The assignment of a distinctive name to each species is called nomenclature. Common names have two problems:
(a) First, common names vary from country to country. Even they vary from region to region within a country. Some species have hundreds of different common names. Biology is studied all over the word by all the nations. Therefore, there must be some system of naming of the organisms.
(b) Second, many common names are used for taxonomic categories higher than the species level. Different kinds of pill bugs (class Crustacea. order Isopoda) or different kinds of crayfish (class (rustacca. order Decapoda) cannot be differentiated easily. A common name often does not specify a particular species.
Therefore, the system of binomial nomenclature was adapted. This system is based on giving every animal two names. The binomial system of nomenclature has organized the naming system of the animals. The binomial system of nomenclature is universal. It clearly indicates the level of classification involved in any description. No two kinds of animals have the same binomial name. Every animal has only one correct name. This name is given by the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. Therefore, it avoids the confusion caused by common names cause. There are following rules of naming of animals:
- The genus of an animal begins with a capital letter.
- The species name begins with a small letter.
- These names are derived from Latin or Latinized. Therefore, the entire scientific n me is italicized or underlined. For example, the scientific name of humans is written Homo sapiens.
- Sometimes, the genus is understood. Now the binomial name can be abbreviated as H. sapiens.