November 15, 2014 (Vol. 34, No. 20)


Strong Points: Good FAQs section, can browse open cases
Weak Points: None


With the millions of animal species that have been discovered, one might wonder, who ensures that there are no ambiguities in the species’ scientific names? Why, I’m glad you asked. This task falls to the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), which maintains international standards of animal nomenclature. The ICZN website offers visitors a glimpse into this organization and the work that it does. The FAQs page, in particular, provides information about taxonomy versus nomenclature, the proper way to write zoological names, and other interesting information. The website describes the progression of cases brought to the ICZN, and also provides visitors the ability to browse or search the open cases. In addition, the site links to Zoobank, the official registry of zoological nomenclature. After visiting this site, one will certainly gain an appreciation for the naming process and the scientific names that we often (or perhaps always) take for granted.

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