Fitzinger was born in Vienna and studied botany at the University of Vienna under Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin. He worked at the Vienna Naturhistorisches Museum between 1817, when he joined as a volunteer assistant, and 1821, when he left to become secretary to the provincial legislature of Lower Austria; after a hiatus he was appointed assistant curator in 1844 and remained at the Naturhistorisches Museum until 1861. Later he became director of the zoos of Munich and Budapest.
In 1826 he published Neue Classification der Reptilien, based partly on the work of his friends Friedrich Wilhelm Hemprich and Heinrich Boie. In 1843 he published Systema Reptilium, covering geckos, chameleons and iguanas.
The Alytidae are a family of primitive frogs. Their common name is painted frogs or midwife toads. Most are endemic to Europe, but there are also three species in northwest Africa, and a species formerly thought to be extinct in Israel.
This family is also known as Discoglossidae, but the older name Alytidae has priority and is now recognized by major reference works. However, some researchers suggest that Alytes and Discoglossus are different enough to be treated as separate families, implying resurrection of Discoglossidae.Bismarck ringed python
The Bismarck ringed python (Bothrochilus boa) is a species of snake in the genus Bothrochilus. found on the islands of the Bismarck Archipelago. No subspecies are currently recognized.Chelonoidis
Chelonoidis is a genus of turtles in the tortoise family. They are found in South America and the Galápagos Islands. They were formerly assigned to Geochelone, but a recent comparative genetic analysis has indicated that they are actually most closely related to African hingeback tortoises. Their ancestors apparently floated across the Atlantic in the Oligocene. This crossing was made possible by their ability to float with their heads up and to survive up to six months without food or water.The members of this genus on the Galápagos Islands are among the largest extant terrestrial chelonians. Giant members of the genus were also present in mainland South America during the Pleistocene.Cordylidae
Cordylidae is a family of small to medium-sized lizards that occur in southern and eastern Africa. They are commonly known as girdled lizards, spinytail lizards, or girdle-tail lizards.Cordylidae is closely related to the family Gerrhosauridae, occurring in Africa and Madagascar. These two scientific families of lizards, known as Cordyliformes or Cordyloidea, are sometimes combined into a larger concept of Cordylidae. Recent molecular analyses confirm the clade made up of Cordylidae and Gerrhosauridae (Cordyloidea) and place it in a larger clade including Xantusiidae (Cordylomorpha Vidal & Hedges, 2009).Corytophanidae
Corytophanidae is a family of iguanian lizards, also called casquehead lizards or helmeted lizards, endemic to the New World. Nine species of casquehead lizards from three genera are recognized.Cylindraspis
Cylindraspis is a genus of recently extinct giant tortoises. All of its species lived in the Mascarene Islands (Mauritius, Rodrigues and Réunion) in the Indian Ocean and all are now extinct due to hunting and introduction of non-native predators.
Modern mtDNA studies of bone remains has determined that the Cylindraspis species were all descended from one species that colonised Mauritius from Madagascar by sea. The population on Mauritius differentiated into both saddle-backed and domed species, and the ancestors of the saddle-backed species (Cylindraspis inepta) then colonised Rodrigues (where they once again differentiated into both saddle-backed and domed species) and later Réunion, the most recently formed island.Human settlers colonised the Mascarenes in 1663. These giant tortoises were very large and slow, thus making them easy game. Like many island species, they were also reported to have been friendly and unafraid of humans. Most species of this genus were already driven to extinction by 1795 and the last individuals were reputed to have died around 1840 (Arnold 1979, Bour 1980, Cheke and Hume 2008).Dermochelyidae
Dermochelyidae is a family of turtles which has seven extinct genera and one extant genus, including the largest living sea turtles.Geochelone
Geochelone is a genus of tortoises.
Geochelone tortoises, which are also known as typical tortoises or terrestrial turtles, can be found in Africa and Asia. They primarily eat plants.
The genus consists of two extant species:
Indian star tortoise (G. elegans)
Burmese star tortoise (G. platynota)There are two extinct species that inhabited the Canary Islands:
Tenerife giant tortoise (G. burchardi)
Gran Canaria giant tortoise (G. vulcanica)One extinct species inhabited Malta
Malta giant tortoise (G. robusta)And an extinct species in the Balearic Islands:
Menorca giant tortoise (G. gymnesica)A number of tortoise species have been recently removed from the genus. This taxon as formerly defined was "polyphyletic, representing at least five independent clades". Tortoises removed include members of Aldabrachelys (from the Seychelles and Madagascar), Astrochelys (Madagascar), Chelonoidis (South America and the Galápagos Islands), Stigmochelys (Africa) and earlier and also the only one species of Centrochelys,that is Centrochelys sulcata, the extinct genus Megalochelys (southern Asia).Gerrhosauridae
The Gerrhosauridae are a family of lizards native to Africa and Madagascar.Hemiechinus
Hemiechinus is a genus of hedgehogs. It contains two species, found in Central and South Asia.Lamprophiidae
The Lamprophiidae are a family of snakes found mostly in Africa, but also in parts of southern Europe and western Asia. A few species reach southeastern Asia. There are 322 species as of April 2019.Orcinus
Orcinus is a genus of oceanic dolphin comprising four species: O. paleorca, O. citoniensis, O. meyeri, and O. orca, of which only one (O. orca, i.e. the killer whale) is extant. Orcinus was classified into the subfamily Orcininae, but this is no longer supported. The other members of the subfamily were moved to Globicephalinae, and the relation of Orcinus with other dolphins is unknown.Pelodiscus
Pelodiscus is a genus of turtles in the family Trionychidae, the softshells. Based on genetic and morphological analysis there are five valid species. They are native to Eastern Asia, ranging from the Amur region, through China, Korea and Japan, to Vietnam.Psammobates
Psammobates is a genus of tortoise. This genus contains three member species, all of which are indigenous to Southern Africa.The genus name means "Sand-loving", and these tortoises typically inhabit the arid and semi-arid areas of southern Africa. Their specific diets and adaptations for this environment mean that these species do not generally survive outside their habitats and soon die when kept in captivity.
All three species suffer from illegal collecting and habitat destruction, but the Geometric tortoise has historically been the worst affected and is now endangered.Pythonidae
The Pythonidae, commonly known simply as pythons, from the Greek word python (πυθων), are a family of nonvenomous snakes found in Africa, Asia, and Australia. Among its members are some of the largest snakes in the world. Eight genera and 31 species are currently recognized.Rhinoclemmys
Rhinoclemmys is a genus of turtles in the family Geoemydidae (formerly Bataguridae), the only genus in the subfamily Rhinoclemmydinae. Member species of the genus are commonly known as the Neotropical wood turtles and are the only geoemydids known from the Americas. As such, they have adapted to a wide range of habitats, which is reflected in the species' common names. It contains nine species.Salamandroidea
The Salamandroidea are a suborder of salamanders, referred to as advanced salamanders. The members of the suborder are found worldwide except for Antarctica, sub-Saharan Africa, and Oceania. They differ from suborder Cryptobranchoidea as the angular and prearticular bones in their lower jaws are fused, and all members use internal fertilization. The female is fertilized by means of a spermatophore, a sperm-containing cap placed by the male in her cloaca. The sperm is stored in spermathecae on the roof of the cloaca until it is needed at the time of oviposition.The earliest known salamandroid fossils are specimens of the species Beiyanerpeton jianpingensis from the Tiaojishan Formation, dated to the late Jurassic period about 157 (plus or minus 3) million years ago.Trionychidae
The Trionychidae are a taxonomic family of a number of turtle genera. Softshells include some of the world's largest freshwater turtles, though many can adapt to living in highly brackish areas. Members of this family occur in Africa, Asia, and North America. Most species have traditionally been included in the genus Trionyx, but the vast majority have since been moved to other genera. Among these are the North American Apalone softshells that were placed in Trionyx until 1987.