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 a...
SpeciesLast Updated on 2014-09-15 11:53:19A species is a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring of both genders, and separated from other such groups with which interbreeding does not characteristically occur: however, for asexual organisms, a distinct species may be considered a collection of organisms which have very similar DNA or physical characteristics. Certain species are further subdivided into subspecies.
The early Greeks and Romans had a well established set of taxonomic names for species of animals and plants, based upon the macroscopically observable characteristics of organisms, with Aristotle being the chief architect of this codification; even earlier, the Egyptians and Cretans developed basic symbols and names for species important in farming and culture. It was not until the year 1686 when English naturalist John Ray introduced the concept that species were... More »
Climate change effects on birdsLast Updated on 2014-09-06 19:35:56
Many birds species all over the world are highly sensitive to the effects of climate change. Scientists have found declines of up to 90 percent in some bird populations, as well as total and unprecedented reproductive failure in others, althought the role of any change in climate is typically not determined. Population declines generally have several associative causal factors including habitat loss, habitat fragmentation and pollution.
Specific groups that are at high risk from climate change include migratory birds, mountain birds, island birds, wetland birds, Arctic birds, Antarctic birds and seabirds. Bird species that can move easily to new habitat are expected to continue to do well; however, bird species that thrive only in a narrow environmental range can be expected to decline, and to be outcompeted by invasive species.
With a 0.8°C average... More »
Malaysia Collection- Ecology and BiodiversityLast Updated on 2014-07-01 17:27:52The Malaysia Collection: Ecology and Biodiversity includes a variety of scientific articles on the ecoregions of Malaysia, as well as specific species articles. The following outline is a guide to the articles of this collection:
Borneo lowland rainforests
Borneo montane rainforests
Borneo peat swamp Fforests
Kinabalu montane alpine meadows
Myanmar coast mangroves
Peninsular Malaysian montane rainforests
Peninsular Malaysian peat swamp forests
Peninsular Malaysian rainforests
South China Sea Islands
Sunda Shelf mangroves
Tenasserim-South Thailand semi-evergreen rainforests
Biological diversity in Indo-Burma
Biological diversity in Sundaland
Malaysia - Forests, Grasslands, and Drylands Factsheet (WRI)
Forests of Borneo
Terrestrial mammals of Malaysia
Marine mammals of... More »
HerbivoreLast Updated on 2014-06-29 19:25:53A 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 »
Arctic species diversityLast Updated on 2014-06-20 16:40:50Arctic species diversity is generally low, and decreases from the boreal forests to the polar deserts of the extreme north. Only about three percent (approximately 5900 species) of the global flora (excluding algae ) occur in the Arctic north of the treeline. However, primitive plant species (mosses and lichens) are particularly abundant. Although the number of plant species in the Arctic is low in general, individual communities of small arctic plants have a diversity similar to or higher than those of boreal and temperate zones: there can be up to 25 species per square decimeter. Latitudinal gradients suggest that arctic plant diversity is sensitive to climate , and species number is least sensitive to temperature near the southern margin of the tundra. The temperature gradient that has such a strong influence on species diversity occurs over much shorter... More »
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