herpetology


herpetology
herpetologic /herr'pi tl oj"ik/, herpetological, adj.herpetologically, adv.herpetologist, n.
/herr'pi tol"euh jee/, n.
the branch of zoology dealing with reptiles and amphibians.
[1815-25; < Gk herpetó(n) a creeping thing (Compare HÉRPEIN to creep) + -LOGY; cf. SERPENT]

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      scientific study of amphibians and reptiles. Like most other fields of vertebrate biology (e.g., ichthyology, mammalogy), herpetology is composed of a number of cross-disciplines: behaviour, ecology, physiology, anatomy, paleontology, taxonomy, and others. Most students of recent forms are narrow in their interests, working on only one order or suborder (e.g., frogs, salamanders, snakes, lizards). A paleontologist is more likely to work with both amphibians and reptiles or with intermediate forms.

      Herpetology as a unified science apparently stems from the ancient tendency to lump together all creeping (Greek herpetos) animals. Modern herpetology is a truly popular science, in which amateurs have made many valuable contributions in such areas as distribution, behaviour, and even taxonomy. The major part of the more technical research is carried out at universities and museums, as well as in the field.

      Research into the biology of different amphibians and reptiles has contributed much to the field of general biology as for example, larval frogs and salamanders in the understanding of embryological concepts, iguanid lizards with the development of the subdiscipline of population ecology, and snake venom in increasing the understanding of human cardiac and neurological disorders.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Herpetology — (from Greek: ἑρπετόν, herpeton , creeping animal and λόγος, logos , knowledge ) is the branch of zoology concerned with the study of .Herpetology is concerned with poikilothermic, or ectothermic, tetrapods. Herps (or sometimes herptiles or… …   Wikipedia

  • Herpetology — Her pe*tol o*gy, n. [Written also, but less properly, erpetology.] [Gr. ? a creeping thing, reptile (fr. ? to creep) + logy: cf. F. herp[ e]tologie.] The natural history of reptiles; that branch of zo[ o]logy which relates to reptiles, including… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • herpetology — study of reptiles, 1816, from Fr. herpétologie (18c.), coined from Gk. herpeton reptile, lit. creeping thing, from herpein to creep (see SERPENT (Cf. serpent)) + logia (see LOGY (Cf. logy)). Related: Herpetologist …   Etymology dictionary

  • herpetology — [hʉr΄pə täl′ə jē] n. [< Gr herpeton, reptile (< herpein, to creep: see SERPENT)] the branch of zoology having to do with the study of reptiles and amphibians herpetologic [hʉr΄pətō läj′ik] adj. herpetological herpetologist n …   English World dictionary

  • herpetology — noun Etymology: Greek herpeton quadruped, reptile, from neuter of herpetos crawling, from herpein Date: 1824 a branch of zoology dealing with reptiles and amphibians • herpetological adjective • herpetologist noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • herpetology — noun /ˌhɝ.pɛ̆.ˈtɑ.lŏ.ʤi/ the branch of biology dealing with reptiles (Reptilia) or amphibians. See Also: herp, herpetological, herpetologist, herptile …   Wiktionary

  • herpetology — The branch of zoology concerned with the study of reptiles and amphibians. * * * her·pe·tol·o·gy (hur″pə tolґə je) [herpeto + logy] the branch of zoology that specializes in the study of reptiles and amphibians …   Medical dictionary

  • herpetology — Synonyms and related words: anatomy, animal physiology, anthropology, biology, comparative anatomy, conchology, ecology, entomology, ethology, helminthology, ichthyology, malacology, mammalogy, ornithology, protozoology, taxidermy, taxonomy,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • herpetology — see SERPENT …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • herpetology —  The study of reptiles …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors


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