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What is Zoology? - Definition, Branches & Tools

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  • 0:03 What is Zoology?
  • 0:41 Branches of Zoology
  • 3:28 Tools of Zoology
  • 4:10 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson will give you an overview of zoology. First, the field is defined. Then, you'll get an idea of the many branches of zoology and a taste of the wide variety of tools a zoologist may need.

What Is Zoology?

Do you like animals? More than likely, you do. Do you like classifying things? Anatomy? Physiology? If you answered yes to all three, then perhaps zoology may be something for you to consider. Zoology involves the study of animals. Not just any study, but how to classify animals, their history, their anatomy and physiology, their development, and so much more.

Just like there are many components to zoology, there are many branches of zoology and tools zoologists use to do their job well. This lesson gives you an overview of all of those things.

Branches of Zoology

There are so many amazing branches of zoology. To learn about a few of them, we're going to meet some zoologists. First up is Dr. Jane. Dr. Jane works in the Amazon rainforest. She studies all sorts of things many people are afraid of; things that aren't warm-blooded. She's also afraid of stepping on her study subjects for fear of hearing a 'crunch'. Did you guess what Dr. Jane studies? Insects! She's an entomologist, or a person who studies insects.

Entomology is the study of insects.
Beetles

Next up is Dr. Bob. Dr. Bob actually works for the same team as Dr. Jane, so he's also in the Amazon rainforest. However, he doesn't work so much on land as he does on a boat on the Amazon River. He doesn't study microscopic things in the water either. You probably already guessed what he studies. Dr. Bob is an ichthyologist, a person who studies fish.

If neither insects nor fish are up your alley, then maybe Dr. Mary will pique your interest in the field of zoology. Dr. Mary's heroes when growing up were the Wright brothers. She also uses big nets strung up across the air to try and catch her study subjects, like a spider would catch flies. If you've guessed Dr. Mary loves to study birds and flight, you're right! That's because she is an ornithologist, or a person who studies birds.

Depending on your perspective, birds are somewhat related to what Dr. Jim studies. Dr. Jim can be found in arid locations around the world looking for wavy tracks in the sand and dirt. He's also found alongside ponds in the middle of forests, listening for tell-tale sounds of what he's looking for. Have you guessed what Dr. Jim studies? Dr. Jim is a herpetologist, or someone who studies reptiles and amphibians.

Herpetology is the study of reptiles and, like this now extinct golden toad, amphibians.
Frog

There are plenty more branches of zoology and related fields that encompass zoological aspects, including but not limited to:

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