|We must've been through hundreds of books already and we can't find him anywhere —|
Taxonomy is the science of defining and naming groups of biological organisms on the basis of shared characteristics. Organisms were grouped together into taxa and these groups were given a taxonomic rank, creating a hierarchy: the principal ranks in use in the 21st century were (in descending order) kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species.
Wizarding creatures and plants were also subject to taxonomic classification:
- Trolls are grouped together in the Troglodytarum genus. Individual species include the Mountain Troll (Troglodytarum alpinum) and the Forest Troll (Troglodytarum sylvaticum).
- The proper taxonomic name of gnomes is, according to Xenophilius Lovegood, Gernumbli gardensi. It is unknown if there are other species of gnome in the Gernumbli genus, or if it's monospecific.
- Mimbulus is a genus of wizarding plants; Mimbulus mimbletonia is a very rare small grey cactus covered in boils endemic to Assyria.
- The scientific name for wormwood, Artemisia absinthium, is derived from the name of Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt and the Moon.
- Urtica diocia is the taxonomic name of the stinging nettle, or burn hazel, used in potion-making.
Behind the scenes
- Falco aesalon is the name given by English ornithologist Marmaduke Tunstall in 1771 to the Eurasian merlins, which he considered a different species from the North American kind, Falco columbarius (it is still not completely resolved if the two are different species or not). In the Harry Potter universe, Falco Aesalon was the name of an Ancient Greek wizard who, appropriately enough, could turn into a falcon at will, being the first Animagus on record.
Notes and references
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Illustrated Edition, by Jim Kay
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 8 (The Wedding)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 10 (Luna Lovegood)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Wonderbook: Book of Potions
- ↑ MinaLima Store - Circus Arcanus - Museum of Human Oddities Poster (see this image)