Edwin Harris Colbert
Edwin Harris Colbert 1


September 28, 1905
Clarinda, Iowa


November 15, 2001
Flagstaff, Arizona




American Museum of Natural History
Columbia University

Known for

Effigia okeeffeae

Edwin Harris Colbert (September 28, 1905 — November 15, 2001 [1]) was a distinguished American vertebrate paleontologist and prolific researcher and author. He received his A.B. from the University of Nebraska, then his Masters and Ph.D. from Columbia University, finishing in 1935.

Born in Clarinda, Iowa, he grew up in Maryville, Missouri.[1] Among the positions he held was Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History for 40 years, and Professor Emeritus of Vertebrate Paleontogy at Columbia University. He was a protege of Henry Fairfield Osborn, and a foremost authority on the Dinosauria.

He described dozens of new taxa and authored major systematic reviews, including the discovery of more than a dozen complete skeletons of a primitive small Triassic dinosaur, Coelophysis at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, in 1947 (one of the largest concentrations of dinosaur deposits ever recorded),[1] publication of their description, and a review of ceratopsian phylogeny.

His fieldwork in Antarctica in 1969 helped solidify the acceptance of continental drift, by finding a 220-million-year-old fossil of a Lystrosaurus. His popularity and his text books on dinosaurs, paleontology, and stratigraphy (with Marshall Kay) introduced a generation of scientists and amateur enthusiasts to the subject. He was the recipient of numerous prizes and awards commemorating his many achievements in the field of science.

He became curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, Arizona in 1970. Along with his wife, Margaret, he had five sons. He died at his home in Flagstaff.[1]


He wrote more than 20 books and over 400 scientific articles.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e O'Connor, Anahad. - "E. H. Colbert, 96, Dies; Wrote Dinosaur Books ". - New York Times. - November 25, 2001.

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.