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Rexford Lord '52 October 25, 2018 12:57 PM updated: October 25, 2018 1:01 PM

Bean Funeral Homes & Cremation Services, Inc. obituary
129 East Lancaster Avenue
Shillington, PA 19607
(610) 376-1120

Rexford Dunbar Lord

July 31, 1927 - October 9, 2018
Resided in Shillington, PA

Dr. Rexford Dunbar Lord Jr. - (July 31, 1927 to October 9, 2018)

Born July 31, 1927 in the Reading Hospital, West Reading, Pennsylvania to his father, Rexford Dunbar Lord and mother Ella Matheson Lord, Rexford graduated from Shillington High School. After graduation from high school in1945 he served one year in the United States Navy (1945-1946). Since retirement in 1997 he and his wife of almost 40 years Sofia Veronica Lord (a Veterinarian by profession) resided in Shillington Pennsylvania.

Rex is survived by his wife Sofia Veronica Lord. He was predeceased by his son Pablo Matheson Lord. He is also survived by his daughter, Esther Anna Lord who resides with her husband Robert J. Hultz and their three daughters; Alison, Beth and Julia in Colleyville Texas, his youngest son, Raymond Wood Lord resides with his wife Kristi and their five children; Ashley, Chase, Hunter Michael and Dakota in Tulsa Oklahoma and his eldest son, Rex H. Lord resides in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

After service in the U.S. Navy Rexford earned degrees as the following universities: Pennsylvania State University, B.A. Zoology, 1950, Texas A & M University, M.S. Zoology, 1953 and Johns Hopkins University, PhD. Science in Public Health, 1956.

Rex’s productive working career spanned forty years from 1956 to 1997. He began work at the Illinois Natural History Survey. Later he worked for the Pan American Health Organization on two occasions and in several countries, including Argentina, Venezuela and Mexico. He worked for two branches of the United States Government; The Atomic Energy Commission and the Public Health Service. He also worked for the Venezuelan Government (Natural Resources Ministry) and at two private ranches in Venezuela, (Hato El Frio and Hato El Cedral). His working years culminated with teaching at two universities; Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pittsburgh (Bradford). Over a period of about forty years he worked in 19 Latin American countries, and also before, during and after work in Latin America, in 15 states of the USA.

The following is a partial list of Rex’s publications and accomplishments:

Publications

He published a total of nearly 100 plus publications, mostly in scientific journals and including four books and two bulletins. Themes most publications were Ecology of St. Louis Encephalitis, and Control of Vampire Bats, Bird’s Eyes, Cottontail Rabbits, Gray Foxes and Capybaras.

Books

1994 Lord, R.D., The fauna of Hato El Cedral. (English and Spanish) Armitano Editores C.A., Caracas 121 pp.
1999 Lord, R.D., Wild Mammals of Venezuela. (English and Spanish) Armitano Editores, C.A, 347 pp.
2007 Lord, R.D., Mammals of South America. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 198 pp.
2009 Lord, R.D., Capybaras, A natural history of the world’s largest rodent. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 159 pp.



Bulletins

1963 Lord, R.D., The Cottontail Rabbits in Illinois. Technical Bulletin No. 3, State of Illinois.
1982 Lord, R.D., Uso de plantasacuaticas para el tratamiento de aguasresiduales. SerieBibliografica 1, Centro Panamericano de Ecologia Humana y Salud.,Apartado 249, Toluca, Mexico. 96 pp.

Accomplishments

There are some (six) findings in which he was the first person to discover or to innovate, they are listed chronologically.

The temporal ciliary muscle

He found this new muscle on the temporal side of the ciliary body of the eye of hawks, but not in vultures, sparrows, meadowlarks or mocking-birds. Hawks also have a temporal fovea and it is presumed that the function of the temporal ciliary muscle is to shift focus from the central fovea to the temporal fovea provides hawks sharp binocular vision.

1956 Lord, R.D., A comparative study of the eyes of some Falconiform and Passeriform birds. American Midland Naturalist. 56:325-344.

Determination of age of mammals from the dry weight of the eye lens.

The lens of the mammalian eye grows throughout life. Fresh wet cells are added in layers, on the outside, while the center of the lens dries out. By constructing the growth curve of the dry weight of the lens for a species, from know age animals, it is then possible to estimate the age of animals whose age is not known. The age per se of individual animals is of little importance. It is the possibility of indirectly calculating the age specific mortality rates from age composition data that makes this technique of value. In a table of age composition of a population, there are fewer 2-year-olds than 1-year-olds, and progressively fewer and fewer of older animals, because they are dying, so the death rate can be calculated. This technique has since been applied to a large number of mammal species. This discovery made him known world-wide.

1959 Lord, R.D., The lens as an indicator of age in cottontail rabbits. Journal of Wildlife Management. 23:358-360

1961 Lord, R.D. The lens as an indicator of age in the gray fox. Journal of Mammalogy. 42:109-111.

1966 Lord, R.D., Growth of lens of the Pampas gray fox (Dusicyongymnocercus) and the Patagonian gray fox (Dusicyongriseus). Journal of Mammalogy. 47:536-538.

Radio-telemetry of the physiology of a wild bird

Lord, R., W. Cochran and F. Bellrose were able to make a graph of the radio signal of a wild mallard duck on which had been placed a miniature radio. The radio signal varied with the duck’s breating and wing beats because of the antenna was a loop that went around the duck’s breast and its shape changed with the duck’s breaths and its flapping wings. This was the first radio-telemetry of any physiological information from a flying wild bird. Now radio-telemetry is in widespread use. William Cochran invented the radio.

1962 Lord, R.D., Bellrose, F.C. & Cochran, W.W.
Radio telemetry of the respiration of a flying duck. Science 137 (3523): 39-40

Radio-tracking of the movements of a wild animal

Cochran and Lord were the first to radio-track wild animals, placing miniature radios on wild rabbits and then following their movements all night long. Cochran was the electronic genius, but Lord was the motivator. Also it was Lord who hand built the miniature radios (designed by Cochran), caught the rabbits and placed the radios on them and then manned the receiver to track their activity. Now radio-tracking is in wide spread use.

1963 Cochran, W.W. & Lord, R.D., A radiotracking system for wild animals. Journal of Wildlife Management 27:9-24

Urban surveillance for St. Louis Encephalitis through wild birds

St Louis Encephalitis (SLE) Was a very wide spread disease, causing repeated epidemics in cities over a period of many years, for example St Louis, Tampa, Houston, Dallas and Corpus Christi. Because each epidemic stared with an epizootic in wild birds (mostly House sparrows), if the young sparrows were routinely checked for SLE antibody each spring and early summer, they could know if they were experiencing and epizootic. If so, then a crash mosquito control program could about the epidemic through extensive mosquito control. This also saved money because most years in most cities the wild birds do not experience epizootics of SLE. This technique has been practiced over the years in cities like Houston, New Orleans, and Memphis and there have been no large epidemics since then.

1974 Lord, R.D., Calisher, C.H., Chappell, W.A., Metzger, W.R. & Fischer, G.W., Urban St Louis encephalitis surveillance through wild birds. American Journal of Epidemiology 99:360-363.

Control of Epizootics of vampire bat transmitted rabies

The method for controlling outbreaks of bovine rabies transmitted by vampire bats is straight-forward. The outbreaks are always migratory, moving forward, sometimes turning, but never doubling back on itself. The strategy is to question ranchers to learn the several years’ history of the trajectory of the epizootic to be able to predict where it will go. Then place an area in its path where all vampire bats are eliminated. The vampire bats are eliminated by applying a topical anticoagulant poison like warfarin (mixed with Vaseline) on vampires captured in mist nets placed around a corral with cattle and horses. The bats are release to fly back to their roosts and roost mates aid in licking the anticoagulant off their mates. In several days to a week the whole colony dies.

When the migrating epizootic arrives to the control area, it dies out for lack of susceptible vampire bats to infect. This method has been used in many countries. It is successful, and sufficiently so, that administrators think the problem is solved, and divert funds elsewhere. After about ten years the problem returns and by then there is not one remaining who knows how to apply the method. Lord returned two and even three times to some countries to teach this procedure. In the last visit he left a video tape (from Bat Conservation International) depicting the technique.

1980 Lord, R.D., An ecological strategy for controlling bovine rabies through elimination of vampire bats. Proceedings of the 9th Vertebrate Pest Control Conference, University of California, Davis, pp. 170-175.

1988 Lord, Rexford D. Control of Vampire Bats. pp.215-226. In Natural History of Vampire Bats, Arthur M. Greenhall and Uwe Schmidt, CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, Florida.

Funeral Service will be held at Bean Funeral Home, 129 E. Lancaster Ave. Shillington, 19607 on Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 9:00AM. Interment will follow at Frieden’s Cemetery in Robeson Township. The family will receive relatives and friends from 8:00am-9:00am. Online condolences may be made to www.beanfuneralhomes.com.


Services

Visitation

Shillington
129 East Lancaster Avenue
Shillington, PA US 19607
Saturday, October 13, 2018
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM


Service

Shillington
129 East Lancaster Avenue
Shillington, PA US 19607
Saturday, October 13, 2018
9:00 AM


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