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Herpetology (from ancient Greek ἑρπετόν herpeton "creeping animal") is a branch of zoology . It is the doctrine and lore of the animal classes of the amphibians (amphibians) and reptiles (reptiles).

Herpetology encompasses the study of their body structure ( morphology and anatomy ), their life processes and behavior ( physiology and ethology ), their mode of development and inheritance ( embryology and genetics ), their tribal history, relationships and classification ( paleontology , phylogeny and taxonomy ) and their distribution , History of dispersal and environmental relations (faunistics, zoogeography and ecology ).

A person who studies the herpetofauna is a herpetologist.


  • Günther E. Freytag, Bernhard Grzimek, Oskar Kuhn, Erich Thenius (eds.): Lurche. In: Grzimek's animal life. Vol. 5: Fish 2, amphibians. Licensed edition in dtv, Munich 1980, ISBN 3-423-03204-9 .
  • Jason S. Anderson, Robert R. Reisz, Diane Scott, Nadia B. Fröbisch, Stuart S. Sumida: A stem batrachian from the Early Permian of Texas and the origin of frogs and salamanders. Nature Volume 453, 2008, pp. 515-518. doi: 10.1038 / nature06865

See also