Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login


Submitted on
December 5, 2012
Image Size
591 KB


3,504 (9 today)
89 (who?)
Nomenclature for Beginners by ChrisMasna Nomenclature for Beginners by ChrisMasna

How to write and abbreviate a "scientific name", under the Linnaean system, and according to the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.

The species is Tyrannosaurus rex, where rex is the specific epitetus. Here is called species because it gives the species, but it does not designate a species itself (it is never written just rex whithout the genus).

*Complete species should include author and year, though.

Example extracted from "The Complete Dinosaur, Second Edition".

Additional info (avalaible in Wikipedia):

T. rex may also refer to:

Tachyoryctes rex, the king mole rat, a rodent species
Tetragonodon rex, a seed shrimp species native to the Mozambique Channel
Thoristella rex, a sea snail species endemic to New Zealand
Trialeurodes rex, a whitefly species
Tyrannasorus rex, a fossil beetle species from the Miocene
Tyrannobdella rex, a leech species
Tyrannoberingius rex, a fossil gastropod from Miocene Alaska

Dinosaur Legs for beginners:
A Guide to Legs by ChrisMasna
Add a Comment:
Theridula Featured By Owner Edited 11 hours ago
Hello! I love your work. Thanks for posting this type of information. 

That said, I have a minor correction to this work. Technically, the "complete" species name includes the author who described it and the year it was published. In the case of T. rex, that would look like this: Tyrannosaurus rex Osborn, 1905. Obviously, most of the time species names are written without the authorship, but nevertheless leaving the authorship off is still "incomplete". Hope that is helpful!
chill13 Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for this!  Although I've read a lot of dinosaur books this fact really didn't sink
in.  Nice to know how to do it correctly.  You very rarely see that unless it's a scientific text book.  Too bad.
ChrisMasna Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014
I agree, there's a lack of intermediate-level dinosaur books!
guilmon182 Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, because it's so ingrained in my head to right it hat way, I will continue to write it T-rex, no matter what anyone says!!
ChrisMasna Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2014
I encourage you to not do's not hard to remember!
DinoHunter2 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014  Student General Artist
I think Kopout raised a fair point that T-Rex could possibly be considered the common name by now, but still, thank you for making this! Most people I run into don't know that T. rex is the proper way of writing it and get confused when I try to explain it to them. Hopefully this makes its way around DA and educates at least a few viewers.
Zippo4k Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014
I REALLY bothers me seeing people capitalizing both genus & species names. I also cringe when people pretend to build fake scientific names for their fictional creatures, which really isn't a bad thing except when they don't follow the rules for nomenclature & think they just have to string a bunch of Latin- or Greek-sounding words together.
ChrisMasna Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2014
100% agree with you.
Zippo4k Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014
Also, it makes me so happy to see all the synonyms for T. rex listed in the artist's comments. :D
PineRain Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This makes me really happy :)
Add a Comment: