#31, What's in a name

Many people get dizzy at the mention of the scientific name of an organism. However, it is not too confusing once you know the way it's classified. The study of classifying animals is called taxonomy and people who do it are called taxonomists.

Firstly, there are 6 main levels of classification; namely the phylum, class, order, family, genus then species. In a scientific name, we usually only include the latter two which is the genus and species. The genus comes first and should be in capital letters. Scientific names should either be underlined or italicised.

So for example, Homo sapian, is the name scientific name for humans. We come from the genus Homo and have the species name sapians and hence, Homo sapians. Hope this post helped to clarify some confusion ;)

For more information, you can read http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/animal_names/scientific_name.html

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