AskScience AMA Series: I'm Wallace Arthur, enthusiast about extraterrestrial life, author of The Biological Universe: Life in the Milky Way and Beyond (Cambridge University Press), and Emeritus Professor of Zoology at the National University of Ireland, Galway. AMA about our search for alien life!

I'm a biologist who has spent over 40 years studying the diversity of life on planet Earth. I've written many books dealing with questions about this amazing biodiversity, but recently I've become fascinated by questions about life on other planets. The number of known planets is now well over 4000 - a very large number compared with the mere eight we knew of until recently, and yet only the tip of the suspected iceberg of about a trillion planets spread across our local galaxy. Some of these planets almost certainly host life. But how many, and what is it like? These are the central questions of my new book The Biological Universe, published by Cambridge University Press.

I began my scientific career with a PhD from Nottingham University in England, went on to teach and carry out research at several other British universities, and am now Emeritus Professor at the National University of Ireland in Galway. I have held visiting positions at Harvard and Cambridge universities. I was one of the founding editors of the scientific journal Evolution & Development. My previous books include Life through Time and Space (Harvard 2017). This was described as 'brilliant and thought-provoking in every way' by Sir Arnold Wolfendale, Britain's Astronomer Royal (only the 14th person to hold this position since its origin in the year 1675).

Ask me anything about:

  • What alien life is likely to be like
  • How widespread it is likely to be
  • How soon we are likely to discover it
  • How close is the nearest alien life to Earth
  • What are the implications of discovering it

I'll be on at 12 noon Eastern (16 UT), AMA!

Username: /u/WallaceArthur

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Am I too old to go into zoology? And what qualifications would I need to do it as a degree in UK?

I'm am currently 29, working full time and feel like i missed my opportunity by messing around too much while I was younger, I chose subjects in school that I felt were good for me at the time but didn't lead anywhere. I have always had a big interest in zoology and for the past few years have regretted the decision not to follow it up in school/college. Would it be too late for me to start now? I have a few A Levels including Psychology but not in any sciences, so would have to start there with Biology but not too sure what else. I know it will be hard to do but I feel like i have the drive to follow the subject through. Any help or advice would be appreciatedg

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Hardcore Minecraft Survival + Answering Zoology Questions reddit.com/rpan/r/TheGame…
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Any zoology YouTube channels that you would recommend?

Pretty straightforward question, but I'm interested in other channels focused on this type of content. So far, I am subscribed to TierZoo, Nat Geo, BBC Earth, Ben G Thomas, and miscellaneous science channels that have occasional videos about zoology.

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πŸ“…︎ Jan 04 2021
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when we learned ab tapeworms in zoology all i could think ab was β€œhow do i get my hands on one of those...”
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What is the best Universities for zoology?

Pretty much what the title says but are there schools just for zoology or do I have to take classes with something to do in biology in other schools.

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πŸ‘€︎ u/Fletchy_Boi624
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Blue-Ringed Octopus cake made entirely from scratch with funfetti cake, vanilla buttercream, molded Rice Krispies, and marshmallow fondant. A LONG but fun project for an invertebrate zoology class. reddit.com/gallery/je7di3
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Is Harvard good for zoology

I don't know if you call it zoology, biology or, even something totally different. But would this school be good for zoology, like do they have good programs for it and would I be able to get a better position if I go to Harvard. Also is there anyone who study's zoology/biology on here that can share their experience.

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Resources for learning zoology.

Hi,

I'm 13 and I'm a wannabe/amateur zoologist. Where can I learn more, as in online courses, etc? A free resource would be preferred but a paid research is fine, especially if it is a good one.

Thanks for the help!!

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Zoology meme
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Can I work in zoology with a BA in Biology?

Hello, I’m currently completing my BA in biology. Unfortunately, most universities around me do not have a zoology or wildlife biology major. I would like a career in zoology or even more specifically in Primatology.

Can I do this with a biology degree? I will continue for my masters and hopefully then specify my degree but can I get started in those fields with a biology undergrad degree? Thanks!

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πŸ“…︎ Jan 06 2021
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Can you suggest to me books or series that will teach me zoology?

I want a collection of books that serve as lectures, literally an A to Z of animals and zoology, from the most basic to the most advanced. I want to start from scratch.( P.S: A playlist of youtube lectures, or maybe documentary series, will also be highly appreciated).

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its a chill type of hardcore - Zoology Questions & minecraftsurvivalday11 reddit.com/rpan/r/TheGame…
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Do I need calculus to get into zoology in university?

So, I can't find a great answer to this. I'm great with biology, but math has always been my weak spot. I'm failing pre-calc and worried about calculus.

Has anybody not taken calculus in highschool and still gotten into a zoology course?

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πŸ‘€︎ u/Guppythefrench
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How to learn speculative biology/zoology?

As the title says, I would be interested in learning speculative biology with a focus on zoology in a somewhat structured way.

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πŸ“…︎ Dec 26 2020
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How much is a degree needed for a career in zoology/wildlife studies? I have always loved field work and such. I ask because due to recent personal events I may have to give up on my major. Thanks and any advice pertaining to a job in wildlife studies is appreciated.
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Botany 100 vs Entomology 201 vs Anthro 105 vs Zoology / Botany 260

I need a 3 credit biological science class for my engineering breadth. Which of these were the most interesting / easiest? I'm leaning towards Botany 100 or Anthro 105

Also, does anyone know if Botany 100 counts as a formal Biological science for my engineering depth requirement? I think it does, but I don't know for sure. Edit: I ran a DARS audit and it seems Botany 100 works for me.

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πŸ“…︎ Dec 30 2020
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Zoology Class, Aligarh Muslim University, 1946
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Check out our wiki for an FAQ about a career in zoology!

Hello, my fellow zoologists!

Frequently, this sub gets a lot of people that are interested in a career in zoology, which is great!

However, often the questions are extremely repetitive and clutter the real zoological content out.

For this reason, u/7LeagueBoots and I created a career-related FAQ that hopefully will help interested people out. This can be found in the Subreddit wiki, which we might expand in the future with more FAQs or recommendations for reading material etc. If you have some wishes, suggestions, or want to contribute, feel welcome!

As of now, the mods of the sub will be a bit stricter concerning career questions, especially if we feel like the FAQ covers it already.

Have a healthy 2021!

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Had to create our own bugs for zoology, thought you guys might like this!!
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Under the major requirements when it says something like zoology/botany/enviro 260 does that mean you take one of them or is this a class that encompasses all of them?
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I DIED. restart minecraft hardcore survival & Zoology/Science talk reddit.com/rpan/r/TheGame…
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Narwhal fetus labelled as a possible unicorn in 1856 (from my university's Zoology Museum collection)
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Wildlife biology / Zoology / Environmental science / Biology

Hi, I'm a gr11 high school student in Ontario! So basically I'm not fully sure on what I want to do as a career but I know that I'm most interested in wildlife biology or environment, stuff like that, or just science in general as I'm also kind of kinesiology (though I have more interest in the wildlife field).

I'm aware that there are only a few wildlife biology or zoology programs in Canada (Guelph, UBC) while biology or life sciences in general is everywhere. Would it be better to be more specific and go into a wildlife biology program or just go into life sci or bio since I'm not even 100 percent sure on what I want to get into?

(Also: wildlife biology vs environmental science? Is wildlife biology more like animal/species focused while environmental science is like sustainability?)

Thank you so much.

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Zoology Class, Aligarh Muslim University (India), 1946
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What is zoology?

So, is zoology a desk job or is it a jack randall/steve irwin job?

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πŸ“…︎ Dec 22 2020
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Zoology

So I remember listening to this song on iTunes back in like 2011-2013ish and now I can’t find it on Apple Music and all the YouTube versions sounds different? Maybe I’m just making it up but I would like to find the original version that use to be on iTunes.

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21 y/o looking to study Zoology after deciding to switch careers. Is it too late for me?

I’m 21 years old and currently working full time. I’ve studied Mechanical Engineering for the pat three years but have come to realize that it is just not the career i want to get into. I’m currently working full time as i’m not in school anymore (dropped out) and plan to study Zoology in the future. I’m based out of Southern Ontario, Canada. In high school I took chemistry but unfortunately not Biology or Physics.

Is it too late for me to get into a career in Zoology? Have i missed out on high school education that could get me into university programs? What should i do to become more familiar with Zoology to help me prepare for my education as well as eventually a career in it?

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πŸ“…︎ Dec 18 2020
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I got accepted into university to study zoology!
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πŸ‘€︎ u/s_miranda79
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Anybody's doing/did an online zoology degree?

I would really appreciate any piece of information on this. Especially about the professors/teachers.

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πŸ“…︎ Dec 28 2020
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VVC Zoology: Primates
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Zoology Class, Aligarh Muslim University, 1946
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Jobs for a Zoology major that let you see the world

So its getting to the point in my life where I need to figure out what I want to major in college for, I've figured that out (zoology), but before I make this decision I want to see what jobs are available for me to not only work with animals but also see the world, ex. the Amazon and national parks worldwide (other places too ofc). Would anyone have an idea? (I would like an exact job name and not just a broad term), thank you.

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πŸ“…︎ Dec 06 2020
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Any easy planets for Zoology?

I've finally decided to level up my Zoology milestones, are there any planets/planet types that have less to scan for easy completions?

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πŸ“…︎ Dec 24 2020
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Zoology courses/programs at UofT?

Hi everyone, I'm new here (grade 12) - researching universities for my next year, not too familiar with things. I was wondering if anyone knows about any zoology courses (can't seem to find one specific to that) or any related courses that would be fitting for a future career in zoology. Any help would be appreciated :)

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πŸ‘€︎ u/zoologyenthusiast
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TIL, Greg Graffin , founder, frontman and lead singer for the hardcore punk band Bad Religion obtained his PhD in zoology at Cornell University and has lectured courses in natural sciences and evolution at both UCLA and at Cornell University. news.cornell.edu/stories/…
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Neil deGrasse Tyson: Santa β€˜Doesn’t Know Zoology,’ Rudolph Was β€˜Misgendered’ dailywire.com/news/neil-d…
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πŸ“…︎ Dec 26 2020
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bot 306 or MMI 351 or ENT 220 or zoology 224?

I should take one more course with a lab component. I don't know if it would be easier to get a 200 level course than a 300? I'm not very interested in any of them so I'm just looking for the easiest one. how are the labs for each of them if you have taken any of those courses? do they have a lab final exam or a presentation or lots of assignments? if I take bot 365 it would also count towards the 300 level courses that I must take but I don't know about its lab and if I take a 200 level lab then I still need to take one more 300 level course which I was thinking about MMI 351 but that seems like a hard course. if you have taken MMI 351 would you recommend it or you thought it was a hard course compared to other courses? I'm also open to any other suggestions that you might have for a 300 level course or a lab course (I've already taken mcrb 265 and bot 205). thank you in advance.

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πŸ“…︎ Jan 05 2021
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Newly discovered Blue-Faced Jumping Spider form Australia. Credit to its discoverer, Amanda De George of Backyard Zoology.
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πŸ“…︎ Oct 08 2020
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Anyone has a PDF of Exploring Zoology: A Laboratory Guide Book by David G. Smith and Michael P. Schenk 2nd Edition?
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I will have a Health Sciences Bachelor's degree in June, but I would like to transition and work towards a career related to biology/zoology. What are some resources or jobs/volunteer opportunities I can look into?

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I'll graduate and have a degree in Health Sciences this June and I have had a growing interest in biology/zoology over the past year. Health Sciences is primarily used for health care or public health, so I'm trying to figure out how to transition towards these other fields. I have taken some basic biology courses as well as microbiology, and I will be taking cell biology, ecology, animal physiology, and biostatistics before I graduate. Maybe genetics too if I am lucky.

My interests lie somewhere in ecology, physiology, conservation/rehabilitation, and animal behavior (all very vague, but I'd take any opportunities to work in these fields and narrow down my interests). I also really like ornithology and herpetology, but many other organisms are also interesting. Animals are so diverse it's hard not to be interested in all of them in some capacity.

If anyone has some general advice or resources to narrow down my interests, gain more knowledge, or good jobs/internships/volunteer opportunities to look into I'd really appreciate it! I've been looking at the zoo and aquarium for some postings recently. I feel like I am trying to transition into this field and I lack a lot of skills or knowledge many others will have, so thinking this and being close to graduation is a bit stressful

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πŸ“…︎ Jan 02 2021
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Zoology 101

So I just enrolled in zoology 101. It says that it has a discussion with it, but all the discussions offered say there are 0 seats offered or available. It also has an option that says LEC 002 (LEC ONLY) which is what I enrolled in. However, when I ran it through the scheduler before enrolling, it added a random discussion for me, even though it also claimed that no discussions available. I am just afraid it is going to assign me a random discussion that doesn't fit my schedule. Has anyone else had this problem? I'd prefer it if I don't have to be in a discussion group, and if I do, I want to then change to zoology 151, as their lectures are asynchronous.

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πŸ‘€︎ u/clever_insanity
πŸ“…︎ Jan 07 2021
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Blue-Ringed Octopus cake made entirely from scratch with funfetti cake, vanilla buttercream, molded Rice Krispies, and marshmallow fondant. A LONG but fun project for an invertebrate zoology class.
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πŸ‘€︎ u/captainmarvel25
πŸ“…︎ Oct 19 2020
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Hey! Does anyone know any other great zoology related subreddits?

Thanks in advance!

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πŸ“…︎ Jan 03 2021
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zoology at guelph

hi! i'm a gr 12 student thinking about applying to zoology.... i'd really appreciate if any current students could answer these questions

  1. how do you like the program :)
  2. what was your grade 12 average? (i really suck at math but im hoping to get a ~90 overall average
  3. does it matter if i didn't take 12U physics?

Thank you!!!!!!!

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πŸ“…︎ Dec 02 2020
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What careers can you get from a zoology degree?

I have always been interested in animals and zoology has always been something I would like to study but I’m not sure on the careers available to me if I do study it. I am doing biology,geography and history at a-level. Thanks for your help

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πŸ‘€︎ u/james70421
πŸ“…︎ Dec 29 2020
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I have discovered 9 Fauna on this planet. It says i’ve only discovered 8/9? Is this a glitch or am i doing it wrong? This zoology stuff is the only thing in the way of my platinum trophy lol.
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πŸ‘€︎ u/Crescent-IV
πŸ“…︎ Dec 23 2020
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TEXTBOOK REQUEST: Zoology Coloring Book Lawrence Elson

Hey, does anyone have Zoology Coloring Book Lawrence Elson

  • ISBN-10 : 0064603016
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0064603010
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πŸ“…︎ Jan 07 2021
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any one who’s taken zoology have any thoughts on the course?
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