Zoology is the study of all of the many forms of animal life. These forms range from microscopic planktonic species to the largest fauna that inhabit the seas and land. As a division of biology, the field of zoology involves the entirety of animal taxonomy or the familial tree of all fauna.
The discipline of zoological study encompasses animal locomotion, feeding behavior, social behavior, reproductive behavior, and all other animal species characteristics as well as morphology.
The term zoology derives from the Greek words zōon (or animal) and logos (or knowledge).
The image featured to the right hints at the wide diversity of animal life subject to the purview of zoology (Source: Wikimedia Commons).
The Diadem roundleaf bat (Scientific name:Hipposideros diadema) is an impressive sight amongst the trees of the rainforest; this large bat is a formidable hunter with...
HerbivoreLast Updated on 2014-02-13 16:58:29A herbivore is an animal that obtains its energy and nutrients by feeding on plants. Different types of herbivores eat different plant parts. For example, folivores feed on leaves, frugivores feed on fruits, granivores feed on seeds, pollinivores feed on pollen, and nectarivores feed on nectar. Herbivores can vary greatly in size, ranging from the largest terrestrial animals (elephants) and large marine mammals such as manatees and dugongs to small insects, nematodes and thrips. Herbivores are primary consumers (they receive their energy by consuming primary producers), so they play an important trophic role in ecological communities and food webs.
Because mature leaves are low in nutrients, and difficult to digest because of their high cellulose content, animals use many different strategies to eat leaves. Animals that feed on grass leaves are generally... More »
RespirationLast Updated on 2014-01-31 16:43:42Respiration is the gas exchange effected by living organisms for the purpose of sustaining vital metabolic processes. In the case of most animals, oxygen is taken into the organism, and carbon dioxide is expelled. In the case of plants, the inverse process occurs of consuming carbon dioxide and expelling oxygen as a waste gas.
Respiration may also be viewed at a cellular level, examining gas exchange at the cell wall; for very simple organisms, such as unicellular lifeforms, the process of gas exchange with the environment is simplified, so that cellular wall gas exchange is the totality of respiration for such an organism.
In the case of some bacteria and archaea, respiration sometimes occurs without any oxygen, and alternative molecular gases such as hydrogen sulfide or methane may participate in respiration and subsequent cellular metabolic reactions. Often such organisms are... More »
Emperor penguinLast Updated on 2014-01-16 15:03:05The Emperor penguin (scientific name: Aptenodytes forsteri G. R. Gray, 1844) is one of seventeen species of flightless birds in the family of penguins, and with the King penguin forms the genus Aptenodytes or "Great penguins".
Class:------ Aves (Birds)
Family:-------- Spheniscidae (Penguins)
Genus:--------- Aptenodytes (Great Penguins)
Species:--------- Aptenodytes forsteri G. R. Gray, 1844
Like all penguins, the Emperor penguin is characterized by its erect posture, stiff wings, excellent swimming ability, awkward movement out of water, and coloring. The black back and white front, make penguins difficult to... More »
Southern Pacific dry forestsLast Updated on 2013-11-23 13:16:48The Southern Pacific dry forests ecoregion is situated along the southeastern versant of the Sierra Madre del Sur Mountains including the Pacific Ocean coastal plain. These forests are a key locus of endemism for butterflies, and has the greatest diversity of scorpions and spiders in the entirety of Mexico. This ecoregion is classified in the Tropical and Subtropical Dry Broadleaf Forests biome. The Southern Pacific dry forests exhibit a moderate to high faunal species richness; for example, there are a total of 744 vertebrate taxa recorded in the ecoregion, with a particularly large number of endemic reptiles.
However, little of the original habitat is extant, since agriculture development for fruit and coffee plantations has occurred on a broad scale. Also, overgrazing by sheep has severely degraded vegetation and produced widespread soil erosion.
The Southern Pacific dry... More »
Panamanian dry forestsLast Updated on 2013-11-04 17:59:07The Panamanian dry forests ecoregion occupies approximately 2000 square miles of coastal and near-coastal areas on the Pacific side of Panama, around portions of the Gulf of Panama.
Originally, the Panama dry forests were distributed exclusively in the lower and premontane portions of the Pacific versanta region of land sloping in one general direction (0-800 metres in elevation), around the Gulf of Panama;. This ecoregion has a dry climate and intermediate flora diversity, which is distributed in distinct areas, such as small residual deciduous and semi-deciduous forests and gallery forests along the rivers.
Habitat destruction of this ecoregion has been extensive, with overgrazing, agricultural conversion and urbanization and resultant fragmentation, strong pressure for cattle ranching, burning, and hunting.This process of habitat destruction began in earnest with the Spanish... More »
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