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history6 Animals That Scientists Are Trying to Bring Back from Extinction

6 Animals That Scientists Are Trying to Bring Back from Extinction

Technological advances have made it possible to bring many extinct animals back from the dead. Here are some of the animals that scientists are considering resurrecting.

Everywhere humans have gone, they have driven animals to extinction. Whether that animal was hunted to extinction or simply made a competitor. This is not the first time this has happened. Tens of thousands of years ago, somewhere in the world, the megafauna disappeared, coinciding with the arrival of mankind. In Europe, the famous woolly mammoth disappeared. In the Americas, strange animals like the gryptodon were hunted to extinction, and in Australia, 85% of animals weighing over 100 pounds became extinct after the arrival of humans! These include omnivorous kangaroos, super-sized koalas, and giant wombats.

More recently, human activity has caused the extinction of the moa, passenger pigeon, and dodo. But does that mean these species are extinct forever? Here are six extinct animals that scientists hope to bring back to life.

Extinct Animal from the Tip of Africa: The Kwagga

The kwagga is a subspecies of zebra that walked the southern tip of the African continent. It was characterized by stripes on its head and the first half of its body, while the second half was brown. In the wild, they were hunted to extinction, and the last individual died at the Amsterdam Zoo in 1883.

The Quagga Project aims to right human wrongs by bringing this extinct animal back to life. in the 1950s, it was theorized that the quagga could be repopulated through selective breeding. in 1980, mitochondrial DNA studies proved that the quagga is a subspecies of the zebra This theory was greatly advanced when it was proven that the quagga is a subspecies of the zebra.

In 1987, nine zebras were selected and brought to a breeding camp farm built near Robertson, South Africa. This marked the beginning of the Quagga repopulation project. Since then, zebras with similar characteristics to Quagga have been selected and incorporated into the program, but as the number of zebras increased, the project needed to be expanded to include more areas where zebras could be cared for.

Since the project’s inception, many litters have been born and subsequent generations have been successful. So far, we have six individuals that are almost identical to the original kwagga. Although not yet kwagga, these individuals are referred to as lau kwagga. Six zebras, Henry, Freddy, DJ14, Nina J, FD15, and Kumba, are working on this project.

  1. aurochs

During the Pleistocene (2.58 million to 1.17 million years ago), a species of giant cattle called aurochs was widespread in Eurasia, North Africa, and the Indian subcontinent.

However, by the time human civilization began, their numbers had already declined significantly from their peak. By Roman times, only European aurochs remained. A thousand years later, the last aurochs lived only in small populations in the Polish forests, and by 1627 they were extinct.

The first attempt to revive the aurochs was initiated in the 1930s by Heinz and Lutz Heck, who selectively bred modern cattle. The results were interesting, but they resulted in a breed called “Heck cattle,” which differed greatly from the original aurochs. Currently, several organizations are attempting to revive this extinct animal. The “Taurus Project” and the “Taurus Project” are attempting to revive the aurochs through selective breeding, while the rival “Urs Project” of the True Nature Foundation aims to use genome editing in its program.

The project is expected to contribute to the European ecosystem by bringing back extinct animals to the European wilderness. It is also envisioned that these giant animals will attract tourists.

  1. Pyrenean Ibex

A subspecies of the Spanish ibex, an extinct animal that disappeared due to overhunting in the 19th and 20th centuries. 1999, the last female Pyrenean ibex, Celia, was tagged and collared. and tissue samples were collected and released back into the wild. A year later, however, Celia was found crushed to death by a tree.

In 2003, scientists used the tissue sample to clone Celia. Celia’s cells were transplanted into goat egg cells. Many goats were impregnated, but only one became pregnant. The clone had a defective lung and lived only seven minutes. Although the clone ended sadly, the experiment was considered a great success in bringing the Pyrenean ibex back to life.

The problem is that scientists only have the DNA of the female ibex. To solve this problem, scientists plan to cross future clones with a closely related species, the southeastern Spanish ibex. This could result in hybrids that resemble the Pyrenean ibex.

  1. passenger pigeon

Passenger pigeons became extinct in the early 20th century due to commercial hunting. Once millions of these animals flew over the skies of North America, and there is a possibility that they may make a comeback.

However, because of its missing DNA, reproduction by cloning is not possible. Therefore, Revive & Restore, a conservation non-profit organization, is focused on identifying DNA mutations that differentiate the phenotypes of passenger pigeons and their close relatives, the long-tailed pigeon. This allows them to modify the DNA of the passenger pigeon to have the same traits as the passenger pigeon. The resulting hybrid will not be a perfect copy of the crow pigeon, but will be almost indistinguishable from the original animal.

The project is in full swing, with captive breeding scheduled for 2024 and a significant number of hybrids to be released into the wild by 2030.

6 Animals That Scientists Are Trying to Bring Back from Extinction

  1. the extinct animal known as the Tasmanian Tiger, the thylacine.

This marsupial once inhabited the Australian mainland, New Guinea, and Tasmania, and its population had been declining since before Europeans arrived in Australia. What the Australian government did to save the animal was too little, too late: in 1936, the Tasmanian government declared the thylacine officially protected. Fifty-nine days after the announcement, the last specimen, named Benjamin, died after being neglected at the Hobart Zoo.In 2017, it was announced that the entire nuclear genome of the thylacine had been sequenced. Andrew J. Pask of the University of Melbourne explains that the next step is to create a fully functional genome. This will take time and considerable research, but it is estimated that a full-scale attempt to bring thylacine back from extinction could happen as early as 2027.

  1. woolly mammoth

One of the most well-known extinct animals being considered for de-extinction is a species of elephant called the woolly mammoth. From a prehistoric perspective, the extinction of the woolly mammoth is a recent event. They disappeared around 1650 BC. This was more than 1,000 years after the construction of the pyramids at Giza.

For more than a decade, research teams in Japan, Russia, and other countries have been studying ways to bring the woolly mammoth back to life. Various methods have been proposed. The cloning method, which requires mammoth DNA, is difficult to achieve because not enough DNA has yet been found, although DNA is being discovered regularly as the permafrost retreats. Another method involves artificial insemination using mammoth sperm and an Asian elephant mother; a third method involves transferring genes from the mammoth genome to the Asian elephant’s genes.

In any case, if this project comes to fruition, the reintroduction of woolly mammoths is expected to help the environment. It is also said to help prevent global warming. A recent article in Newsweek magazine reported that these extinct animals could return as early as 2027.

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