Why do we give flora and fauna Latin names?

6th April 2011

Asked by: FUSTO STAR, THAILAND

The scientific naming system for animals and plants was systematised by the 18th-century Swedish naturalist Carl von Linné, better known as Carl Linnaeus. He created the hierarchical system of grouping animals and plants and used Latin and Greek names for the groups because these were the international languages of science at the time. Nowadays, non-Latin parts are sometimes used as well (Denversaurus, for instance), but the whole name tends to be Latinised for consistency and to avoid accusations of national bias.

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