The key difference between classification and binomial nomenclature is that classification is the organizing of living organisms into groups based on their similarities and differences while binomial nomenclature is a binomial system of naming a species using the generic name and the species name.
Classification and binomial nomenclature are two related parts in taxonomy, but they are not the same. Classification organizes living organisms into groups based on their similarities and differences. In contrast, binomial nomenclature names a species using two terms: genus name and species name. Both classification and binomial nomenclature help to differentiate species from one another.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Classification
3. What is Binomial Nomenclature
4. Similarities Between Classification and Binomial Nomenclature
5. Side by Side Comparison – Classification vs Binomial Nomenclature in Tabular Form
What is Classification?
Classification is the grouping of organisms based on similarities and differences. It organizes living organisms into groups; hence it is easy to study about them. Classification is one of the most important components in taxonomy. There are different levels of classification. They are domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species. Domain is the highest level of organization, while the lowest level is the species. When going down along the level of organization from highest to lowest, we can find more similar characteristics.
Early classification systems used physical characteristics of organisms to group them. But modern classification systems use a variety of techniques including genetic analysis during the classification. For example, scientists classify honey bee as follows.
What is Binomial Nomenclature?
Binomial nomenclature (binary nomenclature or two-term naming system) is the scientific naming system of living organisms. It is a two-term naming system developed to name organisms scientifically. Carl Linnaeus formalized the binomial nomenclature as the modern system of naming organisms. Taxonomists use binomial nomenclature, especially when studying and identifying organisms.
A binomial name, also known as scientific name, consists of two parts. The first name implies the generic name (genus name) while the second name implies the species name. Therefore, a particular species gets a unique name according to the binomial nomenclature. For example, the extant human species scientific name is Homo sapiens. Pyrus malus is the scientific name of apple. Generic name begins with a capital letter while species name begins with a small letter. Moreover, binomial names are usually typeset in italics. When handwritten, a binomial name should be underlined.
What are the Similarities Between Classification and Binomial Nomenclature?
- Taxonomy includes classification and binomial nomenclature.
- Taxonomists use both classification and binomial nomenclature when studying and identifying organisms.
What is the Difference Between Classification and Binomial Nomenclature?
In classification, living organisms are arranged into groups based on their similarities while in binomial nomenclature, a particular species is named using two names – genus name and species name. So, this is the key difference between classification and binomial nomenclature. Taxonomy includes both classification and binomial nomenclature. Besides, in classification, there are eight major levels while in binomial nomenclature, there are two terms.
Below is a summary of the difference between classification and binomial nomenclature in tabular form.
Summary – Classification vs Binomial Nomenclature
Classification is the grouping of living organisms based on their similarities and differences. There is a hierarchy in classification. Meanwhile, binomial nomenclature is the biological system that names a particular species using two terms; genus name and species name. Thus, this is the key difference between classification and binomial nomenclature. However, classification and binomial nomenclature are two related components in taxonomy. Both are useful when studying and identifying organisms.
1. “Biological classification L Pengo” By Peter Halasz. (User:Pengo) – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Carl von Linné” By Alexander Roslin – Nationalmuseum press photo (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia