- Why do species have Latin names?
- Why do some species have more than one common name?
- How does the process of naming help scientists organize and understand the tree of life?
The answers lie in the scientific processes of systematics, species identification, and naming of species. “What’s in a Name?” tells this story through four interactive exhibits - Honeybees, Dimetrodon, Jellies and Poison Ivy – at the Harvard Museum of Natural History , and eight more online “Species Stories”. Together these exhibits show how scientists identify and name species, how names are the product of scientific research and the progression of knowledge over time, and how museum and library collections are crucial to this endeavor.
Bees by David Illig via Flickr:EOL Images. CC BY-NC-SA; Restoration of Dimetrodon grandis by Bogdanov. CC BY; Chrysaora melanaster by Kevin Raskoff via Arctic Ocean Diversity. CC BY-NC-SA ; Toxicodendron radicans (L.) Kuntze by USDA NCRS Plants Database. Pubic Domain