Clinton Hart Merriam bigraphy, stories - American zoologist and ornithologist

Clinton Hart Merriam : biography

December 5, 1855 - March 19, 1942

Clinton Hart Merriam (December 5, 1855 – March 19, 1942) was an American zoologist, ornithologist, entomologist, ethnographer, and naturalist.

Life and career

Known as "Hart" to his friends, Merriam was born in New York City in 1855. His father, Clinton Levi Merriam, was a U.S. congressman.

Merriam studied biology and anatomy at Yale University and obtained an M.D. from the School of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in 1879. He taught for a while at Harvard University.

Merriam died in Berkeley, California in 1942.

His sister Florence Augusta Merriam Bailey was a pioneering ornithologist who introduced popular field guides for bird identification. She married Vernon Bailey a field naturalist and long-time collecting partner of C. Hart Merriam's. His grandson Lee Merriam Talbot (born 1930) was a geographer and ecologist who was among the IUCN team which rediscovered the Persian Fallow Deer in 1957, and secretary general of the IUCN from 1980 to 1983.

Native Americans

Later in life, funded by the Harriman family, Merriam's focus shifted to studying and assisting the Native American tribes in the western United States. His contributions on the myths of central California and on ethnogeography were particularly noteworthy.

Zoology

In 1886, he became the first chief of the Division of Economic Ornithology and Mammalogy of the United States Department of Agriculture, predecessor to the National Wildlife Research Center and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. In 1883, he was a founding member of the American Ornithologists' Union. He was one of the original founders of the National Geographic Society in 1888. He developed the concept of "life zones" to classify biomes found in North America along an altitudinal sequence corresponding to the zonal latitudinal sequence from Equator to Pole. In mammalogy, he is known as an excessive splitter, proposing, for example, tens of different species of North American brown bears in several genera.

In 1899, he helped railroad magnate E. H. Harriman to organize an exploratory voyage along the Alaska coastline.

Some species of animals that bear his name are Merriam's Wild Turkey Meliagris gallopavo meriami, the now extinct Merriam's Elk Cervus elaphus merriami, and Merriam's Chipmunk Tamias merriami. Much of his detail-oriented taxonomy continues to be influential within mammalogical and ornithological circles.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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