Charles Mitchill Bogert

Charles Mitchill Bogert (June 4, 1908 – April 10, 1992) was an American herpetologist, and curator of herpetology and researcher for the American Museum of Natural History.

Early life and education

Born in Mesa, Colorado, Bogert was a technician at the Division of Nature Study for the Los Angeles City Schools in California, a guide at Rocky Mountain National Park and a forest ranger for the US National Park Service at the Grand Canyon National Park before attaining his bachelor and master of arts at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Assistant curator

From 1936 to 1940 he was the assistant curator of herpetology for the American Museum of Natural History. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, with a grant from the Carnegie Corporation he participated in several surveys of various states in Mexico, including one with Karl Patterson Schmidt for the Field Museum of Natural History. In 1941, he was elected vice president of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.

Research work

In 1944 he undertook a study on the body temperature of lizards and alligators in Florida, and became chairman and curator for the department of herpetology at the American Museum of Natural History. In 1946 he was appointed the first president of the Herpetologist's League by the league's founder Chapman Grant. From 1948 until 1950 he travelled to Central America to conduct research in Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Bimini Island off the Bahamas.

In 1949, he published Thermoregulation in Reptiles, a Factor in Evolution in Evolution. In 1950, he became an instructor at the University of Virginia, and undertook numerous trips to the southwestern United States to do research. In 1952, he was elected president of the American Society Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, which he served as until 1954. In 1953, he undertook an extensive study of frog vocalizations in the Chiricahua Mountains of Arizona, and released a series of records entitled Sounds of the American Southwest and Sounds of the North American Frogs, as well as a recording of Mexican folk music.

Academic life

In 1955, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for a year's research. In 1960, he became a lecturer at the University of Colorado, and began an extensive study of the Oaxaca region of Mexico. In 1966, he was given an honorary LLD from UCLA. In 1978, he became a consultant at the Los Alamos National Environmental Research Park for a year. Afterwards he continued to travel and conduct further studies, until his death in 1992 in his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


He is honored by having several reptile species named after him, including the Western Banded Gecko, Coleonyx variegatus bogerti, and the genus of rat snakes, Bogertophis. He travelled extensively and conducted research throughout most of the United States, Mexico, Central America, and Sri Lanka.


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