The current system of naming things was developed by Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778). This system is known as the Binomial Naming System and uses Latin to name things since it was the universal language of science when the system was developed. The genus and species names are written in italics, with the genus name starting with an upper case letter and the species name starting with a lower case letter, e.g., Homo sapiens, Phyllomedusa callidryas, Toxicocendron vernix, etc. Organisms in a particular structure are distinguished by having similar characteristics or features.

For example, all oak trees are similar in nature, and therefore go by the same genus name Quercus. Lastly, a species identifies the exact organism being referred to in a particular genus. However, it should be noted that the species name by itself may not be very specific, thus the need to combine the genus and species names when referring to a particular organism. In other words, some organisms have similar species names (State University System para 2-8).

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