Are yams and sweet potatoes the same?
1610s, "pattern, model," from Latin specimen "indication, mark, example, sign, evidence," from specere "to look at" (see scope (n.1)). Meaning "single thing regarded as typical of its kind" first recorded 1650s.
specimen spec·i·men (spěs'ə-mən)
A sample, as of tissue, blood, or urine, used for analysis and diagnosis.