Difference between Botany and Zoology

Key difference: Botany and Zoology are vast Biological branches.  Botany deals entirely with the study of plants, while Zoology deals with animal studies.

Biology is an immense field which deals with many varieties of living organisms. It is natural science which includes the entire study of living organisms. Biological study includes the structural, functional, growth evolution, distribution and their taxonomies. Modern biology is a vast and eclectic field, composed of many branches and sub-disciplines. Among them, botany and zoology are the prime disciplines. Botany entirely deals with the plant studies, while zoology deals with animal studies.

Botany or plant biology also known as plant science is the scientific study of plant life. It’s one among the vital branches of biology, which deals with the study and research related to plant life. The term ‘botany’ comes from Ancient Greek word ‘botane’ meaning pasture, grass, or fodder; the word is further derived from ‘boskein’, meaning "to feed" or "to graze". Botany along with the study of plants also included the study of fungi and algae; hence these three vast groups of organisms are included under the International Botanical Congress. Today, botanists have found and carry their research on 400,000 species of living organisms of which some 260,000 species are vascular plants and about 248,000 are flowering plants.

Botany had its origin from the prehistoric times, when it was commonly known as herbalism. There used to be medieval physic gardens which were often attached to the monasteries. These gardens included the useful medicinal plants and herbs. Today, the modern botanical branch has become broad and includes the multidisciplinary subject with inputs from most other areas of science and technology. Botanical research have diverse applications in providing staple foods and textiles, in modern horticulture, agriculture and forestry, plant propagation, breeding and genetic modification, in the synthesis of chemicals and raw materials for construction and energy production, in environmental management, and the maintenance of biodiversity.

Zoology or animal biology deals with the study of animal life. Like botany, even zoology is one among the vital branches of biology which further has its own sub branches. The term ‘zoology’ has been derived from the Ancient Greek ‘zōon’ which means animal and ‘logos’ meaning knowledge, or study. The zoological studies deal with the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct.

Right from the ancient to the modern times, zoology entirely traces the study of animal kingdom and its science. The zoological sciences emerged from natural history reaching back to the works of Aristotle and Galen in the ancient Greco-Roman world. This work further got developed during the medieval period. After the medieval development Microscopy got invented, this enabled the study of micro organisms. Zoological research and investigation includes the anatomy, physiology, histology, embryology, teratology and ethology concepts and practices. Today, zoological researches have proven too beneficial for humans and their development.

Botany and Zoology are vast sciences within their selves. They are two different but co-related branches among each other, which falls under Biology. These branches further are sub divided into various other branches; hence it concludes they are vast studies and researches in huge concepts.   

Comparison between Botany and Zoology:




They are

Study of plants

Study of animals

The person who studies is called as

botanist or a plant scientist

zoologists or a animal scientist

Main Persons

Father of Botany-Theophrastus

Father of Zoology- Aristotle


International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN), replaced by International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN).

International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN or ICZN Code).

Researches and Studies includes

Deals with the studies of plant structure, growth and differentiation, reproduction, biochemistry and primary metabolism, chemical products, development, diseases, evolutionary relationships, systematic, and plant taxonomy.

Vast studies related to animal structure, formation, physiological, evolutionary and systematic and ethology.


Various Branches

Some Core Topics:

  • Cytology - Cell structure, chromosome number
  • Epigenetics - Control of gene expression
  • Paleobotany - Study of fossil plants and plant evolution
  • Palynology -Pollen and spores
  • Plant biochemistry- Chemical processes of primary and secondary metabolism


Some Applied Topics:

  • Agronomy-Application of plant science to crop production
  • Arboriculture -Culture and propagation of trees
  • Biotechnology - use of plants to synthesize products
  • Dendrology - Study of woody plants, shrubs, trees and lianas
  • Economic botany- Study of plants of economic use or value


Some Organismal Topics:

  • Bryology-Mosses, liverworts, and hornworts
  • Lichenology- Lichens
  • Mycology- Fungi
  • Orchidology- the study of orchids
  • Phycology-Algae
  • Zoography, also known as descriptive zoology, describes animals and their habitats
  • Comparative anatomy- Studies the structure of animals.
  • Animal physiology
  • Behavioral ecology
  • Ethology- Studies animal behavior.
  • Invertebrate Zoology.
  • Vertebrate Zoology.
  • Comparative Zoology.
  • The various taxonomically oriented disciplines such as Mammalogy, Herpetology, Ornithology and Entomology identify and classify species and study the structures and mechanisms specific to those groups.

Image Courtesy:naturalsciences.be

Image Courtesy: allaboutwildlife.com

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