The herpetology is the specialization of the zoology centered on study of reptiles. In the etymology of the term we find the Greek word herpeton, which can be translated exactly as “reptile”.
Reptiles, meanwhile, are animals that, when moving, they brush the surface with their belly. This is because their legs are very short or even because they lack them. Another peculiarity of these vertebrates of lung respiration is that their temperature is variable.
Herpetology experts are dedicated to analyzing the reptiles. They also investigate amphibians, which are animals that first breathe through gills and are aquatic and then, as they grow, they become aerial and adopt pulmonary respiration.
This scientific discipline is of enormous importance for the human being. The toxins produced by certain reptiles, for example, are used in the field of medicine. On the other hand, given that amphibians tend to be highly sensitive to pollution and ecosystem changes, they provide information of interest about the state of the environment.
It can be said that herpetology, in short, focuses on the biology of the vipers, the crocodiles, the turtles, the frogs, the toads and other animals, always belonging to the group of reptiles and amphibians. Their explorations and inquiries allow us to generate knowledge about the genetics, taxonomy, evolution and geographical distribution of these creatures.
Numerous museums, foundations and universities have departments or areas of herpetology. There are also institutions and associations that bring together professionals in the sector.