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The Zoology ( ancient Greek ζῷον [zoon], "animal", "living beings" and λόγος [lógos], "word, sentence, speech," and "reason" (lat ratio). The doctrine of the formal rules of the valid closing .), to a large extent also animal science , is the discipline of biology , the subject of research is animals ( Animalia ), especially multicellular animals ( Metazoa ). Zoology uses various scientific methods to study shape and body structure ( morphology , anatomy), Life activities ( physiology ), development and tribal history (including paleozoology ), inheritance ( genetics ), environmental relationships ( ecology ), distribution ( zoogeography ) and behavior ( behavioral biology ) of the animals and creates a systematics of the animal kingdom . Most zoologists today have studied biology as a subject. But also veterinarians, forest scientists and geographers sometimes work as zoologists.

Sub-areas of zoology

Animal Group Sciences in Zoology

Study of zoology

The study of zoology is part of a biology degree in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Scientific basics such as physics, chemistry, mathematics (especially statistics), botany and microbiology are also important in the beginning and are a major component on the way to specializing in a zoological subject in advanced studies (usually master’s). Almost all sub-areas of zoology require a very good knowledge of biochemistry and molecular biology. This also applies to such classical subjects as morphology, anatomy, evolutionary research and taxonomy. In the first four to six semesters, biology students are offered a wealth of theoretical and practical courses. Depending on what the university offers, zoological focuses can usually be found in master’s courses in ecology, landscape ecology, marine biology and biodiversity research. This is where the focus on some electives within biology begins. Often the experimental work in small groups becomes even more important. Within zoology, a large number of internships are offered in all universities, which are usually carried out all day and daily over several weeks (sometimes over a whole semester). Many zoological internships are also designed in such a way that they support “research-based learning”.

Zoology is a very diverse subject. Therefore, the combination with a minor subject is interesting, provided the Bachelor's examination regulations permit. The basics of behavioral research are often combined with psychology. If you focus on neurobiology, physics and computer science are particularly helpful and are often studied in addition.

About half of the zoology students start a doctoral thesis after completing their master's thesis.


In addition to the regular course, there are usually opportunities to take part in research work in the institutes. In most universities this is called “freelance work” or project internship, and the work is usually confirmed in the form of a certificate.


The Study Guide Biology has 54 locations in Germany where the subject can be studied. The curricula and study regulations at the various universities in the field of zoology are quite different. The characteristics of the zoological working groups are very different: some work explicitly in animal ecology, zoology, wildlife biology, others impart zoological basics in genetics, neurobiology, ecology, evolutionary biology or another subject of zoology.

Master's programs in zoology are offered by the universities of Basel , Vienna , Graz , Innsbruck and Salzburg . Other universities have given up the separation of zoology, botany and other classic fields of biology and integrated the zoological aspects into more specific, for example physiologically or ecologically oriented master’s courses ( integrative zoology , for example in Rostock).


  • Wilfried Westheide , Reinhard Rieger (Hrsg.): Special zoology. Part 1: Protozoa and invertebrates. 2nd Edition. Spectrum Academic Publishing House, 2006, ISBN 3-8274-1575-6 .
  • Wilfried Westheide, Reinhard Rieger (Hrsg.): Special zoology. Part 2: vertebrates or skulls . Spectrum Academic Publishing House, 2003, ISBN 3-8274-0900-4 .
  • Volker Storch , Ulrich Welsch : Kükenthal - zoological internship. 25th edition. Spectrum Academic Publishing House, 2006, ISBN 3-8274-1643-4 .
  • Volker Storch, Ulrich Welsch: Short textbook of zoology. 8th edition. Spectrum Academic Publishing House, 2004, ISBN 3-8274-1399-0 .
  • Erwin Hentschel, Günther W. Wagner : Dictionary of Zoology. 7th edition. Spectrum Academic Publishing House, 2004, ISBN 3-8274-1479-2 .
  • Volker Storch, Ulrich Welsch: Systematic Zoology. 6th edition. Spectrum Academic Publishing House, 2003, ISBN 3-8274-1112-2 .
  • Claus Nissen: The zoological book illustration. Your bibliography and history. Volume I: Bibliography . Anton Hiersemann Verlag, Stuttgart 1969.
  • Journal of Applied Zoology

Web links

Commons : Zoology  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Zoology  - Sources and Full Texts
Wiktionary: Zoologie  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Erwin J. Hentschel, Günther H. Wagner: Zoological dictionary . 6th edition. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Jena 1996, p. 627 .
  2. logic . In: Wulff D. Rehfus (Hrsg.): Short dictionary philosophy . UTB, Göttingen 2003, ISBN 3-8252-8208-2 , p. 449 .
  3. Master Integrative Zoology (iZoo) - Institute for Biosciences - University of Rostock. In: www.bio.uni-rostock.de. Retrieved October 17, 2016 .