herpetology - the study of amphibians and reptiles

The word herpetology is used to describe the subject in zoology of the study of amphibians and reptiles.  If that is your thing, then read on and enjoy...

The word herpetology comes from the Greek word 'herpeton' which means creeping animal and 'logia' meaning 'knowledge' as per Wikipedia!

A herpetologist will study things like frogs, toads, salamanders, turtles and iguanas and try to find out as much as possible about these creatures.  They will study things such as the physiology of them, their reproduction systems, their genetics, their breeding habits, where they live, what they eat etc etc.  

Thankfully for amphibians and reptiles, herpetologists excellent people who would like to make sure that the creatures are kept safe through learning about problems with their habitats that need to be protected - they can help identify potential risks for amphibians and work hard to ensure that the species is kept alive and prevent them from becoming extinct.  They do extremely important work.  

How to become a herpetologist

If you find that you are interested in herpetology, then you could study to become a qualified herpetologist.  This would mean getting a Bachelor's degree in a Life science such as biology.  You then can decide if you would like to get a Master's degree in herpetology as this could lead to exciting careers in research in zoos, or wildlife management organisations. 

As a herpetologist you would collect information about amphibians and reptiles which is used in learning about them in perhaps zoos, seeing how human activity can affect their habitats and developing cures for diseases that might surface.

Your job might involve making inventories of animal populations,  studying them in their natural habitats,  classifying animals by analysing their characteristics, and help make recommendations on planning for their management and protection in the wild for the future.

Clearly, you would ideally have a very strong desire to want to be involved with these creatures as it would be your life's work. 

Work could be working as a specialist writer on herpetology, maybe for specialist magazines or online productions, and also a future as a photographer might be something you would be drawn to.  A herpetologist would also be able to travel the world in search of species, and maybe even discover a new species if lucky!  

All in all, it would be a perfect job for someone who loves frogs (or any other amphibian or reptile) and you could get to visit many rain forests and deserts and lakes and streams and rivers all over the world to learn and share what you can about these marvellous creatures.  

Herpetologists can earn rather a lot of money with the median salary being over $100,000.  

Red Frog"Red Frog" by Nyall & Maryanne is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

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