Zoology is a branch of biology that is concerned with the structure, evolution, classification and habits of both living and extinct animals.
It is broken down into separate fields which are:
Mammalogy – the study of mammals
Ornithology – the study of birds
Herpetology – the study of reptiles and amphibians
Ichthyology – the study of fish
Entomology – the study of insects
Malacology – the study of molluscs, such as snails, squids and octopuses
Helminthology – the study of worms
Zoologists tend to specialise in only one of these groups, but if he/she chooses to specialise in the study of extinct animals, he/she will be known as a paleozoologist. Zoogeography is another field of zoology that studies the geographical distribution of animals and is linked with research on the evolution of various animal species.
One of the main purposes of zoology is to identify all animals through classification, which is accomplished by comparing the characters or features of different groups of animals. These characters may be of very different nature, with morphological characters referring mainly to body structures compared to histological and cytological characters which are concerned with body tissues and cells respectively.
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