Photograph via snooOG

Welcome to r/Zoology: A community about the scientific study of the behavior, structure, physiology, classification, and distribution of animals.

Please read the rules for submissions.

Zoology: The scientific study of the behavior, structure, physiology, classification, and distribution of animals.

Questions, discussion, and scientific papers are all encouraged. Memes, click-bait and editorialized headlines are not.

  • Read our Career FAQ before asking a career-related question!

  • Posts relating to dogs, cats, or pets belong in their own subreddits and will be deleted.

  • Posts related to zoos and aquariums should be posted into /r/CaptiveWildlife

  • Posts asking for identification require location information (Country+State) and (forest/beach/ect.) and a sense of scale!

  • Posts asking if something is a bat bite will be removed.

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53,774 Subscribers


Why do humans have zero prey drive?

Most hunter-gatherer societies uh... hunt.

And yet we don't have prey drive. I didn't even know what prey drive is (and how strong it is) until I got a working line German Shepherd.

Why is that?

Does this pattern exist in any other animals who hunt?

02:37 UTC


I' m making a seedworld about crayfish,can you recommend a small herbivorous species of fish that live in surface water ?

23:56 UTC


How big can a flying arthropod get? Were Meganeura/Meganeuropsis really the largest flying arthropods they could ever become?

19:35 UTC


How are genders defined in animals?

Not a biologist but educated.

I just found out that in seahorses the female deposits the eggs in the male's pouch and the male gets pregnant.

What makes then one gender male and the other female? How are genders technically defined?

15:29 UTC


Identification of animal bone

Hi, I don't know if this is allowed, but I found an animal bone and really wanted to know what it could be from. Found in North Vancouver, BC (Canada) in an urban area. I know it's a cervical probably but my area of study is human bones so I don't know about this one. I have a picture but it's not the best quality because I am dumb and the phone configuration was not nice and only after I got curious about it.

It was basically I was going to the grocery store, passed a "stone" in a sidewalk crack, and my brain went, - " That stone looks like a bone," - so I pulled with my feet to check it out (I am studying human osteology in archaeology and finals are coming so I am with my face on bones most of the day)

I can post the picture in teh comments if its allowed.

09:18 UTC


How large do foxes get ?

Not that long ago I was walking on a sidewalk in a suburban semi rural area and saw a large red canine. It looked like a coyote but was colored red and black and was way larger than a fox.

When I looked at pictures of different canines it looked like a Manned Wolf but those aren’t in the USA.

Are there Manned Wolves in the USA or do people have them in the USA

04:03 UTC


ADVICE: Grad school direction: Behavior or ecology?

DISCLAIMER sorry if this violates the guidelines of this particular thread but it wasn't answered in the FAQ! I'm also not reddit-savvy enough to know how to search post history sorry!

I want to start applying to grad schools next year to specifically study how animal behavior is evolving on a small time scale in relation to human changes to environment. So, you might say how are animals responding to novel stimuli. But I specifically want to study wildlife, I don't mind using animals in labs for controls but I want my research to be primarily field work. Career goal wise I would want to relate this to wildlife conservation/wildlife biologist roles.

Looking at programs I haven't seen much in the way of evolution of animal behavior, they seem to be strictly behavior or strictly evolution/ecology. I also don't have a lot of money (typical for us zoologists) so I'm not trying to apply to a ton of places/programs! I will also be trying to network with professors and such and they can certainly help with this but I figured why not ask Reddit too!

So, for those with/pursuing PhDs, what type(s) of programs did you apply to or would recommend for me?

Thanks so much!!

23:12 UTC


whats it like to be a zoologist?

im taking zoology in high school this year and i love it and its made me consider a career in zoology. zoologists, what does an average day/week/month/year look like for you?

15:37 UTC


Animal death practices

I know that some animals, like dolphins and elephants, have rituals following the deaths of their community members. Ants and most insects have a pretty pragmatic approach. Cats and some other creatures like to hide.

I'm looking for animals that intentionally gather for the death of their kin: basically the opposite of cats. Anyone have anything they can point me to?

1 Comment
13:30 UTC


Question about cicadas

I heard that cicadas are the only animal in the world that lives their life as two creatures- unlike butterfly transforming from caterpillar, cicada first have the old exoskeleton creature, living underground, and then cicada itself, growing inside the first creature and then coming out. Is this true? And if no how cicadas life cycle really work?

00:59 UTC


Toads ruining my life

So i like to take my dog out for a walk in a woods, but here's the problem.. Every 30cm there's a toad.

Like i probably can count over a 1000 toads if i were to count them

I identified them as Common Toad or European Toad, they are really big

They are almost invisible, as they blend with the environment

Worst thing is THEY WONT MOVE AT ALL, like they are completly frozen, and there hundreds of them even on a short sidewalk

Even when my dog sniffs them and stuff they just don't move. Like nothing will make them move, i feel like if i were to step on them they wouldn't move either. I hope i never did step on them i don't want to harm these creatures.

It's getting ridiculous in a way that i simply can't go into the woods anymore, as i have to be very careful where i step and even then it's very hard to be 100% sure that i don't step on them.

So my questions are:

  1. Will the toad die if i step on it? I don't want to kill toads, just want to know if i can even walk there at all, like if i accidentaly end up stepping on a toad will it die?
  2. When will it most likely end? 2 days ago there were no toads, and yesterday there's been a swarm of them. I'm terrified going into the wood right now, but i have to walk my dog aswell
    1. Is there any way to get them to move?
21:32 UTC


Anyone an expert on moles?

Perhaps this is a silly question or one that can only be answered theoretically, but here goes:

Do moles get frustrated or angry when a human stomps down their tunnels/hills, particularly their main tunnels? If basically their whole existence is digging, do they even really care if they have to dig it all again?

I know I'm anthropomorphizing, but I'm just curious as to what goes on in their "minds" (if anything) when they find all their hard work has been destroyed.

04:37 UTC


Comparative Anatomy Graduate Programs

A little background:

I just graduated with my bachelors in forensic anthropology and have always been very interested in anatomy but more specifically, osteology. I thought human osteo was the direction I wanted to go in, and it isn't that I have changed my mind on that as it is definitely still a field I would love to have a career in, but a class I took my last semester sort of broadened my interests. I took a class entitled Vertebrate Osteology and absolutely fell in love learning about functional morphology and the specific features and traits seen in bone that can tell you about the animal without having any knowledge of the species. This lead me to the field of comparative anatomy. This is something I have always been fascinated by and interested in without really knowing what it was.

My end goal is probably something museum related. I have been working in a Natural History museum in the collections department for over a year now and love it. My goal is to work someplace like the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History one day. My plan to get there was to eventually earn my PhD in Bio Anth, but I am now wanting to explore options in comparative anatomy but am not sure where to start. I am finding that comparative anatomy seems to be a relatively niche field without an abundance of graduate programs to choose from. I am wondering if anyone here could offer some guidance as to good programs in the US for this field or people to reach out to with questions about comparative anatomy and how to turn that into a career. I am already reaching out to people from my University to get ideas and information from them. I have also already spent some time googling comparative anatomy programs and found a handful. I am just hoping for more insight if anyone has any!

TLDR; I want to get a PhD in comparative anatomy but don't know anything about those programs or where to start

16:07 UTC


Local Crow/Corvid Displaying Odd Behavior

I’m horrid at starting these kinds of posts but my family’s been witnessing a crow display carnivorous behavior rather than omnivorous. It all started on Easter when we watched a crow have a finch for dinner and since then we’ve been finding more finch remains in our yard. This morning I watched (assumably) the same crow stalk after the finches in our backyard before I shooed it away. Again, I know they are omnivores, but this one in particular seems fixated on the finches. Is this as odd as I think it is? If this was a continuous behavior the last few years I would probably brush it off, but I think the hectic back and forth of the weather causing nothing to bloom could be causing this? I don’t know, it’s just getting disturbing seeing what this crow is doing to the finches when this has never happened before 😥

1 Comment
22:16 UTC


Career advice

Hi, I’m 22 and last year I graduated from university with a BSc degree. I decided this year to widen my search for a zookeeper/trainee keeper job to the whole of the uk with the intention of relocating, but I am being rejected on every single application. I know part of this is because I have no practical experience working in a zoo, but I have to work full time to pay my bills and the only way I could volunteer and get experience would be to work part time hours, which I just can’t afford to do.

I feel so stuck and with every rejection my mental health suffers more and more, i feel like I’ve wasted 3 years of my life getting a degree no company seems to care about! I know I have so much potential but nobody wants to give me that chance. Any advice on what I could do or who I could speak to for help?

19:24 UTC


Genus name becomes common name

I was just thinking about water fleas and how common it is for people from all scientific/science enthusiast backgrounds to refer to the common water flea as Daphnia, so much so that it feels like a dual common name. Has a genus name ever become a colloquially used common name for any other animal?

00:26 UTC


Why are cartilaginous fish and bony fish both considered fish if bony fish are more related to humans than cartilaginous fish?

What even is a fish?

13:55 UTC



Do they actually have a place I'm every ecosystem they are present in? The only role I can think of them filling is being a food source.

02:45 UTC


Will having a Natural Science Degree with concentration on Biology help with having to a Zoology Career in the future?

So I have always wanted to work with animals my whole life and since I'm on the military my college options are kinda limited since zoology is not too online friendly. So I'm trying to apply as a Natural Science Bachelor with concentration on Biology. And I wanted to see if I choose that can I then do a Maestry on Zoology? Or study a Zoology Bachelor?

00:25 UTC

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