Published on January 20th, 2020 | by David Marshall
Episode 107: Nomenclature
Names can provide a large amount of information about the heritage of an individual, the purpose of a product or even the characteristics of an organism. With so much in a name, are there rules governing what you can and can’t name an animal? Can you name an animal after yourself or a celebrity? Can you sell the rights to a name? Which names are forbidden?
Every year 2,000 genera and some 15,000 species are added to scientific literature and providing the guidelines as to how these animals are named is the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN). We invited one of the ICZN’s commissioners, Dr Markus Bertling (Universität Münster), on to the show to discuss how the organisation functions and how its code applies to Palaeontology.
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