ELI5: Explain Like I'm 5

international code of zoological nomenclature

Okay kiddo, so you know how when we give names to things, it helps us remember and talk about them? Well, scientists do the same thing with animals, plants, and other organisms. But because there are so many different kinds of animals and they can be found all over the world, we need some special rules to make sure everyone uses the same names.

That's where something called the international code of zoological nomenclature comes in. It's like a big book of rules that scientists use to decide what to call different animals. These rules help make sure that if a scientist in one country discovers a new kind of animal and gives it a name, other scientists all over the world will use the same name for that animal.

Now, you might be thinking, "why can't scientists just name animals whatever they want?" Well, that's because there are already so many names out there for different animals, and some animals might have more than one name that people use. Plus, imagine if someone discovered a new kind of fish and gave it a silly name like "Mr. Wiggles." Other scientists might not take it seriously or might not know what that fish is without having to look it up.

So, the international code of zoological nomenclature helps keep things organized and makes sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to the names of different animals. It's like having a big book of rules that say, "if you discover a new animal, here's how you should name it." That way, everyone knows what to do and there's no confusion about what an animal is called.