René-Primevère Lesson

French surgeon, naturalist, ornithologist, and herpetologist (1794-1849)

René Primevère Lesson (March 20, 1794 - April 28, 1849) was a French surgeon and naturalist. He was born at Rochefort, Charente-Maritime.

René Lesson.

At the age of sixteen he entered the Naval Medical School in Rochefort. He served in the French Navy during the Napoleonic Wars.

Lesson was the first naturalist to see live birds of paradise in the Moluccas and New Guinea.

In the field of herpetology he described many new species of amphibians[1] and reptiles.[2]


  1. Amphibian Species of the World.
  2. The Reptile Database.