Nomenclature And Biodiversity In The Living World

In our country, when we move from one place to another, we observe that the same species are called by different names in different languages. Imagine, going around the globe. How many names do we think we can come up with for just one animal?

Multiple local names make it extremely difficult to identify an organism globally and keep a track of the number of species. Thus, it creates a lot of confusion. To get rid of this confusion, a standard protocol came up. According to it, each and every organism would have one scientific name which would be used by everyone to identify an organism. This process of standardized naming is called as Binomial Nomenclature. However, the nomenclature can take place only after the identification of the particular organism. The process of identification refers to the ability of completely describing the organism.

Nomenclature System

There are two international codes which are agreed upon by all the biologists over the entire world for the naming protocol. They are:

  • International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN) – Deals with the biological nomenclature for plants.
  • International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) – Deals with the biological nomenclature of animals.

These codes make sure that each organism gets a specific name and that name is globally identified.

The naming follows certain conventions. Each scientific name has two parts:

  • Generic name
  • Specific epithet

These two words of the naming system were established by Carolus Linnaeus and are accepted today by biologists worldwide.


Let us take the example of the Indian bullfrog. Its scientific name is written as Rana tigrina. In this, Rana is the name of the genus and tigrina is the name of the specific species. The rest of the biological nomenclature rules for writing the scientific rules of organisms include the following:

  1. All the scientific names of organisms are usually Latin. Hence, they are written in italics.
  2. There exist two parts of a name. The first word identifies the genus and the second word identifies the species.
  3. When the names are handwritten, they are underlined or italicized if typed. This is done to specify its Latin origin.
  4. The name of the genus starts with a capital letter and the name of the species starts with a small letter.

Nomenclature and Biodiversity In the Living World

Biodiversity is the variety of living organisms that we find in an area. We may notice that diversity in living organisms is an area dependent phenomenon. The more area we take into consideration, the more variety of species we see around. New species are constantly being added to nature and being identified. The only solution to identification is classification and nomenclature.

Stay tuned with BYJU’S to learn more about Nomenclature and Biodiversity in the living world.

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