How Does a Zoologist Spend a Workday?


General Overview

  • Zoologists, who study and work with animals, learn as much as possible about the nature of animals by watching them in their natural habitats and in a laboratory. Zoologists research many different aspects of animal life including the development of the species, habits, behaviors, interactions among one another, the passing of traits from generation to generation and the development of diseases. Zoologists are experts in the field of zoology also known as animal biology.

Typical Workday

  • Most zoologists are employed by museums, zoos or research laboratories. A typical day for a zoologist consists of checking in with all the animals under his care and making sure that they have plenty of food and water. Another part of the workday is spent doing research on animals, which includes dissecting and examining different animal specimens as well as preparing slides to examine the various specimens for diseased tissue. A zoologist also will spend the bulk of his workday observing the animals in their natural habitats and making notes on mating patterns, aggressions, eating and sleeping habits, and group behaviors.

Other Responsibilities

  • Some zoologists are highly passionate about their work with animals, often serving as advocates. These zoologists focus on studying animal health and animal rights instead of experimenting with them. They challenge scientists who do harmful testing on animals, such as cosmetic companies that test on monkeys. They also fight against inhumane animal treatment such as illegal hunting and poaching. Some zoologists work hard to find alternatives to animal testing.

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