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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 embryology and morphology revealed much about the nature of growth and the biological relationships of animals. The system of binomial nomenclature (see classification) was devised to indicate these relationships; Linnaeus was the first to make it consistent and apply it systematically. Paleontology, the study of fossil organisms, was founded as a science by Cuvier c.1812. Knowledge of physiological processes expanded greatly when physiology was integrated with the chemical and other physical sciences. The establishment of the cell theory in 1839 and the acceptance of protoplasm as the stuff of life 30 years later gave impetus to the development of genetics. Lamarck, Mendel, and Darwin presented concepts that revolutionized scientific thought. Their theories of evolution and of the physical basis of heredity prompted research into all life processes and into the relationships of all organisms. The classic work of Pasteur and Koch opened up bacteriology as a field. Modern zoology has not only concentrated on the cell, its parts and functions, and on expanding the knowledge of cytology, physiology, and biochemistry, but it has also explored such areas as psychology, anthropology, and ecology.
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The science that deals with knowledge of animal life. With the great growth of information about animals, zoology has been much subdivided. Some major fields are anatomy, which deals with gross and microscopic structure; physiology, with living processes in animals; embryology, with development of new individuals; genetics, with heredity and variation; parasitology, with animals living in or on others; natural history, with life and behavior in nature; ecology, with the relation of animals to their environments; evolution, with the origin and differentiation of animal life; and taxonomy, with the classification of animals. See Developmental biology, Genetics, Parasitology, Phylogeny, Plant evolution, Taxonomy

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Bioscience. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the science of animals; the part of biology that studies the diversity of the animal world and the structure and life activity of animals, their distribution, their relationship with the environment, and the principles of their individual and historical development. Zoology is closely connected to the industrial activity of man and to the mastery, rebuilding, and preservation of the animal world of earth.

Zoology is broken down into a number of disciplines, on the basis of the goals of research. Animal taxonomy endeavors to describe the diversity of species, to classify them according to their similarities and differences, to establish a hierarchy of taxa, and to construct a natural system that reflects the historical development of the animal world. Animal morphology investigates the external and internal structure of animals (their anatomy), and comparative evolutionary morphology compares the structures of animals of different taxonomic groups, establishing the principles of their historical development. The evolutionary development of the animal world is studied by phylogenetics, while individual development is investigated by embryology (ontogeny). Animal ecology studies the interrelationships of animals and their relationships with other organisms and inorganic factors in the environment. Ethology studies animal behavior on the comparative and evolutionary levels. Zoogeography, a division of zoology and physical geography, studies the distribution of animals on dry land and in water and the factors that determine that distribution. Paleozoology, which is closely related to phylogenetics and evolutionary morphology, studies extinct animals of previous geologic epochs. Historically a branch of zoology, animal physiology developed into an independent biological science devoted to the functions of the animal body.

Zoology is subdivided into a number of subordinate disciplines, according to the objects of research: protozoology (the science of unicellular animals), helminthology (the study of parasitic worms), malacology (study of mollusks), carcinology (study of crustaceans), arachnology (study of arachnids), acarology (study of ticks and mites), entomology (study of insects), ichthyology (study offish and ichthyoids), herpetology (study of amphibians and reptiles), ornithology (study of birds), and mammalology (science of mammals). Zoology uses various methods of investigation that are common to many biological disciplines.

Zoology is closely associated with other biological sciences and with medicine and veterinary science. Some of its divisions are parts of such complex disciplines as parasitology, hydrobiology, epizootology, and epidemiology. Thus, for example, the study of the animal parasites of man, domestic and beneficial animals, and animal carriers of pathogens has special significance for medical and veterinary parasitology. Zoological research is the basis for planning measures to control animal pests in agriculture and forestry. Many of the invertebrate animals studied by branches of zoology, including certain mollusks, crustaceans, and insects (bees and the myrtle silkworm, for example), are used by man as sources of food and raw materials for industry. Measures for breeding fish reserves, regulating the numbers of various types of game, and acclimatizing beneficial animals are based on ecozoological research.

Historical survey. Descriptions of animals date from the most ancient times: Books about animals were written in ancient China and India. However, the science of zoology originated in ancient Greece and is associated with the name of Aristotle. Approximately 500 species of animals are described in his works. He is credited with a number of important ideas and generalizations, including the interdependence of parts of the body (correlation) and the concept of gradations. Among the naturalists of ancient Rome the most famous was Gaius Pliny the Elder, author of Natural History (37 books), which described all the animals known at that time.

Zoology, as well as all the natural sciences, underwent considerable development during the Renaissance. During the 16th and 17th centuries the first knowledge was accumulated on the variety of animals, their structure, and their way of life. Characteristic of the period are the works of the Swiss scientist K. von Gesner and the French scientists G. Rondelet and P. Belon. The invention of the microscope was very important for the development of zoology. The works of the Dutch microscopist A. Leeuwenhoek, the Italian scientist M. Malpighi, and the English physician W. Harvey laid the foundation for man’s knowledge of the world of microscopic living things and for the study of the microscopic structures and embryonic development of animal organisms. The present-day taxonomy of the animal world originated at the end of the 17th century and in the first half of the 18th century, chiefly in the works of the English scientist J. Ray and the Swedish naturalist C. Linnaeus. (The first edition of Linnaeus’ Systema naturae was published in 1735.) The Linnaean system used the taxonomic categories species, genus, order, and class. The animal kingdom was divided into six classes: mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, insects, and worms. In his Natural History (36 vols., 1749–88), the French naturalist Buffon, a contemporary of Linnaeus, presented extensive material on animal biology and expressed the concept that change in species is caused by environmental conditions. The French anatomist and paleontologist G. Cuvier elaborated the doctrine of the correlation of organs (1801–05), based on the idea of the integrity of the body and the interconnection of its parts. He also introduced into zoology the concept of the phylum (1812). Like Linnaeus, Cuvier was a representative of metaphysical biology, which affirmed the immutability of species.

The works of other important zoologists at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century express clearly a concept of the historical development of the organic world. A contemporary of Cuvier, the French zoologist E. Geoffroy St.-Hilaire, also held the view of the mutability of species under the direct influence of external factors. His contemporary Lamarck propounded in the Philosophy of Zoology (vols. 1–2, 1809) the first theory of the evolution of the organic world. Lamarck devised a system of invertebrate animals, which he divided into 14 classes. Among the adversaries of Cuvier’s metaphysical views was the outstanding Russian zoologist K. F. Rul’e, who recognized that species evolve under the influence of environmental conditions. Rul’e was among the initiators of the ecological trend in Russian zoology and the founder of a broad scientific school whose members included N. A. Severtsov, A. P. Bogdanov, and la. A. Borzenkov. Highly significant contributions to zoology were made by the Russian zoologist Kh. I. Pander and by K. M. Baer, the founder of embryological research and the author of the doctrine of germ layers in vertebrates. In the 1830’s and 1840’s the development of zoology was furthered by the German scientist T. Schwann’s cell theory, which Engels considered one of the three great 19th-century discoveries in the natural sciences.

A turning point in the development of zoology and of biology as a whole was Darwin’s theory of the evolution of the organic world (1859), which affirmed the historical view of nature and discovered natural selection, the principal moving factor in evolution. In the light of Darwin’s theory, zoology faced new tasks, chiefly in establishing the paths of animal evolution and the factors in it. Basing his work on evolutionary doctrine, the German scientist E. Haeckel laid the foundations of phylogenetic zoology in the second half of the 19th century. Almost simultaneously with F. Miiller he formulated the biogenetic law establishing the connection between the individual and historical development of animals. Comparative anatomy developed rapidly on the basis of evolutionary doctrine. (Among its representatives were R. Wiedersheim and C. Gegenbaur in Germany, T. Huxley and E. Ray Lankester in Great Britain, and A. Milne-Edwards and Y. Delage in France.) In the development of comparative evolutionary embryology a leading role was played by Russian zoologists such as E. Metchnikoff and A. O. Kovalevskii. With his research on fossil ungulates V. O. Kovalevskii laid the foundation of evolutionary paleontology.

As a result of many major land and sea expeditions, taxonomy and zoogeography developed rapidly. The British round-the-world expedition on the ship Challenger (1872–76) initiated the study of ocean fauna. The number of described animal species grew steadily. The Linnaean system had originally included 4,208 species. By the first half of the 19th century that number had grown to 48,000, and at the end of the 19th century it exceeded 412,000. The foundations of animal ecology, hydrobiology, and parasitology were laid in the second half of the 19th century. Zoological societies were established in many countries, and beginning in 1889, International Zoological Congresses were held periodically.

Twentieth-century development. During the 20th century faunal research was continued on land and in the seas and oceans. By comparison with the end of the 19th century, the number of species known to science tripled, totaling 1.2–1.5 million (according to the data of various authors). The study of the Pacific Ocean was particularly fruitful for faunistics, zoogeography, and taxonomy. Dozens of expeditionary vessels from various countries participated in Pacific research. Of greatest significance in the 1950’s and 1960’s were the expeditions of the Soviet ship Vitiaz and the Danish ship Galathea. Associated with the work of the Vitiaz’ is a major discovery—the description by A. V. Ivanov of dozens of species of animals of a new phylum called Nogonophora. In the eastern Pacific the Galathea discovered the primitive mollusks of the genus Neopilina, which have been described by the Danish zoologists H. Lemche and K. Wingstrand. Part of the class Monoplacophora, they had previously been known only in the fossil state. A lungfish Latimeria was caught in 1938 near the southeastern shores of Africa and described by the British scientist D. Smith. Until then, lungfish had been known only as fossils from Paleozoic and Mesozoic deposits.

The work of reconstructing and perfecting the taxonomy of the animal world continues. On the basis of comparative anatomical and embryological research, the number of higher taxons (phyla and classes) has increased considerably. Cuvier distinguished only four phyla; contemporary systems recognize many more. For example, in Foundations of Invertebrate Comparative Anatomy (3rd ed., vols. 1–2, 1964) the Soviet zoologist V. N. Beklemishev distinguished 16 phyla. Of great theoretical and practical significance in animal taxonomy is the problem of species, whose elaboration has occupied scientists particularly in recent decades. The study of populations as the forms of existence of species and as the elementary unit in which species formation begins has an important place in this research. The problems of intraspecies taxonomy have an immediate bearing on population genetics and evolutionary animal ecology, which studies the ecological mechanisms of the evolutionary process (the works of the Soviet ecologist S. S. Shvarts, 1969).

The traditional methods of animal taxonomy (comparative anatomical, paleontological, and embryological) are being enriched by new approaches such as the biochemical and serological molecular-genetic. Thus, for taxonomic and phylogenetic purposes, the Soviet biochemist A. N. Belozerskii studies the nucleotide composition of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in organisms of various species. The methods of karyology, which were previously used chiefly in plant taxonomy, are being used increasingly in zoology.

In addition to the problems of the microevolution of animals, the principles of macroevolution and the specific paths of phylogenesis continue to be studied. The Belgian paleontologist L. Dollo formulated the rule of the irreversibility of phylogenetic development in 1893, and the American E. Cope showed in 1896 that new phylogenetic branches originate in unspecialized forms. Of great significance for understanding the paths of animal evolution was the investigation of the morphological-physiological principles of the evolutionary process (Soviet scientist A. N. Severtsov, German scientist B. Rensch, and British scientist J. Huxley). On the basis of a great deal of zoological data, the Soviet scientist V. A. Dogel’ elaborated the doctrine of the decline in the number of homologous organs during evolution (oligomerization).

There are two contradictory tendencies in 20th-century knowledge of the specific ways in which various groups of animals evolved. Proceeding from the Darwinian concept of evolution, the majority of researchers accept the monophyletic character of phylogenesis and believe that divergence is the principal means of evolutionary transformation. Of course, this does not preclude isolated instances of convergence and parallelism in the development of groups. Advocates of the opposite point of view presume the existence of numerous parallel lines of phylogenetic development (polygenesis). They believe that large taxons (classes and orders) as well as some genera and species are derived from various roots that developed parallel to each other. In such a concept of phylogenesis, taxonomic units lose their usual meaning as a complex of related species or genera linked by identical origins, and the relationship between the components of a taxon becomes accidental and difficult to explain. For this reason, investigators who assert that polygenesis is the basic principle of phylogenesis adopt anti-Darwinist positions and accept the principle of autogenesis.

In addition to the deepening of knowledge in the comparative and evolutionary morphology of ontogenesis, the causal and functional analysis of individual development has been characteristic of the growth of animal embryology in the 20th century. The trend toward emphasizing these aspects of the field began in the late 19th century with the works of the German biologist W. Roux. Of especially great significance in embryology’s development in the 20th century were the works of H. Spemann and J. Holfreter (Germany, 1920–30), C. Child (USA), and D. P. Filatov (USSR). In the mid-20th century a synthesis of experimental embryology and genetics became evident. Differentiation of the parts of the embryo was considered the result of the successive action of various genes in ontogenesis. The Soviet scientist P. G. Svetlov elaborated the doctrine of critical periods in individual development.

Ecology, which studies the interrelationships of organisms and their relationship with their environment, has acquired increasing significance in present-day zoology. One of its tasks is the investigation of populations and their formation, structure, and dynamics. In researching these problems ecologists come directly into contact with the problem of species structure and species formation. An important trend in present-day ecology is the study of biocenoses. Ecology also studies the interrelationships between parasites and their hosts and the means by which parasites circulate in natural biocenoses. Important generalizations have been made by the Soviet zoologists E. N. Pavlovskii (the natural nidality of transmissible diseases) and V. A. Dogel’ (ecological parasitology).

Between 1950 and 1960 several specialized fields of zoology developed. Soil zoology studies the characteristics of soil biocenoses (for example, the works of the Soviet scientist M. S. Giliarov). Cave fauna and marine and freshwater psammophilic fauna are being studied. (The latter group is a unique biocenosis that inhabits the surface layer of sand. It has been studied by the Soviet zoologist E. S. Neizvestnaia-Zhadina, who proposed the term “psammon,” by the Swedish scientist B. Swedmark, and by the German, A. Remane.) Closely associated with ecology is zoogeography. In addition to the study of the factors that determine the present-day geographic distribution of animals, the historical aspect of zoogeography, which considers the present-day distribution of the animal world in the light of its historical past, has acquired great importance.

Paleozoology, originally a descriptive science (the hand-maiden of stratigraphic geology), has become part of zoology, playing a particularly important role in establishing the revolutionary pathways of the animal world. Also of considerable significance in the development of evolutionary paleozoology was the emergence of paleoecological trend (the German scientist O. Abel and Soviet scientists A. A. Borisiak and lu. A. Orlov). In a number of cases, the elaboration of new methods of paleozoological research has permitted the reconstitution of not only the external appearance but also the internal organization of fossil animals. (This was done, for example, by the Swedish scientist E. Stensio, who worked with some species of Agnatha.)

Pret-evolutionary Russia and the Soviet Union. the development of zoology in Russia and the Soviet Union is similar to that of world science, but it has a number of distinguishing features. Systematic study of the fauna of Russia by means of expeditions began in the 18th century. The most important work of that period includes the exploration of Kamchatka by S. P. Krasheninnikov, G. V. Steller, and I. G. Gmelin, who were members of Bering’s expedition. The expeditions of S. G. Gmelin furthered the study of the fauna of southern Russia and Dagestan, and I. I. Lepekhin studied the animal world of European Russia and Siberia. The expeditions and works of P. S. Pallas made a great contribution to the knowledge of the national fauna. Among the expeditions of the first half of the 19th century was that of K. M. Baer, which explored Novaia Zemlia, the Gulf of Finland, Lake Chudskoe, and the Volga. A. F. Middendorf s expeditions to the Kola Peninsula, Siberia, the White Sea, and the Fergana Valley also belong to that period. Substantial ichthyological research was done by K. F. Kessler (University of St. Petersburg). Of outstanding significance were the works of N. A. Severtsov, the founder of the Russian school of ecology.

In the first half of the 19th century the first Russian scientific societies were founded. The geographical society organized the expeditions of N. M. Przheval’skii, A. P. Fedchenko, and P. K. Kozlov, who investigated the fauna of Central Asia, which had been very little studied. The Congresses of Russian Naturalists and Physicians played a positive role in the development of zoology as well as the other biological sciences. (Between 1867 and 1913, 13 congresses were held.)

In the second half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century the study of marine fauna was begun (the works of N. M. Knipovich on the Barents, Black, Azov, and Caspian seas, S. A. Zernov on the Black Sea, and K. M. Deriugin on the Barents Sea and the Far Eastern seas). The development of zoological research was promoted by the organization of marine and freshwater biological stations at Sevastopol’ (1871) and Solovets (1881) and on lakes Glubokoe (1891) and Bologoe (Borodino, 1896).

The second half of the 19th century in Russia was characterized by the spread and further elaboration of Darwinism. As a result of the research of A. O. Kovalevskii and E. Metchnikoff, V. V. Zealenskii, and V. N. Ul’ianin, the Russian school of embryology held a leading place in the world. Research in faunistics and the taxonomy of various groups of animals was done in greater depth. In 1911, N. V. Nasonov founded the series of monographs Fauna Rossii i sonpredel’nykh stran (Fauna of Russia and Neighboring Countries; it continued to be published in the Soviet period as Fauna SSSR [Fauna of the USSR]).

Theoretical investigations in taxonomy were published (for example, the works of A. P. Semenov-Tian-Shanskii), as well as works on zoogeography, including an important series by M. A. Menzbir. In the late 19th and early 20th century a series of manuals and textbooks was issued that strongly promoted the spread and development of zoological knowledge—V. M. Shimkevich’s The Biological Foundations of Zoology (1900) and A Course in the Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrate Animals (1905), N. A. Kholodovskii’s Textbook of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy (1905) and A Short Course in Entomology (1890), and N/V. Bobretskii’s Text-book of Zoology (1897). During the same period V. A. Vagner began research on comparative zoopsychology and V. T. Sheviakov worked in protozoology.

In prerevolutionary Russia the development of zoology as well as other sciences took place primarily in a few university cities. In all of Siberia there was only one center for scientific studies—the University of Tomsk. The role of the Academy of Sciences in the development of zoology was confined to work in taxonomy and faunistics at the Zoological Museum in St. Petersburg (directed for many years by N. V. Nasonov) and at the so-called Special Zoological Laboratory, which was directed by A. O. Kovalevskii at the end of the 19th century.

After the October Socialist Revolution many new centers for zoological research were established in the USSR. Planning was introduced into science—that is, working out zoological problems was subordinated to meeting the goals of the national economic plan. Increasing numbers of professional zoologists were trained at the universities and other institutions of higher learning, such as pedagogical, lumber technology, and agricultural institutes. (Under Soviet power the number of zoologists increased eightfold, and between 1917 and 1970 the number of universities quintupled.)

In the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (AN SSSR) the leading institution is the Zoological Institute with the Zoo-Museum in Leningrad. There are a number of academic institutes in Moscow, including the A. N. Severtsov Institute of Evolutionary Animal Morphology and Ecology, the Paleontology Institute, the Helminthology Laboratory, the Institute of Developmental Biology, and the Institute of Oceanography. Also part of the AN SSSR are the Institute of the Biology of Inland Waters (Rybinsk Reservoir), the Murmansk Marine Biology Institute, the Biological Institute of the Siberian Division of the AN SSSR (Novosibirsk), the Institute of Marine Biology (Vladivostok), and the Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology (Sverdlovsk). The academies of science of all the Soviet republics have zoological establishments such as institutes of zoology (for example, in the Ukrainian SSR), combined institutes of zoology and botany, or institutes of biology. Departments or laboratories of zoology also belong to all branches of the AN SSSR. An important zoological center in Moscow is the Zoological Museum of Moscow State University.

Zoological research on marine animals is conducted under the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of the Fishing Industry and Oceanography and its branches. The State Scientific Research Institute of the Lake and River Fishing Industry studies freshwater animals. The All-Union Plant Protection Institute and its peripheral institutes study insects and rodents (agricultural pests). Important work in zoology is conducted by biological stations, permanent and temporary game preserves, and departments of universities and pedagogical and agricultural institutions of higher learning. Particular aspects of zoology are worked on under the Academy of Medicine of the USSR and various medical institutes.

Important summaries and manuals on various branches of zoology are evidence of the progress that has been made in zoology under Soviet power. Among the most outstanding of these are the four-volume collective work A Manual of Zoology (edited by L. A. Zenkevich, 1937–51), Comparative Anatomy of Invertebrates, by V. A. DogeF (vols. 1–2, 1938–40), and Fundamentals of the Comparative Anatomy of Invertebrates, by V. N. Beklemishev (1944). Other major general works include A Course in the Zoology of Vertebrate Animals, by D. N. Kashkarov and V. V. Stanchinskii (1935), Fundamentals of General Ichthyology, by E. K. Suvorov (1940), A Course in General Entomology, by B. N. Shvanvich (1949), and Fundamentals of the Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates by I. I. Shmal’gauzen (1923).

A number of important works by Soviet zoologists are devoted to general problems of phylogeny. Among them are N. A. Livanov’s monograph Evolutional Paths of the Animal World (1955), D. M. Fedotov’s” Evolution and Phylogenesis of Invertebrate Animals (1966), I. I. Shmal’-gauzen’s Origin of Terrestrial Vertebrates (1964), and A. V. Ivanov’s Origin of Multicellular Animals (1968). The morphological-physiological principles of the evolution of the animal world are being studied in detail by such scientists as Severtsov, Shmal’gauzen, and their pupils. Especially important to an understanding of the principles of tissue evolution in animals was the research by A. A. Zavarzin, who elaborated the doctrine of the parallel development of histological structures, and the work of N. G. Khlopin on evolutionary histology.

Of great interest are the works of P. P. Ivanov, who proposed a theory of the original heteronomy of metameric animals. Progress in animal embryology was greatly promoted by his monograph General and Comparative Embryology (1937) and A. A. Zakhvatkin’s Comparative Embryology of Lower Invertebrates (1949). The research of B. L. Astaurov and his school on experimental parthenogenesis in insects had great theoretical and practical significance.

Considerable progress has been made in the study of the morphology, taxonomy, and faunistics of certain groups of animals. The Zoological Institute of the AN SSSR has published more than 200 volumes in the series Fauna of the USSR and A Key to Fauna of the USSR. In addition, the zoological institutes of the AN SSSR and of the republic academies have published many summaries of regional fauna (the animal world of certain areas or republics). Among them is the series Fauna of the Ukraine, which is published by the Zoological Institute of the Academy of Science of the Ukrainian SSR.

The works of Dogel’ and his school (E. M. Kheisin, lu. I. Polianskii, and A. A. Strelkov) are well known in protozoology. His book General Protistology (1951) was awarded the Lenin Prize in 1957. A large contribution to the knowledge of the parasitic protozoa of domestic animals was made by V. L. lakimov and his school, and knowledge of parasitic protozoa in man was furthered by the work of G. V. Epshtein, P. G. Sergiev, and Sh. D. Moshkovskii. Coelenterates have been studied by P. D. Rezvyi, V. M. Koltun, and D. M. Naumov, who has written a number of works on them. Important research on free-living Turbellaria, their morphology, and their origin was done by N. V. Nasonov, V. N. Beklemishev, and A. V. Ivanov.

Parasitic flatworms, which are important parasites in man and animals, have been studied in detail. B. E. Bykhovskii worked out the classification and phylogeny of flatworms in 1937. K. I. Skriabin and his co-workers compiled a multivolume summary of trematodes, and tapeworms were studied by K. I. Skriabin and his assistants and by M. N. Dubinina. The research of I. N. Filip’ev was devoted to free-living nematodes. There is a broad literature on nematodes that parasitize animals (for example, the series of monographs Fundamentals of Nematodology, vols. 1–22, 1949–71, edited by K. I. Skriabin). General works on nematodes that parasitize plants have been written by A. A. Paramonov and his co-workers and by E. S. Kir’ianova. Among the annelids, polychaetes have been studied in detail by P. V. Ushakov and V. A. Sveshnikov, and a monograph on oligochaetes was published in 1962 by O. V. Chekanovskii. Extensive research on leeches has been done by E. I. Lukin and his co-workers. A relatively complete study of Bryozoa has been done by G. A. Kliuge and his students.

Many works have been written about arthropods, including Entomostraca (S. S. Smirnov, V. M. Rylov, E. V. Borutskii, and K. A. Brodskii). Among Malacostraca, the Amphipoda (E. F. Gur’ianova) and Isopoda (O. G. Kusakin) have been studied in detail. Research has been done on freshwater and abyssal marine crustaceans by la. A. Birshtein and M. E. Vinogradov, and A. P. Markevich has devoted his research to parasitic crustaceans. General problems of the taxonomy and phylogeny of chelicerae have been elucidated in the works of V. B. Dubinin. A great deal of work has been done on mites and ticks, particularly Ixodoidea and Argasidae (for example, the work of E. N. Pavlovskii and his students and of A. A. Zakhvatkin). Spiders have been studied by D. E. Kharitonov, scorpions by V. V. Redikortsev, and the order Solifuga by A. A. Bialynitskii-Birulia.

An enormous number of works about insects have been written. General research in the taxonomy, paleontology, phylogeny, and metamorphosis of insects has been done by N. A. Kholodkovskii, B. B. Rodendorf, N. M. Kulagin, I. I. Ezhikov, E. G. Bekker, V. V. Alpatov, B. N. Shvanvich, A. V. Martynov, and E. S. Smirnov. Problems of diapause, resistance to cold, and photoperiodism in insects have been elucidated by the work of I. V. Kozhanchikov, A. S. Danilevskii, and D. M. Shteinberg. A number of important works have been published on Orthoptera and Dictyoptera (G. A. Bei-Bienko), and general works on Diptera have been written by scientists such as A. A. Shtakel’berg and A. S. Monchadskii. Trichoptera have been studied in detail by S. G. Lepneva, aphids by A. K. Mordvilko. Important works on Hymenoptera have been completed by A. S. Skorikov, V. V. Popov, and S. I. Malyshev, and on Coleoptera by A. P. Semenov-Tian-Shanskii, G. G. lakobson, and A. N. Reikhardt. Lepidoptera have been studied by a number of entomologists, including N. la. Kuznetsov and A. S. Danilevskii, and M. S. Giliarov is among those who have studied insects that inhabit the soil. A number of field guides to insects have been published by G. G. lakobson, M. N. Rimskii-Korsakov, N. N. Plavil’shchikov, I. N. Filip’ev, and G. la. Bei-Bienko.

Of interest are the works of V. A. Lindgol’m and K. M. Deriugin on marine Gastropoda. Important research on marine Lamellibranchia has been done by Z. A. Filatova. Great contributions have been made in research on freshwater mollusks by V. I. Zhadin, in research on terrestrial mollusks, by E. S. Ramel’meier, and in research on endemic Baikal mollusks, by M. M. Kozhov and G. G. Martinson.

The echinoderms of the seas that border the USSR have not yet been sufficiently studied. However, substantial comparative anatomical and paleozoological works on echinoderms have been written by D. M. Fedotov, and the most important publications on the taxonomy of echinoderms have been written by A. M. D’iakonov.

Extensive literature on vertebrate animals has been published under Soviet power. In ichthyology the most outstanding work is that of L. S. Berg on the taxonomy of fish and ichthyoids, particularly the classic monograph Fresh-water Fish in the USSR and Neighboring Countries (vols. 1–3, 1948–49). There are monographs and guides to fish of the northern seas (N. M. Knipovich and A. P. Andriashev), the Far Eastern seas (P. lu. Shmidt and G. U. Lindberg), and the Black and Aral seas (A. N. Svetovidov and G. V. Nikol’skii).

An extremely broad literature is devoted to problems of the ecology of fish, their migration, and the dynamics of their number. Major monographs in ichthyology have been written by V. K. Soldatov and E. K. Suvorov. Extensive research has been devoted to the development of fish, and a theory of the steplike quality of their development has been proposed by S. G. Kryzhanovskii and V. V. Vasnetsov. Methods for regulating the sexual cycle of fish and stimulating reproduction have been devised by N. L. Gerbil’skii and his school. All ichthyological research is closely connected to the problems of fishing and fish breeding. A fairly complete study of amphibians and reptiles is presented in the works of A. N. Nikol’skii, S. A. Chernov, and P. V. Terent’ev.

In ornithology a number of important monographs and field guides have been produced, the best known of which is the compendium Birds of the Soviet Union, edited by G. P. Dement’ev and A. N. Gladkov (vols. 1–6, 1951–54). Of great significance for the development of ornithology in the USSR is the research of P. P. Sushkin, B. K. Shtegman, A.I. Ivanov, and K. A. ludin on the functional morphology, taxonomy, and zoogeography of birds. Many works have been devoted to the study of bird migrations (A. la. Tugarinov, E. V. Kumari, E. V. Kozlova) and various aspects of the ecology of birds (A. S. Mal’chevskii).

Various aspects of the mammalian fauna of the USSR have been studied. S. I. Ognev wrote the multivolume monograph Wild Animals of the USSR and Neighboring Countries (1928–50). A great deal of research has been devoted to certain groups of mammals (for example, the work of B. S. Vinogradov, S. E. Kleinenberg, N. P. Naumov, N. A. Smirnov, and B. K. Feniuk), as well as to the acclimatization of animals and to commercial mammals (for example, the work of A. A. Nasimovich and N. P. Lavrov).

The study of animals in the USSR is accompanied by an analysis of the distribution and origin of fauna. A number of works may be characterized as broad zoogeographic generalizations (on terrestrial animals, the works of P. P. Sushkin, V. G. Geptner, A. N. Formozov, I. G. Pidoplichko, and N. K. Vereshchagin; on marine fauna, the works of K. M. Deriugin, L. A. Zenkevich, and E. F. Gur’ianova).

Animal ecology and its principal divisions—autoecology and synecology—have undergone broad, multifaceted development in the USSR. Of theoretical importance were the works of D. N. Kashkarov (Fundamentals of Animal Ecology, 1938) and N. P. Naumov (Animal Ecology, 1955). A number of works by G. A. Novikov were devoted to field methods in ecology, while the works of ecologists such as I. D. Strel’nikov, N. I. Kalabukhov, and V. S. Ivlev were devoted to the experimental trend in ecology. Ecological population analysis was the subject of research by S. S. Shvarts.

Paleozoology has been extensively developed in the USSR. The principal works on the paleozoology of invertebrates were written by N. N. lakovlev, L. Sh. Davitashvili, and V. E. Ruzhentsov. In vertebrate paleozoology the principal works are those of D. V. Obruchev, A. A. Borisiak, lu. A. Orlov, A. P. Bystrov, and V. I. Gromov. Of great significance for the development of paleozoology in the USSR and abroad are the Fundamentals of Paleontology, edited by lu. A. Orlov (vols. 1–15, 1958–64).

Scientific societies and other organizations promoting the development of zoology. The majority of developed countries have scientific societies that promote the development of zoology. Zoological societies have existed for many decades in a number of countries, including Great Britain, the USA, France, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), and Czechoslovakia.

In a number of university cities in the USSR there are societies of naturalists, which were organized as early as the 1860’s and 1870’s and include zoology divisions. Among them is the Moscow Society of Nature Experimenters. In addition, the USSR has a number of scientific societies that promote the development of particular branches of zoology. Some of these societies, which belong to the AN SSSR, have divisions in the republics and oblasts. The oldest of them is the Russian (All-Union) Entomological Society, which was founded in 1859. A number of all-Union societies were established in the postrevolutionary period, including the Society of Helminthologists, the Hydrobiological Society and the Society of Protozoologists. Functioning under the Ministry of Public Health is the Society of Anatomists, Histologists, and Embryologists, which also considers certain problems of zoology. Scientific societies also exist in many Soviet republics, including the Ukrainian SSR and the Georgian SSR.

Between 1922 and 1930, four All-Union Zoological Congresses were held. More recently, all-Union or republic conferences have been convened repeatedly. The Scientific Council on the Problem of the Biological Foundations of the Mastery. Reconstruction, and Conservation of the Animal World has been established under the AN SSSR to coordinate Soviet zoological research.

In addition, there are international organizations of zoologists. Since 1889, international congresses of zoologists have been held (the sixteenth congress was held in Washington, D.C, in 1963). International congresses on certain branches of zoology are also held. For example, in 1970 the Second Parasitology Congress was held in Washington, D.C., in 1968 in Moscow the Thirteenth Entomological Congress, and in 1969 in Leningrad the Third Congress of Protozoologists.

Of great significance in the development and popularization of zoological knowledge are the zoological museums and parks in many countries. Periodicals also make a substantial contribution to the development of zoology. In the \JSSR,Zoologicheskii zhurnal, which was founded by A. N. Severtsov, has been published since 1916, and in the Ukrainian SSR Vestnik zoologii (Zoology Herald) has been published since 1967. Research in special branches of zoology is also published in Entomologicheskoe obozrenie (Entomological Survey, since 1901) and in the journal Parazitologiia (since 1967). Many important works are published in Trudy Zoologicheskogo institute! AN SSSR (Transactions of the Zoological Institute of the AN SSSR, since 1932) and Trudy Instituta evoliutsionnoi morfologii AN SSSR im. A, N. Severtsova (Transactions of the A. N. Severtsov Institute of Evolutionary Morphology of the AN SSSR, since 1939), as well as in the transactions of universities and pedagogical institutes.

A large number of zoological journals have been published abroad since the middle or end of the 19th century. The most famous and the oldest of these are Zoologische Jahrbücher (Jena, since 1886), Zoologischer Anzeiger (Leipzig, since 1878), Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Zoologie (Leipzig, since 1848), and Proceedings of the Scientific Meetings of the Zoological Society of London (London, since 1853). Also among the world’s oldest and best-known zoology journals are Archives de zoologie experimental et générale (Paris, since 1812),Bulletin de la société zoologique de France (Paris, since 1876), Journal of Morphology (Philadelphia, since 1887), and Vĕstnik Československé společnosti zoologieké (Prague, since 1934).



Bliakher, L. Ia. Istoriia embriologii v Rossii (S serediny XIX do serediny XX veka): Bespozvonochnye. Moscow, 1959.

Bogdanov, A. P. Materialy dlia istorii nauchnoi i prikladnoi deiatel’nosti v Rossii po zoologii i soprikasaiushchimsia s neiu otrasliam znaniia, vols. 1–4. Moscow, 1888–92.

Dannemann, F. Istoriia estestvoznaniia, vols. 1–3. Moscow-Leningrad, 1932–38. (Translated from German.)

Zenkevich, L. A. “Istoriia sistemy bespozvonochnykh.” In Rukovodstvo po zoologii, vol. 1. Moscow, 1937.

Zoologi Sovetskogo Soiuza: Spravochnik. Moscow-Leningrad, 1961.

Lunkevich, V. V. Ot Geraklita do Darvina: Ocherki po istorii biologii, 2nd ed., vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1960.

Plavil’shchikov, N. N. Ocherki po istorii zoologii. Moscow, 1941.

Razvitie biologii v SSSR. Moscow, 1967.

Raikov, B. E. Russkie biologi-evoliutsionisty do Darvina, vols. 1–4. Moscow-Leningrad, 1952–59.

Istoriia biologii s drevneishikh vremen do nachala XX veka. Moscow, 1972.

Burckhardt, R. Geschichte der Zoologie und ihrer wissenschaft-lichen Probleme, vols. 1–2. Berlin-Leipzig, 1921.

Garus, J. Geschichte der Zoologie bis aufJoh. Müller und Ch. Darwin. Munich-Oldenburg, 1872.

Nordenskiöld, E. Geschichte der Biologic. Jena, 1926.

General works

Bobrinskii, N. A., L. A. Zenkevich, and Ia. A. Birshtein. Geografiia zhivotnykh. Moscow, 1946.

Dogel’, V. A. Zoologiia bespozvonochnykh, 5th ed. Moscow, 1959.

Zhizn’ zhivotnykh, vols. 1–6. Moscow, 1968–71.

Bol’shoi praktikum po zoologii bespozvonochnykh, parts 1–2. Leningrad, 1941–46.

Kashkarov, D. N., and V. V. Stanchinskii. Kurs zoologii pozvonochnykh zhivotnykh, 2nd ed. Moscow-Leningrad, 1940.

Ognev, S. I. Zoologiia pozvonochnykh, 4th ed. Moscow, 1945.

Handbuch der Zoologie: Eine Naturgeschichte der Stämme des Tierreiches, vols. 1–8. Founded by W. Kukenthal and published by T. Krumbach. Berlin-Leipzig, 1923–62. (Publication continues.)

Hyman, L. H. The Invertebrates, vols. 1–6. New York-London, 1940–67.

Traité de zoologie: Anatomic, systematique, biologic, vols. 1–17. Published under the direction of P. P. Grasse. Paris, 1948–69. (Publication continues.)

Bronns, H. G. Die Klassen und Ordnungen des Tierreichs, vol. 1. Leipzig-Heidelberg, 1859. (Publication continues.)


Levin, V. L. Spravochnoe posobie po bibliografii dlia biologov. Moscow-Leningrad, 1960.

Zoological Record. (Since 1864.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The science that deals with knowledge of animal life.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. the study of animals, including their classification, structure, physiology, and history
2. the biological characteristics of a particular animal or animal group
3. the fauna characteristic of a particular region
4. a book, treatise, etc., dealing with any aspect of the study of animals
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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Racist conceptions tend to be zoologically conceptual, that is when they are not zootechnical or related to cattle-breeding.
I'd lie on my back on a patch of moss watching a swaying poplar's branches interlace with another's, and the tremulous leaves vibrate, and the clouds forgather to parade zoologically overhead, and felt linked to the whole matrix, as you either do or you don't through the rest of your life.
There is also the spitting option, which is zoologically correct behaviour but might not go down to well with those in the front pew.
Indeed, chong is even more zoologically all-inclusive than covering, as Sterckx maintains, "anything from bugs, worms, reptiles, and insects to other parasitic vermin." In the "Yi ben ruing [Changing the Original Decree]" chapter of the Da Dai Li ji [Elder Dai's Record of Ritual], all the multitudinous creatures with feathers, fur, shells, and scales, as well as those that are "naked," are considered as chong, and human beings are at the top of the last category.
It is fortuitous then that Baudelaire chose the metaphor of the serpent to represent his collection: had he used the more zoologically appropriate term, "worm" or "vers," Le Spleen de Paris may have appeared to be all the more firmly anchored in a purely poetical mutation.
(2.) We prefer Aesop's hare, long somnolent, dashing to catch up with the slow and steady tortoise, as a metaphor for the Irish economy's recent performance over the more widely touted "Celtic tiger." The latter is zoologically improbable, whereas the hare is one of the largest wild animals actually native to Ireland.
"In this unique area where, zoologically, East meets West and Mexico spills over the border," he once observed, "it is possible to see more birds in a day than in any other section of the United States." Indeed, this small, 2,000-acre patch of virgin river-bottom thickets claims one of the longest list of birds--397--in the entire national wildlife refuge system.
All are mixed forest with a broad range of canopy species and no clear dominants.(14) Specifically in relation to biodiversity, the Diecke and Ziama reserves contain important plant and animal species of conservation concern, including 13 birds, reptiles and larger mammals categorized by the IUCN as being under some degree of threat, although the Diecke forest in particular remains relatively unstudied either botanically or zoologically.