View Single Post
Old 9th December 2009   #8 (permalink)
aramcheck
Member
 
aramcheck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 42
Posts: 142
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: aramcheck is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgaramcheck is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgaramcheck is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgaramcheck is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgaramcheck is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgaramcheck is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.org
Default Re: Scientific Nomenclature

I can understand why using scientific names can be seen as a bit pedantic and even maybe "superior", but like Azhael said, it is the best way to avoid confusion, has many species share common name, and some species do not have a common name (certainly not a common name in all language). It is a very useful and clear system of describing what we are talking about.

Like I said, I can see how people only using scientific names can come accross as a bit superior at first, but for people working in the field, it is second nature. I am a Natural History Museum documentalist, my work would be impossible to do with common names, so I only use scientific names, and seldom even think of organisms through their common names (unless it is common French/European fauna/flora).

HOWEVER taxonomists are funny creatures and love to confuse everyone by changing names regularly, some changes being dictated by obvious scientific reason (elevating a subspecies to species level, spliting species, etc.) following field studies/genetic research/etc. but some name change can appear a bit arbitrary, I give you the Alpine Newt, reclassified from Triturus alpestris to Mesotriton alpestris to Ichthyosaura alpestris in under 2 years! This can be pretty hard to follow for people not keeping their finger on the pulse of taxonomy. I taught myself the scientific names of most of the European herpetofauna from field guides in the late 80s/ealy 90s and by now, most of it is useless , very frustrating.

At least the internet is allowing me to catch up now.
aramcheck is offline   Reply With Quote