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Brief History of Herpetology in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, with a List of Type Specimens of Recent Amphibians and Reptiles

Javier Rodriguez-Robles

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780520238183
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520930001 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520238183.001.0001
Brief History of Herpetology in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, with a List of Type Specimens of Recent Amphibians and Reptiles

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The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ), located on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, is a leading center of herpetological research in the United States. This book offers a brief account of the principal figures associated with the collection and of the most important events in the history of herpetology in the MVZ during its first 93 years, and lists all type specimens of recent amphibians and nonavian reptiles in the collection. Although the MVZ has existed since 1908, until 1945 there was no formal curator for the collection of amphibians and nonavian reptiles. Since that time Robert C. Stebbins, David B. Wake, Harry W. Greene, Javier A. Rodrìguez-Robles (in an interim capacity), and Craig Moritz have served in that position. The herpetological collection of the MVZ was begun on March 13, 1909, with a collection of approximately 430 specimens from southern California and, as of December 31, 2001, contained 232,254 specimens. Taxonomically, the collection is strongest in salamanders, accounting for 99,176 specimens, followed by “lizards” (squamate reptiles other than snakes and amphisbaenians, 63,439), frogs (40,563), snakes (24,937), turtles (2,643), caecilians (979), amphisbaenians (451), crocodilians (63), and tuataras (3). Whereas the collection's emphasis historically has been on the western United States, and on California in particular, representatives of taxa from many other parts of the world are present. The 1,765 type specimens in the MVZ comprise 120 holotypes, three neotypes, three syntypes, and 1,639 paratopotypes and paratypes; 83 of the holotypes were originally described as full species. Of the 196 amphibian and nonavian reptilian taxa represented by type material, most were collected in México (63) and California, USA (54).

Keywords: Museum of Vertebrate Zoology; University of California; herpetological research; history of herpetology; specimens; amphibians; nonavian reptiles; curator; southern California

Book.  134 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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Brief History of Herpetology in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology in Brief History of Herpetology in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, with a List of Type Specimens of Recent Amphibians and Reptiles

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Type Specimens of Recent Amphibians and Nonavian Reptiles in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology in Brief History of Herpetology in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, with a List of Type Specimens of Recent Amphibians and Reptiles

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Geographic Distribution of Type Localities of Recent Amphibians and Nonavian Reptiles in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology in Brief History of Herpetology in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, with a List of Type Specimens of Recent Amphibians and Reptiles

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