Palaeos: Palaeos Taxonomy
Life Taxonomy

Taxonomy of Life

Lilium hybrid - Stargazer

Lilium hybrid "Stargazer"
Photgraph by dogmadic, From Wikipedia, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 by-sa license. GNU Free Documentation License,

Ever wondered where those fancy names come from? Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops? (actually Triceratops prorsus and the aptly named Triceratops horridus; every scientific name is binomial, or made up of two parts) Well, there's actually a scientific body (or several) that ensure that every new species is properly named. Once named, the species can be officially refernced in scientific journals, as well a sin popular books. this goes not just for prehistoric monsters but for every living thing. Man for example is Homo sapiens. (or more correctly, Homo sapiens Linnaeus, 1758)

The science of naming the living world is what is known as taxonomy. Taxonomy is the theoretical study of classification and the principles, procedures and rules thereof; the science of finding, describing and naming organisms, thus giving rise to taxa. Essentially, taxonomy deals with the ways in which we group living things together, in contrast to phylogeny which refers to evolutionary history.

Basically, taxonomy is like a sort of Dewey Decimal system, by which organisms can be named and categorised, rather like books in a library arranged according to subject. This way species can be identified, for example for environmental research, observing creatures in the wild, growing plants in a herbarium, identifying fossils in order to understand the past ages of life on Earth, or something as banal yet necessary or cataloging specimens in a museum drawer. Because the very same system of taxonomy we use today (called Linnaean) was developed even before Darwin's theory of evolution, and even before the modern science of paleontology, it is considered first in this review MAK120229 120320

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