Archie Carr bigraphy, stories - Zoologists

Archie Carr : biography

June 16, 1909 - May 21, 1987

Archie Fairly Carr, Jr. (June 16, 1909 – May 21, 1987) was an American herpetologist, ecologist and a pioneering conservationist. He was a Professor of Zoology at the University of Florida. In 1987 he was awarded the Eminent Ecologist Award by the Ecological Society of America. He made extraordinary contribution to sea turtle conservation by way of bringing attention to the world's declining turtle populations due to over-exploitation and loss of safe habitat.


  • Founder and Scientific Director of the Caribbean Conservation Corporation from 1959 until his death in 1987.
  • The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, which covers the beaches from Melbourne Beach south to Wabasso Beach was set up in 1994 in honor of his efforts.
  • In 1994, the Dr. Archie Carr Wildlife Refuge was established in Costa Rica in his memory.
  • Carr's son, Archie Carr III, is a well known conservationist, who coordinated Central American programs for the New York Zoological Society (now known as the Wildlife Conservation Society); Carr III was instrumental in establishing the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize.
  • A book about Carr entitled The Man Who Saved Sea Turtles: Archie Carr and the Origins of Conservation was recently published by Oxford University Press. This book was written by Frederick R. Davis, Assistant Professor of History at the Florida State University.
  • Carr's work is referenced in the 1985 romantic-drama film Turtle Diary.
  • The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has named its newest building after Archie and Marjorie Carr.


Born in Mobile, Alabama, Carr was the son of a Presbyterian pastor, and grew up in Mobile, Fort Worth, Texas, and Savannah, Georgia. He studied zoology at the University of Florida, eventually specializing in herpetology. He further refined that interest to the study of turtles and eventually became one of the world's foremost authorities on sea turtles. He was married to Marjorie Harris Carr a conservationist herself.

While a student at UF, he became a member of the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity.

He started out as a high school science teacher before becoming a college professor. He published numerous books and articles, including Ulendo: Travels of a Naturalist in and out of Africa, High Jungles and Low, So Excellent a Fishe (about his green turtles), The Windward Road and several Time-Life books such as The Everglades and The Reptiles. He was also the author of the Handbook of Turtles, and with Coleman J. Goin, Guide to the Reptiles, Amphibians and Freshwater Fishes of Florida. While a serious scientific and nature writer, he also had a remarkable sense of humor, which led him to publish the parody of scientific taxonomic keys - his A Subjective Key to the Fishes of Alachua County, Florida, affectionately known as the "Carr Key".

Carr became a bit of a legend at the University of Florida and students vied with one another to take his Community Ecology course in which they were involved in several major and minor field trips around northern Florida and southern Georgia. Listening to Carr talk about the Sand Pine scrub near Ocala or his comments as he guided students through the Okefenokee Swamp in canoes was considered a great privilege.

Carr was also known for his efforts in conservation, especially for sea turtles, helping convince Costa Rica to establish Tortuguero National Park in 1975. He was a co-founder of the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, which helps to save and monitor sea turtles in Tortuguero, Costa Rica. He was often joined in his conservation work by his wife Marjorie Carr, who was a major advocate for conservation in her own right. In 1952 Carr was awarded the Daniel Giraud Elliot Medal from the National Academy of Sciences.


  • Carr, Archie (1963), The Reptiles (Series: LIFE Nature Library)
  • Carr, Archie (Marjorie Carr Ed.), A Naturalist in Florida (ISBN 0-300-05589-7)
  • Carr, Archie, The Windward Road (ISBN 0-8130-0639-2, 1979 edition)
  • Carr, Archie, (1967, 1984), "So Excellent a Fishe" (ISB 0-292-77595-4)
  • Carr, Archie, (1964), "Ulendo; travels of a naturalist in and out of Africa"
  • Carr, Archie, (1952), "Handbook of turtles; the turtles of the United States, Canada, and Baja California"
  • Carr, Archie, (1973), "The Everglades" (Time-Life Book)
  • Carr, Archie and Coleman J. Goin, (1955), "Guide to the reptiles, amphibians, and fresh-water fishes of Florida"
Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine