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Tools Used by Zoologists

Important Tools and Equipment Without Which Zoologists Can't Work

Zoologists study animals and their behavior. So, can you guess some of the tools used by zoologists? Read the following article to check if you guessed right.
Sheeba Nambiar
Last Updated: Apr 18, 2018
Zoologists are professionals who conduct study on animals. Wildlife lovers would love a job that requires them to spend endless hours with intriguing creatures. If you too have always been fascinated with the study of animals, then you'd sure want to know how to become a zoologist. Animal biology or zoology is the branch of science that deals with the study of various animal species. Hence, zoologists are also known as animal biologists or animal scientists. Broadly, the job description of these professionals involves the following:
  • Studying the origin of the animal species.
  • The growth and development patterns of animals.
  • The nature and habits of animals.
  • Interaction of animals amongst themselves and with the environment.

A zoologist is not simply restricted to working in zoos and helping and studying the animals there, but they can also work in the field of wildlife conservation and management. This is because they have more knowledge and expertise that could very well be used for animal welfare, and in some ways even save the endangered animals.
Tools and Equipment
Zoologists, as you may have imagined, do not simply conduct their studies in the wildlife and zoos, but they also conduct tests in laboratories, dissect dead animals, etc. As they specialize in different group of animals, they are identified by their different names, such as a mammalogist studies mammals and an ichthyologist studies fish. Based on this factor, the tools used by a zoologist also differ. Given below are some of the common tools, most of which are used by all zoologists regardless of what group of animals they specialize in.
  • Binoculars:
    In case of a zoologist's work in the wildlife, the study of animals takes place in their natural habitat. To observe them in the wild, binoculars are used by these scientists so as to not disturb the animals and also to keep a safe distance from animals that could be dangerous.
  • Magnifying Glass:
    As binoculars are used to observe large animals in the wild, such as birds, elephants, tigers, etc., magnifying glasses are used by entomologists who study insects. To closely observe small creatures and insects with naked eyes is not easy, which is why a magnifying glass is one of the essential tools used by entomologists.
  • Recording Aids:
    These biologists need to use a variety of recording equipment, which could include movie cameras, videotape cameras, aquatic activity monitoring systems, tape recorders, terrestrial locomotor activity monitoring systems, sonographs, and event recorders that aid as behavioral testing devices. These equipment help in capturing the behavior of animals in their natural habitat, thus supporting the documentation that needs to be maintained by a zoologist.
  • Lab Equipment:
    To study the anatomy of the animals, zoologists use laboratory equipment, such as microscopes, scissors, scalpels, and tweezers. While scalpels are used to dissect the dead animals, tweezers are used to obtain tissues and cells that are used as specimens. Microscopes aid in the study of these cells and tissues of the animals, and are therefore one of the essential tools.
  • GPS:
    Global Positioning System, or GPS navigation, is used to record the exact location of a particular group of animals. This helps in locating the same group of animals again and also helps the scientists in finding their ways out in the remote areas where it could be really difficult to navigate.
  • Computer:
    Computers help zoologists in maintaining databases of information about their research. The notes that they make when they are in the field are also recorded in these databases for the other zoologists to refer and make inferences to. To analyze the collected data, they use software programs such as STATA and SPSS and make hypothesis on the basis of that.

These were some of the basic and most common tools that zoologists need to carry out their work effectively. They often need to refer to books, journals, and periodicals to get more inputs on their field of study. If you are looking for a career in animal study, then you must know the educational requirements. You may also be curious about the salary, but it actually depends on a variety of factors and may not be uniform. These factors include educational qualifications, work experience, publications, and also your area of expertise.