The History of Herpetology in Western Asia

Zuhair S. Amr


A historical perspective on herpetological studies and literature since the 8th century is given to the year 2000. It includes the early work of Muslim scholars. Due to the religious and geopolitical importance of the Holy Land, «Jordan and Palestine», and the mystery that surrounded the Levant, this region gained much interest among European naturalists since the 16th century. Also, several European missionaries from England and Germany traveled through the Levant and lived in the Holy Land for an extended period of time, where they collected specimens to furnish European museums. During the First and Second World War, several institutions and interested individuals collected and published on materials from the area. A chronological history summarizing expeditions is included and contemporary research activities in herpetology are highlighted.


herpetology; history; Jordan; Western Asia

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