Binomial nomenclature


Binomial nomenclature (also called binominal nomenclature or binary nomenclature) is a formal system of naming species of living things by giving each a name composed of two parts, both of which use Latin grammatical forms, although they can be based on words from other languages. Such a name is called a binomial name (which may be shortened to just "binomial"), a binomen or a scientific name; more informally it is also called a Latin name. The first part of the name identifies the genus to which the species belongs; the second part identifies the species within the genus. For example, humans belong to the genus Homo and within this genus to the species Homo sapiens. The introduction of this system of naming species is credited to Linnaeus, effectively beginning with his work Species Plantarum in 1753. Linnaeus called his two-part name a trivial name (nomen triviale) as opposed to the much longer names then used.

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