Scientific Names of Animals and Plants

Introduction to Binomial Nomenclature

Naming the various living things in nature is an old practice. But because there are so many different languages and cultures, different common names for the same species are given based on where they are and what language is spoken there. We require a standard method for naming organisms so that individuals may refer to an organism by the same name regardless of their location or language to facilitate scientific collaboration.

In biology, binomial nomenclature is a formal method of naming species in which each species is denoted by a two-part name, consisting of a capitalized genus name followed by a lowercase specific species or specific name, both of which are written in (modern scientific) Latin and italicized (or underlined if handwritten, not typeset). Between 1.7 and 1.8 million species have been identified and given names as of this point.

Binomial Nomenclature History and Rules

Greek philosopher Aristotle introduced the first system for categorizing living things. His classification scheme entailed classifying species according to a small number of traits, such as their habitat (land, water, or air), and sizes. Because many creatures did not fit into the few categories he had established, this classification system was too ambiguous. This classification system did not include many organisms.

Swedish biologist Carolus Linnaeus is the founder of taxonomy. He categorized and described numerous kinds of animals and plants in his work “Systema Naturae”. He increased the number of classification categories and divided creatures into seven taxonomic tiers ranging from more general to more detailed. For the classifications, he gave each organism a Latin name based on the position he assigned. The Kingdom is the highest taxon in the contemporary taxonomic system, which also includes seven other taxa: division, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species. According to the binomial categorization system, the species is the lowest taxonomic level of an organism.

Carolus Linnaeus also developed the two-part Binomial Nomenclature, which gives each organism a unique name based on its genus and species, along with his expanded categorization system. When naming specific creatures using binomial nomenclature, Linnaeus developed several principles to make sure each species had a distinctive identifying name. Following are the guidelines:

  • Scientific names always start with the genus.

  • Always write species after the genus name.

  • The scientific name begins with a capital letter for the first word and a small letter for the second word.

  • Italicizing the genus and species is required (underlined if hand-written).

  • The author's name may be mentioned following the particular epithet. Mangifera indica Linn, for instance, denotes Linnaeus's initial description of the plant.

The names refer to characteristics that the organism exhibits within the specific category. Because it gives organisms a common and precise name. It is crucial to adhere to the detailed guidelines above for naming organisms to ensure consistency and get rid of any ambiguity when talking about a specific organism. For instance, the tiger's scientific name is Panthera tigris. Panthera is the genus name and tigris is the species name.

The plants and wildlife related to this algorithm are given distinctive applicable names. While the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) directs the systematic nomenclature of animals, the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN) gives standards for the nomenclature of plants. Both of these codes have received worldwide acceptance and approval for the naming convention.

Scientific Names of Animals

The common animals' scientific names are listed below:

Common nameScientific name


Felis catus


Canis lupus familiaris


Felis leo


Panthera tigris


Equus ferus caballus


Camelus camelidae


Bos taurus


Proboscidea elephantidae


Ovis aries


Equus africanus asinus

King cobra

Ophiophagus hannah


Capra aegagrus hircus


Giraffa camelopardalis










Simiiformes (infraorder)

House crow

Corvus splendens




Pavo cristatus

Honey Bee



Columba livia

Scientific Names of Plants

The scientific names of a few popular plants are provided below -

Common NameScientific Name


Citrus aurantium


Musa paradisiaca


Solanum tuberosum


Oryza sativa


Lycopersicon esculentum


Mangifera indica


Pyrus malus

Cashew nut

Anacardium occidentale


Gossypium herbaceum


Allium sativum


Artocarpus integra


Citrus limonium


Azadirachta indica


Allium cepa


Carica papaya




Santalum album


Curcuma longa


Citrullus vulgaris

Scientific Names of Extinct Organisms

The following is a list of scientific names for extinct animals:

Common nameScientific name


Raphus cucullatus

Sabre-toothed Cat



Tyrannosaurus rex

Tasmanian Tiger

Thylacinus cynocephalus

Passenger Pigeon

Ectopistes migratorius



Great Auk

Pinguinus impennis


Binomial nomenclature refers to the process of naming organisms or giving them a scientific name. The genus and species name make up the scientific name. Scientific names are crucial because they provide a consistent approach for scientists from all around the world to characterize a species of organism. Binomial nomenclature has some criteria that must be adhered to, such as the particular name never being capitalized but the generic name always being. The entire name should also be italicized. This approach is widely used, avoids confusion because each organism has its name, and it is also simpler to memorize and comprehend.


Q1. What are some important uses of the Binomial Nomenclature system?

Ans: It gives clarity and accuracy. Helps to identify even if the species is moved to a different genus due to new information. These are so distinct that it won't be difficult to recognize the various creatures. It also aids in understanding the connections and distinctions among several species that are members of the same genus.

Q2. What are the Cons of Binomial Nomenclature?

Ans: Binomial names are challenging for casual observers to learn. They are tedious and primarily written in Latin. They are lengthy and frequently unknown which makes it difficult for a commoner to understand.

Q3. What is trinomen?

Ans: Animals are given a trinomial name in addition to their species and genus names. It is typically used to distinguish between subspecies. For instance, Canis lupus arctos is the trinomen of the Arctic wolf, a subspecies of the grey wolf.

Q4. Describe Homo sapiens?

Ans: The human species is referred by the scientific designation Homo sapiens. It is a combination of the Latin words hom, which means "human," and sapien, which means "wise." It begins by defining humans as belonging to the genus Homo, which also includes several extinct early human species and contemporary humans.

Q5. What animals come under the Panthera genus?

Ans: The five large cats of the animal kingdom—lions, tigers, jaguars, cheetahs, and leopards—all belong to the genus Panthera. They are the biggest, fiercest, predators, terrestrial, and endangered wild cats in the animal kingdom.

Updated on: 23-Jan-2023

5K+ Views

Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started