An article from CTV called “ Science may soon revive the woolly mammoth, but are we ready?” is making waves right now. In as little as 7 years we could see actual woolly mammoths from 10,000 years ago roaming around Russia or even northern Canada (That’s where we live!) If we can bring back these animals from the ancient past. What else could we bring back?
1. Woolly Mammoth
We have found a surprising amount of frozen Mammoths. All of which contain MORE than enough DNA for us to be able to clone it. A lot of things contributed to the extinction of Mammoths. Hunting from our ancient ancestors certainly played a role but it was more likely to have been caused by rising climate. Scientists simply need to incubate enough mammoth embryos and The woods around Fort Mac could be teeming with these peaceful giants!
2. Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger)
The last Thylacine died in 1936 on September 7th. It lived primarily in New Guinea, Australia and (obviously) Tasmania. They were very similar to Coyotes in that they were nocturnal, shy, and ate mostly scraps from larger carnivores. What’s interesting is it is closer related to a kangaroo than a wolf in that’s it’s a marsupial. The Thylacine was nearly driven to extinction by bounty hunters long before British settlement in Australia but eventually hunting wiped them out completely. The Thylacine existed so recently that de-extinction would be fairly easy for scientists to do. (Plus look at how crazy wide they could open their mouths!)
3. The Dodo Bird
The Dodo led an unfortunate existence. The bird could only be found 1 place in the whole world; an island east of Madagascar called Mauritius. The Dodo didn’t have any natural predators on the island for 1000’s of years so when humans showed up The Dodo had no chance to survive. Explorers killed and ate every single one of them. There isn’t much reason to bring back The Dodo. Explorers described them as
“First here only and in Dygarrois [Rodrigues] is generated the Dodo, which for shape and rareness may antagonize the Phoenix of Arabia: her body is round and fat, few weigh less than fifty pound. It is reputed more for wonder than for food, greasie stomackes may seeke after them, but to the delicate they are offensive and of no nourishment. Her visage darts forth melancholy, as sensible of Nature’s injurie in framing so great a body to be guided with complementall wings, so small and impotent, that they serve only to prove her bird. The halfe of her head is naked seeming couered with a fine vaile, her bill is crooked downwards, in midst is the thrill [nostril], from which part to the end tis a light green, mixed with pale yellow tincture; her eyes are small and like to Diamonds, round and rowling; her clothing downy feathers, her train three small plumes, short and inproportionable, her legs suiting her body, her pounces sharpe, her appetite strong and greedy. Stones and iron are digested, which description will better be conceived in her representation.”
In the most simple terms, they were colourful, fat, dumb and tasted good.
4. Sabre Tooth Tiger
The Sabre Tooth went extinct around the same time as the Wooly Mammoth for very similar reasons. We absolutely have the ability to bring them back. I just don’t know if I want a giant Tiger with mouth swords roaming the boreal forests. Bears are scary enough.
We first found Neanderthal skeletons in the Neanderthal valley in Scotland, since then we have been infatuated with them, Neanderthal existed 40,000 years ago in what is now Europe while humans like you and me evolved in Northern Africa completely separate. We don’t know what drove Neanderthal to extinction but we do know how to de-extinct them. what we don’t know is if they could get our diseases like the mumps, or scarlet fever. We don’t know if they could understand or use our language or if they were only capable of very simple words. There is a huge moral question with bringing back a Neaderthal. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if you think it’s okay to do.
What ancient animals do you wish we could bring back from the dead? Let me know below!