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Research animals in the wild or in captivity.

What does a Zoologist do?

If you ask white-collar workers what it’s like in corporate America, many will tell you, “It’s a jungle out there.” Incidentally, Zoologists will say the same thing about their workplace. The difference is: Theirs really is a jungle — literally. That’s because Zoologists work with animals — often in captivity, but sometimes in the wild.

As a Zoologist, you’re a Scientist who studies animals. Specifically, your job is watching, researching, and caring for wildlife. Often employed by universities — and sometimes by zoos, aquariums, museums, and wildlife reserves — you’re a permanent guest of the animal kingdom.

Your duties therefore include teaching lessons about animals to college students or zoo-goers, and observing animal behaviors, such as hunting, mating, and socializing. You also analyze animal biology, including anatomy, genetics, and physiology. In addition, you study animal environments, including natural and captive habitats.

You might specialize in a group of animals — reptiles, mammals, or fish, for instance — or in an individual species, such as elephants, sharks, or penguins. Always, however, you spend half of your time doing fieldwork and the other half doing lab work. When you’re doing fieldwork, you’re observing animals and working with them. When you’re doing lab work, meanwhile, you’re dissecting and analyzing specimens, as well as performing experiments.

In both instances, your goal is to understand animals’ bodies and behaviors in order to impact animal health, conservation, and survival. Because that has implications for the food chain — at the top of which is humanity — you help man by helping beast!

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