The Age of Reptiles, 1965
By Edwin H. Colbert
I remember buying this book at a bookstore in the New York Port
Authority sometime in the late 1960's
on one of my trips to New York City with my father. This
book focuses on the biogeographical and
geochronological distributions of dinosaurs and other extinct reptiles
and mammal-like reptiles, rather than
The illustrations of the prehistoric animals are by Colbert's wife,
Margaret Matthew Colbert (who was also the
daughter of noted vertebrate paleontologist William Diller
Matthew). The illustrations generally depict commonly
known prehistoric reptiles--for example the pen and ink drawing of the
Polacanthus above. M. M. Colbert shows off
her artistic skills with paintings (watercolors?) of four prehistoric
settings: Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous.
The example above, showing a Jurassic setting with an Allosaururus and
Apatosaurus, is cropped from a larger
representation contained in the book that also depicts a Stegosaurus
and Ornitholestes. Color versions of three of
the four paintings are included in Edwin H. Colbert's, Dinosaurs: An
Illustrated History, published in 1983, and it
is with these color representations that you can truly see M. M.
Colbert's artistic skills.