Internet Resources: Zoology Research Guide

General Gateways, Guides, and Databases

  • Animal Diversity Web (
    A "large searchable encyclopedia of the natural history of animals."
    Is searchable by either the common name or the taxonomic (scientific) name of an animal. Includes some, but not many, insects.
  • BiologyBrowser (
    From BIOSIS, an interactive portal designed for the life sciences community. Includes "interactive discussion forums, quality-controlled web links, science news," conference listings, and other free resources.
  • Ecology WWW page (
  • Electronic Zoo (
  • Internet Resource Guide for Zoology (
    • Index to Organism Names (
      Gives "basic nomenclatural and hierarchy information, plus ZR volume occurrence counts (reflecting use in the literature) for animal names; and links to other organizations' data for non-animal names. It can be used to identify the taxonomic group to which a named organism belongs and to link to further information from ZR or other collaborating organizations."
    • Nomenclatural Glossary for Zoology (
      "Covers terminology commonly encountered within publications dealing with the systematics and nomenclature of animals."
  • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (
    A searchable database providing taxonomic, conservation status, and distribution information on taxa that have been evaluated using the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Red List Categories and Criteria. Although other groups are included, the only taxonomic groups which have been "comprehensively assessed" are the birds and mammals.
  • Mammal Species of the World (MSW) (
    A database of mammalian taxonomy. Is searchable by either the taxonomic (scientific) name or the common name of an animal. (Caution: "The common name information is not complete, and some commonly used mammal names may return no records or an incomplete list of records.")
  • NatureServe Explorer (
    "A source for authoritative conservation information on more than 50,000 plants, animals, and ecological communities of the United States and Canada." One can search to find "scientific and common names, conservation status, distribution maps, life histories, conservation needs, and more."
  • Tree of Life (
    The Tree of Life Web Project is intended to be used by "those interested in locating information about a particular group of organisms, by biologists seeking identification keys, figures, phylogenetic trees, and other systematic information for a group of organisms, and by educators teaching about organismal diversity." Originally designed for biologists, the project is now also including information of interest to non-biologists, such as middle and high school students. The site includes links to other zoology Web sites.

    One can do a search for the group of animals of interest. Examples:

    To find links to Internet sites about the group of animals of interest, click on "Contents" at the top of the page, and select "Information on the Internet."
    To find photos of the group of animals, click on "Browse" at the top of the page, and select "Picture Sampler."

Animal-Specific Databases

  • AmphibiaWeb (
    Searchable "access to taxonomic information for every recognized species of amphibian in the world. Species accounts are being added regularly by specialists and volunteers and they contain species descriptions, life history information, conservation status, literature references, photos and range maps for many species."
  • Duckdata ( U.S. Department of the Interior; U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
    "A bibliographic database of published literature on the ecology, conservation, and management of North American waterfowl and their wetland habitats."
  • EMBL Reptile Database ( European Molecular Biology Laboratory.
    "This database is intended to provide information on the classification of all living reptiles by listing all species and their pertinent higher taxa. The database therefore covers all living snakes, lizards, amphisbaenians and crocodiles." Provides primarily (scientific) names, synonyms, distributions and related data. Currently searchable by scientific name only.
  • FishBase (
    A "global information system with all you ever wanted to know about fishes. FishBase is a relational database with information to cater to different professionals such as research scientists, fisheries managers, zoologists and many more."
  • PrimateLit (
    "The PrimateLit database provides bibliographic access to the scientific literature on nonhuman primates for the research and educational communities. Coverage of the database spans 1940 to present and includes all publication categories (articles, books, abstracts, technical reports, dissertations, book chapters, etc.) and many subject areas."

Government Agencies and Information

Research Grants and Projects

Animal Images

  • Fish and Wildlife National Image Library (
    "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's online collection of public domain still photographs. The National Image Library contains still photo images of wildlife, plants, National Wildlife Refuges and other scenics, as well as wildlife management work."

To find other Web sites, click on Netscape's Search button and use one of the many available search engines. For searching tips and comparisons of the features of various search engines, see

For examples showing how to cite Internet resources, see Citing Electronic Resources from the Internet Public Library.