Play

00:00

/

00:00

Full screen
Video quality

Low 0 MB

High 0 MB

HD 0 MB

Captions
Volume
Volume

Primeval Survivors

Short Film (Full Length) – 1981

This award-winning NFU short focuses on the tuatara, sole survivor of a reptile species extinct for 135 million years. An NZ Wildlife Service (now Department of Conservation) team search for the reptiles on Stephens Island sanctuary (aka Takapourewa) as they hunt for insects. Voiceover is eschewed in favour of natural sound, and composer Jack Body’s evocative soundtrack. The tuatara are weighed and measured; they can grow up to 80 centimetres, weigh over a kilogram and live 150 years. There were about 100,000 tuatara on Stephens Island when the film was made in 1981.

Tail length is 23.2...and she weighs in at 740, minus 10.
– A New Zealand Wildlife Service scientist

Key Cast & Crew

Bayly Watson

Camera

Greg Stitt

Director

Hugh Macdonald

Producer

Renaud Maire

Assistant Camera

Geoff Shepherd

Sound

Kit Rollings

Sound