Why is Carolus Linnaeus so important?  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Carl Linnaeus (May 23, 1707 - January 10, 1778), or Carolus Linnaeus in a Latin rendering, was a Swedish man who is well regarded as one of the founders of modern ecology and taxonomy. His work was the origin of binomial nomenclature, or the use of two names for an organism. Examples of this are Homo sapien (modern human) and Canis domesticus (domestic dog). These binomial names feature a genus and a species; the genus is a group of related animals, such as dogs, wolves, and dingos, while the species is one particular set of that group, like the grey wolf.

While most of his system for classification is no longer used, evidence of it is still strong within taxonomy, and many of the plants and animals he classified are still listed with the same names he gave them 250 years ago.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial