Natural History | 1970 | Sound | Colour
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Shots of dinosaur skeletons - close ups of claws, spine, jaws, teeth, etc… Camera moving in and out. Loger, more static shot of pair of skeletons. A volcano erupting - close ups of lava spraying into the air, and bubbling through rock. Crude animation sequence - drawings of dinosaurs in landscape. Various types, including Tyrannosaurus Rex, Steggosaurus, etc… Doctor Samuel P. Wells - paleontologist from the University of California - speaks to camera about the descendants and relatives of the dinosaur. Shot of crocodile crawling into swamp and swimming towards camera. Crocodile's head emerges from the water, jaws and teeth snapping. Crocodile walks across land. Doctor Wann Langston (Junior) talks to camera about the relationship of birds to dinosaurs. He is standing in a workshop. Shot of flock of birds over water with weeds and rushes aroung it. Flamingo flaps its wings and, running across the surface of the water, takes off in flight. Shots of various birds flying - pelican lands on the surface of the water. Underwater shot of exotic fish swimming - various types of coral and anenome on sandy sea bed. Frog jumps into frame amongst reeds. Close up of frog's face with eyes opening and closing. Pair of elephants in a zoo. Large group of seals or sealions make their way to the sea across a beach. A snake curves its way across the ground. Various close ups of reptiles - lizards, snakes, crocodile, turtle swimming. Skeleton of the Mososaur - "the closest thing to a sea serpent that ever lived" - a sea lizard up to twelve metres in length. Can see the flippers and tail fin, instead of feet. Flying reptiles - the pterodactyl. Shot of fossilised bone. Drawings of pterodactyl and tyrannosaurus rex. In a museum a group of school childen are gathered round looking at a pair of skeletons. Dr Langston shows us a model of an armoured dinosaur - anchilosaurus (?) - and a skeleton of a diplodocus (with a wooden frame around it). Fossil of a duck billed dinosaur. Shot of the skull of a plant eating or herbivore dinosaur, focusing on the teeth. Further drawings of dinosaurs in vegetation. Tyrannosaurus rex skull, skeletons and drawings or triceratops, stegosaurus. A drawn diagram of a diplodocus skeleton. Stop motion animation sequence of dinosaur eggs hatching, and of dinosaurs themselves attacking and fighting each other - probably an extract from "Lost World". Drawn diagram of brontosaurus. Various bones are laid into place as people construct a skeleton. A welder with a mask joins some pieces together - sparks fly.
The mountains of Western Colorado - search for bones, Shots of paleontologists chipping out remains with hammer and chisel. James A Jensen (curator of Earth Sciences Museum) talks about his finds. One worker uses an electric cutter, then more intricate work takes place in the excavation, using brushes, The excavation crew dig an individual bone out of the surrounding rock. It is covered in tissue, then plaster - to protect it - before it is chipped out. Back in the laboratory the bones are removed from the plaster and the surrounding rock. Dr Langston holds a reconstructed diplodocus rib. Shots of scientists modeeling lost or fragmented sections of bones in the laboratory. Holes are drilled into each piece in order for the supporting steel framework to be hidden from view. Views of diplodocus skeleton being constructed. Further drawings of dinosaurs - marine, sky and land - in their natural habitat. Their extinction is discussed. Final shot of excavation site. Final shots of skeletons with credits over.
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