Edgar Alexander Mearns: American ornithologist and field naturalist (1856 - 1916) | Biography
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Edgar Alexander Mearns
American ornithologist and field naturalist

Edgar Alexander Mearns

Edgar Alexander Mearns
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American ornithologist and field naturalist
A.K.A. Mearns
Was Scientist Botanist Zoologist
From United States of America
Field Biology Science
Gender male
Birth 11 September 1856, Highland Falls, Orange County, New York, U.S.A.
Death 1 November 1916, Washington, D.C., District of Columbia, U.S.A. (aged 60 years)
The details (from wikipedia)


Edgar Alexander Mearns (September 11, 1856 in Highland Falls, New York – November 1, 1916 in Washington, D.C.) was a notable American ornithologist and field naturalist.


Mearns was born to Alexander and Nancy Reliance Mearns née Clarswell. His grandfather Alexander was of Scottish origin and moved to Highland Falls in 1815. Edgar Alexander Mearns was educated in the Donald Highland Institute (Highland Falls) and attended the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons where he graduated in 1881.

In 1881, he married Ella Wittich of Circleville, Ohio. The couple had one son and one daughter. Their son was born in 1886 and died in 1912. From 1882 to 1899 he served the military service as a surgeon. From 1899 to 1903, he was a medical officer in several army institutions. From 1903 to 1904 and 1905 to 1907, he traveled to the Philippines. He had to interrupt his journey in 1904 because he came down with a parasitic disease. In 1905 a trip led him to Guam.

As major and surgeon in the army, Mearns was appointed medical officer to the International Boundary Commission and reported on the fauna and trees of the boundary between Mexico and the United States in his 1907, Mammals of the Mexican Boundary of the United States. In 1909 he retired from the army with a rank of a lieutenant colonel, and later that same year he was invited by Theodore Roosevelt to accompany the Smithsonian-Roosevelt African Expedition as naturalist. From 1911 to 1912 he was a member of the Childs Frick expedition in Africa to collect and prepare specimens of birds that Frick later presented to the Smithsonian Institution.

Mearns belongs to the co-founders of the American Ornithologists' Union in 1883. He scientifically described several birds and other animal species, like the Taita thrush, the Apo sunbird, the Boran cisticola, the Chihuahuan grasshopper mouse, and the rufous-headed tailorbird.


Several animal taxa are named in honor of Mearns: five birds, seven mammals including Mearns's pocket gopher (Thomomys bottae mearnsi ), and the banded rock lizard (Petrosaurus mearnsi ).

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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