Florida Museum of Natural History

Scientific names can be intimidating at first. However, they also can be enjoyable to learn and understand.

In the past, Greek and Latin were considered fundamental to a good education. These ancient languages remain the basis of scientific terminology. In modern times, a good education requires more highly specialized study, so not everybody learns Greek and Latin. Consequently, many begin their scientific studies intimidated by the new vocabulary they must master.

We think knowing what the names mean will help you to remember them as well as the special characteristics of the animal.

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