). However, if there are more than three authors, then only the first author’s surname followed by “et al.” should be used (eg., Canis lupus fido Smith et al.).

Where Do Scientists Find New Species

There are many ways that scientists can discover new species. One way is through exploration and field work in areas where there is likely to be a high diversity of plant and animal life, such as rainforests. Another way is through the study of museum specimens that have been collected from all over the world.

DNA sequencing and other tools can also be used to identify new species from samples taken from the environment or from animals and plants kept in captivity.

Why is It Important to Name Species

Taxonomy is the practice of identifying, naming and classifying organisms. The main reason for doing this is to enable communication between scientists who are studying different groups of organisms. For example, if two scientists are discussing a particular bird species, they both need to be using the same name for that species in order for their conversation to make sense.

There are also practical applications for knowing the scientific names of organisms. For instance, many agricultural and horticultural products have specific requirements in terms of the pests and diseases they can be exposed to. If a farmer or gardener knows the scientific name of their crop, they can more easily look up information on which pests and diseases it is susceptible to.

Similarly, conservationists need to be able to communicate effectively about which species are under threat and which habitats need protection. Using scientific names rather than common names avoids confusion and ensures that everyone is talking about the same thing. In short, naming species may seem like a trivial task but it actually plays a vital role in enabling communication and cooperation between scientists working on different groups of organisms.

Where Animals’ Scientific Names Come From

Scientific Name Generator

Have you ever wondered what your name would be if you were a scientist? Well, wonder no more! The scientific name generator is here to help.

Simply enter your first and last name into the generator and voila – you will have your very own scientific name. But that’s not all – the generator will also provide you with a brief description of what your research would be focused on. So not only will you have a new, cool sounding name – but you’ll also have a pretty good idea of what kind of science you’d be doing!

So why wait? Give it a try and see what your new scientific name and research focus would be. Who knows, maybe it’ll give you some ideas for a future career change!

Scientific Name List

A scientific name is a formal name given to an organism, usually when it is first described. It consists of two parts: the genus name and the specific epithet. The genus name is always written with a capital letter, while the specific epithet is always written in lower case.

First, common names can be very different from one place to another. For example, what we call a “lion” in English might be called a “leão” in Portuguese or a “лев” in Russian. This can be confusing for scientists who work with organisms from all over the world.

Second, common names can change over time. What we call a “wolf” today might have been called a “wyvern” 200 years ago. Finally, some organisms have multiple common names that can be misleading or simply wrong (for example, there are several types of fish that are commonly referred to as “barracuda”).

Scientific names, on the other hand, are unique and consistent no matter where you are in the world or how long ago an organism was described. They also provide important information about an organism’s taxonomic classification. In our lion example above, Homo-sapiens belongs to the family Hominidae (which includes all great apes), the order Primates (which includes monkeys and lemurs), and the class Mammalia (which includes all mammals).

Scientific Name Genus And Species

The scientific name of an organism is its unique identifier in the scientific community. It consists of two parts: the genus and species. The genus is always capitalized, while the species is not.

For example, after writing out Homo-sapiens, it can be abbreviated as H. sapiens going forward. Organisms can be grouped together based on their scientific names. All organisms with the same genus share certain characteristics, while all organisms with the same species share even more detailed characteristics.

Organisms that are in different genera but have similar characteristics may be classified in the same family. For example, humans and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) are both in the family Hominidae because they share many similarities even though they are not of the same genus or species.

Scientific Names for Animals

Most animals have common names, like dogs or cats, that we use in everyday conversation. But did you know that every animal also has a scientific name? Scientific names are used by biologists and other scientists to ensure that all members of the scientific community are talking about the same thing when they use a particular name.

The system of assigning scientific names to animals is known as biological nomenclature, and it was established by Swedish biologist Carl Linnaeus in the 1700s. Linnaeus developed a two-part naming system, which is still in use today. The first part of an animal’s scientific name identifies its genus, while the second part identifies its specific species within that genus.

For example, the scientific name for dogs is Canis lupus; Canis is the genus and lupus is the species. There are some exceptions to this two-part naming system. For example, when an animal’s exact identity is unknown or it hasn’t been assigned to a particular genus yet, its scientific name will only include its species.

Additionally, some animals belong to a group of closely related species known as species complexes; in these cases, their scientific names will only include their genus followed by “complex” (e.g., Felis complex). Finally, subspecies are groups of animals within a species that have distinct physical characteristics but can still interbreed; subspecies are typically identified with a third part added onto the end of their scientific name (e.g., Panthera leo leo). Whether you’re a scientist or just someone who loves animals, learning about biological nomenclature can be fascinating!

It can also be helpful when trying to identify an animal you’ve seen; after all, there are over 8 million different kinds of animals on Earth!

Binomial Naming System

In biology, the binomial nomenclature is how species are named. This system uses a two-part name consisting of the genus name and the specific epithet. The genus name is always capitalized while the specific epithet is not.

Both parts of the name are italicized when written or printed. The binomial nomenclature was developed by Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist Carl Linnaeus in 1758. Prior to this time, long descriptive names were used which made it difficult to remember or reference particular organisms.

Linnaeus’ system was much simpler and more efficient. The first part of the name, the genus, identifies the broadest category of organisms within which the particular species falls. For example, all humans belong to the genus “Homo” while all lions belong to Panthera.

The second part of the name, the specific epithet, further narrows down which particular organism is being referred to within that genus. So within Homo,
there are many different species including sapiens (modern humans), erectus (upright walking humans), and neanderthalensis (the Neanderthals). And within Panthera, there are also many different species including Leo (lions), Tigris (tigers), and pardus (leopards).

Organisms can be moved between genera as new information about their relationships becomes available but once a species has been given its scientific name it generally stays unchanged. Common names, on the other hand, can vary greatly from one place to another and even from one language to another making them far less useful for scientific purposes.


Naming a new species is a big deal for scientists. It’s the scientific equivalent of naming a new baby. And just like with people, there are rules and conventions for how to name a new species.

The first step is to make sure the new species is actually unique. This might seem obvious, but scientists have to be very careful when they’re classifying organisms. Sometimes what looks like a new species is just a variation of an existing one.

Once scientists are sure they’ve found a new species, they give it a scientific name. The rules for this are set by an international organization called the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN). The scientific name of a species is always in Latin or Greek, and it has two parts: the genus name and the specific epithet.

Most importantly, each scientific name can only be used once. So if there’s already another organism with the same genus and specific epithet as your new species, you have to come up with something different. This can get tricky because sometimes different groups of scientists will come up with different names for what they think is the same species. Protection Status