Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Zoology, the branch of Biology which deals with animals, as distinct from that other branch, Botany, which deals with plants. Some writers attempt to separate Zoology from Natural History, using the first term to include the study of the structure and activities of animals, and the second for the study of animals and groups of animals and their relations to one another and to their environment. Our definition includes the second as a branch of the first. The Middle Ages produced much literature about animals, chiefly legends and moralities, but no systematic treatise on the subject appeared till 1552, when Wotton, an Englishman, published at Paris his book De Differentiis Animalium, in which he made use of Aristotle's divisions, adding the Zoophytes, in which he includes the starfishes. Next came Gesner (1516-65), and Aldrovandi (1522-1605), and then Ray (1628-1705), the forerunner of Linnaeus (1707-78), whose Systema Naturae entitles him to be reckoned the founder of systematic zoology. The chief classification since his date are those of Cuvier (1769-1832), H. Milne-Edwards (1800-84), Huxley (b. 1825), Haeckel (b. 1834), and Ray Lankester (b. 1847), the last two being on distinctly evolutionary lines.