Scientific Name for Dogs – Dog Kennel Outdoor

The scientific name for dogs has been Canis lupus familiar is since 1993. For more than 200 years before that, the animal had been classified as both “Canis familiaris” and Domesticus. A term assigned by naturalist Carolus Linnaeus in 1758 is Latin for ‘of/related to common people. 

Linnaeus’s binomial nomenclature system classifies all living things into two parts: a genus (the group) and species (what it IS).

The Meaning of the Dog’s Scientific Name

In 1993, the Smithsonian Institution and American Association of Mammalogists reclassified dogs’ scientific name for Dogs to reflect their close relationship with wolves. It is now commonly accept that all breeds of domestic dog descend from this species–the wolf (Canis lupus).

Canis is the Latin word for dog, while lupus Wolves. Familiaris means to be friendly or familiar; thus Canidae can be translated as “friendly wolf-like dogs.”

How Linnaeus Came up with Scientific Names

Before Linnaeus’s work, the classification of animals was not well organized and could be very confusing. He first divided nature into three kingdoms. Animalia (including humans), Minerals with their kingdom called crystalline or mineral piles of the earth. Vegetables that include all plants but fungi were regard as part of this category rather than vegetation. Because they did not have stems or roots like other living things. So at least until now there have been six types instead.

Linnaeus introduced the idea of binomial nomenclature. Which helps to make scientific names shorter and more memorable. This system is use throughout all areas of science by the 1800s. Thanks in large part to his work with plants like Linnea Viridis (the common maidenhair fern).


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