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...
Southern Africa bushveldLast Updated on 2015-04-25 15:22:13
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 »
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 »
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