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A brief overview of forensic herpetology

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image of Applied Herpetology

The emerging field of forensic herpetology is reviewed. This research focus, defined here as the application of science to studies of reptiles and amphibians when these animals become the subject of legal investigations, has gained increasing attention in recent years. A diverse range of experts contributes to methods in forensic herpetology including forensic scientists, herpetologists, veterinarians, zookeepers, physicians, pathologists and toxicologists. The English language literature in forensic herpetology is reviewed and the most commonly asked questions of forensic herpetologists are summarized. Recommendations for continued and future research are highlighted.

Affiliations: 1: U.S. National Fish & Wildlife Forensics Laboratory, Morphology Section, 1490 East Main Street, Ashland, Oregon 97520-1310, USA;, Email:


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