Video: Bringing back extinct species




Oh sure, it’s mammoths today - but pretty soon we’ll all be fleeing from saber-toothed tigers.


We so limit the space for existing animals now, and give them such little consideration. Although it’s an interesting scientific idea, I wonder how ethical it really is in the context of how people see themselves as the only important living beings.


I’m for the passenger pigeon, as there is an ecological niche, and a need, for such a creature. The woolly mammoth, mmm, errr, I dunno. With elephants already on endangered lists, that one doesn’t seem like such a good idea. I mean, we can learn something from “Jurassic Park”, can’t we? As in “only bring back species’ whose butts we can kick”?


Mid-90’s I believe there was a push to introduce the elephant into the American midwest in order to bring back megafauna like the bison and, historically, like the mammoth. So there is, technically, an ecological niche in terms of the biology of the area, but the room? Maybe not so much.


Let’s get robust protections and restoration of habitat for threatened and endangered species going, and then we’ll talk.


Good idea? I don’t know but DO IT. I want pet dinosaurs the size of small dogs and as intelligent as parrots. In the mean time I would settle for some wooly mammoth steaks.


Honestly I don’t quite understand the ethical question here. If we were talking about an intelligent, self-aware species like the neanderthal, then I could understand the debate. But, for example, if we brought back a couple woolly mammoths, what would be the big deal? I’m questioning sincerely, enlighten me. -Edit- I mean, I guess I could read the articles and links, but if anyone wanted to respond anyway, that would be cool.


There must be some room in Siberia or thereabouts. I’m pretty sure mammoths fall squarely within the “animals whose butts we can kick if we have to” category, considering our ancestors took them down with little more than pointy sticks.


What if mammoths are incredibly efficient methane producers and were responsible for ending the ice age with their byproducts…
If we are going to bring back prehistoric creatures, I vote for Sophia Loren from One Million Years B.C. (a good proof of concept since we can get a living tissue sample).


That was then. Mammoth’s would now have access to modern weaponry, which would allow them to turn into sub-zero machine gun platforms.

The other side of the coin would of course be that mammoth is delicious, and we would get to eat them into extinction all over again.


Do we really need the wool that much, or is this a niche market thing?


If there’s a reason to buy more guns then America is all for it.


According to many researchers who have observed them, elephants lead very emotionally rich lives and demonstrate social attachment behaviors that appear to be every bit as genuine as those in great apes (that includes us!).

They’re also pretty good painters.

The current evidence strongly suggests that elephants actually are self-aware. That statement comes straight from a well-respected veteran researcher in animal cognition, and he’s not alone in his position. I had the opportunity to take one of his classes and I got the impression that he’s pretty conservative about these sort of things, so to hear him say that definitely grabbed my attention.

Given that elephants are descendants of wooly mammoths, it’s plausible that their wooly ancestors would have similar consciousness and social behavior. Hence, the ethical concern.


Pretty sure technology has changed enough since prehistoric times to make mammoth hunting a much easier task should we ever need to…

(on the list of things you couldn’t pay me to shoot)[both this gun and mammoths]


Not quite.


I think the best and most evil use of this technology would be to bring humans back long after we’re extinct. Set up a time capsule to 3D print a human when the container has detected that the next ice/ash/petal age has passed then out pops some new dudes to ruin our rock again. I wonder how many people are thinking small time about this, like 3D print resurrecting Walt Disneys or Hitlers.

Oh yeah, I vote that we make Jurassic Park a reality if we can even though the failure of it’s security is inevitable.


The scale of the hunting was incredible: here’s an introduction to the kind of gun that was used to shoot passenger pigeons and waterfowl. They could fire over 1 pound of shotgun pellets at one time and take down 50 birds in one shot.


That’s true, I did neglect that elephants, and possibly mammoths, are a little more advanced on the emotional level. But I’m not convinced that’s the main ethical reasons they’re talking about here. And we’re talking about the passenger pigeon as well. Sometimes it seems the conversation centers around ‘if they went extinct once, then it’s for a reason, and it would be unethical to try and bring them back, because they went extinct for a reason.’


Thanks for the clarification. The way they discussed wooly mammoths in the short feature made it sound like they were ancestors. I should’ve been curious enough to research that myself. And now that I’ve done just that, I’ve learned something else new: pachyderms? Not a monophyletic group— poly, in fact.