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Ornithology (from Greek: ορνισ, ornis, "bird"; and λόγος, logos, "knowledge") is the branch of zoology concerned with the study of birds. Several aspects of the study of ornithology differ from closely related disciplines, possibly due to the high visibility and the aesthetic appeal of birds. Most marked among these is the extent of field studies undertaken by amateur volunteers working within the parameters of strict scientific methodology.
See also Timeline of ornithology

Early ornithology

Birds have interested humans since very early times, and stone age drawings of birds are perhaps the oldest indications. Birds were perhaps an important food source for humans and bones of as many as 80 species have been found in excavations of early settlements. [1]

The hunting of birds would have required considerable knowledge of their habits. The need for incubation of eggs was known and the practice of artificial incubation of eggs was followed from very early times in China (246 BC) and Egypt (at least 400 BC).[2] The Egyptians also showed a great deal of knowledge on birds with their use of bird symbols in hieroglyphs, many of which, though stylized are still recognizable. Poultry farming and falconry were both in practice from early times in many parts of the world.

Native cultures in all parts of the world included rich vocabularies for the identification of birds and their use in culture. This native knowledge of birds is still of importance today and especially for its special relevance in conservation. Most of this information is passed on through oral traditions. (See Ethno-ornithology)

Some of these early written records are of ornithological interest and they sometimes provide information on past distributions of many species. For instance Xenophon records the abundance of the Ostrich in Assyria (Anabasis, i. 5). Today the species is restricted to Africa. The Vedas (1500-800 BC) mention the habit of brood parasitism in the Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea).[3] The early art of China, Japan, Persia and India also show a number of species of birds, some of them illustrated to great accuracy. David Lack wrote in his Review of Fine Bird Books, 1700-1900 (reprinted in Enjoying Ornithology, 1965):

Aristotle in 350 BC in his Historia Animalium[4] noted the habit of bird migration, moulting, egg laying and life spans. He however also introduced several incorrect concepts, and although he noted that cranes traveled from the steppes of Scythia to the marshes at the headwaters of the Nile, he attributed the disappearance of swallows in winter to hibernation. This belief became so well established that the eminent nineteenth-century American ornithologist, Dr. Elliott Coues, listed in 1878 the titles of no less than 182 papers dealing with the hibernation of swallows.[5]

The references to birds in early writings are numerous both in prose and poetry.[6] In the 12th century, Bishop Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales) published a book Topographia Hiberniae in which he noted the folk belief that the Barnacle Goose was born from Goose barnacles.

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Belon's comparison of birds and humans in Book of Birds, 1555
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Cover of Aldrovandi's Ornithology, 1599
Early German and French scholars also studied the works of Aristotle and made new studies of birds. The major works included those by Guillaume Rondelet describing his personal observations in the Mediterranean and Pierre Belon who described the fishes and birds that he had met with in France and the Levant. Belon's Book of Birds (1555) is a folio volume with descriptions of some two hundred species. His comparison of the skeleton of humans and birds is considered remarkable.[7] Konrad Gesner wrote the Vogelbuch and Icones avium omnium around 1557. Like Gesner, Ulisse Aldrovandi, an encyclopedic naturalist began a 14-volume natural history with three volumes on birds, entitled ornithologiae hoc est de avibus historiae libri XII which was published from 1599 to 1603. Aldrovandi showed great interest in plants and animals and his works include 3000 drawings of fruits, flowers, plants and animals and they were documented in 363 volumes. His Ornithology alone covers 2000 pages and in it he covers for instance chickens and poultry techniques extensively.[8][9]William Turner's Historia Avium ("History of Birds"), published at Cologne in 1544, was another early ornithological work. He notes that the kite in cities of England would snatch the meat out of the hands of children. In his day the osprey was better known to Englishmen than they liked, for it emptied their fishponds; anglers used to mix their bait with its fat. Turner's work was written in a very different tone and quite unlike the writings of Gilbert White that were made in a more tranquil era.[7]

In the 17th century Francis Willughby (1635-1672) and John Ray (1627-1705) came up with the first major system of bird classification that was based on function and morphology rather than on form or behavior. Willughby's Ornithologiae libri tres (1676) completed by John Ray is considered to mark the beginning of scientific ornithology. Ray also worked on Ornithologia which was then published posthumously in 1713 as Synopsis methodica avium et piscium.[10]

Several ornithological works were also started in the late 1700s in France through the works of Mathurin Jacques Brisson (1723-1806) and Comte de Buffon (1707-1788). Brisson produced a six-volume work Ornithologie in 1760 and Buffon's include nine volumes on birds Histoire naturelle des oiseaux (1770-1785) as volumes 16 to 24 of his work on science Histoire naturelle générale et particulière (1749-1804). Coenraad Jacob Temminck (1778 - 1858) sponsored François Le Vaillant [1753-1824] to collect in Africa and this resulted in Le Vaillant's six-volume Histoire naturelle des oiseaux d'Afrique (1796-1808). Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot (1748-1831) spent ten years studying North American birds and wrote the Histoire naturelle des oiseaux de l'Amerique septentrionale (1807-1808?). Vieillot pioneered in the use of life-histories and habits in classification.[11]

Scientific ornithology

See also Ornithology journals, Ornithologists
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Early bird study focused on collectibles such as eggs and nests
It was not until the Victorian era, with the emergence of the gun, the concept of natural history and the collection of natural objects such as bird eggs and skins that ornithology as a specialized science emerged.[12] This specialization led to the formation in Britain of the British Ornithologists' Union in 1858. In 1859 the members founded its journal The Ibis. The sudden spurt in ornithology was also due in part to colonization. A hundred years later, in 1959, R. E. Moreau noted that ornithology in this period was preoccupied with the geographical distributions of various species of birds.[13]

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A mounted specimen of a Red-footed Falcon.
The bird collectors of the Victorian era observed the variations in bird forms and habits across geographic regions, noting geographic specialties and variations in species that were widespread. The collections of museums and private collectors grew with contributions from various parts of the world. The naming of species with binomials and the organization of birds into groups based on their similarities became the main work of museum specialists. The variations in widespread birds across geographical region caused the introduction of trinomial names.

The search for patterns in the variations of birds was attempted by many. The Galapagos finches were especially influential in the development of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. His contemporary Alfred Russel Wallace also noted these variations and the geographical separations between different forms leading to the study of biogeography. Wallace was influenced by the work of Philip Lutley Sclater on the distribution patterns of birds.[14]

For Darwin, the problem was how species arose from a common ancestor. He however did not attempt to find rules for delineation of species. The problem of delineating species, the species problem, was tackled by the ornithologist Ernst Mayr.

While the ideas of species, their identities and geographic distribution began to be developed, the focus gradually shifted to the study of the living bird, or studies of the life history of birds.[13] The study of birds in their habitats was particularly advanced in Germany and as early as 1903, had established bird ringing stations. By the 1920s the Journal für Ornithologie included many papers on the behavior, ecology, anatomy and physiology, many written by Erwin Stresemann. Ornithology in the United States was also restricted to the study of variations, species and geographic distributions, until it was influenced by Stresemann's student Ernst Mayr.[15] In Britain, some of the earliest ornithological works that used the word ecology appeared in 1915.[16] The Ibis however resisted the introduction of these new methods of study and it was not until 1943 that any paper on ecology appeared.[13] The work of David Lack on population ecology was pioneering. The new rigour and quantitative approaches being used ornithology were not acceptable to many. For instance, Claud Ticehurst wrote:

David Lack's studies on population ecology included the mechanism involved in the regulation of population including the evolution of optimal clutch sizes. He concluded that population was regulated primarily by density-dependent controls. This however was based on the underlying paradigm of group selection. Lack also pioneered the use of many new tools for research including the idea of using radar to study bird migration.

The study of imprinting behaviour in ducks and geese by Konrad Lorenz and the studies of instinct in Herring Gulls by Nicolaas Tinbergen, led to the establishment of the field of ethology.

The growth of genetics and the rise of molecular biology saw the new gene-centered view of evolution and the observations on behaviour and life-history were studied and interpreted differently. Birds became models to test hypotheses that could be postulated based on the theory.

The new tools of molecular-biology also led to new approaches to the study of bird systematics. The new molecular phylogenetics approaches were applied to study the evolutionary relationships of birds far more objectively than the older systematics that relied on subjective judgements in the choice of morphological characteristics to use in the grouping of birds at different levels.

The patterns of biodiversity also became a topic interest. The relationship of the number of species to the area and its application in the study of Island biogeography was pioneered by E. O. Wilson and Robert MacArthur. This area of research led to the development of the field of landscape ecology.

Popular ornithology

The interest in bird study grew in popularity in many parts of the world and it was realized that there was a possibility for amateurs to contribute to professional biology. As early as 1916, Julian Huxley wrote a two part article in the Auk, noting the tensions between amateurs and professionals and suggesting the possibility that the "vast army of bird-lovers and bird-watchers could begin providing the data scientists needed to address the fundamental problems of biology."[17][18]

The rise of field-guides for the identification of birds was a major innovation. The early guides were large and cumbersome and were mainly focussed on identifying specimens in the hand. The earliest of the new generation of field guides was prepared by Florence Merriam, sister of Clinton Hart Merriam, the mammalogist. This was published in 1887 in a series Hints to Audubon Workers:Fifty Birds and How to Know Them in Grinnell's Audubon Magazine.[15]

The formation of popular organizations with large member bases grew in many countries, notably the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in Britain and the Audubon Society in the US. The Audubon Society started in 1885. Both these organization were started with the primary objective of conservation. The RSPB, born in 1889, grew from a small group of women in Croydon who met regularly and called themselves the Fur, Fin and Feather Folk and who took a pledge 'to refrain from wearing the feathers of any birds not killed for the purpose of food, the Ostrich only exempted.' The organization initially did not allow men as members, avenging a policy of the British Ornithologists' Union to keep out women.[12]

Unlike the RSPB, which was primarily conservation oriented, the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) was started in 1933 with the aim of advancing ornithological study. Members were often involved in collaborative ornithological projects. These projects have resulted in atlases which detail the distribution of bird species across Britain. In the United States, the Breeding Bird Surveys, conducted by the US Geological Survey have also produced atlases with information on breeding densities and changes in the density and distribution over time. Other volunteer collaborative ornithology projects were established in many other parts of the world.

Ornithological techniques

The tools and techniques of ornithology are varied and new inventions and approaches are quickly incorporated. The techniques may be broadly dealt under the categories of those that are applicable to specimens and those that are used in the field, however the classification is imperfect as many of the new non-destructive techniques are readily applicable in both the laboratory and field.

Specimen techniques

Main article: Bird collections
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Bird preservation techniques
The early approaches to bird study involved the collection of eggs. While collecting became a pastime for many amateurs, the labels associated with these egg collections made them unreliable for the serious study of bird breeding. In order to preserve eggs, a tiny hole was pierced and the contents were extracted out. This technique became standard with the invention of the blow drill around 1830.[12] Historic museum collections have however been of value in determining the effect of modern pesticides such as DDT.[19][20]
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Morphometric measurements of birds are important in systematics
The use of bird skins for documenting species has been central to systematic ornithology. Bird skins are prepared by retaining the key bones of the wings, leg and skull along with the skin and feathers. They were treated with arsenic to prevent fungal and insect (mostly Dermestidae) attack. Arsenic being toxic was later replaced by borax. Sportsmen became familiar with these skinning techniques and started sending in their skins to museums, some of them from far away locations. This led to the formation of huge collections of bird skins in Museums in Europe and North America. Many private collections were also held. These became references for comparison of species and the ornithologists at these museums were able to document species from locations that they never visited. Morphometrics of these skins, particularly the lengths of the tarsus, bill, tail and wing became important in bird systematics. These historic skin collections have also been utilized in more recent studies on molecular phylogenetics by the extraction of ancient DNA. The importance of type specimens in the description of species make skin collections a vital resource for systematic ornithology. However, with the rise of molecular techniques, it has now become possible to establish the species status of rare discoveries such as the Bulo Burti Boubou Laniarius liberatus and the Bugun Liocichla Liocichla bugunorum using blood, DNA and feather samples as the holotype material.

Other approaches to the preservation of bird material have included the storage of specimens in spirit. Such wet-specimens have special value in physiological and anatomical studies. They also provide better quality of DNA for molecular studies.[21] Freeze drying of specimens has also been attempted in more recent times. While the technique has advantages in that it preserves stomach contents and anatomy, it may have the same problems as dry skins in that shrinkage can occur leading to errors in morphometrics.[22] [23]

Museum bird collections continue to act as a vital shared resource for science and conservation.[24]

Field techniques

The study of birds in the field was helped enormously by the advent of optics. Photography and particularly digital photography has made it possible now to document birds in the field with great accuracy. The new optics allows observers to detect minute morphological differences that were once detectable only by examination of the specimen in the hand.[25]

The capture of birds however provides certain kinds of information that are critical to life-history studies. Capturing birds is done using a number of techniques. The range of capture techniques include the use of bird liming for perching birds, mist nets for woodland birds, cannon netting for open area flocking birds, the Bal chattri for raptors,[26] decoys and funnel traps for open water ducks.

The bird in the hand may be examined for morphometrics including weight. The examination of feather moult gives clues on their age as also skull ossification. Sex can be determined by examination of anatomy in some sexually non-dimorphic species. The extraction of blood samples and their later study make it possible to study the physiological conditions of the bird. DNA sequences can be used to identify the geographical origins of migrant populations. These also serve in the study of pathogens and arthropod borne viruses. Ectoparasites, collected from captured specimens, are also of importance in studies of coevolution apart from their significance as vectors. In many of the warbler species, morphometrics and the examination of the wing-point are key to their identification in the hand.

Captured birds may also be marked for future recognition. Marking techniques include the use of bird ringing, colour dyes, wing tags. The use of mark and recapture techniques make it possible to estimate bird populations and the study of age structure in the populations. The traditional application of marking techniques is however in the study of migration. In more recent times the use of satellite transmitters makes it possible to study bird migration in real-time. Visible marks such as coloured rings and dyes enable the identification of individual birds and are widely used in studies of behaviour.

The variation in the ratios of stable hydrogen isotopes across latitudes makes it possible to roughly establish the origins of migrant birds by mass spectroscopic analysis of the hydrogen isotopes in feathers.[27]

The use of statistical techniques for the estimation of bird diversity and population density is well established. Techniques for population density estimation include the point count, transect and territory mapping.[28]

Studies in bird behaviour include the use of tamed and trained birds. Studies on bird intelligence have been primarily based on laboratory studies. Field studies make use of a wide range of techniques including the use of dummy owls to elicit mobbing behaviour, dummy males to elicit territorial behaviour and thereby to establish the boundaries of bird territories and the use of call playback.

Collaborative studies

With the widespread interest in birds, it has been possible to use a large number of people to work on collaborative ornithological projects. These citizen science projects include national projects such as the Christmas Bird Count,[29] Backyard Bird Count,[30] the North American Breeding Bird Survey, the Canadian EPOQ[31] or regional projects such as the Asian Waterfowl Census. These projects help to identify distributions of birds, their population densities and changes over time, arrival and departure dates of migration, breeding seasonality and even population genetics.[32]

Studies of migration using bird ringing or colour marking often involve the cooperation of people and organizations in different countries.

Applied ornithology

Ornithology has many applications in human life and studies aimed at these areas are called applied or economic ornithology.

The role of some species of birds as pests has been well known, particularly in agriculture. Granivorous birds such as the Queleas in Africa have been among the most numerous birds in the world and foraging flocks can cause devastation.[33] Large flocks of pigeons and starlings in cities have also been considered a nuisance and ornithologists have sought a variety of techniques to solve these problems. Birds have also been of medical importance and their role as carriers of diseases such as Japanese Encephalitis, West Nile Virus and H5N1 has been significant. Bird strikes and the damage they cause in aviation are also of particular importance, due in part to the fatal consequences and the level of economic impact that they have. The Federal Aviation Administration estimates that the problem costs US aviation 600 million dollars annually and has resulted in 195 worldwide deaths since 1988.

Many species of birds have been driven to extinction by human activities. Bird conservation requires specialized knowledge in aspects of biology, ecology and may require the use of very location specific approaches. Ornithologists contribute to conservation biology by studying the ecology of birds in the wild and identifying the key threats and ways of enhancing the survival of species. In some cases this may involve the capture and raising in captivity of critically endangered species. Such ex-situ conservation measures may be followed by re-introduction of the species into the wild.

See also


1. ^ Nadel, K. D., Ehud Weiss, Orit Simchoni, Alexander Tsatskin, Avinoam Danin, and Mordechai (2004) Stone Age hut in Israel yields world's oldest evidence of bedding. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 101(17):6821-6826 [1]
2. ^ Funk, E. M. and M. R. Irwin 1955. Hatching Operation and Management. John Wiley & sons.
3. ^ Ali, S. (1979), Bird study in India : its history and its importance. ICCR, New Delhi. Azad Memorial Lectures.
4. ^ Aristotle, Historia Animalium. Translated by D'Arcy Thompson
5. ^ Lincoln, Frederick C., Steven R. Peterson, and John L. Zimmerman. 1998. Migration of birds. U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C. Circular 16. Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. [2]
6. ^ Stanford, Frank. The Ornithology of Anglo-Saxon England. From the Ğa Engliscan Gesiğas Handboc [3]
7. ^ Miall, L. C. 1911. History of Biology. Watts and Co. Scanned version
8. ^ Aldrovandi on Chickens: The Ornithology of Ulisse Aldrovandi (66o), vol. 2, Bk xiv, translated and edited by L. R. LIND, University of Oklahoma Press, 1963, pp. xxxvi, 447, illus. Review
9. ^ Ornithologiae, 1599 (Scanned version from Strasbourg University digital library)
10. ^ White, Jeanne A. 1999 Ornithology Collections in the Libraries at Cornell University: A Descriptive Guide [4]
11. ^ Jeanne A. White, Hill Collection — 18th c. French authors & artists online
12. ^ Allen, David E. 1994. The naturalist in Britain: a social history. Princeton University Press.
13. ^ Johnson, Kristin (2004) The Ibis: Transformations in a Twentieth Century British Natural History Journal. Journal of the History of Biology 37: 515–555
14. ^ Sclater, P. L. 1858. On the general geographical distribution of the members of the class Aves. Journ. and Proc. Linn. $oc., London, 9: 150-145.
15. ^ Barrow, Mark V. (1998) A passion for birds: American ornithology after Audubon. Princeton University Press.
16. ^ Alexander, H. G. (1915) A Practical Study of Bird Ecology. British Birds. Vol. VIII, No. 9
17. ^ Huxley, J. 1916. Bird-watching and biological science. The Auk. 33(2):142-161 (part 1) [5]
18. ^ Huxley, J. 1916. Bird-watching and biological science. The Auk. 33(3):256-270 (part 2) [6]
19. ^ Newton, I. 1979. Population ecology of raptors. T. & A. D. Poyser, Berkhamsted.
20. ^ Green, Rhys E. & Jörn P. W. Scharlemann (2003) Egg and skin collections as a resource for long-term ecological studies. Bull. B.O.C. 123A:165–176 [7]
21. ^ Livezey, Bradley C. (2003) Avian spirit collections: attitudes, importance and prospects. Bull. B. O. C. 123A:35-51 [8]
22. ^ Winker, K. 1993. Specimen shrinkage in Tennessee warblers and Traill's flycatchers. J. Field Ornithol. 64(3):331-336 [9]
23. ^ Bjordal, H. 1983. Effects of deep freezing, freeze-drying and skinning on body dimensions of House Sparrows (Passer domesticus). Cinclus 6:105-108.
24. ^ Winker, K. 2004. Natural history museums in a postbiodiversity era. Bioscience 54:455-459.
25. ^ Hayman, Peter, John Marchant & Tony Prater. 1986. Shorebirds: An Identification Guide to the Waders of the World. Croom Helm, London.
26. ^ Berger D. D., Mueller, H C (1959) The Bal-Chatri: a trap for the birds of prey.Bird-Banding 30: 19-27.[10]
27. ^ Hobson, K. A. Hobson, Steven Van Wilgenburg, Leonard I. Wassenaar, Helen Hands, William P. Johnson, Mike O'Meilia, and Philip Taylor (2006) Using Stable Hydrogen Isotope Analysis of Feathers to Delineate Origins of Harvested Sandhill Cranes in the Central Flyway of North America. Waterbirds 29(2):137-147 [11]
28. ^ Bibby C., Jones M., Marsden S., 1998: Expedition Field Techniques. - Bird Surveys. Expedition Advisory Centre, Royal Geographical Society, London. [12]
29. ^ Wing, L. 1947. Christmas census summary 1900-1939. State College of Washington, Pullman. Mimeograph.
30. ^ Great Backyard Bird Count
31. ^ EPOQ
32. ^ Project PigeonWatch
33. ^ Clive C.H. Elliott (2006) Bird population explosions in agroecosystems — the quelea, Quelea quelea, case history. Acta Zoologica Sinica. 52:554-560 [13]

External links

Zoology (from Greek: ζῴον, zoion, "animal"; and λόγος, logos, "knowledge") is the biological discipline which involves the study of animals.
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Anthrozoology is the study of human-animal interaction ("animal" referring to all non-human animals), also described as the science focusing on all aspects of the human-animal bond.
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Apiology (from Greek: api, "bee"; and λόγος, logos, "knowledge") is the scientific study of bees, a branch of entomology. Bees are often chosen as a study group to answer questions on the evolution of social systems.
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Arachnology (from Greek: αραχνη, arachne, "spider"; and λόγος, logos, "knowledge") is the scientific study of spiders and related organisms such as scorpions, pseudoscorpions, harvestmen, collectively
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Cetology (from Greek: κητος, cetus, "whale"; and λόγος, logos, "knowledge") is the branch of marine mammal science that studies the approximately eighty species of whales, dolphins, and porpoise in the
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Entomology, from the Greek: entomo-/εντομο- "that which is cut in pieces or engraved/segmented", hence "insect"; and logos/λόγος, "knowledge",[1] is the scientific study of insects.
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Ethology (from Greek: ήθος, ethos, "custom"; and λόγος, logos, "knowledge") is the scientific study of animal behavior, and a branch of zoology.
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Herpetology (from greek: 'ερπετόν, "creeping animal" and λόγος, logos, "knowledge") is the branch of zoology concerned with the study of reptiles and amphibians.
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Ichthyology (from Greek: ἰχθυ, ikhthu, "fish"; and λόγος, logos, "knowledge") is the branch of zoology devoted to the study of fish.
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Malacology is the branch of invertebrate zoology which deals with the study of mollusks, the second-largest phylum of animals in terms of described species.[1] One division of malacology, conchology, is devoted to the study of shelled mollusks.
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In zoology, mammalogy is the study of mammals – a class of vertebrates with characteristics such as homeothermic metabolism, fur, four-chambered hearts, and complex nervous systems.
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Myrmecology is the scientific study of ants, a branch of entomology. The ant, its habits, behaviours and society have long fascinated man. Ancient Judaic and Greek moral tales both show that these societies had observed the behaviour of ants and related it to that of people.
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Neuroethology is a branch of neuroscience that emphasizes the study of neural mechanisms of natural behavior.
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Paleozoology, also spelled as palaeozoology (Greek: paleon = old and zoon = animal), is the branch of paleontology or paleobiology dealing with the recovery and identification of multicellular animal remains from geological (or even archeological)
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Primatology is the study of primates. It is a diverse discipline and primatologists can be found in departments of biology, anthropology, psychology and many others.
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history of zoology before the theory of evolution proposed by Charles Darwin in 1859.

Pre-scientific zoology

Humans have been fascinated by the other members of the animal kingdom throughout history.
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This article considers the history of zoology in the years up to 1912, since the theory of evolution by natural selection proposed by Charles Darwin in 1859.
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B-side(s) "Night in Tunisia"
Recorded March 28, 1946, Radio Recorders Studios, Hollywood
Genre Bebop
Length 3:03
Label Dial
Writer(s) Charlie Parker
Benny Harris

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Zoology (from Greek: ζῴον, zoion, "animal"; and λόγος, logos, "knowledge") is the biological discipline which involves the study of animals.
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Linnaeus, 1758


About two dozen - see section below

Birds (class Aves) are bipedal, warm-blooded, egg-laying vertebrate animals.
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The following is a timeline of ornithology events:

BC up

  • 1500-800 BC - The Vedas mention the habit of brood parasitism in the Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea). (Ali, S. (1979), Bird study in India : its history and its importance. ICCR, New Delhi.

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The Stone Age is part of the history of the world that encompasses the first widespread use of technology in human evolution and the spread of humanity from the savannas of East Africa to the rest of the world.
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Poultry is the category of domesticated birds kept for meat, eggs, and feathers. These most typically are members of the order Galliformes (which includes chickens and turkeys) and the family Anatidae (in order Anseriformes), commonly known as "waterfowl" (e.g.
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This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims.
Please help Wikipedia by adding references. See the for details.
This article has been tagged since September 2007.

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Ethnoornithology (also ethno-ornithology) is the study of the relationship between people and birds (from "ethno-" - relating to people and culture - and "ornithology" - the study of birds). It is a branch of ethnozoology and so of the wider field of ethnobiology.
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Xenophon (In Greek Ξενοφῶν, ca. 431 – 355 BC), son of Gryllus, of the deme Erchia of Athens, was a soldier, mercenary and an admirer of Socrates.
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Vigors, 1825

Genus: Struthio
Linnaeus, 1758

Species: S.
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Ancient Mesopotamia

Euphrates Tigris
Cities / Empires
Sumer: Uruk ' Ur ' Eridu
Kish ' Lagash ' Nippur
Akkadian Empire: Akkad
Babylon ' Isin ' Susa
Assyria: Assur Nineveh
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Africa is the world's second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. At about 30,221,532 km² (11,668,545 sq mi) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area, and 20.4% of the total land area.
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Vedas (Sanskrit véda वेद
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