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RE: A sad day in Paleontology



> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Ray Stanford
>
>     Ekaterina said, "...The last book I saw of his- some time in the early
> 1990s was revised version of Evolution of the Vertebrates had still not
> adopted cladistics- any reason for this-what were his view on this?"

Ned was an old-fashioned kind of gent, and he just never seemed to really
embrace this methodology.  I only met Colbert a couple of times in person,
but he was very freindly and supportive.

Colbert kept dinosaur science alive during the "dark ages" of the middle
decades of the 20th Century.  During that time he was one of only a handful
of researchers anywhere in the world who took dinosaur paleontology
seriously.  (Similar to Kuiper's place in the history of planetary
astronomy, during almost exactly the same time).

His academic influence is felt throughout the vertebrate paleontological
community.  There are today Ph.D. students who are Colbert's student's
student's student's students.  (Tracing backwards, the students of Larry
Witmer (a student of Dave Weishampel (a student of Peter Dodson (a student
of John Ostrom (a student of Ned Colbert))))).

Colbert worked with many of the luminaries of the latest 19th and early 20th
Century (Barbour, and especially H.F. Osborn).  His autobiography A
Fossil-Hunter?s Notebook is great reading for people interested in the life
of this great guy.

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/tholtz.htm
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796