A Brief History of Lizard Biology at the Southwestern Research Station of the American Museum of Nat

Simon, Carol A. Research Associate

American Museum of Natural History.

New York, NY 10024


The Southwestern Research Station is ideally situated for studies of lizard biology. More than a half century ago, The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York recognized the Chiricahua Mountains and surroundings as being one of the most biodiverse areas in the United States. David Rockefeller, an amateur coleopterist, purchased the Painted Pony Ranch in Cave Creek Canyon for the AMNH in 1955, and soon it was launched as the Southwestern Research Station (SWRS), one of several AMNH research stations at the time. Today, however, it is the only such facility owned by the AMNH. This research station bustles with studies and courses dedicated to many taxonomic groups, and lizard studies have been especially abundant since the beginning. My own history with SWRS began in 1964, and it continues to this day. In this talk, I will review some of the many lines of saurian research that occurred there, including my own over the years.