Taxonomy: History, Definition, Classification, and Taxonomy Mnemonic
Cougar. Mountain Lion. Puma. What do these animals all have in common? Believe it or not, they are actually all names for the same animal! Because this feline spans such a large area, different areas call it different names. As you might think, this could get confusing if scientists try to discuss the same animal, so what do they do? They use taxonomy.
Taxonomy is the science and process of organizing organisms into categories and naming them. Every species of animal has a unique taxonomic, or scientific, name. A species is a group of organisms that reproduce among itself and produce offspring. The scientific name is used by scientists all over the world for ease of communication. After all, it is very important to be specific in science. For example, the scientific name of the cougar/mountain lion/puma is Puma concolor. The name cougar/mountain lion/puma refers to the animal’s common name. Organisms can have many common names used by the public, but when scientists are referring to them, they use the scientific name. Domain Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species