Zoology

Zoology, or animal biology, is the branch of biology that relates to the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct. The term is derived from Ancient Greek ζῷον, zōon, i.e. "animal" and λόγος, logos, i.e. "knowledge, study"


A blue tongued lizard or skink, most likely a blotched blue-tongued lizard (Tiliqua nigrolutea). image picture

A blue tongued lizard or skink (Tiliqua nigrolutea), is a reptile and would be the subject of study in zoology, specifically herpetology. image: R.Conan-Davies

Zoology itself can be even more specific to groups of animals. For example:

  • Herpetology - is the scientific study of  amphibians and reptiles
  • Ornithology -  is the scientific study of birds
  • Entomology - is the study of insects
  • Arachnology - is the study of spiders, scorpions and related organisms
  • Ichthyology - is the study of fishes


A scientist who studies these groups of animals is called an [something] ist, for example a herpetologist is a scientist who studies reptiles. the end bit ist is called a suffix.

Zoology is also about studying the interactions of animals:

  • Ethology - is the study of behaviours among animals.
  • Parasitology - is the study of parasitic behaviours of animals and plants
  • Ecology - is the study of animals within an area or climatic region (sometimes called a biome).