Portal:Amphibians and reptiles

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Amphibians and reptiles portal

Rhacodactylus ciliatus

Herpetology (from Greek "herpein" meaning "to creep") is the branch of zoology concerned with the study of amphibians (including frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, and caecilians (gymnophiona)) and reptiles (including snakes, lizards, amphisbaenids, turtles, terrapins, tortoises, crocodilians, and the tuataras).

Herpetology is concerned with poikilothermic, ectothermic tetrapods. Under this definition "herps" (or sometimes "herptiles" or "herpetofauna") exclude fish, but it is not uncommon for herpetological and ichthyological scientific societies to "team up", publishing joint journals and holding conferences in order to foster the exchange of ideas between the fields, as the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists does. Many herpetological societies have been formed to promote interest in reptiles and amphibians, both captive and wild.

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 strokes and heart attacks.

Selected article of the month

Varanus komodoensis
The Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), also known as the Komodo Monitor, Komodo Island Monitor, Ora (to the natives of Komodo), or simply Komodo, is a species of lizard which inhabits the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang, and Gili Dasami in central Indonesia.

A member of the monitor lizard family Varanidae, and the clade Toxicofera, the Komodo is the largest living species of lizard, growing to an average length of 2–3 metres (6.6–9.8 ft). This great length is attributed to island gigantism, as there are no carnivorous mammals to fill the niche in the islands that they live on, and the Komodo dragon's low metabolic rate. As a result of their great size, these lizards are apex predators, dominating the ecosystems in which they live.

Komodo dragons were only discovered by Western scientists in 1910. Their large size and fearsome reputation makes them popular zoo exhibits. In the wild their range has contracted due to human activities and they are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN. They are protected under Indonesian law and a national park, Komodo National Park, was founded in order to protect them.

Selected picture of the month

plumed basilisk(Basiliscus plumifrons)
Credit: Marcel Burkhard (User:Cele4), www.tierlexikon.ch. Edited by User:Fir0002

The plumed basilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons) is a species of lizard native to Latin America. They are omnivorous and will eat insects, small mammals (such as rodents), smaller species of lizards, fruits and flowers.

Did you know...

  • BabyMapTurtleInHand.png
    ...that Four-Inch Regulation refers to a regulation passed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1975 outlawing the sale of turtles with a carapace length of less than four inches to cope with "the public health impact of turtle-associated salmonellosis"?
  • Sphenodon punctatus in Waikanae, New Zealand.jpg
    ...that tuatara feature in a number of indigenous legends, and are held as ariki (God forms). Tuatara are regarded as the messengers of Whiro, the god of death and disaster, and Māori women are forbidden to eat them?
  • Bufo periglenes1.jpg
    ...that the once-abundant golden toad (Bufo periglenes), often featured on posters promoting the biodiversity of Costa Rica, have not been seen since 1989?
  • Boulengerula taitanus 1.jpg
    ...that the hatchlings of the egg-laying East African Boulengerula taitanus, a caecilian, have special teeth that allow them to peel and eat their mother's skin which contains a high level of fat and other nutrients?

Amphibians and reptiles categories

Amphibians and reptiles lists


Topics about Amphibians and reptiles

Things you can do

As organized by WikiProject Amphibians and Reptiles, the current tasks are:

  1. Create article for each Order and Family
  2. Ensure all Family articles are taxonomically consistent
    1. Ensure all articles between Order and Family rank are taxonomically consistent
  3. Create article for each Genus
    1. Ensure all articles between Family and Genus rank are taxonomically consistent
  4. Create articles for all Species
    1. Create links for all species articles on appropriate articles
    2. Create lists of uncreated articles to add to category pages:
      1. List of amphibians
      2. List of reptiles
      3. Prehistoric amphibian
  5. Create articles for aspects of amphibian and reptile biology, such as snake scales and vocal sac.
  6. Copyedit current article text to coincide with Wikipedia:Naming conventions (fauna) (e.g., convert "Coral Snake" to "coral snake").
  7. For articles with {{AARTalk}} templates, rank and assess articles that have not been given a rating or an importance rating (see Category:Unassessed_amphibian_and_reptile_articles).
  8. Find images for Category:Amphibian and reptile articles needing photos
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