What is Zoology?

Zoology is the scientific study of animals. This is a sub discipline of biology (i.e. the study of living things). Zoology itself can be sub divided into:

  • Vertebrate Zoology is the study of animals that have backbones (including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals)
  • Invertebrate zoology is the study of animals that lack backbones (including insects, spiders, crustaceans, worms, shellfish, and others. Single celled animals are usually excluded though).

Another way of subdividing zoology is into different types of characteristics such as:

  • Anatomy or anatomical zoology, is concerned with the structural characteristics of animals.
  • Taxonomy or taxonomic zoology is concerned with the way animals are classified.
  • Animal physiology studies the functions and metabolic processes that support life in animals.
  • Animal behaviour (i.e. Ethology) studies the behavioural characteristics and patterns of animals
  • Animal genetics which studies the genetic characteristics.

Further sub disciplinary areas of study include animal anthropology, embryology, sociobiology, ecology and others.

What is a Zoologist?

A zoologist is a biologist who studies the structure, function, ecology, environments and characteristics of animals. For example they need knowledge of:

  • Animal environment interactions 
  • Animal growth, nutrition, predation, prey, reproduction and social interactions
  • Anatomy and physiology of animals
  • Population surveys

Zoologists will usually specialise in a specific species or specific area of study.

Zoology Career Professionals are not just Zoologists though  

Many people who study zoology certificates, diplomas or degrees may start out planning to become a zoologist; but in reality, most end up doing other things. They still work with animals, but in other ways. Any education in zoology is a great foundation for working with any types of animals (wildlife, pets or livestock); either directly caring for those animals, or in providing goods or services in support of or related to animals.

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