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Fall 2003

Gerald Marino
Susan Connell

Content Outline for The Anza-Borrego Pleistocene Video

Setting: The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park(

Characters: Park Ranger and Young Student

The video opens looking out on a panorama of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park from the view of the Visitor Center as music plays. Music fades as the camera backs up and we see the back of the Ranger and Student looking out onto the scene as they also examine part of a Southern Mammoth tooth that Ranger has in his hand.

The camera looks over their shoulder and zooms into the fossil they are examining. The dialogue between them is one where the student is asking questions and the ranger is answering and explaining about the animal that lived below in Borrego Valley between .5 and 1.5 million years ago (the late Pleistocene) and what the land looked like then.

Simulated dialogue (actual dialogue will come with the script):

Student: You mean that this is a fossilized tooth from a mammoth that once lived here?

Ranger: Yes, (Jimmy or Janie or Grover) this mammoth, and many like it, and lived here over a million years ago.

Transition to Park panorama:

Student: But how is that possible? How could they live in such a desert? I thought mammoths lived in cold climates?

From here a narrator takes over the explanation as a voice over while transitioning the visuals. As the narrator explains that mammoths lived all over the northern hemisphere and he explains what the land was like at that time the panorama transitions to the mural view of the Park during the Pleistocene, Landscape 5. (Music here in background.) The narrator explains that the area was a combination of rivers, lakes, streams, forest and savannah, and before that an ocean environment to the east. Camera pans the mural Landscape 5 and highlights areas from the narration.

The narrator explains about the mammoth's life, what they ate, what other animals lived here, etc. As the narrator explains all this the images we see are different aspects of the environment, different animals and the mural Landscape 5.
Visuals will start with a bare landscape and highlight specific plants as the narrator discusses them. Dissolve animals in they are discussed. Music continues as animals transition in.

Based on the time it takes to explain each one, the plants and animals will include:

  • Palm trees
  • Grasslands (savannah)
  • Trees (upland and riparian forests)
  • River and lake shore plants-reeds, grasses, etc.
  • Wild dogs- Canis edwardsi (no Borophagus)
  • Horses, camels, mammoths and a variety of savannah, river and lake animals
  • Birds-in fact a bird with the largest wingspan ever to fly over North America (17ft.)-as well as flamingos and other birds in the distance
  • Reptiles and amphibians that were only found here and no where else in North America
  • Otters and beavers - in streams

As more plants and animals are discussed the narrator explains that we know all this because of the paleontological research and discoveries over the past 150 or so years.

As the video draws to an end, the camera pans the desert landscape again and then draws back so we see the Ranger and Student looking out over the landscape and hear them talking. The Ranger points into the distance and explains that there was a lake straight ahead and a river/stream to the left. The student asks what kind of animals lived there and the Ranger says that when you come back tomorrow we'll learn about the plants and animals that have been discovered in those locations. (Music comes up as we pull back over their shoulder and dissolve to sunset/dark landscape in the Park.)


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© 2003, Susan Connell, Educational Technology Student at San Diego State University