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Bust of Théodore Monod in the Jardin des Plantes, Paris

Théodore André Monod (Rouen, April 9, 1902 - Versailles, November 22, 2000) was a French naturalist, explorer, and humanist scholar. In the course of his career, Monod was made director of the Institut Français d’Afrique Noire, professor at the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, member of the Académie des sciences d'outre-mer in 1949, member of the Académie de Marine in 1957, and member of the Académie des Sciences in 1963. In 1960 he was one of the founders of the World Academy of Art and Science.

He began his career with the study of monk seals on Mauritania's Cap Blanc peninsula. However, he soon turned his attention to the Sahara desert, which he would survey for more than sixty years in search of meteorites. Though he failed to find the meteorite he sought, he discovered numerous plant species as well as several important Neolithic sites. Perhaps his most important find was the Asselar man, a 6,000-year-old skeleton of the Adrar des Ifoghas that many scholars believe to be the first remains of a distinctly black individual.

Monod was also a political activist also took part in pacifist and antinuclear protests, and wrote several articles that adumbrated the emerging environmentalist movement.

Monod shares a common ancestor with biologist Jacques Monod, the musician Jacques-Louis Monod, the politician Jérôme Monod and director Jean-Luc Godard.

Selected works

Works re-edited and released by Actes Sud (Arles):

  • Méharées, (Paris, 1937), rééd. 1989.
  • L'Émeraude des garamantes, (éditions de L'Harmattan, Paris, 1984), rééd. 1992.
  • L'Hippopotame et le philosophe, rééd. 1993.
  • Désert lybique, éditions Arthaud, 1994.
  • Majâbat Al-Koubrâ, Actes Sud, 1996.
  • Maxence au désert, Actes Sud, Arles, 1995.
  • Tais-toi et marche ..., exploration journal from El Ghallaouya-Aratane-Chinguetti, Actes Sud, 2002.


  • This article began as a translation of the corresponding article at the French Wikipedia, accessed 17 December 2005.

External links



Up to date as of January 23, 2010

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