Herpetology is the study of reptiles and amphibians, but there is a lot more to Herpetology than just the studying of the reptiles and amphibians. Since reptiles and amphibians are everywhere, it is a worldwide study. It also includes classifying and identifying new species, the making of anti-venoms, doing much fieldwork, and more. Herpetology also includes all areas of biology, and is a field of study devoted to only reptiles, amphibians, or both (Encyclopedia Brit. 7). A variety of topics will be discussed, from the history of Herpetology, to the differences between the two species and why they are not classified in to two different fields of study (Goin and Goin 102).
U.S. Herpetology started in the 20th century and became related to biology and evolved to what it is now. Herpetologists partially came from museum workers, using systematic arrangements of the animals, which included reptiles and amphibians (porter 2). But, Herpetology mainly got started by curious people studying reptiles and/or amphibians and writing down the information. These people would travel all around the world to study these animals and write down any information they could possibly find (Samuelson 25). .
Some people opened up zoos or stores based around reptiles and other cold-blooded animals. In the 1970's people mainly kept reptiles simply for their enjoyment, but this helped the herpetoculture industry as a whole. Soon after people began to learn how to sex the reptiles (find out if they are male or female), by manipulating light, temperature and humidity they began to induce breeding. With finding out how to successfully breed them people found they could earn money from selling the offspring. From then on changes in herpetoculture happened very quickly (Samuelson 26).
In 1976 the International Herpetological Symposium (IHS) began as a yearly meeting with major zoos and institutions. The IHS was first known as the Annual Reptile Symposium on Captive Propagation and Husbandry, but when they started to include amphibians it became known as the IHS.