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...
HerbivoreLast Updated on 2015-06-11 10:34:01A herbivore is an animal that derives 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 »
Madagascar dry deciduous forestsLast Updated on 2015-06-02 11:51:21
WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection
The Madagascar dry deciduous forests of western Madagascar are some of the world’s most species rich and most distinctive tropical dry forests. They are characterized by very high local plant and animal endemism at the species, genera and family levels. A significant fraction of these dry forests have been previously cleared, and the remaining forests are fragmented and critically threatened by uncontrolled burning and cuttining for charcoal production, grazing and agriculture. Since human settlement of this region during the Holocene, an estimated 97 percent of the island’s dry deciduous western forests have been destroyed, and those remaining are extremely localized and fragmented. This ecoregion also contains spectacular limestone karst formations, known as tsingy, and their associated forests,... More »
Southern Africa bushveldLast Updated on 2015-05-02 20:03:07
WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection
The Southern Africa bushveld is an element of the vast savannas that cover much of southern Africa. There is low endemism in this ecoregion for both flora or fauna, but the charismatic large mammals and rich birdlife characteristic of African savannas are in evidence. The rugged Waterberg Mountains contain the highest levels of species richness and endemism in the region, and are noted for their reptilian endemism. Cattle ranching and urban expansion from the nearby Pretoria-Witwatersrand-Vereeniging complex are the major threats to the conservation of this ecoregion. However, ecotourism has become a major land-use commitment in the bushveld and has led to the establishment of a number of small nature reserves and private game parks, which augment the conservation status of this ecoregion.
The Southern... More »
WildlifeLast Updated on 2014-12-07 15:36:41Wildlife refers to the animals and related plants in a state of nature, or the species of fauna that are not domesticated or tame and are also indigenous to an area, region or range. The expression is relatively recent in origin dating to Richard Jefferies' 1879 work discussing the various animal species in the Wiltshire Downs in southern Britain. Jefferies insisted, “glance into the hedgerow, the copse, or stream,” and “there" you find "nature’s children as unrestrained in their wild, free life as they were in the …backwoods of primitive England.”
The term wildling is much older, however, as is wildness from which wildlife is derivative, being used for example by William Shakespeare to refer to those qualities of living things not under the influence or control of humans. Charles Darwin when referring to artificial selection... More »
Mississippi RiverLast Updated on 2014-11-29 22:15:22The Mississippi River drains the largest river basin in North America, and is one of the major rivers of the world.
The Mississippi River watershed is the fourth largest in the world, extending from the Allegheny Mountains in the east to the Rocky Mountains in the west. The watershed includes all or parts of 31 states and two Canadian provences. The watershed measures approximately 1.2 million square miles (3.1 million square kilometers), covering about 40% of the lower 48 states. The Mississippi drains most of the United States between the Appalachian Mountains in the east and the Rocky Mountains in the West.
The mainstream of the Mississippi River has headwaters rising at Lake Itasca, Minnesota and flows approximately 2340 miles (3765 km). Though the longest part of the river includes the the Missouri River which flows approximately 2540 miles (4088 km) before joining the... More »
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