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ZoologyThe study of zoology can be viewed as a series of efforts to analyseand classify animals. Attempts at classification as early as 400 BCare known from documents in the Hippocratic Collection. Aristotle,however, was the first to devise a system of classifying animals thatrecognized a basic unity of plan among diverse organisms; he arrangedgroups of animals according to mode of reproduction and habitat.Observing the development of such animals as the dogfish, chick, andoctopus, he noted that general structures appear before specializedones, and he also distinguished between asexual and sexualreproduction. His Historia Animalium contains accurate descriptions ofextant animals of Greece and Asia Minor. He was also interested inform and structure and concluded that different animals can havesimilar embryological origins and that different structures can havesimilar functions.

In Roman times Pliny the Elder compiled four volumes on zoology in his37-volume treatise called Historia Naturalis. Although widely readduring the Middle Ages, they are little more than a collection offolklore, myth, and superstition. One of the more influential figuresin the history of physiology, the Greek physician Galen, dissectedfarm animals, monkeys, and other mammals and described many featuresaccurately, although some were wrongly applied to the human body. Hismisconceptions, especially with regard to the movement of blood,remained virtually unchanged for hundreds of years. In the 17thcentury, the English doctor William Harvey established the truemechanism of blood circulation.

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Until the Middle Ages, zoology was a co…

…0 years. It has revealed the deleteriouseffects of pesticides and industrial pollutants and has providedimportant insights into wiser management of agriculture, forestry, andfisheries.Evolutionary zoology, which draws on all of the fields just mentioned,is concerned with the mechanisms of evolutionary change—speciation andadaptation—and with the evolutionary history of animal groups.Particularly relevant to evolutionary studies are systematics,phylogenetics, palaeontology, and zoogeography. Systematics deals withthe delineation and description of animal species and with theirarrangement into a classification. Phylogenetics is the study of thedevelopmental history of groups of animals. Zoogeography, the study ofthe distribution of animals over the Earth, is closely related toecology and systematics.

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