Herpetology: Study of Amphibians and Reptiles


Herpetology is a rapidly developing discipline, and while it is a taxonomically restricted field, amphibian and reptile work has set new directions, established new fields, and led to significant discoveries in all fundamental areas of biology—discoveries that have changed the way we think about life on Earth. Herpetology is the study of amphibians and reptiles. Like most other areas of vertebrate biology (e.g., ichthyology, mammalogy), herpetology consists of many cross-disciplines: behavior, ecology, physiology, anatomy, paleontology, taxonomy, and so on. Many students of recent types focus on only one order or suborder (e.g., frogs, salamanders, snakes, lizards) and are limited in their interests. A paleontologist has a better chance of dealing with both amphibians and reptiles or intermediate types. Herpetology as a single discipline evidently stems from the old propensity to group all creeping (Greek herpetos) animals together.

Modern herpetology is truly popular science, where amateurs have made many valuable contributions in areas such as distribution, behavior, and even taxonomy. Some of the more advanced work is undertaken both at universities and museums and in the field. Work into the biology of various amphibians and reptiles has made a major contribution to the field of general biology, such as larval frogs and salamanders in understanding embryological principles, iguanid lizards with the growth of the population ecology subdiscipline, and snake venom in growing understanding of human cardiac and neurological disorders.

Entomology, Ornithology & Herpetology: Current Research Journal is usually peer-reviewed journals that publish theoretical discussions and articles which review published work critically. To evaluate the paper, it is the assessment of the research by one or more reviewers. Peer review is essential to incorporating new results from the study. It allows other researchers to evaluate results and society as a whole to weigh up research statements and make sure it suits both the focus of the journal's subject and its editorial framework.