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Carolus Linnaeus Essay Sample

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Carolus Linnaeus Essay Sample

Carolus Linnaeus

Carolus Linnaeus or Carl Von Linn established a system of taxonomy in the 18th century that still gets active use today. Linnaean taxonomy’s most important aspect is the use of binomial nomenclature, a formal method of naming species. In binomial nomenclature, each species is given a two word name, the first word referring to the genus of the species and the second word a more specific descriptor of the species. Additionally, Linnaeus introduced the classification of species into a ranked hierarchy, grouping known species under kingdoms, phyla, class, order and so on.

Linnaues’ binomial nomenclature system of naming species afforded a way for species to be universally identified. This means that biologists no longer have to rely on local names or descriptors for flora and fauna that may encounter problems with translation or with species that may have different names from one region to another. A biologist talking about Canis lupus is understood by all biologists worldwide to be talking about Canis lupus as opposed to talking about the Gray Wolf or the Grey Wolf or the Timber Wolf, all of which are common names for Canis lupus. Another example would be the Leopard Shark. In the United States, the name Leopard Shark refers to Triakis semifasciata while in Australia, Leopard Sharks refers to the species Stegostoma fasciatum. Additionally, the presence of a universally accepted name gave the species name stability. The formalization of species names and the wide use of biologist meant that the names used were not likely to change through time. Additionally, the use of formal rules in naming organisms has led to greater acceptance of formal rules in taxonomy. Today, separate codes exist for the nomenclature of plants and fungi, animals, bacteria and viruses.

Bibiliography

Waggoner, B.. (n.d.). Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778). In University of California Museum of Paleontology. Retrieved 29 May 2007, from http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/history/linnaeus.html..

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