A Taxonomy of Animal Names
Every animal has a scientific name usually consisting of two words: genus and species. You’re probably familiar with the scientific name Homo sapiens for humans. The genus and species names may come from any source and often emphasize an animal’s distinguishing characteristics. Most scientific names contain Greek and Latin roots, but some are adapted from local dialects or scientists’ names. A closer look at the scientific names of common zoo animals reveals interesting correlations between physical traits and recurring word roots.