Difference Between Biology and Zoology

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What is Biology?

The branch of natural science which deals with the study of living organisms and their interaction with the nonliving world is known as Biology. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Gottfried Reinhold Teviranus were the first to coin the term “Biology” in the year 1801. The word “Biology” is derived from two Greek words, i.e. “bios” which means life, and “logos” which means study or science. The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC) is popularly known as the Father of Biology. 

Though the subject Biology has many sub-branches, it is mainly divided into two branches, i.e,. Botany (the study of different aspects of plants) and Zoology (the study of various aspects of animals). Aristotle is also known as the father of Zoology, whereas Theophrastus is known as the Father of Botany.   

What is Zoology in Biology?

The word Zoology is the combination of two Greek words- zoon, meaning “animal”, and logos, meaning “study” or “science”. Therefore, Zoology is one of the main branches of Biology apart from botany and microbiology, also known as Animal Biology which deals with the study of organisms that strictly belong to the kingdom Animalia. It is the scientific study of their structure, form, and distribution. Aristotle is known as the Father of Zoology, and, John Ray was the first scientist who developed the key identification of animals.

Branches of Zoology

Zoology is subdivided into various branches as follows. 

  • Zoography or Descriptive Zoology: the applied science of describing animals and their habitats.

  • Comparative Anatomy: the scientific study of the structure of animals.

  • Ethology: the scientific and objective study of animal behaviour in their natural habitats.

  • Animal Physiology: the scientific study of functions and mechanisms in animals.

  • Histology: also known as microscopic anatomy is the study of the microscopic anatomy of biological tissues.

  • Vertebrate Zoology: the study of vertebrate animals, i.e., animals with a backbone such as fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

  • Invertebrate Zoology: the study of invertebrates, i.e., animals without a backbone such as sponges, echinoderms, tunicates.

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Difference Between Biology and Zoology

Below listed are some of the major differences between Biology and Zoology. 



1. Biology is the branch of science which deals with the study of life and living organisms and their interaction with non-living organisms.

1. Zoology deals with the scientific study of Kingdom Animalia and its structure, form, and distribution.

2. The study of Biology is more diverse and encompasses all living organisms and also non-living organisms.

2. The study of Zoology is more specialized and only deals with animals.

3. The sub-disciplines of Biology are botany, cytology, histology, genetics, physiology, and, so on.

3. The sub-disciplines of Zoology are ethology, mammalogy,  herpetology, ornithology, entomology, invertebrate Biology, and so on.

Therefore, these are some of the major differences between Biology and Zoology, which would help students to distinguish between Biology and Zoology.

Did you know? 

The African Bush Elephant (Loxodonta africana) is the largest living land animal, and it belongs to the order Proboscidea. It is found in the various open habitats of sub-Saharan Africa. This elephant weighs 100 kilograms (220 lbs) at birth. The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is the largest living animal in the world, measuring approximately 30 meters (100 feet) long and can have an average weight of around 6500 kilograms. It belongs to the infraorder Cetacea. They are the largest animal known ever to exist. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How is Animal Kingdom classified?

Ans- Animal Kingdom is mainly classified into two sub-kingdoms. They are unicellular animals and multicellular animals or Metazoans. Unicellular animals are kept in a single phylum Protozoa whereas multicellular animals are divided into 9 phyla. Phylum Porifera consists of animals that are unicellular, which means that their body is made up of only one cell. All kinds of metabolic activity (eating, digestion, respiration, excretion, reproduction) takes place in the unicellular body. Examples of Phylum protozoa are Amoeba, Euglena, Trypanosoma, and so on. The other 9 phyla are Phylum Porifera, Phylum Coelenterate, Phylum Platyhelminthes, Phylum Aschelminthes, Phylum Annelida, Phylum Arthropoda, Phylum Mollusca, Phylum Echinodermata, and Phylum Chordata.

2. What are the main subgroups of Phylum Chordata?

Ans- The main subgroups of Phylum Chordata are Pisces, Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves, and Mammalia. Pisces are cold-blooded animals whose respiration takes place through gills, and their heart is made up of two chambers. Examples are Labeo, Scoliodon, etc. Amphibians are found on both land and water. They have a three-chambered heart and respiration takes place through gills, skin, and lungs. Examples are Frog, Necturus, etc. Reptilia are cold-blooded, terrestrial or aquatic vertebrates and they respire through lungs. Examples are lizards, snakes, etc. Aves are warm-blooded tetrapod vertebrates with flight adaptation. They breathe through the lungs and have a beak formed by jaws. Examples are crow, peacock, etc. Lastly, Mammalia consists of warm-blooded animals who have a four-chambered heart and have sweat glands and oil glands on their skin. Examples are Echidna, kangaroo, human, etc.