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Zoology ()The pronunciation of zoology as is usually regarded as nonstandard, though it is not uncommon. is the branch of
biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanisms, Development ...

biology
that studies the
animal kingdom
animal kingdom
, including the
structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A ...

structure
,
embryology Embryology (from Ancient Greek, Greek ἔμβρυον, ''embryon'', "the unborn, embryo"; and -λογία, ''-logy, -logia'') is the branch of biology that studies the Prenatal development (biology), prenatal development of gametes (sex cells), ...
,
evolution Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, ...

evolution
,
classification Classification is a process related to categorization Categorization is the human ability and activity of recognizing shared features or similarities between the elements of the experience Experience refers to conscious , an English Paracels ...
,
habits A habit (or wont as a humorous and formal term) is a routine of that is repeated regularly and tends to occur .
, and distribution of all animals, both living and
extinct Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biol ...

extinct
, and how they interact with their
ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Energy enters the syst ...

ecosystem
s. The term is derived from
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
, ('animal'), and , ('knowledge', 'study'). Although humans have always been interested in the natural history of the animals they saw around them, and made use of this knowledge to domesticate certain species, the formal study of zoology can be said to have originated with
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questio ...

Aristotle
. He viewed animals as living organisms, studied their structure and development, and considered their adaptations to their surroundings and the function of their parts. The Greek physician
Galen Aelius Galenus or Claudius Galenus ( el, Κλαύδιος Γαληνός; September 129 – c. AD 216), often Anglicized Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modi ...
studied human anatomy and was one of the greatest surgeons of the ancient world, but after the fall of the
Western Roman Empire The Western Roman Empire comprises the western provinces of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican ...

Western Roman Empire
and the onset of the
Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6th century to the 10th century. They marked the start of the Middle Ages ...
, the Greek tradition of medicine and scientific study went into decline in Western Europe, although it continued in the medieval Islamic world. Modern zoology has its origins during the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
and early modern period, with
Carl Linnaeus Carl Linnaeus (; 23 May 1707 – 10 January 1778), also known after his ennoblement Ennoblement is the conferring of nobility—the induction of an individual into the noble social class, class. Currently only a few kingdoms still grant nob ...

Carl Linnaeus
,
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek Antonie Philips van Leeuwenhoek ( ; ; 24 October 1632 – 26 August 1723) was a Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium ...
,
Robert Hooke Robert Hooke FRS FRS may also refer to: Government and politics * Facility Registry System, a centrally managed Environmental Protection Agency database that identifies places of environmental interest in the United States * Family Resources ...
,
Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that fu ...

Charles Darwin
,
Gregor Mendel Gregor Johann Mendel (; cs, Řehoř Jan Mendel; 20 July 1822 – 6 January 1884) was a meteorologist, mathematician, biologist, AugustinianAugustinian may refer to: *Augustinians Augustinians are members of Christian religious orders tha ...

Gregor Mendel
and many others. The study of animals has largely moved on to deal with form and function, adaptations, relationships between groups, behaviour and ecology. Zoology has increasingly been subdivided into disciplines such as
classification Classification is a process related to categorization Categorization is the human ability and activity of recognizing shared features or similarities between the elements of the experience Experience refers to conscious , an English Paracels ...

classification
,
physiology Physiology (; ) is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...
,
biochemistry Biochemistry or biological chemistry, is the study of es within and relating to living s. A sub-discipline of both and , biochemistry may be divided into three fields: , and . Over the last decades of the 20th century, biochemistry has beco ...

biochemistry
and
evolution Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, ...

evolution
. With the discovery of the structure of
DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. A molecule is an electrically neutral gro ...

DNA
by
Francis Crick Francis Harry Compton Crick (8 June 1916 – 28 July 2004) was a British molecular biologist, biophysicist, and neuroscientist A neuroscientist (or neurobiologist) is a scientist A scientist is a person who conducts Scientific method, scie ...

Francis Crick
and
James Watson James Dewey Watson (born April 6, 1928) is an American molecular biologist, geneticist A geneticist is a biologist Francesco Redi, the founder of biology, is recognized to be one of the greatest biologists of all time A biologist is a ...

James Watson
in 1953, the realm of
molecular biology Molecular biology is the branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, P ...
opened up, leading to advances in
cell biology Cell biology (also cellular biology or cytology) is a branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, ...
,
developmental biology Developmental biology is the study of the process by which animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that fu ...
and
molecular genetics Molecular genetics is a sub-field of biology that addresses how differences in the structures or expression of DNA molecules manifests as variation among organisms. Molecular genetics often applies an "investigative approach" to determine the ...
.


History

The
history of zoology The history of zoology had a key moment in 1859 with the publication of Darwin's ''On the Origin of Species ''On the Origin of Species'' (or, more completely, ''On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Fav ...
traces the study of the
animal kingdom
animal kingdom
from ancient to modern times. Prehistoric man needed to study the animals and plants in his environment in order to exploit them and survive. There are cave paintings, engravings and sculptures in France dating back 15,000 years showing bison, horses and deer in carefully rendered detail. Similar images from other parts of the world illustrated mostly the animals hunted for food but also the savage animals. The
Neolithic Revolution The Neolithic Revolution, or the (First) Agricultural Revolution, was the wide-scale transition of many human culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (Ameri ...
, which is characterized by the domestication of animals, continued over the period of Antiquity. Ancient knowledge of wildlife is illustrated by the realistic depictions of wild and domestic animals in the Near East, Mesopotamia and Egypt, including husbandry practices and techniques, hunting and fishing. The invention of writing is reflected in zoology by the presence of animals in Egyptian hieroglyphics. Although the concept of ''zoology'' as a single coherent field arose much later, the zoological sciences emerged from
natural history Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, including animals, fungus, fungi, and plants, in their natural environment, leaning more towards observational than experimental methods of study. A person who studies natural history ...

natural history
reaching back to the biological works of Aristotle and
Galen Aelius Galenus or Claudius Galenus ( el, Κλαύδιος Γαληνός; September 129 – c. AD 216), often Anglicized Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modi ...
in the ancient
Greco-Roman world The term "Greco-Roman world" (also "Greco-Roman culture" or ; spelled Graeco-Roman in the Commonwealth), as understood by modern scholars and writers, refers to geographical regions and countries that culturally—and so historically—were ...
. Aristotle, in the fourth century BC, looked at animals as living organisms, studying their structure, development and vital phenomena. He divided them into two groups, animals with blood, equivalent to our concept of vertebrates, and animals without blood (invertebrates). He spent two years on
Lesbos Lesbos or Lesvos (, also ; el, Λέσβος, Lésvos ) is a Greek island located in the northeastern Aegean Sea The Aegean Sea ; tr, Ege Denizi is an elongated embayment A bay is a recessed, coastal body of water that directly con ...
, observing and describing the animals and plants, considering the adaptations of different organisms and the function of their parts. Four hundred years later, Roman physician Galen dissected animals to study their anatomy and the function of the different parts, because the dissection of human cadavers was prohibited at the time. This resulted in some of his conclusions being false, but for many centuries it was considered
heretical Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs, in particular the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization. The term is usually used in reference to violations of important religi ...
to challenge any of his views, so the study of anatomy stultified. During the
post-classical era Post-classical history, as used in , generally runs from about 500 CE to 1500 CE (roughly corresponding to the European ). The period is characterized by the expansion of civilizations geographically and development of trade networks between ci ...
, Middle Eastern science and medicine was the most advanced in the world, integrating concepts from Ancient Greece, Rome, Mesopotamia and Persia as well as the ancient Indian tradition of
Ayurveda Ayurveda () is an alternative medicine Alternative medicine is any practice that aims to achieve the healing effects of medicine Medicine is the science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systema ...

Ayurveda
, while making numerous advances and innovations. In the 13th century,
Albertus Magnus Albertus Magnus (c. 1200 – November 15, 1280), also known as Saint Albert the Great or Albert of Cologne, was a German Catholic The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominat ...

Albertus Magnus
produced commentaries and paraphrases of all Aristotle's works; his books on topics like botany, zoology, and minerals included information from ancient sources, but also the results of his own investigations. His general approach was surprisingly modern, and he wrote, "For it is he taskof natural science not simply to accept what we are told but to inquire into the causes of natural things." An early pioneer was
Conrad Gessner Conrad Gessner (; la, Conradus Gesnerus 26 March 1516 – 13 December 1565) was a Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland ,german: Schweizer(in),french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , g ...

Conrad Gessner
, whose monumental 4,500-page encyclopedia of animals, ''
Historia animalium ''History of Animals'' ( grc-gre, Τῶν περὶ τὰ ζῷα ἱστοριῶν, ''Ton peri ta zoia historion'', "Inquiries on Animals"; la, Historia Animalium, "History of Animals") is one of the major Aristotle's biology, texts on biolo ...
'', was published in four volumes between 1551 and 1558. In Europe, Galen's work on anatomy remained largely unsurpassed and unchallenged up until the 16th century. During the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
and early modern period, zoological thought was revolutionized in
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...

Europe
by a renewed interest in
empiricism In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, l ...
and the discovery of many novel organisms. Prominent in this movement were
Andreas Vesalius Andreas Vesalius (; 31 December 1514 – 15 October 1564) was a 16th-century Flemish people, Flemish anatomist, physician, and author of one of the most influential books on human anatomy, ''De humani corporis fabrica, De Humani Corporis Fabrica ...

Andreas Vesalius
and
William Harvey William Harvey (1 April 1578 – 3 June 1657) was an English physician who made influential contributions in anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organis ...

William Harvey
, who used experimentation and careful observation in
physiology Physiology (; ) is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...
, and naturalists such as
Carl Linnaeus Carl Linnaeus (; 23 May 1707 – 10 January 1778), also known after his ennoblement Ennoblement is the conferring of nobility—the induction of an individual into the noble social class, class. Currently only a few kingdoms still grant nob ...

Carl Linnaeus
,
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, chevalier de Lamarck (1 August 1744 – 18 December 1829), often known simply as Lamarck (; ), was a French naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, including animals, fu ...

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck
, and
Buffon
Buffon
who began to classify the diversity of life and the
fossil record A fossil (from Classical Latin: , literally 'obtained by digging') is any preserved remains, impression, or trace of any once-living thing from a past geological age. Examples include bones, Seashell, shells, exoskeletons, stone imprints of a ...
, as well as studying the development and behavior of organisms.
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek Antonie Philips van Leeuwenhoek ( ; ; 24 October 1632 – 26 August 1723) was a Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium ...
did pioneering work in
microscopy Microscopy is the technical field of using microscopes to view objects and areas of objects that cannot be seen with the naked eye (objects that are not within the resolution range of the normal eye). There are three well-known branches of micr ...

microscopy
and revealed the previously unknown world of
microorganism A microorganism, or microbe,, ''mikros'', "small") and ''organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes ...
s, laying the groundwork for
cell theory In biology, cell theory is a scientific theory first formulated in the mid-nineteenth century, that living organisms are made up of Cell (biology), cells, that they are the basic structural/organizational unit of all organisms, and that all cells ...
. van Leeuwenhoek's observations were endorsed by
Robert Hooke Robert Hooke FRS FRS may also refer to: Government and politics * Facility Registry System, a centrally managed Environmental Protection Agency database that identifies places of environmental interest in the United States * Family Resources ...
; all living organisms were composed of one or more cells and could not generate spontaneously. Cell theory provided a new perspective on the fundamental basis of life. Having previously been the realm of gentlemen naturalists, over the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, zoology became an increasingly professional
scientific discipline The branches of science, also referred to as science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), organizes knowledge in the form of Tes ...
. Explorer-naturalists such as
Alexander von Humboldt Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt (14 September 17696 May 1859) was a , , , , and proponent of philosophy and . He was the younger brother of the Prussian minister, philosopher, and (1767–1835). Humboldt's quantitative work ...

Alexander von Humboldt
investigated the interaction between organisms and their environment, and the ways this relationship depends on geography, laying the foundations for
biogeography Biogeography is the study of the distribution of species and ecosystems in geography, geographic space and through evolutionary history of life, geological time. Organisms and biological communities often vary in a regular fashion along geograp ...

biogeography
,
ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers organisms In biol ...
and
ethology Ethology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is ...
. Naturalists began to reject
essentialism Essentialism is the view that objects have a set of attributes that are necessary to their identity Identity may refer to: Social sciences * Identity (social science), personhood or group affiliation in psychology and sociology Group ...
and consider the importance of
extinction Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells (cell theory). Organisms are classified by ...

extinction
and the mutability of species. These developments, as well as the results from
embryology Embryology (from Ancient Greek, Greek ἔμβρυον, ''embryon'', "the unborn, embryo"; and -λογία, ''-logy, -logia'') is the branch of biology that studies the Prenatal development (biology), prenatal development of gametes (sex cells), ...
and
paleontology Paleontology (), also spelled palaeontology or palæontology, is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes including, the start of the Holocene epoch (geology), epoch (roughly 11,700 years before present). It includes th ...
, were synthesized in the 1859 publication of
Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that fu ...

Charles Darwin
's theory of
evolution Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, ...

evolution
by
natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrated, using a Punnett square, for the character of peta ...
; in this Darwin placed the theory of organic evolution on a new footing, by explaining the processes by which it can occur, and providing observational evidence that it had done so. Darwin's theory was rapidly accepted by the scientific community and soon became a central axiom of the rapidly developing science of biology. The basis for modern genetics began with the work of
Gregor Mendel Gregor Johann Mendel (; cs, Řehoř Jan Mendel; 20 July 1822 – 6 January 1884) was a meteorologist, mathematician, biologist, AugustinianAugustinian may refer to: *Augustinians Augustinians are members of Christian religious orders tha ...

Gregor Mendel
on peas in 1865, although the significance of his work was not realized at the time. Darwin gave a new direction to
morphology Morphology, from the Greek and meaning "study of shape", may refer to: Disciplines * Morphology (archaeology), study of the shapes or forms of artifacts * Morphology (astronomy), study of the shape of astronomical objects such as nebulae, galaxies ...
and
physiology Physiology (; ) is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...
, by uniting them in a common biological theory: the theory of organic evolution. The result was a reconstruction of the classification of animals upon a
genealogical Genealogy (from el, γενεαλογία ' "the making of a pedigree") is the study of families, family history, and the tracing of their lineages. Genealogists use oral interviews, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to ob ...

genealogical
basis, fresh investigation of the development of animals, and early attempts to determine their genetic relationships. The end of the 19th century saw the fall of
spontaneous generation Spontaneous generation is a body of thought on the ordinary formation of living organisms without descent from similar organisms. The theory of spontaneous generation held that living creatures could arise from nonliving matter and that such process ...
and the rise of the
germ theory of disease The germ theory of disease is the currently accepted scientific theory A scientific theory is an explanation of an aspect of the natural world and universe that has been repeatedly tested and verified in accordance with the scientific method ...
, though the mechanism of
inheritance Inheritance is the practice of passing on private property Private property is a legal designation for the ownership of property by non-governmental legal entities. Private property is distinguishable from public property Public property i ...

inheritance
remained a mystery. In the early 20th century, the rediscovery of
Mendel's
Mendel's
work led to the rapid development of
genetics Genetics is a branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, ...

genetics
, and by the 1930s the combination of
population genetics Population genetics is a subfield of that deals with genetic differences within and between s, and is a part of . Studies in this branch of examine such phenomena as , , and . Population genetics was a vital ingredient in the of the . Its pri ...
and natural selection in the
modern synthesis Modern synthesis or modern evolutionary synthesis refers to several perspectives on evolutionary biology, namely: * Modern synthesis (20th century), the term coined by Julian Huxley in 1942 to denote the synthesis between Mendelian genetics and s ...
created
evolutionary biology Evolutionary biology is the subfield of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interacti ...
. Research in cell biology is interconnected to other fields such as genetics,
biochemistry Biochemistry or biological chemistry, is the study of es within and relating to living s. A sub-discipline of both and , biochemistry may be divided into three fields: , and . Over the last decades of the 20th century, biochemistry has beco ...

biochemistry
,
medical microbiology Medical microbiology, the large subset of microbiology Microbiology (from Greek , ''mīkros'', "small"; , ''bios'', "life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as signaling ...
,
immunology Immunology is a branch of biology and Medicine that covers the study of immune systems in all organisms. Immunology charts, measures, and contextualizes the Physiology, physiological functioning of the immune system in states of both health and d ...
, and
cytochemistry Cytochemistry is the branch of cell biology dealing with the detection of cell constituents by means of biochemical analysis and visualization techniques. The term is also used to describe a process of identification of the biochemical content of ...
. With the sequencing of the
DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. A molecule is an electrically neutral gro ...

DNA
molecule by
Francis Crick Francis Harry Compton Crick (8 June 1916 – 28 July 2004) was a British molecular biologist, biophysicist, and neuroscientist A neuroscientist (or neurobiologist) is a scientist A scientist is a person who conducts Scientific method, scie ...

Francis Crick
and
James Watson James Dewey Watson (born April 6, 1928) is an American molecular biologist, geneticist A geneticist is a biologist Francesco Redi, the founder of biology, is recognized to be one of the greatest biologists of all time A biologist is a ...

James Watson
in 1953, the realm of
molecular biology Molecular biology is the branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, P ...
opened up, leading to advances in
cell biology Cell biology (also cellular biology or cytology) is a branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, ...
,
developmental biology Developmental biology is the study of the process by which animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that fu ...
and
molecular genetics Molecular genetics is a sub-field of biology that addresses how differences in the structures or expression of DNA molecules manifests as variation among organisms. Molecular genetics often applies an "investigative approach" to determine the ...
. The study of
systematics Biological Biology is the natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), or ...
was transformed as
DNA sequencing DNA sequencing is the process of determining the nucleic acid sequence A nucleic acid sequence is a succession of bases signified by a series of a set of five different letters that indicate the order of nucleotides Nucleotides are organic ...

DNA sequencing
elucidated the degrees of affinity between different organisms.


Scope

Zoology is the branch of science dealing with
animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells ...

animal
s. A
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individu ...

species
can be defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of the appropriate sex can produce fertile offspring; about 1.5 million species of animal have been described and it has been estimated that as many as 8 million animal species may exist. An early necessity was to identify the organisms and group them according to their characteristics, differences and relationships, and this is the field of the
taxonomist In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circumscribing) and classifying groups of biological organisms based on shared characteristics. Organisms are grouped into taxon, taxa (singular ...

taxonomist
. Originally it was thought that species were immutable, but with the arrival of Darwin's theory of evolution, the field of
cladistics Cladistics (; ) is an approach to biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circumscribing) and classifying groups of biological organisms based on shared ch ...

cladistics
came into being, studying the relationships between the different groups or
clade A clade (), also known as a monophyletic group or natural group, is a group of organisms that are monophyly, monophyletic – that is, composed of a common ancestor and all its lineage (evolution), lineal descendants - on a phylogenetic tree. R ...

clade
s.
Systematics Biological Biology is the natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), or ...
is the study of the diversification of living forms, the evolutionary history of a group is known as its
phylogeny A phylogenetic tree (also phylogeny or evolutionary tree Felsenstein J. (2004). ''Inferring Phylogenies'' Sinauer Associates: Sunderland, MA.) is a branching diagram or a tree (graph theory), tree showing the evolutionary relationships among va ...

phylogeny
, and the relationship between the clades can be shown diagrammatically in a
cladogram A cladogram (from Greek ''clados'' "branch" and ''gramma'' "character") is a diagram used in cladistics Cladistics (, from Greek language, Greek , ''kládos'', "branch") is an approach to Taxonomy (biology), biological classification in whi ...

cladogram
. Although someone who made a scientific study of animals would historically have described themselves as a zoologist, the term has come to refer to those who deal with individual animals, with others describing themselves more specifically as physiologists, ethologists, evolutionary biologists, ecologists, pharmacologists, endocrinologists or parasitologists.


Branches of zoology

Although the study of animal life is ancient, its scientific incarnation is relatively modern. This mirrors the transition from
natural history Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, including animals, fungus, fungi, and plants, in their natural environment, leaning more towards observational than experimental methods of study. A person who studies natural history ...

natural history
to
biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanisms, Development ...

biology
at the start of the 19th century. Since
Hunter Hunting is the practice of seeking, pursuing and capturing or killing wildlife File:Manis temminckii (29645803646).jpg, A ground pangolin, alt=A ground pangolin Wildlife traditionally refers to undomesticated animal species (biology), s ...
and
Cuvier Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric, Baron Cuvier (; 23 August 1769 – 13 May 1832), known as Georges Cuvier, was a French naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organism In biology, an organism () is any orga ...

Cuvier
, comparative
anatomical Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, mo ...

anatomical
study has been associated with morphography, shaping the modern areas of zoological investigation:
anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organisms and their parts. Anatomy is a branch of natural science which deals with the structural organization of living things. It ...

anatomy
,
physiology Physiology (; ) is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...
,
histology Histology, also known as microscopic anatomy or microanatomy, is the branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, M ...

histology
,
embryology Embryology (from Ancient Greek, Greek ἔμβρυον, ''embryon'', "the unborn, embryo"; and -λογία, ''-logy, -logia'') is the branch of biology that studies the Prenatal development (biology), prenatal development of gametes (sex cells), ...
,
teratology Teratology is the study of abnormalities of physiological development in all organisms including plants during the entire life span. A sub discipline in Medical Genetics Medical genetics is the branch of medicine that involves the diagnosis and ...
and
ethology Ethology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is ...
. Modern zoology first arose in German and British universities. In Britain,
Thomas Henry Huxley Thomas Henry Huxley (4 May 1825 – 29 June 1895) was an English biologist Francesco Redi, the founder of biology, is recognized to be one of the greatest biologists of all time A biologist is a professional who has specialized knowledge ...

Thomas Henry Huxley
was a prominent figure. His ideas were centered on the
morphology Morphology, from the Greek and meaning "study of shape", may refer to: Disciplines * Morphology (archaeology), study of the shapes or forms of artifacts * Morphology (astronomy), study of the shape of astronomical objects such as nebulae, galaxies ...
of animals. Many consider him the greatest comparative anatomist of the latter half of the 19th century. Similar to
Hunter Hunting is the practice of seeking, pursuing and capturing or killing wildlife File:Manis temminckii (29645803646).jpg, A ground pangolin, alt=A ground pangolin Wildlife traditionally refers to undomesticated animal species (biology), s ...
, his courses were composed of lectures and laboratory practical classes in contrast to the previous format of lectures only.


Classification

Scientific classification in zoology, is a method by which zoologists group and categorize
organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological me ...

organism
s by
biological type In biology, a type is a particular specimen (or in some cases a group of specimens) of an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cel ...
, such as
genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circumscribing) and classifying gr ...
or
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individu ...

species
. Biological classification is a form of
scientific taxonomy Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the u ...
. Modern biological classification has its root in the work of
Carl Linnaeus Carl Linnaeus (; 23 May 1707 – 10 January 1778), also known after his ennoblement Ennoblement is the conferring of nobility—the induction of an individual into the noble social class, class. Currently only a few kingdoms still grant nob ...

Carl Linnaeus
, who grouped species according to shared physical characteristics. These groupings have since been revised to improve consistency with the
Darwinian Darwinism is a theory A theory is a reason, rational type of abstraction, abstract thinking about a phenomenon, or the results of such thinking. The process of contemplative and rational thinking is often associated with such processes as obser ...

Darwinian
principle of
common descent Common descent is a concept in evolutionary biology Evolutionary biology is the subfield of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chem ...
.
Molecular phylogenetics Molecular phylogenetics () is the branch of phylogeny A phylogenetic tree (also phylogeny or evolutionary tree Felsenstein J. (2004). ''Inferring Phylogenies'' Sinauer Associates: Sunderland, MA.) is a branching diagram A diagram is a symb ...
, which uses
nucleic acid sequence A nucleic acid sequence is a succession of bases signified by a series of a set of five different letters that indicate the order of nucleotides Nucleotides are organic molecules , CH4; is among the simplest organic compounds. In chemistry, ...
as data, has driven many recent revisions and is likely to continue to do so. Biological classification belongs to the science of zoological systematics. Many scientists now consider the
five-kingdom system In biology, kingdom (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...
outdated. Modern alternative classification systems generally start with the
three-domain system The three-domain system is a biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, ...
:
Archaea Archaea ( ; singular archaeon ) constitute a domain Domain may refer to: Mathematics *Domain of a function, the set of input values for which the (total) function is defined **Domain of definition of a partial function **Natural domain of a pa ...

Archaea
(originally Archaebacteria);
Bacteria Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are ubiquitous, mostly free-living organisms often consisting of one Cell (biology), biological cell. They constitute a large domain (biology), domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typ ...

Bacteria
(originally Eubacteria);
Eukaryota Eukaryotes () are organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interact ...

Eukaryota
(including
protist A protist () is any (that is, an organism whose contain a ) that is not an , , or . While it is likely that protists share a (the ), the exclusion of other eukaryotes means that protists do not form a natural group, or . Therefore, some pro ...
s,
fungi A fungus (plural The plural (sometimes abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full ...

fungi
,
plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respiration, can later be released to fuel ...

plant
s, and
animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells ...

animal
s) These domains reflect whether the cells have nuclei or not, as well as differences in the chemical composition of the cell exteriors. Further, each kingdom is broken down recursively until each species is separately classified. The order is:
Domain Domain may refer to: Mathematics *Domain of a function, the set of input values for which the (total) function is defined **Domain of definition of a partial function **Natural domain of a partial function **Domain of holomorphy of a function *Doma ...
;
kingdom Kingdom may refer to: Monarchy * A type of monarchy * A realm ruled by: **A king, during the reign of a male monarch **A queen regnant, during the reign of a female monarch Taxonomy * Kingdom (biology), a category in biological taxonomy Arts an ...
;
phylum In biology, a phylum (; plural The plural (sometimes list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ), in many languages, is one of the values of the grammatical number, grammatical category of number. The plural of a noun typically denotes a q ...
;
class Class or The Class may refer to: Common uses not otherwise categorized * Class (biology), a taxonomic rank * Class (knowledge representation), a collection of individuals or objects * Class (philosophy), an analytical concept used differently f ...
;
order Order or ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is associated with other qualities such as cleanliness Cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from germs, dirt, trash, or waste, and the habit of achieving a ...
;
family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject to the same Politic ...
;
genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circumscribing) and classifying gr ...
;
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individu ...

species
. The scientific name of an organism is generated from its genus and species. For example, humans are listed as ''
Homo sapiens Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species of primate, characterized by bipedality, bipedalism and large, complex brains. This has enabled the development of advanced tools, culture, and language. Humans are highl ...

Homo sapiens
''. ''Homo'' is the genus, and ''sapiens'' the specific epithet, both of them combined make up the species name. When writing the scientific name of an organism, it is proper to capitalize the first letter in the genus and put all of the specific epithet in lowercase. Additionally, the entire term may be italicized or underlined. The dominant classification system is called the
Linnaean taxonomy Linnaean taxonomy can mean either of two related concepts: # the particular form of biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circumscribing) and classifying ...
. It includes ranks and
binomial nomenclature In taxonomy Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer to a specific classification scheme. Originally used only ...
. The classification,
taxonomy Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer to a specific classification scheme. Originally used only about biological ...
, and nomenclature of zoological organisms is administered by the
International Code of Zoological Nomenclature The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) is a widely accepted in that rules the formal of treated as s. It is also informally known as the ICZN Code, for its publisher, the (which shares the acronym "ICZN"). The rules princi ...
. A merging draft, BioCode, was published in 1997 in an attempt to standardize nomenclature, but has yet to be formally adopted.


Vertebrate and invertebrate zoology

Vertebrate zoology is the biology, biological discipline that consists of the study of vertebrate animals, that is animals with a vertebral column, backbone, such as fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. The various taxonomically oriented disciplines such as mammalogy, biological anthropology, herpetology, ornithology, and ichthyology seek to identify and classify
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individu ...

species
and study the structures and mechanisms specific to those groups. The rest of the animal kingdom is dealt with by invertebrate zoology, a vast and very diverse group of animals that includes sponges, echinoderms, tunicates, worms, molluscs, arthropods and many other Phylum, phyla, but Unicellular organism, single-celled organisms or
protist A protist () is any (that is, an organism whose contain a ) that is not an , , or . While it is likely that protists share a (the ), the exclusion of other eukaryotes means that protists do not form a natural group, or . Therefore, some pro ...
s are not usually included.


Structural zoology

Cell biology studies the structural and physiology, physiological properties of cell (biology), cells, including their behavior, interactions, and natural environment, environment. This is done on both the microscope, microscopic and molecule, molecular levels for single-celled organisms such as bacteria as well as the specialized cells in Multicellular organism, multicellular organisms such as humans. Understanding the structure and function of cells is fundamental to all of the biological sciences. The similarities and differences between cell types are particularly relevant to molecular biology. Anatomy considers the forms of macroscopic structures such as organ (biology), organs and organ systems. It focuses on how organs and organ systems work together in the bodies of humans and animals, in addition to how they work independently. Anatomy and cell biology are two studies that are closely related, and can be categorized under "structural" studies. Comparative anatomy is the study of similarities and differences in the
anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organisms and their parts. Anatomy is a branch of natural science which deals with the structural organization of living things. It ...

anatomy
of different groups. It is closely related to
evolutionary biology Evolutionary biology is the subfield of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interacti ...
and
phylogeny A phylogenetic tree (also phylogeny or evolutionary tree Felsenstein J. (2004). ''Inferring Phylogenies'' Sinauer Associates: Sunderland, MA.) is a branching diagram or a tree (graph theory), tree showing the evolutionary relationships among va ...

phylogeny
(the
evolution Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, ...

evolution
of species).


Physiology

Physiology studies the mechanical, physical, and biochemical processes of living organisms by attempting to understand how all of the structures function as a whole. The theme of "structure to function" is central to biology. Physiological studies have traditionally been divided into plant physiology and animal physiology, but some principles of physiology are universal, no matter what particular
organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological me ...

organism
is being studied. For example, what is learned about the physiology of yeast cells can also apply to human cells. The field of animal physiology extends the tools and methods of Human body#Physiology, human physiology to non-human species. Physiology studies how for example nervous system, nervous, immune system, immune, endocrine system, endocrine, respiratory system, respiratory, and circulatory system, circulatory systems, function and interact.


Developmental biology

Developmental biology is the study of the processes by which animals and plants reproduce and grow. The discipline includes the study of embryonic development, cellular differentiation, Regeneration (biology), regeneration, asexual reproduction, asexual and sexual reproduction, sexual reproduction, metamorphosis, and the growth and differentiation of stem cells in the adult organism. Development of both animals and plants is further considered in the articles on
evolution Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, ...

evolution
,
population genetics Population genetics is a subfield of that deals with genetic differences within and between s, and is a part of . Studies in this branch of examine such phenomena as , , and . Population genetics was a vital ingredient in the of the . Its pri ...
, heredity, genetic variability, Mendelian inheritance, and reproduction.


Evolutionary biology

Evolutionary biology is the subfield of biology that studies the evolutionary processes (natural selection, common descent, speciation) that produced the diversity of life on Earth. Evolutionary research is concerned with the origin and descent of
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individu ...

species
, as well as their change over time, and includes scientists from many Taxonomy (biology), taxonomically oriented disciplines. For example, it generally involves scientists who have special training in particular
organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological me ...

organism
s such as mammalogy, ornithology, herpetology, or entomology, but use those organisms as systems to answer general questions about evolution. Evolutionary biology is partly based on
paleontology Paleontology (), also spelled palaeontology or palæontology, is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes including, the start of the Holocene epoch (geology), epoch (roughly 11,700 years before present). It includes th ...
, which uses the fossil record to answer questions about the mode and tempo of evolution, and partly on the developments in areas such as
population genetics Population genetics is a subfield of that deals with genetic differences within and between s, and is a part of . Studies in this branch of examine such phenomena as , , and . Population genetics was a vital ingredient in the of the . Its pri ...
and evolutionary theory. Following the development of DNA profiling, DNA fingerprinting techniques in the late 20th century, the application of these techniques in zoology has increased the understanding of animal populations. In the 1980s,
developmental biology Developmental biology is the study of the process by which animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that fu ...
re-entered evolutionary biology from its initial exclusion from the
modern synthesis Modern synthesis or modern evolutionary synthesis refers to several perspectives on evolutionary biology, namely: * Modern synthesis (20th century), the term coined by Julian Huxley in 1942 to denote the synthesis between Mendelian genetics and s ...
through the study of evolutionary developmental biology. Related fields often considered part of evolutionary biology are phylogenetics,
systematics Biological Biology is the natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), or ...
, and Taxonomy (biology)#Alpha and beta taxonomy, taxonomy.


Ethology

Ethology is the scientific method, scientific and objective study of animal behavior under natural conditions, as opposed to behaviorism, which focuses on behavioral response studies in a laboratory setting. Ethologists have been particularly concerned with the
evolution Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, ...

evolution
of behavior and the understanding of behavior in terms of the theory of
natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrated, using a Punnett square, for the character of peta ...
. In one sense, the first modern ethologist was
Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that fu ...

Charles Darwin
, whose book, ''The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals,'' influenced many future ethologists. A subfield of ethology is behavioral ecology which attempts to answer Nikolaas Tinbergen's Tinbergen's four questions, four questions with regard to animal behavior: what are the proximate causes of the behavior, the ontogeny, developmental history of the organism, the Adaptation, survival value and phylogeny of the behavior? Another area of study is animal cognition, which uses laboratory experiments and carefully controlled field studies to investigate an animal's intelligence and learning.


Biogeography

Biogeography studies the spatial distribution of organisms on the Earth, focusing on topics like plate tectonics, climate change, Biological dispersal, dispersal and Animal migration, migration, and
cladistics Cladistics (; ) is an approach to biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circumscribing) and classifying groups of biological organisms based on shared ch ...

cladistics
. It is an integrative field of study, uniting concepts and information from
evolutionary biology Evolutionary biology is the subfield of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interacti ...
, taxonomy (biology), taxonomy,
ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers organisms In biol ...
, physical geography, geology,
paleontology Paleontology (), also spelled palaeontology or palæontology, is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes including, the start of the Holocene epoch (geology), epoch (roughly 11,700 years before present). It includes th ...
and climatology. The origin of this field of study is widely accredited to Alfred Russel Wallace, a British biologist who had some of his work jointly published with
Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that fu ...

Charles Darwin
.


Molecular biology

Molecular biology studies the common genetics, genetic and developmental mechanisms of animals and plants, attempting to answer the questions regarding the mechanisms of Heredity, genetic inheritance and the structure of the gene. In 1953,
James Watson James Dewey Watson (born April 6, 1928) is an American molecular biologist, geneticist A geneticist is a biologist Francesco Redi, the founder of biology, is recognized to be one of the greatest biologists of all time A biologist is a ...

James Watson
and
Francis Crick Francis Harry Compton Crick (8 June 1916 – 28 July 2004) was a British molecular biologist, biophysicist, and neuroscientist A neuroscientist (or neurobiologist) is a scientist A scientist is a person who conducts Scientific method, scie ...

Francis Crick
described the structure of DNA and the interactions within the molecule, and this publication jump-started research into molecular biology and increased interest in the subject. While researchers practice techniques specific to molecular biology, it is common to combine these with methods from
genetics Genetics is a branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, ...

genetics
and
biochemistry Biochemistry or biological chemistry, is the study of es within and relating to living s. A sub-discipline of both and , biochemistry may be divided into three fields: , and . Over the last decades of the 20th century, biochemistry has beco ...

biochemistry
. Much of molecular biology is quantitative, and recently a significant amount of work has been done using computer science techniques such as bioinformatics and computational biology. Molecular genetics, the study of gene structure and function, has been among the most prominent sub-fields of molecular biology since the early 2000s. Other branches of biology are informed by molecular biology, by either directly studying the interactions of molecules in their own right such as in
cell biology Cell biology (also cellular biology or cytology) is a branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, ...
and
developmental biology Developmental biology is the study of the process by which animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that fu ...
, or indirectly, where molecular techniques are used to infer historical attributes of populations or
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individu ...

species
, as in fields in
evolutionary biology Evolutionary biology is the subfield of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interacti ...
such as
population genetics Population genetics is a subfield of that deals with genetic differences within and between s, and is a part of . Studies in this branch of examine such phenomena as , , and . Population genetics was a vital ingredient in the of the . Its pri ...
and phylogenetics. There is also a long tradition of studying biomolecules "from the ground up", or molecularly, in biophysics.


See also

* Animal science, the biology of domesticated animals * Astrobiology * Animal cognition, Cognitive zoology * Evolutionary biology * List of zoologists * Outline of zoology * Palaeontology * Timeline of zoology * Zoological distribution


Notes


References


External links


Books on Zoology
at Project Gutenberg *
Online Dictionary of Invertebrate Zoology
' {{Authority control Zoology, Branches of biology