Ned Colbert, Lystrosaurus, and Continental Drift

Arguably one of the most important finds in the history of Triassic paleontology was the discovery of fossil bones assignable to Lystrosaurus from the Early Triassic of Antarctica in 1969 by a team including famed paleontologist Edwin "Ned" Colbert. The finding of this non-marine animal on four different continents helped support the theory of continental drift.

Below is some old footage (from the 1970s I believe) taken in his office at the Museum of Northern Arizona of Ned discussing this find and its importance. You can feel his excitement in reliving his initial finds, especially when he starts picking up the various fossils. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. This footage was in Ned's office at MNA in Flagstaff. Ned worked on his Antarctica memories right up till his untimely death (he still had lots of work to do) at the age of 96 in 2001. The Lystrosaurus sculpted model was Margaret Colbert's; MNA still has the molds for it.

    One of the Colbert sons, David Colbert, picked up Ned's manuscript and completed it posthumously under the title "Antarctic Summer". It was printed by the Colbert family and circulated outside the family to a few friends. I liked it so much that I asked the family for permission to publish it as an MNA Bulletin. They agreed, and the production of that bulletin is now under way. It will have more than the original Antarctic Summer volume, but that will the heart of this bulletin. I would be glad to start a mailing list of interested parties for anyone who wishes to contact me at or --

    Dave Gillette


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