Animals

10 extended animal scientists are trying to make a comeback

Some majestic creatures once thrived on our planet. Unfortunately, due to human activities, habitat loss and natural disasters, some of them have now disappeared from the face of the earth. But bringing an animal back from the grave is a daunting task, and there would be a lot of biological implications. Ecologists and scientists work day and night to bring back some of these amazing animals to preserve these wonderful creatures. Here is a list of some of the most famous extinct animals that scientists are trying to recover.

1 woolly mammoth

10 extended animal scientists are trying to make a comeback
Image Credit: shutterstock

The woolly mammoth is one of the last extinct species of mammoth and the closest relative of the Asian elephant. About 800,000 years ago, the woolly mammoth began to diverge from the steppe mammoth.

The population of this species began to decline at the end of the Ice Age. Most of them disappeared, although some survived until 5,700 years ago and eventually became extinct. The woolly mammoth’s DNA and the presence of preserved soft tissues have led scientists to resurrect this extinct species through scientific means. Many researchers are working on several projects to bring back these extinct animals. These projects involve replacing genes in elephant cells with mammoth genes.

In 2015, scientist George Church and his team applied the DNA-editing technology CRISPR, which involves placing woolly mammoth genes into the genome of the Asian elephant. If this method works in the future, proposals have been made to start hybrids in the Siberian Wildlife Sanctuary. However, some researchers have questioned the ethics of such attempts.

2 Step Bison

10 extended animal scientists are trying to make a comeback
Image Credit: Jana Kollarova via shutterstock

The steppe bison is a large, shaggy-haired bovine that once roamed the vast steppes of Europe and Asia. The animal, weighing 900 kilograms, had long horns separated by a meter. Their first appearance was seen in eastern Eurasia, and after that, they migrated to North America.

This massive bison was an important prey animal for early humans, and its remains have been found in Neanderthal hunting camps. They became extinct about 10,000 years ago. Today, their legacy lives on in the form of the American wood bison. Moreover, scientists are trying to bring back these extinct animals.

Moreover, since 2015, South Korean and Russian scientists have attempted to recreate this lost animal by attempting to clone a Canadian wood bison. After recovering an ancient bison’s tail from the Siberian permafrost, scientists are determined to use the tail to obtain DNA in cloning work. Some cloning work involves the use of surrogate mothers of distinct species, such as using an elephant to incubate a returning mammoth.

3 Dodo

10 extended animal scientists are trying to make a comeback
Image Credit: shutterstock

The dodo (Raphus cucullatus) is an extinct flightless bird that was native to the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. The dodo’s closest genetic relative is the also extinct Rodrigues solitaire, and the two birds are thought to share a common ancestor.

Being not afraid of humans, they were easy prey for sailors. Archaeological investigation reports stated that the main cause of the extinction of the dodo was due to human predation. It was last seen in 1681 and is now known only from paintings, drawings, and written accounts from the 17th century.

A group of scientists now says it is possible to bring back the dodo. A research team was trying to sequence the DNA of a dodo, and its complete genome sequence was ready in 2015. This meant that they were able to generate the key genetic information that would make up the bird. Professor Beth Shapiro of the University of California and some other researchers are trying to use the cloning method to bring the bird back.

Some other scientists also think that the Nicobar pigeon, a close relative of the dodo, may contain some DNA that could be useful in their research. But the results will not make up a complete bird. So bringing back these extinct animals is really a chore!

4 passenger pigeons

10 extended animal scientists are trying to make a comeback
Image Credit: J. G. Hubbard, Jim via wikipedia

The homing pigeon, or wild pigeon, was one of the most popular birds in North America. Because of its migratory characteristics, the bird has earned the name “rider”. Once numbering in the billions, this species was hunted to extinction in the early 20th century.

Homing pigeons were an important part of the ecosystem, and their loss has had ripple effects over the years. Today, it is remembered as a cautionary tale about the dangers of human over-exploitation of natural resources.

According to wired.com, in 2013, scientists planned to bring this famous bird back from extinction. Novak, a student, and an organization called Revive and Restore are in charge of this task and plan to decode the bird’s genes from the museum. Also, a prominent American scientist, George M. Church, said that it is possible to reconstruct the genome of pigeons by piecing together DNA fragments from different samples.

Novak’s broad plan to create a passenger pigeon involves editing DNA from a strip-tailed pigeon’s cell and transplanting it into another rock pigeon in hopes of developing a chick that will grow and give birth to two such birds in the future. Novak’s work may help establish the homing pigeon, and he hopes it can convince the public. Whether or not the homing pigeon survives in the future, the bird’s genetic code will survive.

5 Gastropod frog

10 extended animal scientists are trying to make a comeback
Image Credit: Michael J. Tyler via wol.jw.org

The gastropod frog was a species of ground-dwelling frog that was native to Australia. The frog was notable for its unique reproductive capabilities. The female swallows her fertilized eggs and then stops eating. The eggs will develop in her stomach, and she will give birth to fully formed frogs.

Unfortunately, this frog is now extinct and also listed as an endangered species. But scientists are still studying the frog in hopes of understanding its extraordinary reproductive capabilities. This creature became extinct due to human introduction of pathogenic fungi to its original range. The wild specimen was last seen in the 1980s.

Scientists are now making efforts to revive this frog using somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), a cloning method. The Australian Lazarus Project is the team behind the mission to eradicate this frog. Their work was recognized as one of the best inventions in the world in 2013.

As theguardian.com reports from 2013, researchers successfully collected DNA from frozen frog tissues that had been stored in a conventional freezer for more than 40 years. Professor Mike Archey, who is leading the project, said some technology is needed to prevent the extinction.

Everyone must hope that their invention will serve as a stepping stone to animals long extinct.

6 Florida giant tortoise

10 extended animal scientists are trying to make a comeback
Image Credit: Arteaga A, Bustamante L, Vieira J, Guayasamin JM via reptilesofecuador.com

The Floriana giant tortoise is an extinct subspecies of the Galapagos tortoise. They are mostly seen on the island of Floriana in the Galapagos Islands. Female turtles have grown to about 88 cm long and males 138 cm long, with a stout carapace on the back.

This turtle became extinct during the 1840’s and 1850’s. Overexploitation for food by settlers and sailors and habitat degradation of introduced species, including dogs, cats, donkeys, goats, pigs, and ferrets, was the cause of the extinction.

According to wired.com, the first experiment was started by 50 researchers in 2008. Later, in 2015, it was found that some conservationists were making efforts to bring this turtle back by studying long-lost populations left by pirates on an extinct volcano. .

According to some scientists, the breeding technique is necessary to revive this turtle. You are simply breeding turtles with the highest levels of Floreana genes all together until you get a very high percentage of those genes.

7 Quagga

10 extended animal scientists are trying to make a comeback
Frederick York via commons.wikimedia

The quagga was a subspecies of the zebra. It lived in South Africa and became extinct at the end of the nineteenth century. The quagga was distinguishable from other zebras by its stripes, which were only present on the front half of its body.

Today, people remember the quagga as one of the many victims of the 19th century’s relentless pursuit of animal prizes. But there have been recent efforts by scientists to bring back the zebra’s cousins ​​through breeding programmes.

A group called the Quagga Project, which started in 1987, is working to revive little-known species. Eric Harley, project leader, stated that we can restore the quagga through selective breeding techniques. The project received some negative critics who said it could be a stunt. Contrary to critics, Harley is trying to restore these extinct animals by creating a species closer to the appearance of the quagga.

8 Heath Hen

10 extended animal scientists are trying to make a comeback
Image Credit: Dave Kreuper via flickr.com

The healthy chicken (Tympanuchus cupido cupido) was a subspecies of the larger prairie chicken (Tympanuchus cupido). It was native to the eastern coast of North America. A healthy hen can be distinguished from the larger prairie chicken by its smaller size, spotted plumage, and slightly different habitat preferences.

The bird was once widespread across its range, but suffered significant declines in the 19th and early 20th centuries due to habitat loss and poaching. The last healthy chicken was seen in 1932, and the subspecies became extinct in 1933.

Since 2013, to bring back this chicken, a group of expert researchers along with the Revive and Restore group have been working tirelessly on this ambitious de-extinction project. After some pauses and extensive searching, the project is now in phase two, performing a successful fertilization of prairie chicken eggs and attempting to grow late-stage primordial germ cells for the first time. The research could help conserve other species, too.

9 Lion Cave

10 extended animal scientists are trying to make a comeback
Image Credit: Tarakanbix via shutterstock

Panthera spelaea, also known as the cave lion, is an extinct Panthera species that evolved mostly in Europe. This species diverged genetically from today’s lions about 1.9 million years ago.

This lion became extinct about 13,000 years ago. In Eurasia, the extinction is believed to have occurred between 14,900 and 14,100 years ago. According to The Guardian, these lions were mostly hunted by Neanderthals and Homo sapiens.

10 extended animal scientists are trying to make a comeback
Image credit: Mauricio Anton via commons.wikimedia

Since 2017, Russian and Korean scientists have been trying to revive these extinct animals. They are trying to clone the species using the remains of two Pleistocene cubs, Uyan and Dina, who were found in Siberia. There was mother’s milk in the remains of one of the cubs, which shed light on this research. By analyzing this milk in the remains, there is hope to determine the diet of this animal. Because of the better preservation of these remains, there are hopes to recreate this species again, Dr. Protopopov stated.

10 Little Bush Moa

10 extended animal scientists are trying to make a comeback
Image credit: John Megahan via phys.org

The little bush moa is the smallest of the extinct species of the moa family. The bird inhabited lands mostly in New Zealand. The flightless bird became extinct at the end of the thirteenth century.

But scientists at Harvard University are trying to revive this bird by inserting its genome into the eggs of the living species. The experiment began in 2018. Moa DNA was reconstructed from the toe bone of a specimen kept in the museum. Researchers are making efforts to publish the results of their work in their university’s journal.

As of now, only non-peer-reviewed papers are available on the website. More work and research continues. The extinct animals that scientists are trying to bring back will hopefully one day become extinct.

Smith

Tricare west is a global news publication that tells the stories you want to know.

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