Studying the Evolution of Wild Animals

Categories: Wildlife And Forest

Scientists have been studying the evolution of animals for years including the ones from prehistoric times, as well as into the future. These scientists include wildlife biologists, who study animals in controlled or natural surroundings; ecologists, who study organisms and their relation to one another as well as to physical surroundings; entomologists, who study insects; histologist, who study cells and tissues in plants and animals; and physiologist, who study the function and organs of a living system (“Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists”).

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This only names a few of the many different kinds of scientists who have spent long hours studying the mysterious yet fantastic, natural world and the organisms who inhabit it. This research paper will be particularly talking about zoologists and their daily tasks, as well as details such as education, salary, and career options.

One may be asking “What is zoology?”. Well, zoology is very similar to wildlife biology. However, zoologists care as well as study for animals while wildlife biologists just simply study animals in their natural habitat or controlled environment.

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Some example duties of a zoologist are observing, collecting data, and developing conservation plans (“What is a Zoologist?”). A zoologists can also study pests and diseases that could cause harm to a wild animal as well as the human population.

Those studying to become a zoologist have a few different majors to choose from when obtaining their degrees. Some colleges offer completed majors in zoology, wildlife biology, and ecology (“Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists”). Another option if the college does not offer the completed major is an undergraduate degree in biology with course work in animal science, zoology, wildlife biology, ecology, and environmental studies (“Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists”). Some other important courses are mathematics, chemistry, physics, and botany (“Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists”). Most careers involved with zoology require a bachelor’s degree for entry level, but for more invasive work, such as scientific work and independent research, a master’s and/or Ph.D is required (“Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists”). Zoologists can have a main focus on one particular group of animals, for example a herpetologist studies reptiles and amphibians, and an ornithologist studies birds (“Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists”).

When obtaining a career in this field there are many choices. With the right education and training, one can have the career option of a zoologist/wildlife biologist, park ranger, zoo animal specialist, zookeeper, animal care specialist, environmental scientist, wildlife rehabilitator, and many more (“Career Opportunities for Animal Science Graduates”). The average salary of a zoologist in the early stages is $30,000 to $45,000 per year (“Zoologist”). A more experienced zoologist of 5 years has an average salary of $40,000 to $55,000, and after 10 years the average range is $45,000 to $65,000 yearly, and lastly after 20 or more years the average range is $55,000 to $80,000 per year (“Zoologist”).

Some states are in high demand for zoologists and working in a higher paying state could mean a more successful career for those just entering this field. Maryland, one of the top five paying states for zoology, has an hourly pay of $44.75 and a yearly pay of $93,070 and 210 employed zoologists (“The Job Market for Zoologists in the United States”). Depending on the species of animal a zoologist may be studying, moving to a different state or even country would be crucial to a successful career. Currently, there is an estimate of 19,400 zoologists in the United States (“The Job Market for Zoologists in the United States”). There is an expected 7.7% job growth between 2016 and 2026 (“The Job Market for Zoologists in the United States”).

The typical duties of a zoologist include monitoring wildlife health, creating recovery plans, communicating with the public, setting up equipment, experimental studies, and studying the genetics and the origins of organisms (“Zoologist”). Zoologists can also develop and conduct experimental studies, collect biological data and specimens, monitor and manage wildlife populations, write research papers on their findings, give presentations, and develop programs (“Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists”).

The first example of a zoologist is a zookeeper. There job would be preparing animals’ meals, caring for them, cleaning enclosures, monitoring behavior as well as recording it. A few others would be ensuring the animal is healthy, grooming, exercising and training the animal, and finally, a zookeeper would talk to curious groups touring through the zoo. This is done to teach educational facts about the animals, such as where the animals originate, special traits, some facts about the specific animal they are interacting with, and much more (“Zoologist”).

Next example is a wildlife educator. This involves the duties of studying in a certain location to explore and research wildlife behavior, create presentations, speak at educational visits, design displays, and also buy and raise animals for exhibition (“Zoologists”). Another example is a researcher. Researchers are responsible for conducting experiments, identifying new data, breeding and raising specimens, dissecting, researching specimens in their natural habitat, collecting specimens for lab, and finally writing papers as well as giving speeches (“Zoologists”); (“What is a Zoologist?”). The last example is a wildlife rehabilitator. This career cares for ill, injured, or orphaned wildlife so they can one day be returned back to the wild. Wildlife rehabilitators also acquire permits from state and federal wildlife agencies to be able to have wild animals in their possession (“Zoologists”).

Another career option that is an uncommon choice for zoologists is the game commision. The game commision actually plays a vital role in wildlife. They manage the population of wild birds and mammals and set laws to insure the safety and protection of wildlife (“Career and Volunteer Opportunities”). While the game commission is more of a law enforcement career, it is still an option for a studying zoologist to look into due to its conservation and protection especially during hunting seasons. It would be beneficial to join the game commision with knowledge and a college degree in zoology. This could increase the chance of being hired as well as having a higher rank among others that do not have the education.

There are many famous and successful zoologists in our world today. A few names are familiar while others are not. This list includes Dame Jane Morris Goodall, Stephen Robert Irwin, Dian Fossey, Charles Darwin, Archie Carr III, Richard Dawkins, David Attenborough, and Jack Hanna (Aslam). Those studying zoology today look up to these scientists and hope to one day do great work like they have done and to become as influential as they are. These scientists have all contributed to the research the world has now and scientist today are still furthering the research to gather all information we can about the natural world and the organisms that live in it.

In particular, Dian Fossey fought with all her power to open the eyes of the world on how gorillas are perceived. Dian Fossey was a primatologist, someone who studies primates, who in the beginning wanted to travel to Africa in 1963 just for the beautiful nature that inspired her. While there, Fossey met the famous Louis Leakey, a palaeoanthropologist, who was studying fossils and how they relate to human ancestors. Three years later Leakey hired Fossey to study gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Due to conflict in the area, however, Fossey was forced to leave (Hogenboom). September in the year of 1967, Fossey relocated to Rwanda,the neighboring area in the volcanic Virunga mountains, and set up a small research outpost. This outpost was named Karisoke Research Center (Hogenboom). Fossey’s work in the beginning was difficult. She had to imitate the behavior of the gorillas to become closer to them. On December 26, 1985, Fossey was murdered in her cabin by a machete (Hogenboom). To this day her murder remains a mystery. Dian Fossey is one of the world’s most influential zoologists today. She worked for eighteen years in the Virunga mountains, gathering information to prove to society that mountain gorillas were just as curious about humans as humans are about them (Hogenboom).

Many of these scientists listed are known for their research on animal behavior and how they interact with one another as well as with human beings. They have discovered eye opening information that shows the true beauty of nature but also the dark side. It is brought to the world’s attention how animals have adapted throughout the years due to man made disasters such as deforestation, hunting, industry, poaching, pollution, and others. Animals have also adapted over the years due to natural disasters such as wildfires, floods, tornadoes, and other disasters.

When studying in the wild there is plenty to see. The true nature of an animal is revealed which can be quite beautiful but also dangerous. Wild creatures have the natural instinct to protect their territories and families, find resources, and defend themselves. These animals are in their home. The scientists are intruding so it is responsible to respect their space and wellbeing.

In conclusion, zoologists play a crucial role in today’s society and scientific studies. Without these scientists the world would not have the information of how the animal kingdom operates, how wild organisms interact with one another, stopping the spreading of diseases and the development of new ones, and creating programs to insure the safety of endangered species. Overall, the amazing science field has so much to offer and new data is gained everyday from hard working scientists that put their whole life towards research.

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Studying the Evolution of Wild Animals. (2021, Dec 23). Retrieved from

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