Herpetology, Fourth Edition presents a functional understanding of amphibians and reptiles – what they do and how they do it, and how those attributes are related to their ecology and evolutionary history.
Herpetology explains why amphibians and reptiles, which are distantly related evolutionary lineages, are nonetheless grouped in the discipline known as herpetology, and describes the position of amphibians and reptiles within the evolution of vertebrates. Initial chapters present the fossil history of amphibians and reptiles and the phylogenetic relationships of extant groups, with descriptions of the biological characteristics of each family and photographs of representative species. The phylogenetic and biogeography chapters have been extensively revised to incorporate the most recent molecular phylogenetic information, including extensive discussion of the expanding field of phylogeography. Subsequent chapters consider amphibians and reptiles from morphological, physiological, ecological, and behavioral perspectives. Herpetology concludes with a discussion of the threats facing amphibians and reptiles and approaches to conserving herpetological diversity.
Herpetology, Fourth Edition serves as a textbook for undergraduate and graduate-level courses and as a comprehensive source of information about amphibians and reptiles for professional biologists, hobbyists, and interested laypersons.
F. Harvey Pough is Professor Emeritus in the Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences of the Rochester Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D. in 1968 from the University of California at Los Angeles, with Kenneth S. Norris and Malcolm S. Gordon. In addition to Herpetology, he has headed up the author team on nine editions of Vertebrate Life (Benjamin Cummings/Pearson). Dr. Pough is a fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and The Herpetologists’ League, and Past President of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. His research focuses on organismal biology and evolutionary physiology, especially that of amphibians and reptiles.
Robin M. Andrews is Professor Emerita in the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech. She received her Ph.D. in 1971 at the University of Kansas with Charles Michener and Daniel Janzen. She made the transition from Entomology to Herpetology during a postdoctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute with A. Stanley Rand and Ernest Williams. Her current research interests are the physiological ecology and natural history of reptilian eggs and embryos and the evolution and adaptive significance of developmental patterns of squamate reptiles.
Martha L. Crump is a behavioral ecologist who works with tropical amphibians in the areas of reproduction, ecology, and conservation. She is currently Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biology and the Ecology Center at Utah State University, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biology at Northern Arizona University. Dr. Crump received her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in 1974, working with William E. Duellman. Her research, carried out in Amazonian Ecuador, focused on community ecology and reproductive behaviors of frogs. In 1997, she received the Distinguished Herpetologist Award from The Herpetologists’ League. Together with Dr. James P. Collins, Dr. Crump published Extinction in Our Times: Global Amphibian Decline (2009). Dr. Crump is an award-winning author of children’s books (e.g., John Burroughs Riverby Award for The Mystery of Darwin’s Frog, 2013).
Alan H. Savitzky is Professor and Head of the Department of Biology at Utah State University. He completed his graduate degrees at the University of Kansas (with William E. Duellman), receiving a Smithsonian Predoctoral Fellowship to conduct his dissertation research at the National Museum of Natural History. Dr. Savitzky is a Past President of both the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles and the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, and currently serves as Treasurer of the World Congress of Herpetology. His research concerns the integrative biology of amphibians and reptiles, especially snakes. Specific interests include the evolutionary morphology of feeding and defensive structures, evolutionary development of sensory organs and glands, and, most recently, the evolution of chemical defenses in snakes.
Kentwood D. Wells is Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut. He received his Ph.D. in 1976 from Cornell University, with F. Harvey Pough. His book, The Ecology and Behavior of Amphibians (University of Chicago Press, 2007) was Best Single-Volume Science Reference Book for 2007 (Association of American Publishers Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division) and an Outstanding Academic Title for 2008 (Choice magazine). His 1977 paper on The social behaviour of anuran amphibians (Animal Behaviour 25:666-693) was the first of 12 papers designated as most influential in the first 60 years of the journal. Dr. Wells researches the social behavior and communication of amphibians.
Matthew C. Brandley is an Australian Research Council DECRA postdoctoral fellow at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, Australia. He received his PhD in 2008 from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Brandley studies the phylogenetics and morphological evolution of vertebrate animals, especially lizards and snakes. He is particularly interested in how complex structures and unique body plans convergently evolve, and he studies these phenomena using a combination of genomic, gene expression, anatomical, and phylogenetic tools. He lives in New South Wales Australia with his wife, son, two cats, and two axolotls.
"After an excellent presentation of the basis for modern systematics, Pough et al. follow with a presentation of the modern diversity of amphibians and reptiles. They use taxonomy that is as up to date as it's possible to be in these times of rapid change driven by advancing statistical and molecular methods. [...] Anyone who is new to the field should read [Herpetology] from cover to cover, and will acquire a very solid basic knowledge of most aspects of the diversity and biology of amphibians and reptiles, and very good introductions to the general fields of study that knowledge is embedded in. If I was still teaching a herpetology subject, I would certainly adopt this as my textbook."
– Ross A. Alford, Phyllomedusa
"It is a new order of text for herpetology – fantastic."
– Wade Sherbrooke, American Museum of Natural History
"I've been really impressed with this update. Herpetology 4e includes a nearly complete overhaul of the systematics sections (including new distribution maps) to reflect numerous recent revisions. Where taxonomic incongruence or controversy exists, recent alternative hypotheses are reported, emphasizing the complexities of phylogenetic inference and persistent knowledge gaps rather than misleading the uninitiated reader with single, arbitrarily resolved trees. Those familiar with previous editions will be immediately taken by the artistry of the images, both the extensive use of color photographs and the masterfully redrawn illustrations and data figures, which capture many fascinating aspects of the lives of our favorite animals. Instructors, and especially the current generation of herpetology students, will welcome the online supplemental materials, which include links to websites with herpetological information, videos, and news stories relevant to each chapter."
– Robert E. Espinoza, California State University, Northridge