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De-Extinction, or why Jurassic Park will probably not happen.

July 30, 2014 | Ray | Comments (7) Facebook Twitter More...


Oh the thrills of Jurassic Park - a movie classic.  That scene with the T-Rex still scares me! (It's embedded below.)

De-extinction is a possibility, but even if we could bring back species, would it be the actual animal? We have no idea how the animal behaved, how it interacted with the local ecosystem and microbacteria, in fact it's sort of an egg-but-no-chicken idea.  Would a wolly mammoth behave and act like a woolly mammoth, or would it just look like one?  

Modern, backbred auroch. Note, it is way bigger than a large cow, more like an ox!

In Europe, they're successfully bringing back a lost species of wild cattle through a technique called backbreeding.  The animal is the auroch, which was included as a mythical creature in the magical movie, Beasts of the Southern Wild

 It's been so successful, they've recently released this backbred, wild-ish cattle in to the mountains of Eastern Europe.  Cool!  After 500 years, these creatures are re-inhabiting the mountains.  

I wonder what complications will come of this for the people living in and tourists visiting the mountains.



Passenger Pigeon

And then there's the mighty passenger pigeon.  Check out the fascinating discussion of undoing extinction with passenger pigeons through backbreeding and crossbreeding of its closest relatives.  Did you know that the ROM has the most specimens of this extinct bird?  Here's a podcast from CBC that goes in-depth on how it might actually work.  It's captivating to think about!

And here's the ROM's perspective on their drawers of passenger pigeons and what that means for scientists.



Curious to know more about de-extinction? Check out The Sixth Extinction on the Word Out Science List.



I love rewatching this movie clip and getting scared over and over.

Try, TRY to keep breathing.  It's scary!!

I'd rather revive the passenger pigeon than a T-Rex...just sayin'.

Out of all the extinct creatures, which one would you bring back? 

Rabbit hole of lists of known extinct creatures

...and can we get a count of how many screams happen in this clip?