We explain what zoology is and what its topics of interest are. In addition, the branches of study of this discipline and some examples.
What is zoology?
Zoology is the branch, within biology , which is responsible for the study of animals . Some of the aspects that zoology addresses have to do with:
- The distribution and behavior of animals .
- The anatomical and morphological descriptions of each species .
- The relationship between each species and the rest of the living beings that surround it.
The term “zoology” comes from Greek and is translated as “science or animal study . ” Aristotle was the first zoologist since he devoted himself to taxonomy, that is, to the description and cataloging of numerous species.
Later, thanks to the improvements and improvements in the microscope achieved by the Dutchman Anton van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723), progress was made in the study of tissues and species , which until now had never been addressed.
What does zoology study?
Zoology studies animals from very different angles. Zoologists are dedicated, for example, to the realization of morphological (the outer part) and anatomical (their organs and systems) descriptions of each species.
Zoology is also dedicated to study, describe and understand the behavior of species within their habitat and their distribution in the different territories of the planet.
Zoologists also address the ecology of the species: the links and relationships that each species maintains with the rest of the organisms that are part of its habitat.
Finally, zoology is responsible for conducting taxonomic classifications , which address the systematic tabulation of those factors that allow each animal species to be identified, extinct or not. These classifications are the result of exploration by zoologists, and also include data on the distribution over time and space of each of the identified species.
Following all the subtopics that zoology addresses, it is divided into two large groups:
- General zoology It addresses the generic and common aspects of different species.
- Descriptive zoology. It carries out the taxonomic classifications of each animal, the distribution of each of the species and the specific descriptions of the various groups.
Branches of zoology
Within the zoology different branches are identified, which are defined from the studies carried out. In general zoology the following branches are found:
- Morphology. Study the forms and structures of the different organisms and organs, carrying out a description of the body parts and their disposition, as well as the external physical characteristics of each species.
- Ethology It is responsible for addressing the behavior of animals in relation to the habitat in which it develops and what are the mechanisms that condition their behavior .
- Embryology. It addresses the development and formation of the animal embryo.
- Histology . It is responsible for addressing the structure and composition of tissues.
- Anatomy . It addresses the size, shape, situation, structure, shape and quantity of internal and external parts of the body of each species. Within the branch of the anatomy are the following subdivisions:
- Pathological Address the effects of diseases on species.
- Compared. It is in charge of studying the differences and similarities that are registered between the organs of the human being and the rest of the species.
- Topographic Study the relationships established between different organs in the same place.
- Descriptive. It makes descriptions about the size, shape, location and relationships of the different organs that a species has.
- Physiology . It addresses the physiological functions of each organism, including the chemical and physical processes that occur in each species.
- Genetics . Study the modifications and genetic inheritance of the species.
- Ecology . It is responsible for the study of the links between animals and their environment .
Within the descriptive zoology the different branches are identified:
- Zoogeography It is dedicated to addressing the geographical location of animals.
- Melacology It is dedicated to the study of mollusks.
- Mastozoology It is dedicated to the study of mammals .
- Parasitology. It covers the study of live parasites and parasitism relationships.
- Taxonomy . It is dedicated to the classification of the various species through comparisons of different types, for example, anatomical or morphological. This branch is the one that includes each animal in a certain species, gender, family, kingdom , and so on.
- Entomology. Study insects from different angles: taxonomy, morphology, genetics, among others.
- Paleozoology It is dedicated to the study of animal fossils.
- Ichthyology. It focuses on the study of fish.
- Phylogeny. It is responsible for the study of the evolution of animals, that is, how they pass from simple to complex forms.
There is a huge number of branches within zoology, which are characterized by their specificity. Some examples are the following:
- Herpetology Study reptiles and amphibians .
- Ornithology. Study the birds.
- Helminthology Study helminths, that is, parasitic worms.
- Arachnology Study spiders.