Synonym (taxonomy)

Synonym (Taxonomy)

Synonym (taxonomy)

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In scientific nomenclature, synonyms are different scientific names used for a single taxon. Usage and terminology are different for zoology and botany.


In zoological nomenclature, synonyms are different scientific names that pertain to the same taxon, for example two names for the same species. One basic principle of zoological nomenclature is that the earliest correctly published and available name (the senior synonym) takes precedence and must be used for the taxon, if no other restrictions interfere. The other names are junior synonyms and would usually not be used. Synonyms are important because if the earliest name cannot be used (for example because the same name had previously been established for another taxon), then the next available junior synonym must be used for the taxon.

Objective synonyms unambiguously refer to the same taxon; this is the case if species-group taxa are based on the same type specimen, and if genus-group taxa are either based on the same type species or if their type species are themselves objective synonyms. If two species-group taxa that are not based on the same name-bearing type specimen are considered to belong to the same species, they are subjective synonyms, meaning that there is room for debate: one researcher might consider the two (or more) types to refer to one and the same species or subspecies, another might consider them distinct.

For example, John......
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