Film: 9083

Natural History | 1950 | Sound | B/W


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An explanation of Evolution

Schoolmaster Professor W. S. Bullough in the 1950's in front of wall-chart illustrating evolution over 500 million years. 'Evolution has not been a straight line - side-lines have died out - e.g. woolly mammoth was around 10.000 years ago (cave drawing)'. Model of mammoths. Men trapped them and used meat and bones. Shot of frozen mammoth in Siberia.

Cave drawing of pre-historic horses being hunted. Jaw bone of horse found in excavation in London. Various wild animals - bears and wolves - have died out in England in past few centuries. Some have been re-introduced - shots of reindeer now established in Scotland from Lapland. Views of Cairngorm Mountains. Many animals are in danger of extinction - shots of American Whooping Crane - very few left. Shots of the Crane in flight in Texas and in its court stick dance. After pairing it migrates to the Arctic. Some species die out but new ones evolve.

We see primitive wild wheat and modern wheat - much bigger; wild cabbage and 'modern' cabbage and Brussels sprouts, produced by selection over the years. Next, wild daffodils and larger modern ones.

New types of cattle have been evolved. We see cave-drawings of early cattle and then herd of white cattle from Chillingham. Cattle have been bred for milk and meat. Shots of Friesian and Hereford cattle. Next scene is of mice - white, black and piebald. Natural selection is caused by natural forces operating on plants and animals.

View of tree-bark with the moths - black is visible, 'pepper-moth' ('speckled') is hard to see because of camouflage. Scene of bird (yellowhammer) looking for moths on tree. It finds the black moth but not the speckled ones. In next scene, on a blackened tree, the speckled moth is more conspicuous. In industrial areas, black moths have the advantage and are much more numerous. Thus, in the past animals and plants have died out and others have appeared, selected either by man or by natural forces. In final scene, man and boy are seen walking through a field of cattle.

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