Sioux Falls Zoologists

"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent!"

The mirror test is an experiment developed in 1970 by psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. to determine whether an animal possesses the ability to recognize itself in a mirror. It is the primary indicator of self-awareness in non-human animals and marks entrance to the mirror stage by human children in developmental psychology. Animals that pass mirror test are: Humans older than 18 mo, Chimpanzees, Bonobos, Orangutans, Gorillas, Bottlenose Dolphins, Orcas (Killer Whales), Elephants, and European Magpies. Others showing signs of self-awareness are Pigs, some Gibbons, Rhesus Macaques, Capuchin Monkeys, some Corvids (Crows & Ravens) and Pigeons w/training. (Sorry Kitty!)

Sioux Falls Zoologists endorse Zoology: Understanding the Animal
for the excellent overview of the animal kingdom.

Zoology: Understanding the Animal World
Lectures by Professor Donald E. Moore III

Zoology: Understanding the Animal World
(2017) - 24 lectures, 12 hours
Zoology: Understanding the Animal World at

For young and old alike, zoos are one of the most popular places to visit. Each year, over 185 million people visit accredited zoos and aquariums throughout the United States for close encounters with some of the most adorable, exotic, and strange animals on our planet.

Chief among these zoos is the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. The overarching goal of this remarkable modern zoo is to educate everyday people about the astonishing range of animal species: how they live, how they develop, and how they impact the world. Thousands flock to this beautiful zoo every day to visit animals they’ve never before seen and, often, never knew existed.

Helping the average visitor navigate this exciting world are zoologists, the hard-working scientists whose research in areas like animal intelligence, ecology, behavior, and conservation are helping us make better sense of the animal world, from mosquitoes and monarch butterflies to polar bears and great white sharks. Much of what we know—and are currently learning—about animals is thanks to the scientific field of zoology.

As much as we love an informative trip to the zoo, the truth is that you can’t learn everything there is to know about animals with the occasional visit. But by exploring zoology and the tireless work of zoologists at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo—and other zoological parks and aquariums across the country—you’ll find your next trip to the zoo more rewarding, more enriching, and much more satisfying.

In Zoology: Understanding the Animal World, The Great Courses teams up with the Smithsonian, the acknowledged leader in animal research, conservation, and education, to bring you 24 visually rich lectures that take you behind the scenes of not only the animal world but of the scientists trying to understand how it works. Dr. Donald E. Moore III—director of the Oregon Zoo and senior science advisor at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo—has crafted a wonderful introduction to the fundamentals of zoology through the eyes of a trained zoologist, bringing you up close and personal with a breathtaking variety of animal species: crocodiles, birds of prey, lions, dolphins, giant pandas, elephants, and more. Packed with exclusive footage from zoos, research parks, and animals in their natural habitats, as well as interviews with other Smithsonian scientists, these lectures will reveal the hidden world of animals in a way no textbook could ever hope to do.

Learn What Zoologists Do

According to Professor Moore, zoologists do a lot more than tend animals for the zoo.

“Modern zoological research is discovering subtle but important differences between species that aren’t necessarily apparent to the naked eye,” he says at the start of Zoology. “While most of the time, the public sees a zoo as an entertaining and educational way to spend a Saturday afternoon (and it very much is), your average accredited zoo is also a vital part of research and conservation activities going on across the world.”

To make this scientific field a little more manageable to grasp, and to guide your learning in a way that builds upon insights, Professor Moore has organized the lectures into three general sections.

Start with the basics of zoology. Topics include the intriguing relationship between genetics and environment, sexual behaviors in different animal groups, parenting styles and their evolutionary importance, and the role conservation plays in our current research into the animal kingdom.

Dive into the different orders of life on our planet. It’s a colorful tour that takes you from the ocean depths to the highest tree tops and reveals the characteristics of different animal orders (invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, fish, mammals) as well as the astounding diversity within them.

Investigate special subjects intriguing today’s zoologists. How do animals interact with their environments and with one another (including human beings)? How do we study animal intelligence, and can animals think? What diseases threaten animals in the wild and in zoos? How can we ensure the survival of endangered species?

Donald E. Moore III is director of the Oregon Zoo and senior science advisor at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. He received his Ph.D. in Conservation Biology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Dr. Moore served as a senior scientist for conservation programs for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and helped implement the Elephant Trails and American Trail exhibits at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. He has led workshops in modern zoo management principles and is the author of Wonderful World of Animals.

24 Lectures - 31 minutes each

1: What Do Zoologists Do? 13: Taking to the Sky: Bird Migration
2: Animal Reproduction: Genes and Environment 14: What Makes a Mammal? Hair, Milk, and Teeth
3: Mammal Reproduction: Pandas and Cheetahs 15: Herbivore Mammals: Ruminants and Runners
4: How Animals Raise Their Young 16: Carnivore Mammals: Feline, Canine, and Ursine
5: Helpful Corals, Clams, and Crustaceans 17: Primate Mammals: Diverse Forest Dwellers
6: Bees, Butterflies, and Saving Biodiversity 18: Size, Structure, and Metabolism
7: Deadly Invertebrates: Vectors and Parasites 19: Protection, Support, and Homeostasis
8: Bony Fish, Skates, Sharks, and Rays 20: Animal Energetics and the Giant Panda Problem
9: Amphibians, Metamorphosis, and Ecology 21: Ethology: Studying Animal Behavior
10: Reptiles: Adaptations for Living on Land 22: Think! How Intelligent Are Animals?
11: Beaks, Claws, and Eating like a Bird 23: Combating Disease in the Animal Kingdom
12: Form and Function: Bird Nests and Eggs 24: Animal Futures: Frontiers in Zoology


Zoology: Understanding the Animal World
Lectures by Professor Donald E. Moore III

Sioux Falls Zoologists endorse Zoology: Understanding the Animal
for the excellent overview of the animal kingdom.