A- If we find a species that has never been identified before we will get to name it but it won’t happen right away. The first thing we will have to do is make absolutely sure it is a new species and if it really is we’ll need to write up a very detailed description so we can share that with other scientists around the world.

If it all checks out okay we can give it a name (some species are named after the scientist who found them or the area they were found in) but there are some rules to follow with its scientific name http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Code_of_Zoological_Nomenclature to make sure it provides useful information for other researchers that study the fish in the future.

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2 Responses to “Q- If you find a new species of fish will you get to give it a name right away? And can you call it anything you like?”

  1. Stephen Beasley

    I hate to be a stickler, but a new species isn’t a so much a new’ species as much it is a ‘previously unknown’ species.

    • Melanie Cooper

      Hi Stephen, you’re right, I’ll be a bit more careful with my language – I was paraphrasing our scientists, should have copied it down verbatim! Hopefully we’ll discover some previously unknown species!


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