Binomial System


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•  The binomial system of names for species is universal among biologists and has been agreed and developed 

    at a series of congresses

The binomial system of nomenclature is the formal system by which all living species are classified (taxonomy)

  • It was initially developed by a Swedish botanist named Carolus Linnaeus in 1735 
  • It is periodically assessed and updated at a series of international congresses which occur every 4 years

The binomial system of nomenclature provides value because:

  • It allows for the identification and comparison of organisms based on recognised characteristics
  • It allows all organisms to be named according to a globally recognised scheme
  • It can show how closely related organisms are, allowing for the prediction of evolutionary links
  • It makes it easier to collect, sort and group information about organisms

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•  When species are discovered they are given scientific names using the binomial system

According to the binomial system of nomenclature, every organism is designated a scientific name with two parts:

  • Genus is written first and is capitalised (e.g. Homo)
  • Species follows and is written in lower case (e.g. Homo sapiens)
  • Some species may occasionally have a sub-species designation (e.g. Homo sapiens sapiensmodern man)

Writing conventions:

  • When typing the scientific name, it should be presented in italics
  • When hand writing the scientific name, it is customary to underline

Binomial System of Nomenclature

binomial system