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Zoologists observe animals in their natural habitats or in laboratories to understand their way of life. These studies, involving both living and dead animals, help zoologists understand animal body, evolution of animal species on earth and their life processes and behaviors. Zoologist studies have several uses including identifying and protecting endangered animals and enabling better medical care for humans.
Understanding of Human Development
Study of animals helps zoologists understand how they evolved over time, which increased the scientific community's understanding of the process of human evolution itself. Zoology helps understand the relationship between man and animals, their similarities and differences. Zoologists apply this knowledge of similarities and differences to understand what makes man the way he is.
For example, according to the scientific paper “Importance Of Zoology To Medical Science” by William Colin Mackenzie, M.D., the erect body posture is a phenomenon that is exclusive to human beings; it is this phenomenon that is responsible for man’s “most intellectual mammal” status as well. An incorrect posture either by birth defect, disease, or human behavior and environmental settings, could result in inefficient human performance at work, study and other aspects of life.
Endangered Species Recognition
Zoologists' studies help identify animal species that are in danger of extinction. Zoologists study animal behaviors such as food procurement, mating habits and their diseases to determine cause of extinction. They also study animal habitats to determine if environmental conditions or other factors such as man-made pollutants are responsible for the decline in the population of the species. All such findings help governments, animal protection centers and general public to take initiatives to protect such species.
Animal studies help zoologists understand the type of diseases that their subjects are prone to and the possibility of diseases to be passed to future generations. Disease, both general and inheritable, can lead to gradual decline of species. Disease identification studies can lay a foundation for studies to develop remedies. For example, modern zoologists are able to isolate animal genes, study their characteristics and purpose, and identify genes that carry diseases or inheritable disease risks; zoologists are also able to alter the original constitution of genes to possibly produce disease-free or disease-resistant animal species.
Insights into human evolution derived from animal studies can be applied to developing better healthcare for humans. Knowledge of human development gives an understanding of the different factors that make man healthy and intelligent as opposed to his animal ancestors. This knowledge can be used to identify the missing factor in the patient and thereby the cause of disease. For example, studies of erect posture reveals that the human muscular system is responsible for this phenomenon. This can help medical researchers develop diagnosis and treatment methods that look into muscular dysfunction as a probable cause of disease and rectify it.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information; Importance Of Zoology To Medical Science; William Colin Mackenzie, M.D.; September 1928
- Environmental Programs; Zoology Academic Requirements, Professional Outlook; May 2004
- Bureau of Labor Statistics; Biological Scientists Occupational Outlook Handbook; 2010-11
Hailing out of Pittsburgh, Pa., David Stewart has been writing articles since 2004, specializing in consumer-oriented pieces. He holds an associate degree in specialized technology from the Pittsburgh Technical Institute.