Juan A. Rivero

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Dr. Juan Arturo Rivero Quintero (March 5, 1923 – March 3, 2014)[1] was a Puerto Rican biologist who founded the Dr. Juan A. Rivero Zoo at the University of Puerto Rico's Mayagüez Campus.


Dr. Rivero obtained a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez in 1945. In 1942 he joined the Beta-Activo Chapter of Phi Sigma Alpha Fraternity. In 1951 he obtained an M.S. from Harvard University, followed by a Ph.D. from that same institution in 1953.

Academic career[edit]

After obtaining his bachelor's degree, Dr. Rivero served as an Assistant Plant Physiologist, Instructor, Assistant Professor and Associate Professor before becoming a full Professor of Biology at UPR-Mayagüez in 1958. After founding the institution's zoo in 1954, he served as its first director, as well as founder and director of the UPR's Institute of Marine Biology. From 1959 to 1960 he served as director of the Biology Department and from 1962 to 1966, as Dean of Arts and Sciences, oversaw the work of over 200 faculty members and a two million dollar annual budget. Between 1966 and 1968, he served as a Research Associate at Harvard University and Visiting Scientist at the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Investigation.

Other accomplishments[edit]

In addition to founding the Mayagüez Zoo, Puerto Rico's only zoological garden, it was named after him in 1998.[2]

He discovered over a hundred animal species, particularly amphibians and reptiles.

He was the founder and first president of the Puerto Rico Zoological Society, as well as of the Association of Island Marine Laboratories.

In addition to writing over 200 papers and articles, he wrote numerous books, including:

Los coquíes de Puerto Rico
El Coquí Dorado de Puerto Rico y otras Ranas de Hábitos Reproductivos Peculiares
Anfibios y Reptiles de Puerto Rico
Anfibios y Reptiles de Nuestro Folklore
Los Machos, las Hembras y los Intersexos
Biología del Sexo
Principios de Evolución Orgánica
Los Helechos Cuernos de Alce o Platicerios
Salientia de Venezuela
Expedición de la UPR a las Selvas del Alto Orinoco 1950
El Dolor de la Espalda Baja

He wrote the Phi Sigma Alpha "Brindis" or toast.

Species named after Dr. Rivero[edit]

Several species have been named to honor Dr. Rivero's contributions to science, including:

Geomelania riveroi Clench (snail)
Hemitrochus riveroi Turner (mollusk)
Glomeridesmus riveroi Chamberlin (miriapod)
Ballophilus riveroi Chamberlin (miriapod)
Prostherapis riveroi Donoso-Barros (frog)
Atractus riveroi Roze (snake)[3]
Hyla riveroi Cochran & Goin (frog)
Processa riveroi Manning & Chace (crustacean)
Leptodactylus riveroi Heyer (frog)
Marshallela riveroi Ramos (frog)
Eleutherodactylus juanariveroi Ríos-López & Thomas (frog)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Fallece el fundador del Zoológico de Puerto Rico - El Nuevo Día" (in Spanish). Elnuevodia.com. Retrieved 2014-03-05. 
  2. ^ "Ley 32 del 19 de enero de 1998. Para disponer que el Zoológico de Mayagüez sea designado como "Zoológico Dr. Juan A. Rivero".". 1998-01-19. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  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. ("Rivero, J. A.", p. 222).