30 April, 2012

A-Z Blogging Challenge: Zoology

Aquila chrysaetos, golden eagle, by Juan Lacruz, CC-BY-SA-3.0. SOURCE.
Zoology (pronounced zo-ology; the first syllable rhymes with "toe") is the study of animals and their biology, including physiology, development, and classification.

Aristotle was one of the first to classify life, at around 400 BCE. He separated plants from animals, red-blooded creatures from those who didn't have red blood, animals that walked from those that flew, etc., etc. Now animals are classified much more specifically into Kingdoms, Phyla, Classes, Orders, Families, Genera, and Species. Charles Darwin was another influential figure in the field of zoology; his theory of evolution crystallized the relationship between animals, including (perhaps especially) humans.

It is a very wide field encompassing many other disciplines, such as those focused on specific animals, a few examples of which would be arcinology (crustaceans), cetology (whales), lepidopterology (butterflies), ornithology (birds), and zoophytology (zoophytes, or animals that appear to be plants). The International Society of Zoological Sciences recognizes 17 sub-fields. Zoology can be an applied science, meaning that research is sometimes conducted for a specific purpose, rather than just for its own sake.

By Jim Harrison, CC-BY-2.5. SOURCE.
Notable Zoologist/Entomologist:

Edward Osborne Wilson

E. O. Wilson is a Research Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, who obtained a B.S. and M.S. in Biology from the University of Alabama and a Ph.D. from Harvard and has been on the Harvard faculty since 1956. He developed the theory of biogeography, or that the immigration and extinction of species (and therefore their biodiversity) on islands is related to the distance those islands are from the original source of the species. He also coined the word biophilia--love of life--in his book Biophilia, which had a great impact on conservation, and in his book Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, he connected animal and human behavior, sparking much controversy.

He has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize twice for his books On Human Nature and The Ants written with Bert Holldobler, the National Medal of Science, Japan's International Prize for Biology, and Sweden's highest award for non-citizens of Commander, First Class, Royal Order of the Polar Star, among others. He was chosen as one of Time magazine's 25 Most Influential Americans in 1995.

Video of E. O. Wilson explaining biogeography:


And because zoology is all about animals (plus, it's the last day of the A-Z Challenge and you all deserve a break from the scientific facts I've been bombarding you with for the last month) I thought I'd give you something to look at from Wikimedia Commons's Featured Pictures, in no particular order:

Pandion haliaetus, Osprey. Public domain image. SOURCE.

Panthera pardus, leopard, by tropicaLiving, CC-BY-SA-3.0. SOURCE.

Euphausia superba, Antarctic krill, by Uwe Kils, CC-BY-SA-3.0. SOURCE.

Wild horses, by Robin Muller, CC-BY-SA-2.0. SOURCE.

Chelonia mydas, green turtle, by Brocken Inaglory, CC-BY-SA-3.0. SOURCE.

Synchiropus splendidus, Mandarinfish, by Luc Viatour / www.Lucnix.be, CC-BY-SA-3.0. SOURCE.

Agalychnis callidryas, red-eyed tree frog, Public domain image. SOURCE.

Polyommatus icarus, common blue butterfly, by Bohringer Friedrich, CC-BY-SA-2.5. SOURCE.




What's your favorite animal?

-----The Golden Eagle


JeffO said...

Congratulations on reaching the end, and thank you for an informative and entertaining month!

Li said...

I remember reading some of Wilson's work back in college. Too many fave animals to name, although I'm partial to giraffes and bunnies :-) And I think it's really great they we are STILL discovering unknown species all of the time. Congrats on completing A to Z!

Julie said...

This week, it's elephants, but I'm fickle and big cats are never far off the top of the list. Happy Monday!

Rusty Webb said...

My favorite animal is people, I think. If that's a bit of a cheat I'd have to think of chicken, because they taste good and have teeny little brains I don't feel that guilty about making chicken a part of my diet.

Of course, dogs are special to me because they're such great companions. So there's that. As for the more or less 'useless' to me personally animals I'd say the cuttlefish. As I don't think I'd ever interact with them, but I'm glad to know their around.

S. L. Hennessy said...

I'm always so jealous of zoologist. They have such a cool job. Wish I could spend all my time with animals.

Journaling Woman said...

That would be an awesome career, Zoology.

Thanks for the pictures too.


Chris Fries said...

Congratulations on surviving the A-to-Z! And without a doubt, your blog was filled with some of the deepest topics of all the challenge!

Old Kitty said...

Oh you made it to Zeeeeeeeeee!! Well done you!! Phew - what a most scientific and mind boggling ride but this -this is my favourite!! The natural world of plants and animals and other creatures! Yay!! Thank you for excercising my brain for me!! Take care

Pat Hatt said...

awesome pics the leopard was my favorites. As far as animals go I like so many, just no rats..haha

mooderino said...

good job. I enjoyed your posts, might even ahve learned a thing or two. My favourite animals are the delicious ones.

Moody Writing
The Funnily Enough

Carolyn Abiad said...

"The Ants" was amazing. Have you seen the ARKive project on the web? I heard he was involved with that too. Brilliant man.

Great job on the A-Z challenge. I learned some cool new things over here. ;)

Carole Anne Carr said...

My favourite, very mundane, the house cat. Wonderful photographs, great for embroidery, pottery, collage!

Madeleine Maddocks said...

Love those pics. My brother always wanted to be a zoologist. For some reason he became an archaeoligist and librarian instead! LOL!

Inger said...

Thank you for all the effort you have put into this. I feel better educated after reading your posts. Somehow, for example, I didn't know what applied science meant. Now I do. The photos are gorgeous and their subjects fascinating. You picked some great ones.

running4him said...

Great final post and good job!!! I love every kind of animal, so much that my friends cal me Jeff Corwin Jr. but I love Numbats!!!

Lucy Adams said...

Do I have to pick a favorite? I simply can't. To pick just one, is to leave out all others and I'm unable to commit because of that.

Nice post!


Julie Daines said...

Loved you posts and pictures. Great word to end on, since I was a Zoology major at the university! And congratulations on completing the A to Z Challenge.

Heather said...

What a perfect way to wrap up the challenge! I love zoology and actually wanted to be a zoologist when I was little.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I love seeing animals in the wild. We have a hawk who has made her home in the patch of woods behind our house.
Not sure I have a favorite animal.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

I have a friend majoring in zoology.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Fantastic post! Just wanted to say that I am so happy that our paths have crossed through A-Z ... yay for this being the last day though.

Kathy M.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Now that's a science I understand. Great photos. Good job, Golden!

Rekha said...

Those photos are a thrill for tired eyes. one of my second cousins studied zoology in college and went on to do an MBA...guess he went from classifying animals in the wild to human ones in the corporate world.

the writing pad said...

The Eagle has Landed (at Z!)
Thanks for fabulous pics and piece, today, and lots of great posts over the last 26 :-)
Well done!

Rachel Morgan said...

Interesting. In this country we pronounce it Zoo-ology :-)

Such beautiful pictures! I love the little wild horse.

PS - I've never been able to figure out my favourite animal!

Anonymous said...

I understand and appreciate the study of animals. However, the older I get, the more I dislike zoos.

L.G.Smith said...

Hadn't heard that theory about evolution and geography...or distance from land of origin. Fascinating (said in my best Spock impression).

Love the photos too. Sea turtles make me smile.

Jessica L. Foster said...

I love zoology. Thanks for sharing. The pictures were also wonderful.

Cherie Reich said...

Beautiful zoo pictures! I think my favorite animal would have to be the cheetah.

The Golden Eagle said...

JeffO: Thank you!

You're very welcome. I really enjoyed writing my posts!

Li: I agree; we think we know so much about Earth, but there are still unknown species.


Julie: Ah, big cats . . . that reminds of a book I just finished with tiger shape-shifters. :P

Same to you.

Rusty: Nah, I wouldn't say that's cheating. We are animals, after all.

Cuttlefish are really cool sea creatures. I watched a NOVA documentary about them once.

S. L.: It would be awesome to do that. :)

Teresa: Agreed.

You're welcome! All courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, of course.

Chris: Thank you!

Probably my Oceanography post the most of all, right? ;)

Old Kitty: Thank you so much!

You're welcome; researching and posting about these subjects exercised my brain, too. :)

Pat: I knew I had to post that one when I noticed it on Wikimedia Commons.

I don't mind lab rats; they seem pretty handle-able. But wild ones are crazy.

Mooderino: Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed them.

Carolyn: David Attenborough, too. :)

Carole: I'm glad you liked the photos!

Madeleine: Maybe he wanted to learn about that well-known of animals, humans? :P

Inger: You're welcome--it was my pleasure to write them!

Running4him: Thank you!

I've never heard of numbats before; but I just looked them up and they seem like really interesting animals.

Lucy: No, you don't--I was just curious. :)

Thank you.

Julie: I'm glad you enjoyed them! All the more so since you majored in Zoology; that's impressive.

Thank you!

Heather: It's an interesting profession. :)

Susan: Do you think there will be chicks later in the year? There are hawks around here, but they're always soaring over the hills, not in the backyard. (Sigh. LOL.)

Michael: Cool!

Kathy: Thank you!

It's great to meet you through the Challenge. :) Though I'm a bit glad it's over as well!

Alex: Thanks! :)

Rekha: Wow. Not a shift I would have predicted . . . but MBAs are good, too.

The writing pad: LOL. Yup, finally touched down.

You're welcome. :)


Rachel: It's one of those words that fluctuates; zoo-ology is recognized by some, but not all authorities. I used to pronounce it zoo-ology until I researched the definition. :P

I like that image, too.

Joshua: It's the crowds that bother me when it comes to zoos. Busy ones become less about the exhibits and more about the throngs of people . . .

L.G.: LOL. Ever since I started watching Star Trek I haven't been able to think of the word fascinating the same way. Or interesting, for that matter.

Glad you liked the photos! :)

They make me smile, too.

Jessica: You're very welcome.

Cherie: That's one impressive animal!

Elise Fallson said...

Great post and beautiful pictures. So glad the A-Z lead me to your blog!(:

Mikazuki said...

Wonderful post! Apparently I've been mispronouncing 'zoology' all my life. XD Not exactly surprising, that. My favorite animal is the giant squid. Giant squids are cool.

Congratulations on finishing the challenge!!! I haven't commented on all of your posts, but I read most of them, and they were wonderful. :) Let's celebrate a successful A to Z!

Baur said...

Hmmm I'm going to need some time to think of my favorite animal

M Pax said...

We're on the same wavelength again. I owe you at least two sodas. :)

The photos are stunning that you chose. My favorite animal is cats. I love my two girls.

Libby said...

UGH! Those pictures are gorgeous!!!!

Lynda R Young said...

You've included some beautiful images in this post. I didn't realise zoology had so many sub-fields.

Congrats for making it to the end of the challenge!!

Alleged Author said...

Wild horses are amazing. Are they still around?

Jemi Fraser said...

Those are glorious pics! Our planet is full of such beauty. My favourite animal is the gorilla (I know). Followed closely by whales and wolves and horses and...

Great job on the challenge - I loved your posts! :)

Carrie Butler said...

There's intense animal debate going on in my area this week. Sad stuff.

As for my favorite animal, it would have to be a wolf or a tiger. :) Thanks for sharing, Eagle!

Matt said...

This is awesome, congrats on completing the A-Z challenge, well done! I feel like I'm visiting the discovery channel online or something! very fun stuff thanks!

Christine Rains said...

Congratulations on finishing the Challenge! You did a fantastic job. Your posts were incredibly fascinating. Love the photos you added on today. So beautiful. My favorite animal is a wolf. (So cliche for a paranormal romance writer!)

Nancy Thompson said...

Hard to believe there could be anyone who all there was to know about all the animals. Gotta be pretty smart for that.

I LOVE those pics of the fish and the frog. WOW, so colorful! Thanks for an very informative and interesting series!

Andrew Leon said...

I was so into that as a kid. Just after paleontology.

Jay Noel said...

With three little ones, I have to say that zoology is the FIRST real exposure kids have to science.

It begins with the cuddly cute animals. And that lasts a long time, but eventually, kids' curiosity gets them to learn about insects, bats, jellyfish, and all kinds of weird animals.

Nate Wilson said...

Zoology's great, but what I'd love to do even more is cryptozoology. (I'm pretty sure that's where animals are encrypted to look like other animals in order to make them safe from predators.)

Oh yeah, and my favorite Animal is the muppet.

Anonymous said...

I'm fascinated by this branch of science.

Congrats on finishing A to Z.

Anonymous said...

Yay...we made it!!

Bunnies!!! ;)

....Petty Witter said...

Being all about animals I found this post fascinating reading, thanks.

Talli Roland said...

I quite like the humble platypus.:)

Congrats on finishing the challenge!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Congrats, on reaching the last A to Z post. Lovely pictures.

Zoology has always been one of my favourite subjects.

Sarah Allen said...

I was actually going to be a zoology major at one point. Great post! And congrats on finishing the challenge!

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

David P. King said...

This was an amazing month of posts, Eagle. So much science all wrapped into a tight series. Glad to see you make it to the end! :)

Erin M. Hartshorn said...

Another excellent post. Humorously enough, my son's class is discussing scientific classification now; I might have to show him your post.

My favorite animal? When I was young, I wanted nothing more than my very own monkey. Now? I like cats, both domestic and wild, and raptors -- all sorts, including falcons, merlins, and hawks, especially.


Charles Gramlich said...

I sure have enjoyed a lot of E. O. Wilson's work.

Lily Tequila said...

Life is amazing! My favourite animals will always be my children :-) Congratulations on a very educational A-Z!

The Golden Eagle said...

Elise: Thank you!

I'm glad I found yours, too. :)

Mikazuki: Thanks!

I used to pronounce it zoo-ology as well. :P

I love learning about giant squids; they're mysterious creatures.

Thank you--I'm so glad you enjoyed my posts!

Baur: Hope you'll come back and let us know if you think of an animal you like.

M: How about we split them? ;)

Glad you like the pictures!

Libby: I'd hoped readers would enjoy them. :D

Lynda: Yup!

Thank you. :)

Alleged Author: Sort of. There are horses that are like wild horses, thought not exactly the same:


Jemi: Indeed it is!

Gorillas are interesting animals. Anything humanoid is. :)

Thank you!

Carrie: Wow. I remember when they announced that the exotic animals had been released; I didn't know they were planning on returning them to private hands.

Great animals. :)

You're welcome!

Matt: Thank you so much! You're quite welcome for it. :)

Christine: Thank you.

But wolves are cool, anyhow.

Nancy: Definitely. That's why I'm awe of people like David Attenborough.

You're very welcome!

Andrew: It's an interesting science.

Jay: Good point; it's one of the few sciences that kids can grasp at an early age.

Nate: Yeah, that's the one. Though are you sure it's not the field where animals turn themselves into imaginary numbers?

LOL. Great choice of Animal. ;)

Medeia: Thank you!

Stuart: HOORAY.

They're cute. :) LOL.

Petty Witter: You're welcome!

Talli: That's a fascinating mammal.


Rachna: Thank you--glad you liked the photos, too!

Sarah: Thanks!

It would be really interesting to major in zoology.

David: LOL. Yeah, at a few points I thought "I'm not going to be capable of doing much by the end of April . . ."


Erin: If you do, I hope he finds it interesting.

We have something in common there--my favorite animal is a raptor. The golden eagle, to be precise. ;)

Charles: I haven't read any of it, though I did watch a documentary that was based around his work.

The Golden Eagle said...

Lily: I'm sure they're wonderful. :)


Romance Book Haven said...

Congratulations on completing teh challenge! Interesting posts all throughout!

Thanks for today's interesting post.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Those photos are stunning. My favorite animal these days is the cat, like my Katie Cat. My favorite wild animal is the polar bear.

Baur said...

Love zoology I'm taking classes on it next year

DWei said...

Oops, looks like I've been pronouncing it wrong the whole time ._.

Rob-bear said...

When life is a zoo, everything is Zoology!

Thanks for your wonderfully thoughtful postings.

Blessings and Bear hugs.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Golden .. loved this post - I'd love to know more about this subject .. so great you've given us this amount of information. OE Wilson - seems amazing .. and then that video .. so the smaller the Amazon Rainforest - the fewer flora and fauna will survive ... it highlights a lot ...

Love the photos too .. delighted to have been a part of your A - Z challenge ..

Cheers Hilary

Traci Kenworth said...

My favorite is horses.

mshatch said...

Holy cow those are some amazing pictures! Especially that Mandarin fish. Beautiful.

Rob-bear said...

Zoological information. White milk comes from white cows. Chocolate milk does from brown cows. Swiss cheese comes from holey (or Holy) cows.

Or so I'm told.

☆•.¸.Mildred.¸.•☆ said...

loved visiting your blog!
Thanks for sharing;o)

Happy day****

The Golden Eagle said...

Romance Book Haven: Thank you! :)

You're welcome.

Patricia: Polar bears are interesting animals.

Baur: That's awesome!

DWei: I was pronouncing it zoo-ology until I read about the definition, too. :P

Rob-bear: Good point!

You're very welcome. :)

Hilary: I'm glad you liked it!

It was great to read your A-Z Challenge posts. You highlighted so many interesting places.

Traci: I hope you liked the picture I posted of them. ;)

Mshatch: That's one of my favorite sea creatures.

Rob-bear: It would make sense if things happened that way . . .

Mildred: I'm glad you enjoyed it!

You're very welcome.

And said...

There are so many different species that is almost impossible for me to choose my favourit, specially when I don't know half of then!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Difficult question. The leopard is my favourite cat, the peregrine my best bird, and I love horses, not sure about the order here though.
Great selection of photos. Diane

The Golden Eagle said...

And: There are definitely a lot of species. :)

Also, do you have a blog? I like to comment back on the sites of people who visit mine, and Blogger tells me your profile isn't public.

Diane: I think it's good to have several favorite animals. ;)

Glad you liked the photos!

Paul Tobin said...

Congratulations, I have learned so much this past month, with many tags to follow up and learn more. Thanks.

Deniz Bevan said...

Gorgeous animals! I've been watching webcams of eagles for a month now, ever since they hatched...

The Golden Eagle said...

Paul: You're welcome! :)

Deniz: I love those webcams.