What is Zoology?
Zoology is the branch of biology which focuses on the study of characteristics of animals and their habitat. Zoology emerged as a scientific discipline in the 19th century although study of animals started long back.
It deals with both living and extinct organisms. Zoology is derived from the Greek word Zoon (Animal) + Logos(Study). Zoology studies everything including structure of an organism, behavior, interaction with the surroundings, interaction with the organisms of the same species, interaction with organisms of different species. Animal Kingdom is classified on the basis of structure, embryology, evolution, habits, and distribution of all animals. Aristotle is considered as the Father of Zoology. Zoology is in turn classified into morphology, anatomy, embryology, physiology, histology, teratology and ethology. Modern Zoology owes it’s origin to British and German Universities. Thomas Huxley’s ideas were centered on morphology of animals. Zoology did not restrict itself to Huxley’s comparative anatomy.It expanded into Zoography, Animal Physiology, Behavioral Ecology, Ethology, Mammalogy, Herpetology, Ornithology and Entomology .Animal physiology studies the functioning and co ordination of respiratory,nervous,immune,endocrine and circulatory systems while anatomy stresses on organs and organ systems.The physiological principle is universal for every organism that is being studied.
Animal kingdom is the largest and the most diverse of all kingdoms. With the increase in human knowledge there came a need to subdivide the subject further. Zoology was divided into vertebrate zoology and invertebrate zoology. This division could not make the studies easier because more than 90% of the living organisms were vertebrates. The classic zoologists were interested in the discovery of new organisms while the zoologists of the 21st century concentrated on how animals respond to temperature and climate changes and how they obtain energy for their life processes. Observations and experimentation laid the foundation for the subject.The progression of zoology was slow but a steady process.