V: Sun and Ice


Antarctica, 1969.

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Antarctica, 1969.
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Arthropodichnus Gouldi, December 1969.
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Antarctica, 1969.
During this visit, Gould visited a deposit near the Beardmore Glacier to investigate a recent fossil find. Gould and fellow National Science Board member Grover Murray confirmed that the fossil was a 240 million year old reptile skull associated with tropical climates and closely resembling others found in relative abundance in South Africa. Here was compelling evidence supporting the then still controversial theory of continental drift, and suggesting that Africa and Antarctica had once been attached. Gould and Murray immediately radioed the National Science Foundation in Washington, with the news that this was "not only the most important fossil ever found in Antarctica, but one of the truly great fossil finds of all time."