Scientific nomenclature, also known as binomial nomenclature, is a formal system of giving names to living species. These names are composed of two parts, both in Latin; the first part refers to the genus to which the species belong; the second name, also known as specific name, relates to the species within the genus.
Nowadays, the application of the scientific nomenclature is governed by precise codes of rules including the International Code of Nomenclature for animals and the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants. These two codes share the same general principles, but they differ in the terminology they use, as well as in specific rules.
Before adopting the scientific nomenclature, a scientific name was given to the living entities. This name was a generic title combined with a specific name.
Thanks to the scientific nomenclature, biological organisms can be classified in different groups depending on their shared features. In modern times, this division includes specific ranks such as domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species. Furthermore, this classification is usually known as taxonomy and its main aim is to describe and organise life.
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