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Postscript

Captain Colbeck's birds' eggs are not the only Antarctic objects found in the natural history registers.

handwriting on page
The Natural History accession register page showing the seal skulls collected by Bob Young (detail of ARC/HMG/CM/001/017)

Two years before, on 10 February 1936, we bought from Mr W. Goodman Barnes a 'Skull of Lobodon carcinophaga' (Crabeater Seal) and a 'Fore Part of Skull of Leptonychotes weddelli' (Weddell Seal). These were collected at Little America on the Ross Ice Shelf by Barnes's brother-in-law  Bob Young, a Royal Navy petty officer and diver who had emigrated to New Zealand, during the American Richard Byrd's second Antarctic expedition, of 1933-1935.

But these seal skulls are different from the other Antarctic objects I have discussed in this piece: they were acquired as scientific specimens, not relics; and were collected during a new type of Antarctic expedition, large (a shore party of 56) and heavily mechanised (three aeroplanes, an autogyro, and six tracked tractors), which set the pattern for much of the continent's exploration during the twentieth century, and still has its offspring in sites such as the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station and McMurdo Station.

hut with ship and station behind
Captain Scott's Discovery expedition hut, with McMurdo Station behind © DoD photo by Cmdr Vincent Clifton, US Navy