James L. Peters Photo

James L. Peters

Born: Aug 13, 1889

Death: Apr 19, 1952

Nationality: United States

James L. Peters

Date of Birth : Aug 13, 1889
Date of Death : Apr 19, 1952

James Lee Peters was an American ornithologist. Peters was Curator of Birds at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, at Harvard University. He served as president of the American Ornithologists' Union in 1942–45, and also served as president of International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature for a period. Peters is best known for his multi-volume Check-list of Birds of the World, widely referred to simply as the Peters' check-list. Compared to earlier check-lists written by Richard Bowdler Sharpe, the list by Peters made several significant advances, among others using subspecies, which Bowdler's had not. For the first four volumes Peters was awarded the Brewster Medal. Peters died before finishing the work, and the last volumes, as well as updates to some of the first, were completed by Ernst Mayr, James Greenway, Melvin Alvah Traylor, Jr. and others, with the final being volume 16 published in 1987.

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