What Is Zoology?

Contributor: Hannah Brooks. Lesson ID: 12377

Does the word "zoology" sound like it has something to do with zoos? Close! It's the scientific study of animals. It's more than just looking at them; zoologists get up close and personal with them!


Life Science

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • What are some topics you enjoy?
  • Would you like to make a career out of your favorite subject?

Maybe you could save some endangered animals for a living!

  • Do you have a favorite school subject?

Many people end up choosing careers and jobs based on the subjects they enjoyed in school. If you really enjoy learning about animals, you may want to become a zoologist one day! A zoologist is a type of scientist that studies animals.


These scientists observe animal behavior, learn how different animals' bodies function, and study the way animals interact with their environment.

  • Do you think zoologists perform an important job? Why or why not?

There are so many animals in our world.

  • Have you heard about endangered species?

Endangered species are animals that, for a variety of reasons, are likely to become extinct, or no longer exist! These animals have low numbers in population and those numbers are likely decreasing quickly. Zoologists are working to help protect animals from danger in the environment, and trying to help animals adapt to a changing world.

Some zoologists work in the wild, studying animals on safari or in the rainforest.


Others work with animals in captivity, like zoos and rescue centers.


In order to understand more about the animals, zoologists make observations about their physical appearance, diet, and other behaviors, such as migration and socialization patterns. These observations help zoologists understand how animals interact with the environment, which can prevent diseases, over-hunting, and extinction. Extinction occurs when all members of an animal species disappear from Earth. Zoologists try very hard to prevent extinction.

  • What questions do you have about the job of a zoologist?
  • How do you think these scientists work to protect animals?
  • How do you think a zoologist's job differs from that of a veterinarian?
  • How do you think the jobs are similar?

Discuss your thoughts with a parent or teacher before moving on to the Got It? section, where you will take a closer look at what a zoologist does each day.

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