Zoology Quotes

Quotes tagged as "zoology" Showing 1-26 of 26
Yann Martel
“We commonly say in the trade that the most dangerous animal in a zoo is Man.”
Yann Martel, Life of Pi

“Have pity on them all, for it is we who are the real monsters.”
Bernard Heuvelmans, On the Track of Unknown Animals

“There are 2,500 kinds of sponges, all of them consist largely of holes.”
Will Cuppy

“Whales are silly once every two years. The young are called short-heads or baby blimps. Many whale romances begin in Baffin's bay and end in Procter and Gamble's factory, Staten Island.”
Will Cuppy, How to Tell Your Friends from the Apes

“Infant wart hogs resemble both sides of the family.”
Will Cuppy, How to Attract the Wombat

“We sat perfectly still in the dim light as the wolf approached closer, head cocked, mouth closed, and ears semi-erect. With these signs of both curiosity and trepidation, it took a step forward and then backed off a ways, then took a few steps forward again. It lifted its nose and sniffed intently, and finally stopped at about eight feet away. For a moment all three of us were perfectly still, wondering what was going to happen next.”
David Moskowitz, Wolves in the Land of Salmon

Louis Agassiz
“Branches or types are characterized by the plan of their structure,
Classes, by the manner in which that plan is executed, as far as ways and means are concerned,
Orders, by the degrees of complication of that structure,
Families, by their form, as far as determined by structure,
Genera, by the details of the execution in special parts, and
Species, by the relations of individuals to one another and to the world in which they live, as well as by the proportions of their parts, their ornamentation, etc.”
Louis Agassiz, Essay on Classification

“The zoologist is delighted by the differences between animals, whereas the physiologist would like all animals to work in fundamentally the same way.”
Alan Hodgkin

Bill Schutt
“Until relatively recently, and with a very few exceptions, cannibalism would have been regarded as anything but normal. As a result, until the last two decades of the 20th century, few scientists spent time studying a topic thought to have little, if any, biological significance. Basically, the party line was that cannibalism, when it did occur, was either the result of starvation to the stresses related to captive conditions. It was as simple as that. Or so we thought.”
Bill Schutt, Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History

“A prison for animals who committed no crimes is what a zoo is." - On Zoos”
Lamine Pearlheart, The Sunrise Scrolls: To Life from the Shadows II

Yann Martel
“The obsession with putting ourselves at the centre of everything is the bane not only of theologians but also of zoologists.”
Yann Martel, Life of Pi

José Ortega y Gasset
“We see, then, that even from the zoological point of view, which is the least interesting and—note this—not decisive, a being in such condition can never achieve a genuine equilibrium; we also see something that differs from the idea of challenge-response in Toynbee and, in my judgement, effectively constitutes human life: namely, that no surroundings or change of surroundings can in itself be described as an obstacle, a difficulty, and a challenge for man, but that the difficulty is always relative to the projects which man creates in his imagination, to what he customarily calls his ideals; in short, relative to what man wants to be. This affords us an idea of challenge-and-response which is much deeper and more decisive than the merely anecdotal, adventitious, and accidental idea which Toynbee proposes. In its light, all of human life appears to us as what it is permanently: a dramatic confrontation and struggle of man with the world and not a mere occasional maladjustment which is produced at certain moments.”
José Ortega y Gasset, An Interpretation of Universal History

Jake Vander-Ark
“A multitude of harlequin lifeforms bobbed and twirled and played in the depths of the Atlantic. Pink cucumbers with thorny backs. Algae. Starfish. Annelids with simple brains and a hundred toes. Sponges—like yellow, swollen hands—sucked in water and pushed out oxygen. Most amusing were the mysterious buggers who had no likeness on the previous earth; tiny beasts with exotic exoskeletons engraved with deep grid-like patterns, snails with horns, and slithering plants that looked like magenta weeping willows.”
Jake Vander Ark, The Day I Wore Purple

Yann Martel
“But I learned at my expense that Father believed there was another animal even more dangerous than us, and one that was extremely common, too, found on every continent, in every habitat: the redoubtable species Animalus anthropomorphicus, the animal as seen through human eyes. We've all met one, perhaps even owned one. It is an animal that is "cute", "friendly", "loving", "devoted", "merry", "understanding". These animals lie in ambush in every toy store and children's zoo. Countless stories are told of them. They are the pendants of those "vicious", "bloodthirsty", "depraved" animals that inflame the ire of the maniacs I have just mentioned, who vent their spite on them with walking sticks and umbrellas. In both cases we look at an animal and see a mirror. The obsession with putting ourselves at the centre of everything is the bane not only of theologians but also of zoologists. I learned the lesson that an animal is an animal, essentially and practically removed from us, twice: once with Father and once with Richard Parker.

Martel, Yann. Life of Pi (p. 39). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.”
Yann Martel, Life of Pi

“Perhaps if zoologists would contemplate the wide variations presented by many plants of indubitably one and the same species, and the still wider diversities of long cultivated races from an original stock, they would find more than one instructive parallel to the case of the longest domesticated of all species, man.”
Asa Gray

“If these d'Herelle bodies were really genes, fundamentally like our chromosome genes, they would give us an utterly new angle from which to attack the gene problem. They are filterable, to some extent isolable, can be handled in test-tubes, and their properties, as shown by their effects on the bacteria, can then be studied after treatment. It would be very rash to call these bodies genes, and yet at present we must confess that there is no distinction known between the genes and them. Hence we can not categorically deny that perhaps we may be able to grind genes in a mortar and cook them in a beaker after all. Must we geneticists become bacteriologists, physiological chemists and physicists, simultaneously with being zoologists and botanists? Let us hope so.”
Hermann J. Muller

Lucia Perillo
“The zoologists who came from Germany to inseminate the elephant
wore bicycle helmets and protective rubber suits.
So as not to be soiled by effluvium and excrement,
which will alchemize to produce laughter in the human species,
how does that work biochemically is a question
to which I have not found an answer yet.”
Lucia Perillo, Inseminating the Elephant

“Chronicling the passage of whales has led me to an understanding that we, as a species, now sand at a crossroads. We can face the possibility of our own extinction and work to avert it, or we can flow the more traditional path of earths organisms and fall blindly over the edge. If there's one trait that characterised human beings, it's the will to survive. This, I believe, will motivate us to work with the natural world rather than opposite it, which is all we need to do to give the children of earth - of all species - the opportunity to thrive.”
Alexandra Morton , Listening to Whales: What the Orcas Have Taught Us

Charles Darwin
“The country remained the same, and was extremely uninteresting. The complete similarity of the productions throughout Patagonia is one of its most striking characters. The level plains of arid shingle support the same stunted and dwarf plants; and in the valleys the same thorn-bearing bushes grow. Everywhere we see the same birds and insects. Even the very banks of the river and of the clear streamlets which entered it, were scarcely enlivened by a brighter tint of green. The curse of sterility is on the land, and the water flowing over a bed of pebbles partakes of the same curse. Hence the number of waterfowl is very scanty; for there is nothing to support life in the stream of this barren river. (In regards to the steppes of Patagonia)”
Charles Darwin, Journal of Researches into the Natural History and Geology of the Countries Visited During the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle Round the World, Under the Command of Capt. Fitz Roy, R.N.

Miriam Darlington
“Humans are the loneliest of creatures earth amongst all the earth's species, self-consciously and visibly a species apart.”
Miriam Darlington, Wise Hours: A Journey into the Wild and Secret World of Owls

“Places of confinement providing free food and medical care are called prisons.”
John Lilly

“Yesterday she had been wondering about deer and their antlers: Somebody must understand, but she did not, how the antlers knew, each successive year, that they must grow more points or branches than the previous year, the old pair having been shed after the rutting season. Was it some sort of hormone, which didn't get broken down but just accumulated season after season in the maturing stag? All she knew about antlers was that the blood supply was in the velvet. It was said that squirrels ate fallen antlers for the calcium and other minerals. That was why you didn't find them all over the place in these Brookline woods. Probably tasted a little salty, crunchy like the bones of quail. Perhaps she should get her mother to serve platters of thin-sliced antlers at the wedding lunch tomorrow, as hors d'oeuvres. If antlers were nutritious, perhaps horn was beneficial after all, rhinoceros horn, for example. Except that horn was keratin- like toenails, not bone- like skull.”
Grace Dane Mazur, The Garden Party: A Novel

“The factors facilitating the global emergence of pathogens shared between humans and animals are of particular importance because the diseases they induce have had major impacts on both human and animal health. This transfer of pathogens has ocurred for thousands, if not millions, of years and continues today.”
Kimberly A. Plomp, Palaeopathology and Evolutionary Medicine: An Integrated Approach

“Our species has co-evolved alongside many others to which we were in contact, especially through scavenging, hunting, and then animal husbandry, all of which would have exposed us to novel pathogens and zoonotic diseases. As a species, we had to adapt to these new pathogens without the benefits of modern medicine. The newly emerging diseases of recent decades, while novel in themselves, are but a repeat of patterns which humans have survived over several millennia.”
Kimberly A. Plomp, Palaeopathology and Evolutionary Medicine: An Integrated Approach

“Today there are almost eight billion people on earth, crowded together and travelling widely -this is 1300 times more than were present when the agricultural revolution began around 10,000 years ago and facilitated the spread of many pathogens.”
Kimberly A. Plomp, Palaeopathology and Evolutionary Medicine: An Integrated Approach

“Humans have always lived surrounded by potential pathogens. Whether they co-exist relatively harmlessly or become a problem, cause acute or chronic disease and spread slowly or in epidemics has been, and still is, influenced by how we have impacted the environments we share with other animals. Pathogens are opportunists within these environments, capable and ready to take advantage of anything that promotes their transmission.”
Kimberly A. Plomp, Palaeopathology and Evolutionary Medicine: An Integrated Approach