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Price: £340.00Course Code: BEN209 CLD
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( Leslie Rogers, 26/01/2018 ) Q:

How do I start the course from Level 1 and would like to do the course but the requirement is level 4.

( 26/01/2018 ) A:

Hello Leslie. Thank you for your question.

There is no requirement to do level 1 before level 4 Herpetology, because the level is an indication of the depth of learning you will have received after completing the course, not of how difficult it is. The majority of our certificate courses are at level 4 due to their comprehensiveness. Therefore you will gain a deeper appreciation of what is taught, than other lower level courses which may only really give a superficial understanding of the subject.

( simon, 05/12/2017 ) Q:

hi im looking to do your course on herpetology. i have been keeping reptiles for many years now and i have a shared partnership in a reptile shop in the uk. and i would like to further my knowledge in areas i dont know. my trouble is im not the best at writing. i was reading some of the other questions that had been asked and one of the answers you replied with was about the exam or you can choose to have your final project set by your tutor... what excactly do you mean by this thanks simon

( 06/12/2017 ) A:

Hello Simon and thank you for your question.

You do not need to worry about not being the best at writing. You will be marked on what you have learned, not your spelling and punctuation. The final project option is agreed by your tutor and you and should be about 2,500 words long.

If you just want to learn what the courses teaches and don't need a formal qualification, you can select study option B, meaning no final exam or final project is required. You will still get the same knowledge and skills taught as if option A was chosen, and you will enjoy the same unlimited tutor support. And by completing the course, including a written assignment after each lesson, you will also get a Certificate of Attainment from us.

As I have said, providing your tutor can understand what you mean and can see you have a good understanding of what the lesson has taught, you should not be concerned about how good your writing is.

I hope that this has helped Simon.

( Chris Hunter, 04/05/2017 ) Q:

Hi i am a student currently studying in animal managment level 3 and due to start university in September. I would like to ask if your qualification is recognised in the zoological background? Many thanks chris

( 04/05/2017 ) A:

Hello Chris and thank you for getting in touch.

Our courses have a practical element built in that employers like, because they are not only looking for someone with the correct knowledge, but one who can apply that knowledge to the workplace. Many courses tend to deal with the theory, whereas ours deal with the targeted and practical. All of our courses are a blend of theory and practice, not often found in other educational institutions.

Therefore, it is very likely that a potential employer will deem our courses of value and the truth is, the employer you are applying to will decide, based on their own criteria.

Knowledge is power and although a qualification may get you an interview, it is what you know and how well that you demonstrate how to apply what your knowledge to his or her organisation, which will get you the job, plus other factors. 

( Dorian, 26/02/2017 ) Q:

Is the exam carried out online please? By project do you mean some sort of research? Or is it a fieldwork? Thank you very much. Best regards, Dorian

( 27/02/2017 ) A:

Hello Dorian and thank you for getting in touch.

The final examination is in a written format; not on line. Once you have completed all of the lessons and assignments and are ready to take the exam, we will ask you to appoint a professional person, willing to sit with you whilst you complete it. The exam paper is posted to them and they give it to you to open at the time and place that you appoint to take the exam. The exam will; take 1.5 hours and once finished, your chosen overseer will post it back to us for marking. 

If for any reason this isn't possible or if you don't want to sit an exam. you can do a final project set by your tutor instead.

Projects take the form of research, not field work. Our courses are designed to give you the knowledge and skills you need, without having to work with reptiles.



( Therese, 24/01/2017 ) Q:

Hello, What are the exam Fees and any other fees on top of the course fee? If you choose to do Projects instead, does that also have fees? Thanks

( 25/01/2017 ) A:

Hello Therese,

Thank you for your question.

You will be pleased to hear that there are no hidden extras with our courses. Your fee includes all of your learning material, unlimited tutorial support, your examination or final project, plus your certificate and transcript, posted to your address in the country you reside in.


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Herpetology course online. Interested in knowing more about reptiles and amphibians? You'll learn how to develop your ability to understand the biological and ecological characteristics of reptiles and amphibians. The course also covers conservation issues and as well as learning how to keep them at home.   Definition - Herpetology:  noun. “The branch of zoology concerned with reptiles and amphibians”, Oxford Dictionary.   The term is derived from Linneas’s classification in which he combined reptiles and amphibians into the one category. Herpetology examines the biology and ecology of these animals and their importance to the planet. Herpetology as a scientific study and as a hobby can have positive impacts on the conservation of threatened reptile and amphibian species.


This course has been endorsed by TQUK. Endorsement of our courses by TQUK sets them apart from other vocational learning programmes and is an achievement to be proud of. It further demonstrates that we are an efficient academy with excellent courses and tutorial support. It also means that potential and existing students, employers and universities can be sure of the true value of the learning we provide. 



Lesson Structure:  Herpetology BEN209

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Herpetology
    • Herpetology Defined
    • Introduction to Reptiles
    • Animal Taxonomy
    • Classification of Reptiles
    • Characteristics of Reptiles
    • Testudine Characteristics (Turtles)
    • Squamata Characteristics (Snakes and Lizards)
    • Rhynchocephalia Characteristics (Tuatara)
    • Classification of Amphibians
    • Amphibian Characteristics
    • Building Resources and Developing Networks
    • Terminology
  2. Class Reptilia (Reptiles)
    • Reptile Classification
    • Water Conservation
    • Reproduction
    • Order Chelonia (Testudines); Turtles
    • Order Crocodilia; Crocodilians
    • Order Squamata
    • Scaled Reptiles; Lizards (Suborder Sauria) and Snakes (Suborder Serpentes)
  3. Reptile Biology
    • Reptile Anatome
    • Skeleton
    • Scales and Skutes
    • Ectothermal Regulation
    • Coloration
    • Respiration and Metabolism
    • Food and Digestion
    • Senses
    • Locomotion
  4. Class Amphibia (Amphibians)
    • Order Anura (Frogs and Toads)
    • Order Apoda (Caecilians)
    • Order Urodela (Salamanders and Newts)
  5. Amphibian Biology
    • Amphibian Skeleton
    • Skin
    • Ectothermal Regulation
    • Colouration
    • Respiration and Metabolism
    • Branchial
    • Buccopharyngeal
    • Cutaneous
    • Pulmonic
    • Food and Digestion
    • Senses
    • Locomotion
    • Reproduction
  6. Ecology of Reptiles
    • Species Richness
    • Constriction
    • Injected Venom
    • Inertia Feeding
    • Biting and Grasping
    • Suction Feeding
    • Reproductive Strategies
    • Viviparity
    • Oviparity
    • Nest Building
    • Habitat Use; Aquatic and Terrestrial
    • Basking
    • Hibernation
  7. Ecology of Amphibians
    • Use of Habitat
    • Temperature Relationships
    • Feeding
    • Vocal Communication; Advertisement calls, Territorial calls, Release calls, Distress calls
    • Social Behaviour
    • Dealing with Predators
    • Reproduction and Parental Care
  8. Conservation Issues
    • Habitat change
    • Edge Effects
    • Pollution; especially water pollution
    • Environmental Acidification (Acid Rain)
    • Pesticides
    • Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
    • Spread of disease
    • Invasive Species
    • Climate Change
    • Spread of Disease
    • Disease in Wild Populations
    • Trade in Reptiles and Amphibians
    • Conservation
    • Conservation Genetics
    • Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
  9. Keeping Reptiles and Amphibians
    • Introduction
    • Legal Issues
    • Special conditions for Amphibians
    • Special Conditions for Reptiles
    • Preventing Spread of Disease from Reptiles to Humans
    • Housing
    • Reptile Captivity Problems
    • Reptile Feed and Feeding
    • Amphibians and Reptile Species that are in Captivity
    • Feeding Amphibians
    • General Care
    • Common Ailments in Reptiles and Amphibians
    • Parasitic Diseases
    • Fungal Diseases
    • Viral Diseases
    • Metabolic Bone Disease
    • Thiamine Deficiency

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the academy, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Learning Goals:  Herpetology BEN209
  • Discuss the nature and scope of reptiles.
  • Identify credible resources, and begin to develop networking with organisations and individuals involved with the study of reptiles around the world.
  • Describe a range of different reptile species, including distinguishing characteristics, their needs (eg. environmental, food, etc) and behaviour.
  • Identify and explain the anatomy and physiology of reptiles
  • Discuss the nature and scope of amphibians
  • Identify credible resources, and begin to develop networking with organisations and individuals involved with the study of amphibians around the world.
  • Discuss the nature and scope of amphibians
  • Identify credible resources, and begin to develop networking with organisations and individuals involved with the study of amphibians around the world.
  • Describe the ecological requirements, reproduction and lifecycles of amphibians
  • Describe the behaviour of a range of different amphibian species.
  • Explain conservation issues that are impacting upon populations of reptiles and amphibians.
  • Explain the management of reptiles and amphibians in captivity


The major anatomical feature that differentiates reptiles from other animals is their skin covering of scales or scutes. They are tetrapods, either having four limbs or descending from animals with four limbs.

A reptile skeleton shares the same general components of most other vertebrates: a bony skull, a column of vertebrae enclosing a spinal chord, and a framework of limbs
Snakes do not have limbs as such; but they do have remnants of hind limbs, presumably from their ancestors,
Marine dwelling dinosaurs (eg. Ichthyocaurs) had significantly reduced limbs on the skeleton (to support a flipper for swimming rather than legs for walking).

  • Reptile skulls are different to an amphibian skull in several ways:
  • Reptiles do not have an otic notch (i.e. indentation at the back of the skull)
  • Reptiles lack several small bones at the back of the top of the skull
  • Reptile skulls are also different to mammal skulls in a number of ways, including:
  • Reptiles have several bones in the lower jaw; but only one of these bones has teeth.
  • Teeth of reptiles are all relatively unspecialised (unlike the diverse specialisation into molars, incisors etc, that is found in mammals). Lizards have conical or blade-like teeth.

All reptiles are covered by either scales or skutes.

  • Snakes and most lizards are covered by scales
  • Crocodilians, turtles and some lizards (Heloderma) are covered by skutes

Scales are made of Keratin. They can be plate like or tubercular in shape, and overlap each other (i.e. are imbricate). Scales are formed from the epidermis of the animal (lizards and snakes have scales).

A skute (also referred to as osteoderm) is a bony external plate that covers part or all of an animal’s body. Examples of a skute include the shell on a tortoise or turtle; and the skin of a crocodile or alligator. Skutum (plural) can also be found on the feet of some birds, the tails of some mammals, and on parts of some insects. The skin of an Armadillo is also described sometimes as a skute.

Skutes are formed from a lower layer of the animal’s skin together with the epidermis. The epidermis is only the outer layer of the skute. In crocodilians and some lizards, the skutes fuse with elements of the skull to form a rigid skull cap.

Turtles have the unique carapace (shell) which is the fusion of the skutes and vertebrae with the ribs. The lower shell of the turtle is the fusion of the skutum and sternum. All limbed reptiles with functioning digits have claws. The tips of these claws are covered by a keratinous sheath. The outermost layer is formed by rigid beta-keratin.

The upper and lower jaw sheaths of turtles are keratinous structures. These replace teeth to cut and crush food. Hatchling turtles, crocodilians and the tuatara are all born with an egg tooth (or caruncle) to assist with hatching.

Moulting or shedding of scales (also known as “ecdysis”) occurs in lizards and snakes.
Moulting removes old tissue, and at the same time can help remove parasites (eg. ticks) that may be attached. Lizards generally shed their scales in flakes, but snakes generally shed their scales as one complete layer. All Lepidosaurs share the same sequence of epidermal growth and shedding. They have distinct resting and renewal stages for shedding and sloughing. This cycle is repeated at regular intervals when food is of abundant supply. The renewal (growth/shedding) stage requires about 14 days. The resting phase can range from a few days to many months.

Many reptiles (especially the lepidosaurs) have many small, epidermal sense organs. These are usually minute, appearing as pits or projections. These organs are not shed during the renewal phase. These organs are believed to respond to tactile stimulation. The sea snake has light-receptors on the tail which suggests a larger range of receptors on reptiles. Sensory organs on the skin are generally concentrated on the head of the animal, but can be widespread across all parts of the body.

Reptiles and amphibians are both ectotherms. They rely on external environmental factors to regulate their body temperature or thermal energy. These animals can gain or lose energy through different pathways such as solar radiation, thermal (infrared radiation), convection, evaporation, conduction and metabolic heat production. By adjusting the flow through different pathways the animal can warm itself or cool down.

In general, reptiles have two types of colour manufacturing cells. These are melanophores and chromatophores. The melanophores are found throughout the basal layer of the epidermis (outer layer). These send out pseudopodia that transfer melanin into the differentiating keratocytes during the renewal phase of shedding. Chromatophores are found in the outer portion of the dermis (below the epidermis). These are absent in reptiles that are unable to change colour. The presence, density and distribution within each layer will vary between species and individuals within the same species. Chromatophores enable animals to produce different colours and colour patterns


This course has been endorsed by TQUK. Endorsement of our courses by TQUK sets them apart from other vocational learning programmes and is an achievement to be proud of. It further demonstrates that we are an efficient academy with excellent courses and tutorial support. It also means that potential and existing students, employers and universities can be sure of the true value of the learning we provide. 

Course Info
Course StartAnytime, Anywhere
Course Hours100
Recognised Issuing BodyTQUK - Training Qualifications UK, an Ofqual Approved Awarding Organisation.
Course CodeBEN209
Course PrerequisiteNo, start at anytime
Course QualificationLevel 4 Certificate in Herpetology
Exam Required?Finalised with an exam/test
UK Course Credits10 Credits
US Course Credit Hours3 Credit Hours
Study SupportYou'll be allocated your own personal tutor/mentor who will support and mentor you throughout your whole course. Our tutors/mentors have been specifically chosen for their business expertise, qualifications and must be active within their industry. Tutors are contactable by e-mail, telephone and through our Moodle Student Support Zone online. Tutors are there to provide assistance with course material, discuss, explain and give advice and support throughout the whole programme. Their feedback is vital to your success.



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