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International Code of Zoological Nomenclature
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International Code of Zoological Nomenclature

The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) is a set of rules in zoology that have one fundamental aim: to provide the maximum universality and continuity in classifying all animals according to taxonomic judgment. The Code is meant to guide the nomenclature of animals, while leaving the zoologists some degree of freedom in naming and classifying new species.

The rules in the Code determine what names are potentially valid for any taxon including the ranks of subspecies and superfamily. Its provisions can be waived or modified in their application to a particular case when strict adherence would cause confusion. Such exceptions are not made by an individual scientist, no matter how well-respected within his or her field, but only by the Commission, acting on behalf of all zoologists. The Commission takes such action in response to proposals submitted to it.

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