Binomial nomenclature

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Binomial Nomenclature

Otherwise known as the "two-term naming system", binomial nomenclature is a system of naming species of organisms by giving each a name composed of 2 parts. Both terms use Latin grammatical forms, although they can also be based on words from other languages. This binomial or scientific name is comprised of two parts: the generic name followed by the specific name. The generic name specifies the genus which a species belongs to. Similarly, the specific name defines the species belonging to that organism, within the genus. To learn more about how scientific classification is determined, please click here.

For example, humans belong to the genus Homo, and within this genus to the species Homo sapiens. Binomial nomenclature has very specific rules, which define how to write or type scientific names. Currently, the first letter of the genus is always capitalized in writing, while the species is not. Additionally, the binomial name must be italicized in normal text, or underlined in handwriting.