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Leonhard Stejneger

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Leonhard Stejneger

Leonhard Hess Stejneger
Born 30 October 1851
Bergen, Norway
Died 28 February 1943 (age 91)
Washington, D.C.
Education Ph.D., University of Christiania
Occupation biologist

Leonhard Hess Stejneger (30 October 1851 - 28 February 1943) was a Norwegian-born American ornithologist, herpetologist and zoologist. Stejneger specialized in vertebrate natural history studies. He gained his greatest reputation with reptiles and amphibians.[1]


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Selected bibliography 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Early life

Stejneger was born in

  • (by William R. Massa, Jr., and Linda Elmore. Smithsonian Institution Archives)Leonhard Stejneger Papers, 1867-1943
  • (by Alexander Wetmore. Presented to the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America at the Autumn Meeting. 1945)Leonhard Hess Stejneger 1851-1943
  • , v. 61, no. 2, April 1944, p. 201-203)The Auk (by Thomas Barbour. Leonhard Stejneger
  • , v. 13, no. 4, 1964, p. 243-249)Systematic Zoology (by Waldo Schmitt. Leonhard Stejneger
  • Leonhard Stejneger Field Photographs

External links

  1. ^ a b Wetmore, Alexander (1945) Leonhard Hess Stejneger (1851-1943). Biographical Memoir. Nat. Acad. Sci. Vol. 24. PDF
  2. ^ (Store norske leksikon)Leonhard Hess Stejneger
  3. ^ (Gunnar Langhelle. Store norske leksikon)Leonhard Stejneger – utdypning
  4. ^ Cronologia Ornitologica (National Academy Biographical Memoirs, Vol. XXIV) [3]
  5. ^ Stejneger, Leonhard Hess (Norway-United States 1851-1943) (Chrono-Biographical Sketches: Some Biographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists)[4]


  • Results of Ornithological Explorations in the Commander Islands and in Kamtschatka (1885)
  • Birds of Kauai Island, Hawaiian Archipelago / collected by Mr. Valdemar Knudsen, with description of new species (1887)
  • Notes on a third collection of birds made in Kauai, Hawaiian Islands (1890)
  • The Poisonous Snakes of North America (1895)
  • The Russian Fur-Seal Islands (1896)
  • Herpetology of Porto Rico (1904)
  • Herpetology of Japan and Adjacent Territories (1907)
  • A new Gerrhonotine Lizard from Costa Rica (1907)
  • Three new species of lizards from the Philippine Islands (1908)
  • A new genus and species of lizard from Florida (1911)
  • A new Scincid Lizard from the Philippine Islands (1911)
  • Results of the Yale Peruvian Expedition of 1911. Batrachians and Reptiles (1913)
  • A Check List of North American Amphibians and Reptiles [with Thomas Barbour] (1917)
  • A chapter in the history of zoological nomenclature (1924)
  • Fur-seal industry of the Commander Islands: 1897-1922 (1925)
  • Identity of Hallowell's snake genera, Megalops and Aepidea (1927)
  • The Chinese lizards of the genus Gekko (1934)
  • Georg Wilhelm Steller, the pioneer of Alaskan natural history (1936)

Selected bibliography

Stejneger was a Life Member of the Boston. In 1900 he was awarded a gold medal at the Paris Exposition for his work on fur seals management and conservation. In 1923 Stejneger was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. In 1931 he was made honorary president for life of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. In 1939 he was made a Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olaf.[5]

[4] During his Bering Island trip he became fascinated by the life of

Stejneger published more than 400 scientific works on birds, reptiles, seals, the herpetology of Puerto Rico, and other topics.

Within the Smithsonian Institution, he moved up the career ladder. In 1884 he was Assistant Curator for birds, in 1889 Curator for reptiles, in 1899 Curator for reptiles and amphibians, and from 1911 on Head Curator for biology, a post he held until his death, having been exempted from retirement by a presidential decree.

In 1881 Stejneger moved to the United States, becoming a citizen in 1887. He started working at the Smithsonian Institution under Spencer Fullerton Baird. Stejneger participated in numerous expeditions to the northern parts of the North American continent. From 1882 to 1883 he was on an exploration mission to Bering Island and Kamchatka. In 1895 he went to the Commander Islands, studying fur seals for the U.S. Fish Commission. He returned there a second time in 1922.[3]


Stejneger attended the Smith Theological School in Bergen from 1859–1860, and Bergen Latin School until 1869. His interests in zoology developed early. By age sixteen he had a printed catalogue of birds, and he painted birds in water color. He moved with his mother to Meran in South Tyrol and studied under a private tutor. He studied law and philosophy at the University of Christiania. He earned a Ph.D. and started a brief career as a lawyer.[1]


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