Zoology is the branch of biology that studies the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct, and how they interact with their ecosystems. The term Zoology is derived from Ancient Greek word zoion,means “animal” and logos means “knowledge, study”.
It is the scientific study of animal life. It covers areas ranging from the structure of organisms to the sub cellular unit of life. Others are concerned with the structure and function of animal bodies. Still others study how new animals are formed and how their characteristics are passed on from one generation to another. Zoologists study the interactions of animals with one another and their environments, as well as the significance of the behavior of animals.
The study of zoology can be viewed as a series of efforts to analyze and classify animals. The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle is credited with devising the system of classifying animals that recognized similarities among diverse organisms in the fourth century, he arranged groups of animals according to mode of reproduction and habitat. Zoology began to emerge as a science in the 12th century and long was dominated by studies of anatomy and efforts at classifying animals.
Zoology today is as diverse as the animal kingdom it studies, broadening its range to include such fields as genetics and biochemistry. It now is considered an interdisciplinary field that applies a great variety of techniques to obtain knowledge of the animal kingdom. For instance, the genetic study of DNA from various animals can provide insights into their evolutionary history. Zoologists who concentrate on the morphology the study of structure, including muscles, bones, cells and cellular components employ many techniques first developed in the biochemistry lab.
Branches of Zoology
According to Huxley’s comparative anatomy to include the following sub-disciplines:
- Animal physiology
- Behavioral ecology
- Ethology studies animal behavior
- Invertebrate zoology
- Vertebrate zoology
- Soil zoology