"O, wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here!"
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Welcome to Professor Paul's Nature Encyclopedia.Here we will share the great world of nature, We hope you enjoy it!
It's an attempt to show a little of the world of Nature, but bringing the style of the old 1930's nature encyclopedias to the internet. We will show extinct animals & domestic varieties alongside their living wild relatives, combining zoology with palaeontology.We'll also try to show some of the interesting captive bred & naturally occuring hybrids.
PPNE doesn't cover all species in the world, nor does it include all the latest scientific information about organisms we describe. Though we edit our accounts for accuracy, we cannot guarantee all information in those accounts.
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PLEASE NOTE:THE SITE USES MOSTLY BRITISH ENGLISH, IE GREY RATHER THAN GRAY:ALL SEARCHES SHOULD BE CONDUCTED USING BRITISH SPELLINGS!
It will also include sections on geology & other natural sciences in due course, as well as a section devoted to cryptids.
Zoology /zoʊˈɒlədʒi/, occasionally spelled zoölogy, is the branch of biology that relates to the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct. The term is derived from Ancient Greek ζῷον (zōon, "animal") + λόγος (logos, "knowledge").
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. Mammalogy has also been known as "mastology," "theriology," and "therology."
Mammalogy branches off into other taxonomically-oriented disciplines such as primatology (study of primates), and cetology (study of cetaceans).
Ornithology is a branch of zoology that concerns the study of birds. Etymologically, the word "ornithology" derives from the ancient Greek ὄρνις ornis ("bird") and λόγος logos ("rationale" or "explanation"). Several aspects of ornithology differ from related disciplines, due partly to the high visibility and the aesthetic appeal of birds. Most marked among these is the extent of studies undertaken by amateurs working within the parameters of strict scientific methodology.
The science of ornithology has a long history and studies on birds have helped develop several key concepts in evolution, behaviour and ecology such as the definition of species, the process of speciation, instinct, learning, ecological niches, guilds, island biogeography, phylogeography and conservation. While early ornithology was principally concerned with descriptions and distributions of species, ornithologists today seek answers to very specific questions, often using birds as models to test hypotheses or predictions based on theories. Most modern biological theories apply across taxonomic groups and the number of professional scientists who identify themselves as "ornithologists" has therefore declined. A wide range of tools and techniques are used in ornithology, both inside the laboratory and out in the field, and innovations are constantly made
Entomology (from Greek ἔντομος, entomos, "that which is cut in pieces or engraved/segmented", hence "insect"; and -λογία, -logia) is the scientific study of insects, a branch of arthropodology, which in turn is a branch of biology. In the past the term "insect" was more vague, and historically the definition of entomology included the study of terrestrial animals in other arthropod groups or other phyla, such as arachnids, myriapods, earthworms, land snails, and slugs. This wider meaning may still be encountered in informal use.
Like several of the other fields that are categorized within zoology, entomology is a taxon-based category; any form of scientific study in which there is a focus on insect related inquiries is, by definition, entomology. Entomology therefore includes a cross-section of topics as diverse as molecular genetics, behavior, biomechanics, biochemistry, systematics, physiology, developmental biology, ecology, morphology, paleontology, mathematics, anthropology, robotics, agriculture, nutrition, forensic science, and more.
At some 1.3 million described species, insects account for more than two-thirds of all known organisms, date back some 400 million years, and have many kinds of interactions with humans and other forms of life on earth.
Herpetology is the branch of zoology concerned with the study of amphibians (including frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, and gymnophiona) and reptiles (including snakes, lizards, amphisbaenids, turtles, terrapins, tortoises, crocodilians, and the tuataras). Batrachology is a further subdiscipline of herpetology concerned with the study of amphibians alone.
Herpetology is concerned with poikilothermic, ectothermic tetrapods. Under this definition "herps" (or sometimes "herptiles" or "herpetofauna") exclude fish, but it is not uncommon for herpetological and ichthyological scientific societies to "team up", publishing joint journals and holding conferences in order to foster the exchange of ideas between the fields. One of the most prestigious organizations, the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, is an example of this. Many herpetological societies exist today, having been formed to promote interest in reptiles and amphibians both captive and wild.
Herpetology offers benefits to humanity in the study of the role of amphibians and reptiles in global ecology, especially because amphibians are often very sensitive to environmental changes, offering a visible warning to humans that significant changes are taking place. Some toxins and venoms produced by reptiles and amphibians are useful in human medicine. Currently, some snake venom has been used to create anti-coagulants that work to treat stroke victims and heart attack cases.
The word "herpetology" is from Greek: ἑρπετόν, herpeton, "creeping animal" and -λογία, -logia, "knowledge". People with an avid interest in herpetology and who keep different reptiles or amphibians often refer to themselves as "herpers".
"Herp" is a vernacular term for reptiles and amphibians. It is derived from the old term "herpetile", with roots back to Linnaeus' classification of animals, in which he grouped reptiles and amphibians together in the same class. There are over 6700 species of amphibians and over 9000 species of reptiles. In spite of its modern taxonomic irrelevance, the term has persisted, particularly in the names of herpetology, the scientific study of reptiles and amphibians, and herpetoculture, the captive care and breeding of reptiles and amphibians.
Ichthyology (from Greek: ἰχθύς, ikhthus, "fish"; and λόγος, logos, "study") is the branch of zoology devoted to the study of fish. This includes skeletal fish (Osteichthyes), cartilaginous fish (Chondrichthyes), and jawless fish (Agnatha). While a large number of species have been discovered and described, approximately 250 new species are officially described by science each year. According to FishBase, 32,200 species of fish had been described by March 2012. There are more fish species than the combined total of all other vertebrates: mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds.
The practice of ichthyology is associated with marine biology, limnology and fisheries science. People who study ichthyology are called ichthyologists.
Geology (from the Greek γῆ, gê, "earth" and λόγος, logos, "study") is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change. Geology can also refer generally to the study of the solid features of any celestial body (such as the geology of the Moon or Mars).
Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates. In modern times, geology is commercially important for mineral and hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation and for evaluating water resources. It is publicly important for the prediction and understanding of natural hazards, the remediation of environmental problems, and for providing insights into past climate change. Geology plays a role in geotechnical engineering and is a major academic discipline.
Paleontology or palaeontology (pron.: /ˌpeɪlɪɒnˈtɒlədʒi/, /ˌpeɪlɪənˈtɒlədʒi/ or /ˌpælɪɒnˈtɒlədʒi/, /ˌpælɪənˈtɒlədʒi/) is the scientific study of prehistoric life. It includes the study of fossils to determine organisms' evolution and interactions with each other and their environments (their paleoecology). As a "historical science" it attempts to explain causes rather than conduct experiments to observe effects. Paleontological observations have been documented as far back as the 5th century BC. The science became established in the 18th century as a result of Georges Cuvier's work on comparative anatomy, and developed rapidly in the 19th century. The term itself originates from Greek: παλαιός (palaios) meaning "old, ancient," ὄν, ὀντ- (on, ont-), meaning "being, creature" and λόγος (logos), meaning "speech, thought, study".
Paleontology lies on the border between biology and geology, and shares with archaeology a border that is difficult to define. It now uses techniques drawn from a wide range of sciences, including biochemistry, mathematics and engineering. Use of all these techniques has enabled paleontologists to discover much of the evolutionary history of life, almost all the way back to when Earth became capable of supporting life, about 3,800 million years ago. As knowledge has increased, paleontology has developed specialized sub-divisions, some of which focus on different types of fossil organisms while others study ecology and environmental history, such as ancient climates.
Body fossils and trace fossils are the principal types of evidence about ancient life, and geochemical evidence has helped to decipher the evolution of life before there were organisms large enough to leave fossils. Estimating the dates of these remains is essential but difficult: sometimes adjacent rock layers allow radiometric dating, which provides absolute dates that are accurate to within 0.5%, but more often paleontologists have to rely on relative dating by solving the "jigsaw puzzles" of biostratigraphy. Classifying ancient organisms is also difficult, as many do not fit well into the Linnean taxonomy that is commonly used for classifying living organisms, and paleontologists more often use cladistics to draw up evolutionary "family trees". The final quarter of the 20th century saw the development of molecular phylogenetics, which investigates how closely organisms are related by measuring how similar the DNA is in their genomes. Molecular phylogenetics has also been used to estimate the dates when species diverged, but there is controversy about the reliability of the molecular clock on which such estimates depend.
Cryptozoology (from Greek κρυπτός, kryptos, "hidden" + zoology; literally, "study of hidden animals") is a pseudoscience involving the search for animals whose existence has not been proven. This includes looking for living examples of animals that are considered extinct, such as dinosaurs; animals whose existence lacks physical evidence but which appear in myths, legends, or are reported, such as Bigfoot and Chupacabra; and wild animals dramatically outside their normal geographic ranges, such as phantom cats (also known as Alien Big Cats).
The animals cryptozoologists study are often referred to as cryptids, a term coined by John Wall in 1983.
Cryptozoology is not a recognized branch of zoology or a discipline of science. It is an example of pseudoscience because it relies heavily upon anecdotal evidence, stories and alleged sightings
Cynology /sɨˈnɒlədʒi/ is the study of matters related to canines or domestic dogs.
In English it may be a term sometimes used to denote serious zoological approach to the study of dogs as well as by writers on canine subjects, dog breeders and trainers and enthusiasts who informally study the dog,. It is not a field of science, although the use of the Classical construction (linking of two Greek or Latin based words) in English is used to imply that it is a discipline or scientific. The word does not appear in standard English dictionaries.
Cetology (from Greek κῆτος, kētos, "whale"; and -λογία, -logia) is the branch of marine mammal science that studies the approximately eighty species of whales, dolphins, and porpoise in the scientific order Cetacea. Cetologists, or those who practice cetology, seek to understand and explain cetacean evolution, distribution, morphology, behavior, community dynamics, and other topics.
Hippology (from Greek: ἵππος, hippos, "horse"; and λόγος, logos, "study") is the study of the horse.
Today, Hippology is the title of an Equine Knowledge Contest that is used in 4-H, FFA and many horse breed contests. Hippology consists of four phases: Horse Judging, Written Examination and Slide Identification, ID Stations and Team Problem Solving.
Many youth across the United States, and in other countries compete in Hippology annually, showing their knowledge of all things "horse".
Items covered in the contest may cover any equine subject, i.e., Reproduction, Training, Parasites, Dressage, History and Origins, Anatomy and Physiology, Driving and Harnessing, Horse Industry, Horse Management, Breeds, Genetics, Western Games, Colors, Famous Horses in History, Parts of the Saddle, Types of Bits, Gaits, Competitions, Poisonous Plants and Nutrition.
Anthropology /ænθrɵˈpɒlədʒi/ is the study of humankind, past and present, that draws and builds upon knowledge from social and biological sciences, as well as the humanities and the natural sciences.
Since the work of Franz Boas and Bronisław Malinowski in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, anthropology in Great Britain and US has been distinguished from ethnology and from other social sciences by its emphasis on cross-cultural comparisons, long-term in-depth examination of context, and the importance it places on participant-observation or experiential immersion in the area of research. Cultural anthropology in particular has emphasized cultural relativism, holism, and the use of findings to frame cultural critiques This has been particularly prominent in the United States, from Boas's arguments against 19th-century racial ideology, through Margaret Mead's advocacy for gender equality and sexual liberation, to current criticisms of post-colonial oppression and promotion of multiculturalism. Ethnography is one of its primary methods as well as the text that is generated from anthropological fieldwork.]
While in Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries, the British tradition of Social Anthropology tends to dominate, in the United States anthropology is traditionally divided into the four field approach developed by Franz Boas in the early 20th century: biological or physical anthropology, social anthropology or cultural anthropology, archaeology and anthropological linguistics. These fields frequently overlap, but tend to use different methodologies and techniques.
In those European countries that did not have overseas colonies, where ethnology (a term coined and defined by Adam F. Kollár in 1783) was more widespread, social anthropology is now defined as the study of social organization in non-state societies and is sometimes referred to as sociocultural anthropology in the parts of the world that were influenced by the European tradition.