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Zoology

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Definition: zoology from

Chambers 21st Century Dictionary

noun: the scientific study of animals, including their structure, function, behaviour, ecology, evolution and classification.


Derivative

zoologist noun a scientist who specializes in zoology.

[17c.]

Summary Article: zoology from The Columbia Encyclopedia
zoology, branch of biology concerned with the study of animal life. From earliest times animals have been vitally important to man; cave art demonstrates the practical and mystical significance animals held for prehistoric man. Early efforts to classify animals were based on physical resemblance, habitat, or economic use. Although Hippocrates and Aristotle did much toward organizing the scientific thought of their times, systematic investigation declined under the Romans and, after Galen's notable contributions, came to a virtual halt lasting through the Middle Ages (except among the Arab physicians). With the Renaissance direct observation of nature revived; landmarks were Vesalius' anatomy and Harvey's demonstration of the circulation of blood. The invention of the microscope and the use of experimental techniques expanded zoology as a field and established many of its branches, e.g., cytology and histology. Studies in embryol...    Continue Reading
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