Day 102. Fun Fact Friday: Naming a species

I must say, taking this dinosaur class is proving to be both interesting and great for blog posts!

Recently I learned about species and how they are named.

Did you know that it is estimated there are between 5 and 30 million species on our planet? That is an amazing number. How awesome is it that we have such variety on our world?

In the 17th and 18th century, there was no shared method of naming organisms. Although some countries agreed on names, other countries inevitably came up with another name for the same species. Here comes Carl Linnaeus in the 18th century with a simple, two-part naming scheme. Linnaeus was a medical doctor, botanist, and zoologist. His two-part method of naming a species meant that no two species shared the same name. This type of name is known as a binomial name. We still use this system today.

There are a few rules when naming a new species. The name is usually in Latin, although names derived from other languages have been used. The genus name, the first name, is capitalized while the epithet, the second name, is lowercase. The whole name should be written in italics. For example, Homo sapiens.

There is a rule of priority which states that once a species has been named in a widely distributed and peer reviewed journal, it cannot be renamed. The two exceptions to that are if the name is already taken or if the organism really isn’t a new species.

Did you know, that in 2012, there were about 30 new species of dinosaurs named? How cool is that!

So there are some fun facts about naming a species. Now go out there and sound smart!

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