The biological discipline that studies animals is called zoology. This term comes from the Greek “zoon” which means animal and “logy” which means science or study .
The diversity of the animal kingdom and its classification
It is estimated that on Earth there are approximately five million species, of which one and a half million belong to the animal kingdom.
The wide variety of animal species makes an order necessary to divide zoology into several areas. Thus, paleontology is one of the areas that refer to animals existing for thousands of years, of which it is possible to study only their mortal remains. Ethology is the discipline that studies the behavior of animals (standards of conduct , system of communication , learning ability, etc.). The distribution of animals on the planet is studied through zoogeography. The structure of the different parts of the animal body is addressed by zoological anatomy . And histology deals with the tissues of animal species.
Obviously, there is a general zoology, which studies the common aspects of different species (their anatomy, physiology or embryology). Once zoology has been studied in a general sense, it is possible to enter another area: descriptive zoology, a discipline that deals with the similarities and differences between species.
The classification of animals is divided into two large groups : invertebrates (which account for 95% of species) and vertebrates (animals with a backbone).
The nomenclature of species
All animals have a scientific name which comprises the binomial concept of genus and species. The two words used come from Latin and are written by the first word capitalized and the second in lowercase, in addition to being in cursive (for example, Homo sapiens refers to the human being as an animal species). This type of nomenclature was conceived by the 18th century Swedish naturalist Carl Linneo and is still in force today.
Zoological classification is based on the phylogenetic tree of a species. There are hierarchical categories that allow classifying each species and ranging from general to particular (a certain animal is part of a kingdom, as well as a class, an order, suborder, superfamily, family, genus, species and finally a subspecies).