is it necessary to give species long complicated names?
Posted 4/18/15
stumbled upon this article, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3043819/A-ribbiting-discovery-New-species-glass-frog-transparent-skin-reveal-organs-Kermit-s-eyes.html

and they're talking about a frog called, "Hyalinobatrachium dianae"... and thought to myself, is it necessary to give species these long complicated names that average people can't remember or pronounce?

does anyone know that bacteria with like 50 letters in its name? Poor thing.


What's your opinion?
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Posted 4/18/15
The name comes from a combination of 2 names (identifying some of it's origin)and this is more like an abbreviation of the 21 categories that narrow it down.
Posted 4/18/15

Sir_jamesalot wrote:

The name comes from a combination of 2 names (identifying some of it's origin)and this is more like an abbreviation of the 21 categories that narrow it down.


but do you think it's necessary?
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Posted 4/18/15

GayAsianBoy wrote:


Sir_jamesalot wrote:

The name comes from a combination of 2 names (identifying some of it's origin)and this is more like an abbreviation of the 21 categories that narrow it down.


but do you think it's necessary?


The point of it is to share information and Latin is a dead language and doesn't change or adapt to modern times.
It's a bit sad that it's long winded, but the important part is the words still have the same meaning they did a hundred years ago.
If there was aother language to take the standard, then it would save on ink,
but the length of the names isn't necessary.
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Posted 4/18/15 , edited 4/18/15
Yes it is necessary because this aids in categorizing the species we have found and limits mistakes.

The long complicated name is the scientific name given to the species which is written in Latin, a dead language. Latin is use as a common ground so there is no confusion, misunderstandings or misinterpretation when things get translated into other languages etc, Latin with always be Latin. that is why it is hard to say these names as they are not English.

The name is made up of 2 descriptive names. the first name is the GENUS and the second is the species.
so for Hyalinobatrachium dianae.

HYALINOBATRACHIUM is the Genus and dianae is the species.

But since these names can be hard to say, it is usually just called by it's common name. which in this case is the Bare-Hearted Glassfrog.

The problem with common names is that they can differ depending on where you come from and the local language of the area.
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Posted 4/18/15
Yes.

There are over 20 plants in various genuses and species called "daisy" (the only common thing they have are that they're in the aster family)

There's
Oxeye daisies
English daisies
cape daisies
black eyed susans (also commonly referred to as daisies)
gerbera daisies
echinacia (purple cone flowers also labelled "daisies")

These aren't in any shape or form the same plants but they all have composite flowers with large outer petals surrounding a central disk (which is composed of individual "flowers"... This is one of the distinctions of their family). So when I say "daisy" I could be referring to any one of those and many more.

The problem with current languages and species is such. The common words refer to certain ideas which may refer to set things that may not mean the same scientifically, or, may change over time.

So they use latin and ancient greek at times (dead languages, and latin has the added bonus of having cognates with many of the mainly used languages, so, although we speak english, french, spanish, italian, etc all are based on latin so the names are easier to figure out)

The system we use is based on classifications set forth by Linnaeus and is based on physical features, (lately there's a flurry of reclassifications andrenaming happening as we switch to basing it off of genetics). And it's much bigger than just those two names.

So that frog that you saw might actually be Animalia (animal, differentiating it from microbes, fungus and plants) Chordata (has a central nervous system, unlike I believe starfish, worms, and other things) Amphibia (amphibians, rather than birds, mammals, fish, or reptiles) Salientia (meaning to jump, which is a defining characteristic for frogs, hence why they use it to mean "frog" and differentiating it from salamanders, newts and other amphibians that are not frogs) Anura (meaning tailless, because proto-frog species may have included tails), Centrolenidae, (which refers to glass frogs of all sorts of frogs, but the name itself refers to where they are from, which is central america, where that particular family is almost all found or were originally found) of the sub family/order Hyalinobatrachium (which literally translates to "glass frog" but differentiates it from other frogs in the family), and "dianae" which in this case, bears the name of the person who discovered it, or is given by its discoverer for some meaning.

In this case, he named it after his mother or someone. BUT, a lot have different references. Albus would mean a white variety, oleorica could reference a particularly oily variety, etc. Sativa, as potent sativa mentioned when talking about his username, referenced the fat that it meant "cultivated" and that's true. Cucumis Sativa means the more cultivated species within the Cucumis order, and is the name of, well, the garden variety of cucumber)

Each step down allows us to classify something better and better, and creates a system of naming a specific species from the millions (maybe even hundred of millions) of species existing today, and the billions that once existed. (I think there's an estimated 500,000 plantr species that we know still exist, and that's only estimated to be 1% of ALL plant species that ever existed)

So... yeah.. Things get kinda long when you start naming and differentiating things.

and those differentiations are important. Not just for helping name a specific one thing, but also in telling the history of those plants and how evolution probably happened where each group kinda split off. So the classification represents evolutionary history in that regard.

Speciation is important (though a lot of this can be hotly contested on whether we create the label of "species" or if its a naturally occurring "thing" but that's a philosophical debate) because generally it's restricted to a group of living things that can interbreed and produce viable offspring that, in turn, can interbreed. Back to those examples for a moment, you can't interbreed an english daisy (Bellis perrenias) with a cape daisy (Osteospermum grandiflorum) for example.. Or a cape daisy with a Gerber daisy (Gerbera ambigua). Just not happening.

BUT, let's say you're growing rutabegas and brussel sprouts (believe it or not, they're both Brassica oelerica ), you probably won't want to be saving your seeds for next year because although each is a different vegetable, they're both the same species, and will probably pollinate each other incredibly easily, and your seed will probably either somewhat resemble both parent plants, or may instead represent an uncultivated version of the species. (with neither of the traits that were painstakingly cultivated in either)

Same can be true with squashes. Cucurbita moschata (butternut squash) and Cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) have the same genus, they may also cross breed (though it might be a little more difficult than if it was in the same species, like that pumpkin and a zucchini, which are both Cucurbita pepo)

Grafting trees it can be the same. Growing peaches on an almond tree is much more plausible than growing peaches on a walnut tree via grafting because almonds and peaches are actually much more closely related than many people may think (and, walnuts produce chemicals that kill off non-walnut plants)...

Anyway, the names have a LOT more importance than one many realize.
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Posted 4/18/15
I don't know, but the longest word has 189,819 letters...and that is a type of protein (from what I found), so that seems a little overboard.
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Posted 4/18/15

Lord_Jordan wrote:

I don't know, but the longest word has 189,819 letters...and that is a type of protein (from what I found), so that seems a little overboard.


but that is a very very obscure name for the protein, and it's probably abbreviated to something shorter for the sake of use.

The long name, however, references to its constituent chemical parts and how they are arranged into the shape of said protein.
Posted 4/18/15
I don't think it really matters unless you're a science person or have to deal with it on a daily basis.
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Posted 4/18/15
Yes. Although for everyday discussion, it seems pointlessly long, when it comes to scientific papers we need to be extremely clear what we're talking about. And to be fair, every scientific discipline has its own nomenclature. Chemical names get ridiculously long, but when the chemical name sees enough use, we make a vernacular or acronym for it.

For example, alcohol in chemistry doesn't mean what alcohol usually means in the vernacular. Alcohol refers to a class of molecules; so if we want to be specific, we'd need to say ethanol instead of drinking alcohol. And, in this case, ethanol is already a special case of IUPAC naming--some IUPAC names get extremely long (e.g. caffeine). It's the same with biology: in everyday speech, we tend to use vernacular. You'll probably have some idea what I mean when I say ape; however ape is too broad a term in biology (since the family hominidae--or 'great apes'--refer to a family of species that also includes us humans). For a scientific paper, if the person is discussing "medicine given to an ape" is absolute useless: does this medicine work just as well for chimps as it does for humans or are they talking about gorillae or what? I think you get my point.
Posted 4/18/15
For someone who is into biology or botany they're probably more accustomed to that than the average layperson. Plus if it helps prevent confusion between 2 or more breeds then its a good thing.
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Posted 4/18/15 , edited 4/18/15
From an average person's perspective, the words just sound cool and look aesthetically pleasing in like a hipster way lol...

Like they look really edgy in band names and song titles and things like that.
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Posted 4/19/15
That's always how species have been named scientifically, though.
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