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Publisher's Summary

As much as we love a trip to the zoo, the truth is that you can’t learn everything there is to know about animals with an occasional brief visit. But by exploring zoology and the tireless work of zoologists, you’ll find your next trip more rewarding, enriching, and satisfying. 

In these 24 lectures, The Great Courses teams up with the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, to take you behind the scenes of the animal world. Dr. Moore has crafted a wonderful introduction to zoology that brings you up close and personal with a breathtaking variety of animal species through the eyes of a trained zoologist. 

Throughout these lectures, you’ll explore the fundamentals of zoology (including the relationship between genetics and environment), dive into the different orders of life on our planet (from the ocean depths to the highest tree tops) and investigate special subjects intriguing today’s zoologists (including animal behavior and conservation). You’ll also meet some of most incredible animals on Earth: butterflies, bears, crocodiles, tigers, giant pandas, elephants, gorillas, and more. And thanks to exclusive footage from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, you’ll be able to see these animals in action, up close and without the crowds. 

It’s a wide, wild world out there. And with these engaging lectures, you’ll be better equipped to get out there and discover its animal wonders. Whether they’re in your local zoo or aquarium, a national park, or right in your own backyard. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2017 The Great Courses (P)2017 The Teaching Company, LLC

What listeners say about Zoology: Understanding the Animal World

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

America Centric

I am resident in Johannesburg, South Africa and wondered why the Lecturer's references and content to the program refer mostly to the American Animal experience? For instance, there is no mention of the Kruger National Park - when it comes to Lions or any wildlife species, I am sure that the Park deserves some mention when it comes to wildlife preservation? Also, there is no mention of the Bushman cave paintings in Southern Africa, the lecturer only mentioning European rock paintings. Surely this is an oversight? I am writing this review post Corona virus outbreak, so the chapter on animal transmitted diseases was interesting in a new context, also frightening, and sad, that so many lives have been lost. In view of the Lecturer's knowledge and remarks about animal to human transmission, China's apparent ignorance and the world's unpreparedness are startling revelations, to say the least.

15 people found this helpful

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Get back in touch with the animal world

As a former zoo volunteer, I enjoyed catching up on the latest developments especially conservation efforts. Some of the overviews are a bit technical and the accompanying pdf is a great help. Chapter 23 is particularly relevant in light of the latest coronavirus outbreak.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A must-have reference!

Do you enjoy learning facts about animals? Do you like the opportunity to consider the eccentricities of common and rare species? Would you like to become aware of conservation efforts around the world? If so, then get comfy and let Dr. Don Moore illustrate the details and importance of our favorite and little-known species! I'm often inspired to pause the recording, reflect on something shared, and search online for range maps or images of an animal mentioned. I'll also revisit a chapter when I desire enriching. It is clearly a reference meant to be enjoyed time and time again, like flipping to a needed page in a field guide. Thank you for this information-rich collection of knowledge!

4 people found this helpful

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Simplistic

I had hoped for a more in depth zoology book but seems to be geared for high school

11 people found this helpful

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More Than I Had Expected!


The Great Courses are almost always very good, sometimes even excellent. Frankly, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this one and learned from it as well. I expected a basic survey of the animal kingdom, a review of my course work and articles I often read on the subject. It did, of course, provide that, but it was so much more.

The presenter, Donald E. Moore III, is not a typical university professor, and therefore the content of these lectures were distinctive. He is a "conservation biologist," so along with the general biological information I had expected, he eagerly shared his knowledge and passion for all animals, the obscure as well has the iconic. In addition, he passionately lobbied for their preservation.

He has been the Director of the Oregon Zoo and the senior science advisor at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. He skillfully shared his wealth of experience of almost 40 years in wildlife conservation, animal welfare, and zoo management. Furthermore, each lecture was joined by at least one expert in the topic under discussion. Without exception, these men and women added interest and animation to their topics.

I was amazed at how much I learned about a subject quite familiar to me--animals. I relished each lecture. Dr. Moore has an uncanny knack for explaining complex topics in a way that includes all levels of competence. I found myself wishing that I could present this entire series to my former fifth grade classes. The kids would have been mesmerized, as I had been, in spite of my previous graduate level exposure to this subject. An instructor with that range is truly the master of his field.

I recommend this outstanding audiobook to others with a penchant for learning more about our shared natural world.

2 people found this helpful

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An Enjoyable and Informative Review of The Animal World

The presentation of material was easy to understand, particularly if you’re an avid amateur naturalist like me. The accompanying pdf contains nearly all the material covered in the class and is a good resource to have in its own right. The professor had an enjoyable presentation style and imparted his obvious love of animals into the presentation. I highly recommend this to all who find the natural world fascinating.

1 person found this helpful

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Informative and elaborate

It was definitely worth the time and money. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to know more about animals in depth.

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Experts need to stop citing archaic beliefs

I have a hard time listening to "experts" who get things wrong within the first chapter. I may come back to this later when I'm ready to listen with a grain of salt.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Animals?

Yes, from the small and adorable to the big and intimidating. These lectures taught me a thing or two about how in the animal kingdom there are natural factors to it thriving and extending its life, to how biological ways of certain species have been raised to develop skills to become self sufficient. Are animals self conscious about being animals? How does the preservation of wildlife affect the ecosystem? How were black foot ferrets brought back from extinction?
I would definitely recommend this course

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

okay book

More descriptively entitled Zoology According to the Theory of Evolution. But there were some actual facts throughout that were interesting.

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  • Tristan Downing
  • 08-12-19

An underachieving effort from The Great Courses

In of itself, it's fairly interesting. Unfortunately, the material is very disjointed, doesn't build towards anything, lacks the gravitas of most courses from the Teaching Company, and suffers from questionable audio quality.

Rather than present what would be a zoology higher education course from a world leading educator and university, it's more of a collection of animal talks from a zoo director. Maybe I'm expecting too much. Having listened to nearly 70 courses so far, The Great Courses have set themselves a high bench mark. Unfortunately this offering doesn't quite meet it.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Gemma smith
  • 03-19-20

loved it!

So informative and gave great information for each topic, with added background and talks from experts in these fields x

3 people found this helpful

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  • bumf
  • 02-16-22

Great course

I really enjoyed listening. Lots of information and a lovely, passionate commentary. I would recommend