Why use scientific names?
Function and genetics are taken into account in taxonomy. Humans are mammals and share genetic similarity with other primates, such as apes and monkeys. In contrast to a dog’s face and paws, a human’s hands and facial features more like those of other primates. This, along now with genome analysis, confirms humans share a closer connection with apes than dogs. As more genomes are decoded, some previous connections are re-classified.
Scientists reckon that there are around 2 million species on Earth, but this estimate is believed to be a small part of the actual number. Existing creatures are not the only ones with a fossil record. There are also extinct species that may be related to living species. Since the beginning of time, there have been a wide variety of plant and animal species. The relationships between these various living and extinct organisms are complex and intricate.
Scientists are interested in determining the various species that live on the planet today as well as those that have gone extinct. They also study the mechanisms by which new species are produced and maintained. It is critical for scientists to establish clear distinctions between species.
“Organizing is something you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” – A. A. Milne
Scientists across the globe identify the various species of organisms by using scientific names. We organize our thoughts by identifying things in order to understand them better. By simplifying the classification system, we identify things that may have different national names and assign them a universal name that acts as a code. By organizing the classification system, we can communicate with other scientists and researchers, as well as gain additional knowledge about what scientists and researchers have discovered.
Thus using scientific names for the animals we sighted on our safaris in Tanzania & Kenya it helps others who may know individual animals by another common name. (Some birds have 3,4 or more common names!) For our purposes we don’t need to rise above Order (All our sightings are Domain Eukarya Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata. Birds are Class Aves. Most of the other animals we saw are Class Mammalia with a few Class Reptilia