Zoology is the scientific study of all animal lives that are present on this planet whether o land or sea. It encompasses animal anatomy, animal physiology, behavior, biochemistry, evolution, genetics, ecology and conservation. Zoology studies also involve animals that have become extinct apart from studying the living ones.
The history of Zoology can be traced back to ancient times. Although the concept of zoology as a single coherent field came much later but zoological science had its origin in study of natural history from the times of Aristotle. The biological works of Aristotle and Galen date back to ancient Greco-Roman world. Their work was further developed thought the middle ages by the Muslim physicians. During the Renaissance and early modern period with the discovery of many novel organisms, the interest in the subject was renewed and experiments and observation of the physiology took prominence. Naturalist like Carl Linnaeus, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Buffon started to classify the diversity of life that they encountered in their experimentation and observation of not just the living organism and life around them but also studying the fossil records. With the invention of the microscope revealed a new world of micro-organism previously unknown, unseen and unheard of. It also paved way for laying the initial ground work for cell theory. From the 18th century onwards Zoology became a must sought after professional scientific discipline. Explorer and naturalist started investigating the life and interactions between the organism and the environment they live in. These studies laid the foundations for biogeography, ecology and ethology or the study of animal behavior under natural conditions. Charles Darwin, American and German Ornithologists, Charles O.Whitman, Oskar Heinroth and Wallace Craig's works were the ones who laid the foundation of scientific Ethological studies through their research and observation which they had documented. Ethology is a combination of laboratory and field science and also has a strong relation with other disciplines like neuro-anatomy, ecology and evolutionary biology.
Zoology is also a part or a branch of biology. It studies the structure and physiology of the animal from the molecular level to the whole organism. Every aspect of its life cycle is taken into consideration, individual animals, their classification, the behavior of the animal, population and distribution in its natural habitat, and interactions with other animals within the living and non living environment. As zoology studies a plethora of living o once living organism, it is a very diverse field. The study of this multitude species of animals hence it includes numerous sub-disciplines;
The structure and the physiology of the animals are studied under the scope of Anatomy, Embryology, pathology, Animal Nutriology and Physiology.
Molecular biology, molecular genetics, cellular biology, biochemistry and developmental biology cover the common genetic and the developmental characteristics of the animals.
The ecology covers interactions of the animals under several sub-disciplines like behavioral ecology, physiological ecology, insect ecology, biodiversity, parasitology, marine biology, and several other fields.
The evolution and history is studied under paleontology, while zoogeography deals with distribution of the animals. Ethology studies the animal behavior and their reproductive biology while naming of the animal comes under systematic and taxonomy. Taxonomy is further sub-divided into various headings like study of mammals under mammalogy, study of primates comes under primatology, reptiles and amphibians are studied under herpetology, birds come under ornithology, and fishes are studied under ichthyology, and so on.
Humans have always been fascinated by nature and the animal kingdom and the also from survival point of view it was necessary for humans to understand the different characteristics of animals. Knowledge of animals helped humans in hunting, protecting themselves from the dangerous ones and also the knowledge and interest helped humans to domesticate animals.
The different courses generally required for zoology are;
1. Anatomy and Physiology
2. Animal Development
3. Cell Biology
4. Comparative Physiology
5. General Biology
6. General Chemistry
7. Invertebrate Biology
8. Organic Chemistry
10. Vertebrate Biology
Degree Courses in Zoology are;
Bachelor of Science in Advanced Zoology & Biotechnology
Bachelor of Science Honors in Zoology
Bachelor of Science in Zoology and Animal Biotechnology
Bachelor of Science in Zoology
Post Graduate Degrees in Zoology are;
Master of Philosophy in Life Science (Zoology/Botany)
Master of Philosophy in Zoology
Master of Science in Applied Zoology
Master of Science Honors in Zoology
Master of Science and Master of Philosophy in Zoology
Doctor of Philosophy in Life Science (Zoology/Botany)
Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology
There are several specialization that one can opt for like, Anthropology, Anthrozoology, Apiology, Arachnology, Arthropodology, Cetology, Conchology, Entomology, Ethology, Helminthology, Herpetology, Ichthyology, Malacology, Mammalogy, Myrmecology, Nematology, Neurothelogy, Ornithology, Paleozoology, Planktology, Primatology etc.
Zoology is a very interesting subject and has good career prospect. One may get the opportunity to conduct research, complete internship in Zoo, conservation centers or get into field work, work in national parks and rehabilitation centers. However, one has to have the passion for working with nature and animals alike. The jobs related to Zoology are;
Field trials officer.
Nature conservation officer.
Research scientist (life sciences)
However, there are several other careers where a Degree in Zoology is useful like;
Environmental education officer
Higher education lecturer
Several colleges all across India have courses on Zoology. One can also take advice from the Career counselors to get a sound idea about the courses. There are several Career Counselors that one can go to including Online Career Counseling as well.
Apart from these there are many Career Guide Services available online and one can go through those websites to get a good understanding of the Course. Many Career seminars also are held to help students select the course most suitable for them. The counseling also helps students understand their strengths and weaknesses and can work accordingly to better themselves.
One can log on to the links listed below which will provide one with a good understanding of the courses available and how to go about cracking the exam:
By: Madhuchanda Saxena
Posted By - Assistant Editor