In order to understand the importance of zoos in science, we must first talk about what kind of research they produce. Zoo scientists do not just observe animals in their natural habitats, they also conduct studies that investigate the effects of different environments and behaviors on specific traits like behavior patterns or disease susceptibility.
Zoo-based research has played an integral part in our understanding of animal behavior and biology. For example, when you look at any wild mammal, you will notice that most individuals have one “alpha” male who is usually much larger than the other males in the group. This leader position is typically young, but he does not change as long as another individual is around. Once he is chased away, someone else becomes the alpha!
This never happens with females and juveniles, because they are either too small to defend themselves against aggression or need help being able to face adversity. When there are no longer strong leaders in a group, chaos often ensues — which can be very difficult to watch.
Zoos play a crucial role in educating us about these things by studying how dominant species work in nature. By exposing yourself to a variety of experiences, you learn more about the world! Besides, it’s way better than watching The Lion King for the millionth time.
As we have seen, many people believe that keeping animals in captivity is cruel. These opinions are often fueled by reports about animal welfare or studies of particular species’ behavior in nature. Some even go as far to say that it is immoral to keep large numbers of animals captive for entertainment purposes!
However, these opinions are heavily influenced by whether or not you think an individual animal looks cute or attractive. In fact, several well-known zoos make money off of this very thing!
As mentioned before, most individuals who criticize zoo practices do so because they feel that the lives of the animals used for entertainment are not good ones. This perception may be due to unexpected encounters with wildlife outside of the zoo or videos and pictures which show disturbing conditions for the animals.
Many people also worry about the long term health effects that repeated exposure to stress can have on the animals’ mental and physical wellbeing. Stress has been linked to issues such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease in humans.
Zoo employees are constantly having to deal with high levels of stress, making it hard to maintain their personal wellness. This can easily add to the amount of stress that the animals under their care experience.
One of the most significant ways that animal care facilities influence scientific research is by exposing animals to different environments. This includes habitats, food sources, and temperature regulation.
Zoos are very conscious about creating an atmosphere where animals feel comfortable. For example, penguins live in colder climates so they have to be sure their bodies are able to function properly in cold conditions.
By studying how these animals cope with changes in weather, we can learn more about ourselves. We are mostly water, which means it’s important to understand how our circulatory systems work.
Animals also need to eat and drink, so knowledge about nutrition is helpful. Just because something tastes good to you doesn’t mean it will taste the same for another person or for them at a different stage in their life.
More than ever, people are conscious about how important it is to give back to the environment by reducing your energy use and educating yourself on ways to be more sustainable.
This includes learning about how to reduce your water consumption and what kind of materials contribute to environmental damage. It also means trying to limit your meat intake or at least knowing where your meat comes from.
By educating yourself on animal welfare, you’ll learn some very interesting things about the zoological industry. For example, research has shown that captive breeding contributes substantially to overpopulation and extinction events in wildlife.
Zoos tend to promote offspring production as a way to increase visitor attendance, but this can have negative effects for animals who don’t survive their parents’ offspring.