Animator Sam O’Nella is back after years and is bringing something informative, funny and cute to the table. O’Nella has recently used his distinctive stick figure to humorously describe the random manner in which animals are given scientific names.
Just taken how much thinking goes into the fact to name your baby or your pets, it can be expected that providing a universal name for something takes much more processing and steps.
“We all know about the scientific names of animals but did you ever wonder what they actually mean? To find out we must look too taxonomists. They’re the guys responsible for the systems of nomenclature we use to classify organisms and boy are they convoluted.”
The process in choosing a scientific name for an animal is quite random but not chaotic as certain rules do apply and helps guide the scientists.
“There is some method to the madness. One rule is the ‘Principle of Priority'. This states that once somebody publishes their chosen name for a species for the first time, that’s the name. Other taxonomists typically can’t change it this has led to plenty of misnomers coined by whoever got their foot in the door first. Particularly in the case of the guys doing this stuff before we had the luxury of genetic analysis.”