Spectrum 900. Joan and the dragons

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Tono kōrero mai

Spectrum visits paleontologist Joan Wiffen C.B.E., in the fossil-strewn Mangahouanga River bed, where she first found dinosaur fossils in 1972.

Alistair McAlpine interviews Joan about how her family came to search in the valley 25 years ago. (A man identified only as "Trevor" is also present and comments occasionally also.)

This programme traces the story that rewrote New Zealand's geological history and prior to Joan's work, New Zealand was believed to have not had dinosaurs.

Joan explains how as a self-trained, amateur paleontologist, "a Hawkes Bay housewife", she visited Dr Ralph Molnar at Brisbane Museum (who was working on Australian dinosaurs), with what turned out to be New Zealand's first-ever verified dinosaur bone, that she had found in the Mangahouanga River bed.

This discovery was presented at the 5th Gondwana Symposium at Victoria University in 1980.

Joan talks about how she has been received by professional geologists and paleontologists. as a middle-aged woman amateur.

Paleontologists Ian Raine and James Crampton are interviewed at the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences in Lower Hutt. They take an imaginary journey back in time with Alistair McAlpine to pre-historic Hawkes Bay and describe the landscape, vegetation and dinosaurs that would have been present.

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Year 1996

Reference number 22434

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Credits RNZ Collection
McAlpine, Alistair, Producer
Wiffen, Joan, 1922-2009, Interviewee
Raine, James Ian, 1944-, Interviewee
Crampton, James Scutts, 1963-, Interviewee

Duration 00:26:28

Date 18 Feb 1996

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