How Seashells are Named Article

How Seashells are Named

Shells are named using Systema Natuae which was developed by Swedish naturalist Karl Linne.

This system gives each species a two-part Latinized name consisting of genus and species. A genus name is like a person's surname. It appears first and is always capitalized. The species name is like a person's first name and is never capitalized. Following the Latin binomial comes the name of the person who scientifically proposed the binomial. Latin is used because it is a "dead" and unchanging language.

The common name of a shell varies from region to region and is usually in honor of a person, place, or description of the shell or animal.

For example - The common name of Pink Conch is also known by it's scientific Latin name as Strombus gigas Linne.

For more information on how shells are named, please visit the Conchologists of America site.

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