Did you know that Tyrannosaurus rex could have been called Manospondylus gigas? The rules of scientific nomenclature usually dictate that when more than one name for a species is discovered has been given, the older one prevails. Luckily, common sense won out in the case of T. Rex, and this most famous dinosaur was allowed to keep the newer name that both scientists and the general public had become familiar with.
Carolus Linnaeus, the “father of taxonomy,” developed a uniform system for naming plants and animals to ensure that each species has a unique name. This module outlines rules of forming two-term taxonomic names according to genus and species. The module gives examples of naming controversies and describes how they were resolved, including by bending the rules in regard to certain famous beasts.