George Kruck Cherrie

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George K. Cherrie, field naturalist.jpg

George Kruck Cherrie (August 22, 1865 – January 20, 1946) was an American naturalist and explorer.

Cherrie was born in Iowa. Originally educated and employed as a mechanical engineer, he was unsatisfied and decided to study taxonomy and taxidermy instead. Cherrie then left the US and travelled to the West Indies and Central America. During the period 1889-1897, he was employed as a curator of birds at the Costa Rica National Museum in San José and the Field Museum in Chicago. Cherrie collected for the Rothschild Zoological Museum at Tring and the British Museum of Natural History and served on the staff of the Brooklyn Museum and the American Museum of Natural History.[1] He took part in about forty expeditions, mostly to Central and South America, including Theodore Roosevelt's South American Expedition of 1913–1914, when Cherrie was collecting specimens for the American Museum of Natural History. In 1915, he went to Bolivia with the Alfred Collins-Garnet Day expedition. In 1925 he was the zoological collector for the Simpson-Roosevelts Asiatic Expedition.[2]

Cherrie recounted his experiences in his memoir Dark Trails: Adventures of a Naturalist (1930). He is commemorated in the names of a number of animals: a species of lizard, Sphenomorphus cherriei ; four species of birds, including Cherrie's tanager; and a species of mammal.[3]

In 1927, the Boy Scouts of America made Cherrie an Honorary Scout, a new category of Scout created that same year. This distinction was give to "American citizens whose achievements in outdoor activity, exploration and worthwhile adventure are of such an exceptional character as to capture the imagination of boys...". The other eighteen men who were awarded this distinction were: Roy Chapman Andrews, Robert Bartlett, Frederick Russell Burnham, Richard E. Byrd, James L. Clark, Merian C. Cooper, Lincoln Ellsworth, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, George Bird Grinnell, Charles A. Lindbergh, Donald Baxter MacMillan, Clifford H. Pope, George Palmer Putnam, Kermit Roosevelt, Carl Rungius, Stewart Edward White, and Orville Wright.[4]


  1. ^ "AVES-George K. Cherrie". Hill Online Exhibitions. 2011-04-21. Retrieved 2017-06-21.
  2. ^ Osgood, W. H. (1 May 1925). "The James Simpson-Roosevelt Expedition of the Field Museum of Natural History". Science. 61 (1583): 461–462. doi:10.1126/science.61.1583.461. PMID 17842523.
  3. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Cherrie", p. 53).
  4. ^ "Around the World". Time. August 29, 1927. Retrieved 2007-10-24.


Further reading[edit]

  • "George K. Cherrie," in Tom Taylor and Michael Taylor, Aves: A Survey of the Literature of Neotropical Ornithology, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Libraries, 2011.

External links[edit]