Is the branch of zoology concerned with the study of amphibians and reptiles . Batrachology is a further subdiscipline of herpetology concerned with the study of amphibians alone.
Herpetology offers benefits to humanity in the study of the role of amphibians and reptiles in global ecology, especially because amphibians are often very sensitive to environmental changes, offering a visible warning to humans that significant changes are taking place. Some toxins and venoms produced by reptiles and amphibians are useful in human medicine. Currently, some snake venom has been used to create anti-coagulants that work to treat stroke victims and heart attack cases.
There are over 6700 species of amphibians and over 9000 species of reptiles.
There are many different career options in the field of herpetology. These include, but are not limited to, field research, public and private breeding, zoological staff or curating, museum staff or curating and college teaching.
Those wishing to pursue a career in herpetology must have a strong science and math background. Few universities offer this program, and thus it is a highly competitive field.
In modern academic science, it is rare for individuals to consider themselves a herpetologist first and foremost. Most individuals focus on a particular field such as ecology, evolution, taxonomy, physiology, or molecular biology, and within that field ask questions pertaining to or best answered by examining reptiles and amphibians. For example, an evolutionary biologist who is also a herpetologist may choose to work on how warning coloration evolved in coral snakes.
Many herpetologists write both scientifically and popularly. Modern herpetological writers of note include Mark O'Shea and Philip Purser. Modern herpetological showmen of note include Steve Irwin, popularly known as the "Crocodile Hunter", and the star Austin Stevens, popularly known as 'AustinSnakeman', famous for TV series Austin Stevens: Snakemaster.
Most colleges or universities don’t offer a major in herpetology at the undergraduate or even the graduate level. Instead, persons interested in herpetology select a major in the biological sciences. The knowledge learned about all aspects of the biology of animals is then applied to an individual study of herpetology.