Searching the Zoological Record Thesaurus

The Zoological Record Thesaurus contains controlled terms used to index records. It also contains uncontrolled terms as entry points to controlled (preferred) terms.

The five major hierarchies in the thesaurus are:

  • Subject
  • Geographical
  • Palaeontological
  • Systematic
  • Taxa Notes

You can expand each hierarchy to browse for controlled terms and to see their positions in the hierarchy. You can also search the entire combined thesaurus to find the appropriate controlled term(s) to add to your search query.


Find Option

  1. Enter a word or phrase in the text box. Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT, and SAME) and wildcards ( * ? $ ) are permitted.

  2. Click the Find button to go to a list of terms that contain the characters that you entered. For example, if you enter Abdom* as the search term, the product finds every item in the index associated with this term, such as Abdomen and Abdominal Appendages.

  3. Click the Add button to select a term from the list. The selected item is added to the text box at the bottom of the page.

  4. Click OK to transfer the selected item(s) to the search field on the General Search / Advanced Searh page.


Browse Thesaurus Hierarchy Option

  • Click Expand Term icon to the left of a term to expand the hierarchy and reveal additional terms. Use the scroll bar on the right-hand side of the page to move up and down the list of expanded terms. Click Collapse Term iconto collapse the hierarchy

  • Click the Hierarchy View in Hierarchy icon icon to see a term in the context of its hierarchy.

  • Click the Thesaurus Details Thesaurus Details icon icon to view thesaurus details about a term. Details include broader terms, narrower terms, scope notes, and related terms.


Thesaurus Details

Click the Thesaurus Details  Thesaurus Details icon icon to view the details for any term in the thesaurus. Thesaurus details may include any of the following fields, depending on the term.




Preferred Term

The preferred or "controlled term" which should be used to describe the concept or organism when searching.

  • Aves
  • Ciliophora
  • Colour and luminescence
  • Molluscs
  • Plankton feeding
  • Solitary behaviour

Scope Note

Scope notes and/or history notes for the thesaurus term. Scope notes indicate which concepts are covered and which ones are not covered by the preferred term.

Vertebrata only. Valid for 1980-1991; for 1978-1979 indexed under FEEDING; for 1992- indexed under DIET and/or FEEDING BEHAVIOUR or narrower terms. [preferred term: Plankton feeding]

Broader Term(s)

Controlled terms that are at the next higher level in the thesaurus hierarchy.

Protozoa [preferred term: Ciliophora]

Narrower Term(s)

Controlled terms that are at the next lower level in the thesaurus hierarchy.

  • Kinetofragminophorea
  • Oligohymenophorea
  • Polyhymenophorea

[preferred term: Ciliophora]

Related Term(s)

Controlled terms related to the preferred term.

  • Effects of isolation
  • Solitary behaviour in group

[preferred term: Solitary behaviour ]

Use For

Non-preferred terms. Use the preferred term in place of these terms.

Mollusks [preferred term: Molluscs ]


Subject Hierarchy

The Subject hierarchy contains controlled terms used to index subject concepts in Zoological Record. It is composed of 39 broad hierarchies.


Geographical Hierarchy

The Geographical hierarchy contains controlled terms classified under two hierarchies: Land Zones and Marine Zones.


Palaeontological Hierarchy

The Palaeontological hierarchy contains controlled terms classified in the hierarchy Geological Time Periods.


Systematic Hierarchy

The Systematic hierarchy contains the Latin/scientific terms used to index animal names. It is composed of 35 broad hierarchies.

Do not confuse the Systematic hierarchy, where you find Latin/scientific names, with the Systematics (note the s at the end of Systematics) section of the Subject hierarchy, which contains preferred terms relating to taxonomic changes and nomenclature.


Taxa Notes

Taxa Notes terms are broader animal group names referring to the animals discussed in a source document. These are common/vernacular names rather than Latin/scientific names (compare Systematic Thesaurus).